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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 14 Jan 2002
rw rw is offline
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Importing bike to Canada

I am a Canadian ex-pat living in the middle east. I plan on returning to Canada sometime in the next few years and would like to know if anyone has any advice on getting a foreign spec motorbike imported to Canada.

From what I read on the Transport Canada website it appears almost impossible to import anything other than North American Spec. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 15 Jan 2002
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Your only hope would be to get a sticker from the vehicle manufacturer stating that the motorcycle meets the Canadian specifications.

However - it's quite unlikely that you will be able to do that, because even on a vehicle as 'simple' as a motorcycle, the specs vary so much from country to country that making the motorcycle compliant would be uneconomical. For example, the rear reflector and design of the tail-light is different in North America, not to mention the headlight; turn signals lamps must be illuminated during the day as running lights, the specifications for the placement of the turn signal lamps outboard from the longitudinal centerline of the bike are different, all the labels would need to be bilingual, you would need a different headlight switch, etc, etc.

Basically, as you suspected, you're 'hosed'.

TC's comments are here :Transport Canada - Importation of vehicles into Canada from countries other than the United States

Transport Canada will not admit the motorcycle, even if you go to the trouble of making it fully compliant with all of their regulations, which are listed here: Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. If you don't have the manufacturer sticker, they won't let it in.

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 15 January 2002).]
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  #3  
Old 16 Jan 2002
rw rw is offline
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Pan European,

Thanks for the quick reply. I was of expecting the worst and you confirmed it.

My only option now appears to be to buy a bike in Canada and arrange to have it shipped overseas. Who said life was easy!

Thanks again,
Ron Willis
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  #4  
Old 16 Jan 2002
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Keep an eye on the bikes for sale forum, there was one recently up for sale in Guatemala with US registration.

There was a Triumph with UK rego in the US for sale, and who knows what else.

You might even try posting a request, at least then people will know there is a buyer looking.

Good luck,

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  #5  
Old 31 Jul 2002
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Note that the issue with importing a foreign vehicle does not exist if the vehicle is 15 years or older. Same for cars. In that case, no one cares what you bring in, notice the plethora of old Citroen 2CV’s and lots of Citroen DS’s running around in Vancouver. Only exceptions are if you bring a right hand drive vehicle, then you need new a new headlight to have the light "dip" to the correct side for right hand driving

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  #6  
Old 1 Oct 2002
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Hello all,
I have just gone through importing two motorcycles into Canada from the United States, and one from Canada into the U.S.
If the motorcycle is 15 or more years old, then there is no problem. In addition, I BELIEVE that if you are a Canadian citizen returning to Canada after an absence of 1 year or more, then there is no restriction.
Going into the United States. There is no restriction per se, but the motorcycle must meet all U.S. standards as far as indications and EPA requirements. Certain exemptions apply, such as the EPA requirements for Canadian registered motorcycles brought into the U.S. by Canadians on a temporary work permit. It is best (and I think mandatory) that the manufacturer be contacted regarding this. My experience is that Yamaha and Suzuki have been very helpful in this matter.
I wish you all the best in this.

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  #7  
Old 11 Jun 2003
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Is our memory that short.

I just went through this crap and would have been 'hosed' big time. I brought a one year old bike in (very creatively) and now I am stuck because I don't have a clue how to register it. Does anyone have an idea? All I have are the receipts and the registration from Australia. I can't just walk into the insurance agent and get the goods. I am a Canadian citizen
Help, summer is here and I have nothing to ride
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  #8  
Old 11 Jun 2003
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Canada follows the US anal laws, EPA, DOT etc for bikes under 15 years old, as mentioned above.
you need to supply some more info, what bike is this? is it the same as US spec?
Does your bike have a EPA/DOT sticker? if its a newer non north american bike you may be hosed. check in with the manufacture.
hey you could always sell it on ebay, part it.
you need to check with the authorities, they will tell you what you need.

Their is a shop in Van BC , yamaha dealer that brings in lots of grey market bikes www.greybike.com but they are over 15 yrs old , they may have some advice. you could forge the doc's , stickers or VIN but is it worth doing time for a bike ( hmmm , I will have to think about this question and get back to you)
Good luck
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  #9  
Old 11 May 2008
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I to am a Canadian ex-pat living in Australia and have been for the past 14 months.
I have just bought a new 2008 990 adventure S. I am wanting to take it back with me next year. From what I have read it looks like it's not going to happen. HELP
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  #10  
Old 26 May 2008
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I can comment from past experience, though for a car (actually a VW camper van), not a bike, though I imagine the rules must be the same.

I bought it in Mexico 20 years ago, drove it around there for a while, then drove it to Canada (I'm a Canadian citizen). No problems registering it (in Ontario).

A few years later, I moved to the US and simply drove it to California, walked into the motor vehicle dept and got a new driver's license and changed the registration to California. Way very straightforward all the way around.

but I suspect the times have changed...

Good luck...
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  #11  
Old 27 May 2008
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Scary Reading

Wow, this thread certainly makes scary reading!

Does anyone know if these restrictions also apply to temporary importation? I have a foreign registered bike that I have been riding through South and Central America with the aim of getting all the way up to Alaska this summer. I am in the States now and aiming to cross the border next week into Canada and then on into Alaska before re-crossing the border and finishing my trip in NYC.

Any guidance and hopefully some reassurance too, would be gratefully received.

Regards,

Honesy.
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  #12  
Old 27 May 2008
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Not a problem

You shouldn't have any problem with the Canadian Border Service and your temporary import. The issue arises when trying to permanently import the vehicle.

Unless the bike has a sticker stating that it meets all canadian standards you will not be allowed to permanently import the bike.

The rules change slightly between cars and motorcycles but for your purposes you should be fine.
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  #13  
Old 28 May 2008
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Phew!

Thanks Rig - that's a relief to know,

Regards,

Honesy.
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  #14  
Old 15 Jun 2008
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Import of Bike into Canada

I've just been looking into this; rules are different for cars and bikes for permanent import - for bikes, must be Canadian spec and manufactured for Canadian or North American market; otherwise no go i.e. must have Canadian or N American manufacturer VIN. Being converted to Canadian spec won't do unfortunately; for temporary import I don't think it matters.

SW
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