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Old 31 Mar 2004
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Flying your bike to Canada/US

I've just seen j.corker's query on filling out the Dangerous Goods Form dated Jan/Feb this year and it's got me wondering about the practicality of flying a bike over. For instance, how much does it cost? Can anyone tell me the merits of flying it over compared to hiring or buying a bike over there, and then selling it again after the trip?
I've just added my twopennyworth to a thread by Steve Pickford re British Columbia & Alberta, and it's made me want to go back, it's a wonderful part of the world. I did try to emigrate there about fifteen years ago, but it didn't work out. From all I've seen of Canada since, I really did miss out.
Thanks in anticipation,

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Old 31 Mar 2004
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There's a bunch of info on this on the "Getting there" pages - link on left.

Also see the "Trip Transport" forum for several discussions.

Basic answer to your question - if you're going for two months or more, take you own bike versus renting. Buying is certainly doable, but selling at the end can be a hassle - takes time, or you get beat on the price. Mostly depends on how much time you have and how much you like your bike / how well set up it is versus a bike off the dealers floor.

You can also keep an eye on the "Travel Bikes for Sale" forum - great deals in interesting locations often come up - fly in to somewhere and ride a UK reg bike home is possible too.

Have fun working it out - lots of possibilities!

Grant Johnson

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Old 1 Apr 2004
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I've roundtripped my Honda ST1100 from Canada to Europe twice now (three sectors by air, once by ship) and am just getting ready to send it Canada-Europe again, by air.

The cost varies depending on the origin and destination airports chosen. It has less to do with distance than it has to do with the availability of belly space in widebody aircraft that serve the charter (package tour) market. Weight of the moto is not an issue, because the 'cubic weight' (space occupied) is always far greater than the scale weight.

The average cost for me to ship my moto from Toronto to Paris by air is about USD 1,300, one way, using Motorcycle Express. I could ship it myself on the same air carrier for about 20% less, however, my experience has proven that MC Express more than earns their fees in the services they provide that reduce hassle and smooth the procedure out. NB I work in the airline industry, so it would not be a problem for me to do all the paperwork myself. But, it would be a problem for me to miss my passenger flight due to some glitch in the freight process that MC Express would just look after for me, long after I have departed.

Forget shipping by sea (via the north Atlantic) - it will be far more expensive and far more grief than air freight.

It seems that the break point for renting at destination vs. shipping your own happens at about 3 weeks. For less than 3 weeks, rent. For more than a month, ship.

Hope this helps.

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Old 7 Apr 2004
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I'm thinking of a similar thing, to the US & Canada. After originally thinking of shipping, I had virtually settled on the idea of buying/sellling, although I did expect to be hammered as soon as anyone knew I needed a quick cash sale.

What would be the most economical air-freighting route, from the UK (preferably south) to east-coast US? I'm not that bothered where!

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Old 24 May 2004
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Shipping your bike from Southampton to Newark by sea takes 16days in total from point of delivery to pick up at port...I paid 425 pounds with Walenius Whilhelm (also done it in reverse at same price in $$)...good service, no damage, easy pickup. Much cheaper than by air.
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Old 27 Apr 2005
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In 2002 I flew my Pan to Vancouver with Air Transat and used HC Travel to do all the paperwork - cost £1700 return. Then I also needed a ticket for myself. Expensive but I'd just taken early retirement, so what. By the way it's much cheaper to fly your bike to a Canadian airport than a US one. Crossed the US in six weeks and flew back from Toronto.

Next year I shall ship my bike to the US from Southampton to New York - Wallenius Line (Tony White 02380-637233) - cost now about £500 single. Leaves every Wednesday for one of four east coast ports. I fly out a few days later. Trip - East Coast to West Coast and back again, 3 months.

Neither are cheap but unless you are only going for a couple of weeks, much better to take your own bike.
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