Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > North America

North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 22 Mar 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 12
Buying a bike in USA/NON resident

Hi! In the past, I have found it more and more difficult to buy and register a m/c in many USA states if one is not a holder of valid drivers liscence from that state. I have an Australian motorcycle liscence.

Usually the main trouble is getting insurance at a reasonable cost.Sometimes, say FLORIDA, I have found an International Drivers liscence is good enough, but this varies and I think the agencies are getting more suspicious.

I have a VF 700 in Los Angeles but want to get a newer bike for a trip starting April 2005. If anyone out there has solved this problem recently in a specific state, and how much they had to pay for minimum legal insurance 3rd party, please share the info.

Thanks for any ideas.

===================
email address in post removed by Grant - see http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/faq.shtml#notify for why. Use the link above to contact directly, or just post a reply.

[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 22 March 2005).]
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 Mar 2005
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 78
I'm new to this forum and feel pretty lucky to have found a perfect thread )

I'm looking to travel through the USA and down Central then South America. I was originally thinking of shipping my bike either to the east coast or Venezuela. Since looking at shipping costs, and considering the weakness of the US$, it looks far more attractive to buy in the States or Canada. How easy is it for a non resident with no permanent address, and a UK driving license to buy? Which are the easist States to buy in and are there any other hidden costs other than sales taxes? Any special type of visa required?

I've seen a few S/H BMW 1150GSA's for sale @$10,000 privately. I don't think a dealer or a buy back scheme would be as competetive, but that depends on how easy it would be to sell at the end of the trip- 9 to 12 months.

thanks in advance.

------------------
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 Mar 2005
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,556
Mother77,

First off I'd recommend a 650GS not an 1150 for your route, you'll be much happier, and have more dollars to spend and can travel for longer!

No special visa required. You probably need an address, but that's easy - find a mailboxes etc outlet, and rent a box for a month, and there you are with an address.

(It doesn't have to say POBox - you can call it whatever you like, suite apartment whatever.)

The only hidden costs are things like lkicence plates and possibly vehicle inspections, all minor.

Canada is good, you can get the sales tax and gst back when you leave, although I'd check on all the details of that to be sure you do it all correctly. Prices may or may not be less than US prices, it varies, sometimes great deals, other times not.

Insurance is potentially a hassle, but can be done. Motorcycle Express/Motorcycle Services is one of our advertisers, they can easily sort insurance for North America for you, and you get a discount and we get a couple of bucks if you tell them we sent you. See their ad here http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/sponsors/

Keep us posted on your trip - send me a few words and pic or two for the ezine!


------------------
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

One world, Two wheels.
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
__________________
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 24 Mar 2005
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 78
Thanks for the prompt response.

Despite my moniker, i am actually a 6'4" 15 stone bloke, so i am looking for a bigger bike. I ride an 850GS at home so am more familiar with the bigger GS models. I have tried a 650GS on the BMW offroad course, and while far better for the rough stuff i'm not sure how comfortable it would be for all those miles! Your point about saving dollars is fair point though.

If it really is so easy to buy in country why do so many people choose the cost and hassle of shipping? Obviously there is the security of having your own bike and preparing it properly etc. but at approx $500 each way this seems excessive. I guess it comes down to preferance.

This raises another question;
Has any British National managed to get a Carnet on a US registered bike. The RAC say it can be done but they're not obliged to do it.
(i realise you don't "need" one for the Americas but it appears to make border crossings easier and could be used incase i really get the bug and i decide to ride all the way home again, money allowing ;-))

Or bearing in mind the cost of a carnet is it best to follow the same policy as here and sell up then buy/rent in the next destination country? (possibly Oz)

Any experiences/opinions gratefully received.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 24 Mar 2005
davidmc's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA USA
Posts: 377
Regarding the whole shipping vs. buying overseas thing, the nice thing about having your own bike and shipping is that you become familiar with it prior to your trip and can make modifications as needed well in advance.

I am leaving in two weeks for a one year trip and I bought my Transalp a year ago. I have since taken a 4500 mile trip and have done several modifications. Had I waited to buy a bike at the beginning of my trip I would have been riding something I was completely unfamiliar with. I know my current bike and what its capable of. It takes time to learn about the bugs and shortcomings of your bike, and every bike has them.

Regarding the whole 1150GS vs F650 thing, I think that you would have no problem being comfortable on the F650, as long as you got the Dakar model. In my opinion, this is one of the best bikes for world travel. Like Grant said, the 1150GS is a big bike to take solo, but most folks don't realize this until they have been out of the US or Europe. When you are well off the beaten path, you will be much more comfortable on an F650 than a 600 pound beast. Two-up may be a different story...

My 2c...

------------------
Dave
www.mototrekker.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25 Mar 2005
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 78
I ride an 850 GS at home and have done several thousand miles through france and spain, as introductions to long distance motorcycle travel and numb bum syndrome, but as you said - on pretty good roads. Did drop it once on a mountain road in southern spain though!. I was hoping any mods i found i needed could be learnt on this then quickly applied to an 1150GS if I bought, which is half the logic of sticking with the same brand & similar model. I've got the Haynes manual and have been tinkering with this so mechanically wise I would be more comfortable with something i know.

However, I'm probably going on another test trip to Morocco in the next few months, so this should be a more realistic test. I guess i'll soon find out if i can cope with "real" roads and whether my desicion will come back to bite me ;-), or at least give me a hernia!

Will let you know how i get on. and i'm humble enough to accept that you may have "told me so" ;-)

cheers
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 26 Mar 2005
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,556
Don't get the carnet until you need it. And you don't need it for the Americas. DO contact Suzanne at the CAA to clear whether or not they WILL do it. (contact info on links page)

Suzanne is very helpful, and will help you organise everything you need so that when the time comes it's easy. You can do it from anywhere in the world, doesn't matter where you are, they just courier the paperwork to you, but it helps if they have all the signatures and info etc from you in advance.

------------------
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

One world, Two wheels.
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
__________________
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
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


 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

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



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

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 15:52.