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Old 9 Sep 2010
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Has anyone imported a bike (perminantly) from the EU?

Hi, I'm new here.

I've been riding an old Honda XL600 for about a year now and I'm totally hooked to the ADV/DS riding! The XL was a decidedly entry level bike. I'm ready to get serious and have been drooling over the EU issue XT660z from Yamaha. I know it's an old topic to moan about it's unavailability. However, has anyone ever been proactive about it and tried to permanently import one to the US? I've imported vintage bikes before and have had little problem registering etc. But I wonder if there are any major hurdles to getting a new or second hand contemporary bike in? I imagine emissions is not a concern for me since:

a) Most EU (MOT, TUV etc.) have higher emissions standards than the US.
b) My home state of Indiana has NO emissions requirements for vehicles.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10 Sep 2010
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troutthunter, I've been wondering the same thing for years as I've always wanted a Honda Africa Twin. I've talked to one county court clerk who said no way, and another who said he didn't see why not, so who knows for sure. I should probably check to see if I can even insure one here before I think about buying one.
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Old 10 Sep 2010
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This topic has been addressed previously. The gist of it is that in order to import a motor vehicle you've got to show that it conforms to safety and emissions standards. This is a long, drawn out, complicated and (mostly) expensive process. Unless someone (e.g., the manufacturer or a commercial importer) has already done it for you with the identical bike, you haven't a prayer.

I would be happy to be proven entirely wrong about this.....but I won't be holding my breath.

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Old 10 Sep 2010
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It's worth a shot anyway

Below is an email I sent to a customs brokerage I deal with at work. I'll keep posting as I get info. At least we'll be able to document why or why not it's possible and how much (hopefully how cheap) it really would be to bring in bikes that are unavailable in our market.

Mr. ___
Here’s an idea of what I’m thinking:
The Yamaha XT660Z is not available in the US so if I can find a good second hand one in England or Europe, I’d like to try to get one.

My concerns are:
Will import duty cost too much?
Is vehicle registration possible?
What are the freight costs from England and the E.U.?

Cost is the key here. While I like the motorcycle a lot, I’m not going to spend a ton of money over the value of the bike just to have it. Please see the information you requested below.

2010 Yamaha XT660Z Ténéré

UK safety specs are listed in the MOT guidelines web page any motorcycle in the UK MUST pass this safety and emissions test in order to be driven.

MOT Manual for Motorbikes

Please let me know if you need any more information.

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Old 10 Sep 2010
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I don't know 'bout your state laws for vehicle imports, but here in Qc., the vehicule needs to be a certain ''age'' before it's allowed to ''qualify'' as ''importable''. If memory serves me right it's 15 years old. Transport Canada also publishes a list of vehicules that are allowed in regards to their emission standards, road legalities (some bikes for example are street legal in some countries, but not here!?! )..... I would check /w the federal transport jurisdiction for strarters.

Good luck!!
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Old 10 Sep 2010
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A cut and paste from Customs Broker, Customs Brokerage usa, imports-ClearedandDelivered.com

Before you decide to import a motorcycle into the United States, you should ensure it conforms to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. These agencies have very detailed requirements that can make importing a motorcycle difficult. EPA advises importers of motorcycles to obtain a letter from the manufacturer stating it conforms to U.S. standards. If it is imported into the U.S. and does not conform, it must be brought into compliance before it can clear Customs and Border Protection (CBP), be legally registered, used and or sold in the U.S. If it is not brought into compliance, it can not remain in the U.S. and it must be exported or destroyed. For example, if the motorcycle you intend to import is a Harley Davidson, many of those bikes were exported for sale in a foreign country and do not conform to U.S. standards. The EPA has a detailed automotive facts manual describing emission requirements. You can get a copy of this manual, entitled the Automotive Imports Facts Manual,(order #EPA420B94006) or other information about importing motor vehicles by calling the EPA import hotline at (734) 214-4100. From a CBP standpoint, you must file an entry and the EPA Form 3520-1 and the DOT form HS-7 must be submitted to CBP to receive the Entry Summary document CBP Form 7501. You will need this form to register the motorcycle in your state. Prior to filing your entry with CBP, ensure you have valid proof of ownership, which is an original certificate of title, or a certified copy of the original, and the bill of sale. You will be required to pay 1.5% to 2.9% duty, which will be assessed based on the purchase price or blue book value.
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Old 10 Sep 2010
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Thanks for the great reply John!

OK, My quest is looking a bit grim based on the replies here. Though John's details make it seem a bit less daunting. Sooo...

I just spoke with a "product specialist" at Yamaha USA. He told me that the more calls they get about it the more likely they are to bring them in for us. He's gotten some other calls apparently but he has no idea how many calls are needed to try a "test run." He explained that the test run would be similar to the Super Tenere idea that if you want one, they'll take orders with a $500 deposit and only bring in the number ordered.

So if anyone is truly interested, or just wants to help get another sweet bike on the streets and trails of the US; call and tell them you think it should be available. The number is below, don't be shy! Tell them you want the XT660Z available to the US market!

(800) 962-7926
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