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Old 21 Mar 2010
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To Ship / Buy / Rent?

U.S. citizen interested in touring to undeterminrd destinations connected through europe.

Can you buy a bike in europe and have all the necessary docs to travel unrestricted? Or is it easier to ship from the U.S.?
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Old 21 Mar 2010
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I have a mate from the USA doing just that.
There are a few hoops to jump through but very do-able.

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Old 23 Mar 2010
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I asked the same question last year. Have a look at the following:


In short, shipping my bike to Germany, storing my bike there indefinitely, and buying a replacement from the States was the best/cheapest option for me because I knew I wanted to return and do the trip more than once.

Let me know if you have any more specific questions that I might be able to answer.

- Jeff
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Old 23 Mar 2010
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We shipped and left it there for three years with people we met along the way. We flew it to Frankfurt and we arrived the same day. We rode the S-bahn to town and got insurance from the ADAC using a friend's German address, went back to the airport and passed customs, then rode off that afternoon. Easy to do.

Two weeks rental rates equalled shipping costs, by air, from the US west coast to Germany. I can't imagine what three years would have cost!!

We didn't explore buying and riding. I imagine it would take a local address and maybe a local driver's license. And bike prices for the same bike as we shipped were double the cost of it in the US. We bought a second, identical, bike to ride while at home between trips.

However you do it, DO IT! The trips we made totaled about 45,000 miles amd covered most all of Europe from Norway to Morocco and Ireland to Greece. It is an experience we'll have forever that cannot be duplicated in the US. And we have toured it form Alaska to Guadalajara, Mexico west of the Great Plains. We hope to do the East Coast someday, but returning to Europe is the priority when we get some more money.

Bob & Kathy
The adventures of Lemonade
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Old 23 Mar 2010
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Per the above posts, the key is that bikes are far cheaper in the States than in Europe, all things being equal. In most cases the price difference is greater than shipping and storage; you save money by bringing a bike over from the States and either leaving it there or even shipping back home again (or both in succession, which is what I did). Meanwhile, you get to use your own bike with your own chosen upgrades, and you save the trouble of shopping for a bike on unfamiliar ground. Since AFAIK you can't bring a Urpian bike home and register it in North America, you also save the trouble of selling when you're finished.

Hope that helps.


(from South America, riding the same bike which lived in Europe for 16 months)
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