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Old 31 Mar 2010
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Bike purchase in the States

Hi all,

Three mates and myself (all from New Zealand) are heading to Los Angeles in mid-June. The basic plan is to buy motorbikes somewhere in California and head South (with the ultimate aim of making it to Cape Horn). We are tossing up between shipping bikes to the States or buying over there. Three of us only have learner motorbike licence's, while one has his full

I have two questions, responses to either one would be most appreciated!

1) Buying bikes in the States
a) Can we purchase as a foreigner? (my understanding is that we can but require a registered address?)
b) If we only have learners licence's will we be constrained in the size of the bike we can buy/ride legally in the States? (In NZ you can only ride a 250cc on your learners but no constraints with buying)
c) What Insurance company would you reccomend? (I have had progressives reccomended - we are only looking at spending a few days maximum in the States - ie heading South to Mexico asap)

2) Any recommended motorcycle dealerships in California?

We are wanting to buy four second hand DR650's.... The thought of trying to sort this out once we get to LA is quite overwhelming! Any contacts would be appreciated so we can make inquiries in advance!


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Old 1 Apr 2010
DLbiten's Avatar
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Location: Camano is. USA
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1a)yes any address will do even a bike shop need for the insurance as well. Cash talks in the USA.
1b)You can buy any bike you want. Your learners licence (permit in the USA) may not be legal in the USA and Mexico get stopped and your ride may end any place else they will know or care unless you hit someone. Get a full licence and you will have problem. Learners permit are not legal on USA interstate and highways I think.
1c) Progressive, Like a licence you need it to be legal.

2) Any one that sells DL650 will work. But 4 used ones sorted in LA in a day unless you can get them before you go not going to happen. LA is all about cars and traffic with no way to get around buss will be a pain. Add to that you waning to get out of it so fast your looking for a bad time.

You can try to get the bikes in San Diego passing up all the LA traffic and a much smaller city than LA with its 10 million people no joke over 2x the population of all of NZ . Or you can try Portland Oregon there is no tax there.
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Old 1 Apr 2010
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Best answers?

Your only large concern is the locating of the bikes you want. I have an honest friend that specializes in used bikes. PM me and I will hook you up.

Pretty much forget dealers. Overpriced and not much dual-sport available...especially in LA. LA is sport-bike country.

Insurance.....Geico, alllstate, shop the net.

My brother has a mobile bike repair and dyno in LA, I'll check with him.

PM if you want contact info......

You might try being a bit more flexible in bike choice. Think about KLR's...very popular in California. Check out a few US KLR sights. You'll be surprised what you might find......Luck, Bill
Rule#2 "Never go ANYWHERE that YOU are considered a source of FOOD!
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Old 5 Apr 2010
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Thanks very much for your considered response! Do you have any contacts in San Diego for buying the bikes? Or any reccomended retailers/websites?


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Old 19 Apr 2010
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Location: Honolulu,Hi. USA
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You can forget dealers if you are looking to get 4 used bikes, most only have a few used bikes if any, probably no dualsports. It is almost impossible to get around the LA area by public transport so you will need to rent a car, but the LA area is the place to be since that is where you will find the most bikes for sale by far. Look at craigslist: california classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events . All of these areas: Imperial County, inland empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, San Diego, Ventura County, Santa Barbara are in southern California within about a 150 mile radius. Hard to tell where one ends and the next begins, its all just one big mega-city all the way to the mexican border.
You will probably have problems with the Learner's permit, you will not be able to get an ownership certificate, registration or insurance without it, and you do NOT wat to try and cross borders south without this stuff. Since USA has now been renamed the state of fear, you can no longer get a license here without a bunch of documentation you don't have. Save yoursel a lot of headaches and get a real license first!
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