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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 15 Mar 2009
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Buying a bike

Hi folks
was wondering how easy it would be for me (a Brit) to fly into USA and buy a used bike, register it in my name and then ride it down to South America?

cheers
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Old 17 Mar 2009
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Should not be a problem but you might need an address in the state you register the bike in. There should be many you could use, could use mine if you register in it in Washington State. Would recommend you find a state that does not charge sales tax though to save a few bucks.

Road Hog
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Old 17 Mar 2009
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There are some states that allow people (non-citizens/non-resident aliens)to buy bikes and register them. You usually have to have a physical address, such as a fellow Horizon member's. However, I know there are some states that do not allow this, such as Ohio. Keep in mind that there are 50 states, and 50 different laws when it comes to vehicles, as each state maintains it's own set of laws and regulations, rather than a blanket federal US law. Looking around could be a good idea, such as what Road Hog mentioned, but since the US is such as huge place, you probably would end up spending just as much getting to that state, as the registration/taxes would be on that bike. I know California doesn't have the lowest taxes, but it is probably far easier flying in to California, such as L.A. or San Francisco, finding a bike, and getting your journey started rather than looking for a bike in another state and getting there to buy it. Keep in mind the laws of economics as there are plenty of bikes in heavier populated areas to choose from, and thus, you can negotiate on the price, rather than a rural state with lower taxes but slimmer pickings on bike choices and prices.

With all that to mull over, what city do you plan to fly into? That will make it easier for us to guide you in the right direction.
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Old 17 Mar 2009
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Yes it is easy to do and I have done it twice before, once in New York and once in LA. Each time I used the local YMCA (where I was staying) as my address for registering the bike. I had no problems entering / leaving the US with the bike on this basis.

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Old 18 Mar 2009
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I forgot to mention that some states do not issue an automatic title at one of the state's motor vehicle division. From what I remember, California does not, so you need the address you used to register the bike to have the title sent there and forwarded to you. The downside is it could take some time, sometimes a few weeks. Arizona does issue instant titles on the spot.
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Old 7 Apr 2009
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Thanks

Thanks to all

Not sure exactly what my plans are at the moment -other than I want to bike around South America and am Just trying to suss out the easiest and cheapest way to do this?

Ship a bike from uk-pricey!
Buy a bike in SA expensive + legal/paperwork issues?
Buy a bike in US - wasnt really planning on travelling through Central America?

Hmmmmm................??
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