Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Europe

Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18 Feb 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 3
Selling a USA BMW Motorcycle in Europe?

I am planning to ship a USA BMW K1200LT to Europe through Genoa, Italy. I understand that I can use it for 6 months as a visitor without registering the cycle.
Is it realistic that I should be able to sell it somewhere in Europe before the 6 months are over so that I do not have to ship it back to the USA?

Thee-Duke
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19 Feb 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Back home in the UK
Posts: 833
Once your bike is in Europe it should be possible to keep it here and use it for much longer, even store it somewhere and come back to it another time, just don't use it in the same place for too long.
Ideally you would sell it to another American but it would be easier to sell it here if registered in a European country, the UK is pretty easy going when it comes to this, it is also the only place that you can keep the MPH speedo although you might have to fit a left dipping headlight. If you import it in the UK and keep it for more than 12 months after there is no duty payable but sell it before and there might be some tax to pay.
__________________
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19 Feb 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,579
Even though I know it sounds funny, when we´re talking about a bike that was made in Europe, the buyer of a US-registered bike might run into trouble registering it in Europe. That´ll depend on many things, like year model, etc.

I don´t really know about BMW´s, and I´ve never even imported a bike from US to here... but I was riding in USA with a Suzuki bike (2009-model), that looked exactly like the ones we have in Europe. But it was a US-spec model, and it had even a TOTALLY different frame number compared to ours.

Now the Euro-3 emission standards were enforced in the EU at the beginning of 2007, and even imported models (of 07 or newer) must comply to this. To my understanding, this US-spec model does not comply with Euro-3. It complies with the US emission norms, and that´s it. It was never meant to be sold in Europe.

And I´m not claiming its emissions were in fact any higher, they could actually be the same, or lower, or whatever - but the problem (for registration) is, how to prove it, because they don´t care, what´s coming out of the exhausts, they want it written in the official way in the official paper. This can become very troublesome and costly, unless you can get that paper of compliance from somewhere. Even if you can, it´ll cost you a few hundred bucks, and if you can´t, then it´ll cost so much importing is just not worth it any more.

This surely isn´t a problem on every bike imported from the US, and it´s actually done all the time. But I know I wouldn´t have wanted to try importing that US-regoed Suzuki here, even though its selling price was way lower. Don´t know if that´s really a concern for the seller (?), but as a buyer, I´d definitely check that thing out very carefully.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19 Feb 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
If you will have the opportunity to come to Europe every now and then, I recommend keeping the bike and storing it in Milan. There is a place there (mototouring) that stores bikes and that will drop off the bike at the airport for you. I keep my US bike there, it is very convenient.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 20 Feb 2011
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SoOrange NJ USA
Posts: 292
There's some truth in all of the above.

USA-registered bikes (BMW and all brands) are manufactured to different emissions & 'safety' specs than bikes originally manufactured for sale in EU countries. Technically, each EU country has a separate procedure to change over/ "conform" a USA-spec bike to Euro spec. Each country's procedure can be bureaucratically complicated and somewhat expensive, e.g. in Germany, approx. 500 Euros.

If you sell a USA-bike to a European, who intends to re-register that bike permanently in their home country, the Euro buyer will have to pay the fees and time to make the emissions & safety changes required in that country, to turn your USA bike into a Euro-spec bike. Not many potential Euro buyers would be interested in going thru that hassle and cost, compared to buying a used 'domestic' BMW--or, you would have to offer a substantial 'discount' on your selling price to entice a Euro buyer to consider a USA-spec bike.

Alternatives, as mentioned by earlier posters:

1. Keep the USA BMW in Europe to use yourself for future rides. Yes, there is a technical "6 month" limit, but in reality, many USA riders keep 2nd bikes in Europe "indefinately" because there is no enforcement of the rule, as long as you keep your USA registration updated, and continue to buy required Euro "Green Card" vehicle insurance whenever you ride in Europe. You can store a bike at Mototouring - motorcycle / bike rental, motorcycle tours and riding tours throughout the world, www.knopftours.com (in Germany), at several BMW dealers throughout Europe, or anywhere you can find a secure garage.

2. You could find another USA buyer who wants to buy/ use your USA BMW in Europe, requiring only that you do a State title/ registration change just like any "out-of-state" sale in the USA. Knopf Tours, above, even has a webpage to facilitate this option, or just use your own word-of-mouth to find such buyers.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 20 Feb 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtFisher View Post
2. You could find another USA buyer who wants to buy/ use your USA BMW in Europe, requiring only that you do a State title/ registration change just like any "out-of-state" sale in the USA. Knopf Tours, above, even has a webpage to facilitate this option, or just use your own word-of-mouth to find such buyers.
I meant to add that I bought a US bike in Europe from an American. Depending on your state (mainly if they demand a physical inspection of the moto), it can be a little tricky.

