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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Making buying a motorcycle easier in the USA for foreigners.

He guys and gals.
First, let me introduce myself.
The name is Martin. I am an Irish national living in San Francisco California.
Over the past number of years I have noticed a lot of questions from people asking about buying a bike in the USA. In a lot of cases I have helped buy and kit out bikes in my garage while they stayed at my home in San Francisco.
Here is my advice.
Look on local classifieds, craigslist.com is the best one out there. Pick out what you like and I will pick it up for you. Because sellers here are afraid of scammers, best to let me deal with them via phone unless English if your first language. People here are very suspect of emails with not perfect USA slang as scamming is popular.
Buying luggage and the usual bits and bobs can all be shipped to my address here.
You are also welcome to stay at my home where you will eat home cooked meals and have all the advantages of home.

I can also store bikes and help you sell them when your are done.

Let me know if I can be any help.

Martin
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  #2  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Hey Wheatie

Be careful of the ADV mob....

boy they crawled right up my anus looking for blood - on my posts
about doing the same...a rabid bunch at times. Granted I miss-spoke about an issue...but they (and I) went nuts. And Ii got banned. For life.

It's still do-able here in New Mexico too, and I have the same offer
as Wheatwacker if you are in the SW...except I will be gone After Jan-Feb and have no storage, but surely can help you buy and register....

anyone else want to weigh in..there was talka while ago of forming a list of helpers (geez, would that be a "fixer" in USA ?) and states where foreigners can get motos...


Zig
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  #3  
Old 22 Sep 2011
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I'm headed south in late November and will not be back till Febuary.
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Old 25 Sep 2011
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very gracious offer Martin and Zig.....I will be in contact....I am really looking forward to my time in the US......cheers Phil
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  #5  
Old 26 Sep 2011
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Buy ,Ride and Sell

My plan is to buy a bike in US , ride Route 66 east to west and sell bike before returning to UK. Is that practical or should I consider hiring. Dont want "organized tour" I want to do it my way. Any thoughts ?
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  #6  
Old 26 Sep 2011
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Rent is so expensive here

you could buy a used bike and throw it away even....I'm thinking.

BTW I will be in Santa Fe New Mexico for the next 2 months if anyone needs to register a bike. Then heading for Mexico.


Zig
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  #7  
Old 30 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef jules View Post
My plan is to buy a bike in US , ride Route 66 east to west and sell bike before returning to UK. Is that practical or should I consider hiring. Dont want "organized tour" I want to do it my way. Any thoughts ?
Hiring/renting is expensive. Buying riding and selling is the way to go.
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  #8  
Old 1 Oct 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef jules View Post
My plan is to buy a bike in US , ride Route 66 east to west and sell bike before returning to UK. Is that practical or should I consider hiring. Dont want "organized tour" I want to do it my way. Any thoughts ?

Perfectly doable!

We did something similar last year.

Have since sold one bike and have an F650GS still for sale south of San Francisco. (San Francisco Motorcycle if you're interested)

Some comments:
  • The paperwork in California is pretty easy
  • Although expect delays in getting 'official' govt papers and numberplates due to the state only having part time workers
  • Crossing the Canadian border without a numberplate wasn't an issue as Customs have a big database including your VIN numbers etc.
  • Insurance is cheap (we used Progressive and highly recommend)
  • There is sales tax if you buy from a dealer
  • There a lot of friendly ex-pats (like Martin) who lend you their addresses and garages (thanks guys)
  • Craigslist is OK but as their filtering system is so complex many bikes never make it onto their lists (can't use normal words, must have local cell phone, need to repeatedly reconfirm via SMS etc. etc. )
  • Ebay is not bad but as its expensive few bikes are there
  • Strangely there is no main bike sales website in the US like there is here in OZ so some searching is required
  • Personally I've been disappointed with the bike sales sites and have tried my hand at self promotion. (Did I mention I have a bike for sale at http://sanfranciscomotorcycle.com )
Have fun!!
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  #9  
Old 2 Oct 2011
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advrider has a lot of bikes for sale as well

you have to be registered to see the link, but it's easy registration - and a lot of the bikes are fully kitted.

Zig
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  #10  
Old 3 Oct 2011
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When I lived in the US, I'd let people use my address. It only happened twice, but no problems with it on my end.

-Dave
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  #11  
Old 6 Oct 2011
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offer of assistance, usa

Thats a great offer wheatwhacker, i hired in the us last year and it was the biggest cost of my 6 week trip, i could halve my costs by buying and then selling on completion. I'm thinking of a ride up into Alaska next year, i may just take you up on that offer.
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  #12  
Old 18 Oct 2011
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Nice offer from you guys to offer assistance in buying and registering bikes in the US for non-US fellows.

I have relatives in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, do you know if it is possible/easy in MN, WI or OK as it seems to be in CA ?

I would preferably buy the bike (that is: ask my relatives to buy and register it for me in advance) in MN or WI if possible, before I fly there and start a 1 month trip to the west coast and return. If not, I would have to buy the bike in CA and change the trip itinerary/plan.

any idea ? Thanks for your feedback.

Edit: could ask my relatives, yes, but they are no riders, and do not have that experience. Anyway, I'll ask them to query the information from the authorities, and if it is officially doable, hope that IRL that could be done without too much hassle.
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  #13  
Old 23 Jan 2012
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Thank you very much - it really would be just what we will need. Will be in touch
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  #14  
Old 11 Feb 2012
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Okay people.
I'm going to keep this posting alive because somebody out there needs help, and I need a project.

Here is how it works.
A. Tell me what kind of bike your want.
B. Tell me your budget.
C. Tell me how you want the bike set up.

This is what I recommend for travelers touring the Americas.

A. Cheapest option, a KLR 650 fully kitted out for US$2000-4000 depending on year and condition.
B. Suzuki strom, either 650 or 1000cc. Easily got for US$3000-5000.
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  #15  
Old 22 Feb 2012
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Bikes over 30 years of age being brought back to the UK

Hello, out of interest , for bikes over 30 years and without substantial changes being brought back into the UK , we can arrange a ruling to be issued where the import duty is reduced to ZERO and the VAT is brought down to just 5%, hope that helps !
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