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  #1  
Old 29 Dec 2007
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Europe Trip... Need Help

I am planning on going to Europe in August 2008 and I would like to either rent or buy a motorcycle for a couple weeks of the trip. Is it just recommended to rent since I will only have a couple weeks to ride or is buying a bike and then selling it after an option?

Also, is there a country in Europe where it is better to purchase a motorcycle from? I have been to Europe several times but never on a motorcycle. I am not particular to any brand, but I need a bike that will be good for two up riding. I would preffer a dual sport of some kind but I am comfortable riding any motorcycle.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 29 Dec 2007
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Look at Knopf tours, I have heard good things about them. They rent bikes also.
I don't think buying a bike would be practical. I think you would have to be a resident.
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Old 31 Dec 2007
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2worlds, I have done trips to Europe in summers 2006 and 2007. Both trips lasted about 2 1/2 weeks and about 4500 miles. These two trips followed 3 cross country US tours in 2003-2005. Each time I bought the bike and re-sold it. The most I've lost on the purchase price was about $2000. For example, this past summer I bought a 2007 Goldwing GL1800 for $21,000 loaded. I shipped it to and from Germany for about $1200 each way. Insurance costs were another $800 total. When I got the bike back in the US, I sold it for $19,500 with 4700 miles on it. I guess the total net cost was around $5500. I could have rented the same bike in Germany for about $4700 all included, BUT they wouldn't let me go into Eastern Europe. We entered Hungary, Czech Rep, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia....all big No-Nos with the rental companies. I got to choose my port of arrival and departure...this year Bremerhaven Germany. Last year we arrived in Antwep and departed Barcelona. For me, it was a no-brainer to buy the bike. I owned it for 4 months...not 3 weeks. It was ridden ONLY by me. I had the SatNav and sound system all hooked up and wired with the route all programmed. Again, I recommend buy/sell over renting. This was my 5th buy/sell. I bought my first one in Corte Madeira, CA and have done the sam eevery year since. If you have questions... jgreif@psafinancial.com Thanks and I hope it helps, Jon
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  #4  
Old 31 Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by 2worldsUnited View Post
I am planning on going to Europe in August 2008 and I would like to either rent or buy a motorcycle for a couple weeks of the trip. Is it just recommended to rent since I will only have a couple weeks to ride or is buying a bike and then selling it after an option?

Also, is there a country in Europe where it is better to purchase a motorcycle from? I have been to Europe several times but never on a motorcycle. I am not particular to any brand, but I need a bike that will be good for two up riding. I would preffer a dual sport of some kind but I am comfortable riding any motorcycle.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
That last post is interesting and a good solution to your question.
Significantly, the bike was owned for months rather than a matter of weeks.

I would say that it is not worth the effort to buy a bike for two weeks in Europe (perhaps anywhere else as well?). You may well spend your holiday totally engaged in negotiating to buy a bike and selling it again; maybe you can do it by having a prearrangement with a specific dealer who will sell a bike to you and buy it back two weeks later. I believe that something along these lines was offered by dealers here in the UK many years ago, but I have not heard of it in recent times.
Certainly, buying a bike has to be more economical in some circumstances compared with the charges of the hire companies and what the break-even point is depends on a lot of variables.
I guess it comes down to a question of do you want to spend your short holiday time in buying and selling or do you just want to get on with riding the bike?

There are quite a few threads in here about buying bikes in Europe, so you should look at those and then ask any more specific questions - I expect that every country will have different regulations. In the UK you will need an address to register the bike (not necessarily permanent I think) and the whole process of getting the paperwork will almost certainly take longer than 2 weeks; it is computerised on a central database and that office (DVLA) is not reknowned for getting the job done quickly.

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Old 31 Dec 2007
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Buying a bike could make more sense, especially if you are buying something cheaper. The logic of shipping the $21,000 Goldwing may well make sense for some, but I suspect thats out of reach of most of us. You could probably get a used V-Strom or Varadero (or similar) off ebay and lose virtually nothing while you are travelling. Its worked for me !

The UK may be a better place to buy as the processes are simpler than most other countries, and you won't have a language problem. You can get a temporary V5 (the registration document) in person at local offices, and this is fine for travel - I have done this before. One way ferry to France will cost less than £30. In practice, you are unlikely to need to show bike papers unless you leave the EU - which is a pretty big area these days.... It would take you most of a two week tour to reach the edge I suspect Incidentally, you might even get people interested in buying it from you and then riding it back to the UK.... both people get to do a longer one way trip in the time available.

You do need a UK address for the V5, and insurance, but you can use anyone for that - including me if you need to. Insurance costs will be much higher if you use an address in a big city - so avoid that. Foreign cover will normally be included automatically - 'free'.
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Old 31 Dec 2007
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. You can get a temporary V5 (the registration document) in person at local offices, and this is fine for travel - I have done this before.
I didn't realise that Wheelspin: I guess you mean the local offices of the DVLA that are in the larger towns/cities (and not the post offices)?

What identification etc do you have to produce to get these papers over the counter?
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Old 31 Dec 2007
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Yes - the local offices are in lots of major towns so you should never be too far from one. I don't remember whether I had anything except the green 'new keeper' part of the V5 form, but it certainly wasn't difficult. You must go in person, and there is a small fee. Again I forget, but £19 sounds familiar - maybe less, definitely no more when I did it. Foreigners are perfectly entitled to buy vehicles here so it really shouldn't be difficult. If the bike isn't taxed, you would need to do that at the same time so it would need MoT and insurance.

As an alternative, register it in someone else's name and just take a letter of authority - that's also perfectly legal and is how hire companies and fleet owners handle it.

Kevin
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Old 1 Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by 2worldsUnited View Post
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
It'll be a long read due to all the replies providing further information and opinions, but the following article that I put together covers a lot of ground. In the first two posts, you'll find links to lists of motorcycle friendly accomodations, maps including free downloads of suggested routes, etc. Even a few rental agencies are recommended within the article.

Although I use my own motorcycle in Europe and have never rented, I'd go with Knopf Motorradreisen on pricing and service alone.

If you let me know exactly where you'll be going, I can even recommend a few places that I've stayed at over my numerous years touring there.

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