My bike is currently with Mototouring, and was previously with Knopf, and Hanna and David near Malaga in Spain (motoadventours). No problems with any of them, excellent way to travel around!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 21 Feb 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 3
Thanks to all of you for your helpful responses. I am not looking to register the cycle in Europe. Only use it there. If I can use it beyond the 6 months period; that would be my preference.

What are the charges to store a cycle in some of the locations you mentioned? I may have a location at a customer's location in Italy.

Do I need some proof when I brought the cycle to Europe to show if I have exceeded the 6 months? Or is that 6 months per country? I would like to tour all of the Western European countries over two separate extended visits to Europe.

What would happen if I were stopped by police? What do I need?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 22 Feb 2011
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SoOrange NJ USA
Posts: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thee-Duke View Post
Thanks to all of you for your helpful responses. I am not looking to register the cycle in Europe. Only use it there. If I can use it beyond the 6 months period; that would be my preference.

What are the charges to store a cycle in some of the locations you mentioned? I may have a location at a customer's location in Italy.

Do I need some proof when I brought the cycle to Europe to show if I have exceeded the 6 months? Or is that 6 months per country? I would like to tour all of the Western European countries over two separate extended visits to Europe.

What would happen if I were stopped by police? What do I need?
Storage
Storage
= US$300 per year; but you need to contact/ verify
BMW dealers in Munich & Zurich have been charging
~25 Euros per month; but you need to update/ verify
Find out more about bike storage options

= 12 months - € 350

Proof of 6 mos?
no--no Euro cop or authority knows or is counting

Police stop
"normal" vehicle check?=at most:
passport, current USA/ State license w/ motorcycle endorsement,
current USA/ State motorcycle registration; current European
"Green Card" vehicle insurance document;
if you're speeding?=cash or (maybe) cc or access to ATM;
if you're DUI or rob a bank?=lawyer & all bets are off....
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 22 Feb 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 1,003
I've had my GS in Europe since 2008, in various places--Heidelberg, Southern Spain, now Milan. I've never been stopped by the police, so can't really say what they would ask for.

I think Knopf in Heideleberg charges 30 EUR/month, in southern Spain and in Milan it is 50 EUR/month. I tend to fly to Milan for long weekends, so for me it is worth it to be able to pick the bike up at the airport and save time.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 24 Feb 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tennessee, USA
Posts: 3
Once again; thanks for the info.

If anyone else has info. to add, please feel free.

Thee-Duke
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12 Mar 2011
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 891
Duke:

There are a couple of things you will need to consider if you plan to sell a USA-specification (and USA-registered) motorcycle in Europe.

First is the whole issue of 'homogulation', which is the fancy word for conforming to the construction and emission specifications of the European country in which the purchaser wishes to register your motorcycle. Some of the issues that will arise include the following:

- Emissions specification
- Low Beam headlight pattern
- Relationship of turn signal / running lights to daytime / night-time operation
- Approval of tires fitted to the motorcycle.

Different countries within Europe have varying levels of attention to these details. Germany is one of the strictest countries.

The second consideration is the whole issue of "legally importing" the object from a point of view of taxes and duties. Although you could get around having to worry about all the homogulation issues by just selling the bike "as is, where is" to the buyer, if you sell the thing, you (not the buyer) will be considered to be the person who has imported the bike to the country in which you sell it. When your motorcycle was originally brought into Europe, it was not brought in on the understanding that you would be selling it, it was brought in on the understanding that it was a temporary import - in other words, you were only a tourist, and it was expected that you would eventually re-export the bike.

If you sell it on an "as-is, where-is" basis, you can escape the homogulation headaches, but you won't be able to escape any legal consequences associated with having (essentially) smuggled the motorcycle into the country of sale. It is very possible that the customs authorities of that country could come after you later on, claiming both import taxes and duties and penalties. Even if you were long-gone from Europe, this might cause you problems in the future if you ever return to Europe for any reason.

So... Short answer is that selling a North American bike in Europe is possible, but you would probably want to sell it to a very knowledgeable buyer (ideally a dealer) who would be able to deal with the homogulation issues, and for your own protection, you should investigate what taxes and duties (most especially VAT) need to be paid by you in order to import the motorcycle the moment prior to the sale.

Michael
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Selling a U.S registered bike in Europe michaelo Trip Paperwork 1 1 Aug 2007 12:23
selling after the carnet in Europe Natob Trip Paperwork 1 12 Sep 2005 23:15
Buying and selling a motorcycle on the sub-continent Bryce Southern Asia 1 6 Aug 2004 14:50
Selling Texas registered motorcycle in British Columbia? gmarch North America 2 22 Jul 2004 12:14
selling an european registered motorcycle in USA pietro.spera North America 2 29 Apr 2004 06:27

 
 



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 18:34.