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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 31 Dec 2011
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Foreigner registering and insuring in Canada

I am planning a trip to north America next summer and am debating between shipping my own and buying a bike in Canada. I have searched the site and can find no information about foreigners buying and insuring in Canada so any information would be appreciated.
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Old 31 Dec 2011
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Hi Mark, if it helps your research, I have found it impossible to get Canadian insurance for a British registered bike without doing a full import and re-register of it as, according to the 4 agents and the vehicle office that I went to in Halifax NS Canada doesn´t do insurance for non Canadian registered vehicles. The way I found around this problem is either use M´cycle Express, very efficient but very expensive or visit the Progressive insurance site, very efficient and very cheap and insure the bike on-line. In the latter case you need to find a US address and zip code but in the past the US community has come up trumps on this account. By getting a US insurance policy, you are also covered for riding in Canada. Hope this helps a little, ride safe.
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Last edited by maja; 31 Dec 2011 at 12:31. Reason: forgot a bit
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Old 31 Dec 2011
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Canadian Bike

I bought and insured a Canadian bike this summer using Motorcycle Express. It is expensive at US$325 + $60 service fee for one month which was the maximum amount of time I could have, but it did cover me for the USA and Canada and was fairly easy to arrange once I had the VIN number.

A point to note is that the number plate stays with the owner not the bike in Canada, well it did in my case and I think it always does, but you can get insurance using the VIN number.

Another important point is that it would have been much cheaper to insure with Progressive in the US, but they would not cover the Canadian bike. So, if you plan to stay longer than one month, then you may need two expensive Motorcycle Express policies for a Canadian bike, or you would probably be better buying a bike in the US.

I left my bike in Ottawa so I'm also looking for a solution to get non-resident Canadian bike insurance that lasts longer than one month for when I go back, but I have not been able to find an alternative yet.
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Old 31 Dec 2011
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HC travel tell me they can arrange insurance for a UK registered bike that covers both Canada and the US, but as I plan a longer trip I hope to use something more economical than my R80GS and thought it easier to buy something there, it looks like it might be better done in the US rather than Canada.
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Old 1 Jan 2012
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Mark,

How longs is the trip ?

As already pointed out Motorcycle Express can sort out the insurance on UK registered bikes while in Canada, they may have to show the bike as insured in the USA (I think it is AZ they use), but it covers all the USA and Canada. My wife and I paid about 300USD each for 6 weeks in 2010. And around 450USD for 3 months in 2007.
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Old 1 Jan 2012
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I am hoping four to six months but have no fixed plan about how long where or how far south I go, possibly central America or just the US and Canada. I did get a quote from progressive and will get one from HC as well. I am still undecided about whether to bring mine, buy one there or even do it on a bicycle, much cheaper but a bloody long way! but I have a while to make up my mind.
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Old 2 Jan 2012
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Progressive are great to deal with in the US and will cover you while your US-registered bike is in Canada.

When we came in a year ago from OZ we bought US bikes n rode them up and through Canada without issue.

One bike still for sale if you're interested San Francisco Motorcycle
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Old 14 Jan 2012
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Mark: here are the requirements for licensing a motorcycle in Nova Scotia, it appears you can do it with no problem Service Nova Scotia - Registry of Motor Vehicles - Identification Requirements. As far as insurance I will check out on Monday with the local insurance agencies but I think if you have a local address you can insure for Canada and the US for what we pay. You can use my address if this is possible.

Cheers Growler

edited: should have stated this applies if you buy the bike in Nova Scotia
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Old 14 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Growler View Post
Mark: here are the requirements for licensing a motorcycle in Nova Scotia, it appears you can do it with no problem Service Nova Scotia - Registry of Motor Vehicles - Identification Requirements. As far as insurance I will check out on Monday with the local insurance agencies but I think if you have a local address you can insure for Canada and the US for what we pay. You can use my address if this is possible.

Cheers Growler

edited: should have stated this applies if you buy the bike in Nova Scotia
Thanks for this Growler, the fact that a foreign driving licence is an acceptable piece of ID suggests it is possible. I have been looking at what is available and an XT250 with a claimed 88 mpg(imperial) looks tempting, I realise a 250 is a small bike in a big country but to someone who tours on a bicycle I am used to life in the slow lane.
What are Canadian dealers like to haggle with over a cash purchase of a new bike, is there any leeway there?
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Old 14 Jan 2012
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Hi Mark,

the XT250's a wonderful little bike. Mine covered 75,000 miles in 3.5 years without any problems and will cruise at 60mph hour after hour, giving great economy.

I'l be looking forward to any ride reports you produce and for any info re the bike (and it's earlier sister the XT225) then come on over and take a gander at XT225/250 Rider's Group.
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Old 15 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark manley View Post
Thanks for this Growler, the fact that a foreign driving licence is an acceptable piece of ID suggests it is possible. I have been looking at what is available and an XT250 with a claimed 88 mpg(imperial) looks tempting, I realise a 250 is a small bike in a big country but to someone who tours on a bicycle I am used to life in the slow lane.
What are Canadian dealers like to haggle with over a cash purchase of a new bike, is there any leeway there?

OK, a small bike will do just fine, I had a Japanese lady stay with me and she rode a 250 around the world and travelled a lot faster than I figured she could. The market for new bikes is very good in Canada right now and used would probably be a better deal but small used dual sports seem to be rare and expensive in Canada. A good used KLR650 or Suzuki Dr650 around here can be had for about $2500 to 3000 CDN (low kms and mileage about 60mpg imperial) and these are a very popular bikes, accessories, parts and service are available anywhere in the Americas. Try Kijiji Halifax, Annapolis Valley or even Moncton to get an idea for prices, their popular sites for buying, selling bikes around here.
Let me know if you need any more information.

Cheers Growler
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