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  #1  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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Selling a UK bike in USA???

Hey everyone,

So I have a thread up somewhere else about my travels and I'm delving deeper in to the forum to get more info

So I'm shipping my UK registered bike to the USA pretty soon then on to Aus ... is it possible to sell me UK registered bike in the USA easily? I can't find much info beyond buying one in the USA ...

Thanks

Liam
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  #2  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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It will be possible, but when you arrive at the port of entry (be that in the US or Canada) your bike will be released from customs on the basis of a temporary import. If you subsequently sell your bike in the US, i.e. it does not leave the country within 12 months, you (or the buyer) may have to pay duty before it can be re-registered on US plates.
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Old 25 Feb 2014
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The actual answer, absent speculation, is "no." No it won't be easy. In fact, no it's probably not possible. Bikes registered in the USA must conform in every last detail to USA safety and emissions specs, which are different from UK or Euro specs. They've then got to be certified as doing so, which is an expensive and lengthy process generally accomplished by the manufacturer. Your UK bike won't qualify.

That means you could sell it to a private party who doesn't intend to ride it on public roads--maybe they've got a museum, or a large ranch in Texas. But finding such a person and convincing them to part with significant sums of money is not going to be easy.

The TIP and duty issue is secondary, and relatively simple to resolve.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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  #4  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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First, titling and licensing is all done by the state, so there are 50 different procedures. The two states I am familiar with are polar opposites.

In Wisconsin, as markharf says, they run the VIN number through their database, and if it is not on the approved list, you don't get a plate.

In Texas, you can license just about anything, as long as it has the required equipment, lights, horn, blah, blah. There are people here with two stroke motocross bikes with legal license plates on them. The only thing I am not sure of is the foreign title. Texas charges an additional $90 to "import" a bike from another state, so I'm guessing it would be the same, but no guaranties. Years ago I brought an old Harley up from Mexico without issue, but that was a long time ago. So my answer is maybe.

If it were me, I would buy and then resell in the USA, and save the shipping, probably cheaper that way, and takes the guesswork out.
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Old 25 Feb 2014
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With a foreign title you need to import the bike. Importing the bike is covered by federal, not state law. It doesn't matter what Texas does with bikes arriving from other states. It matters what the US government does with bikes arriving from other countries. Because I'm a nice guy (and don't want to pointlessly debate all day), I spent a total of 10 seconds finding the following link: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...g-a-motorcycle .

After resolving the federal issue you can start thinking about which state is easiest to register in, and what their rules say. Per #4, each state is different.

And yes: for exactly those reasons it's easier to purchase, then sell, in the USA. Bikes here are way cheaper than Europe or the UK anyway. Just be sure to choose the specific state you do this in carefully; see above "each state is different."

Mark
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  #6  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
With a foreign title you need to import the bike. Importing the bike is covered by federal, not state law. It doesn't matter what Texas does with bikes arriving from other states. It matters what the US government does with bikes arriving from other countries. Because I'm a nice guy (and don't want to pointlessly debate all day), I spent a total of 10 seconds finding the following link: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...g-a-motorcycle .

After resolving the federal issue you can start thinking about which state is easiest to register in, and what their rules say. Per #4, each state is different.

And yes: for exactly those reasons it's easier to purchase, then sell, in the USA. Bikes here are way cheaper than Europe or the UK anyway. Just be sure to choose the specific state you do this in carefully; see above "each state is different."

Mark
I'm sure you know what you're talking about. However, having had experience of importing bikes within Europe, it should be noted that standards vary between European 'States'. The OP should be able to find out whether his bike complies with US standards, by contacting the manufacturer's US HQ and quoting the VIN number. The VIN number contains a sequence of numbers that represent the homologation number. If the homologation number is recognised by the country of import, the manufacturer will issue a Certificate of Conformity and there will be no issue with import. If the homologation number does not match, and assuming that the particular model of bike was/had been on sale in the US, the manufacturer should be able to tell the OP what modifications would be necessary to bring it within spec. Sometimes this could be as simple as an exchanged headlamp unit.

I would advise the OP to contact the Homologation Department within the manufacturer's US HQ.
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Old 1 Mar 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiamH91 View Post
Hey everyone,

So I have a thread up somewhere else about my travels and I'm delving deeper in to the forum to get more info

So I'm shipping my UK registered bike to the USA pretty soon then on to Aus ... is it possible to sell me UK registered bike in the USA easily? I can't find much info beyond buying one in the USA ...

Thanks

Liam
I saw your other post on shipping your DRZ and riding East-->West. In my opinion, DRZ400s are easy to find in the US (I have one), and while you may have done your mods on it, I'm sure you could find one here if that is the bike you really want. The cost to ship to the US is going to cost quite a bit, and the hassle if your really want to sell is going to be a pain, and there is nothing special about a DRZ that would make someone in the US want to go through the hassle. Buy one here, ride it and sell it (I realize it is easier to write that than do it, but....). You could even bring your bags, skid plates, etc. and still come out ahead. My other thought is that the DRZ is not the greatest highway bike in the US so a rethink may be in order if you are going on highways. Most roads are paved, even if not repaired since WWII, and in the US, you may have some LONG hauls before getting to your next location. The combination of low-medium highway speed and dirt bike seat gets old fast for me. Now if you are heading west on the TAT or something, that is different .
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Old 1 Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by Solcat View Post
My other thought is that the DRZ is not the greatest highway bike in the US so a rethink may be in order if you are going on highways. Most roads are paved, even if not repaired since WWII, and in the US, you may have some LONG hauls before getting to your next location. The combination of low-medium highway speed and dirt bike seat gets old fast for me. Now if you are heading west on the TAT or something, that is different .
THIS I would agree with. I did my first 15k mile tour of the US on one of the original F650GS in 2001. Actually, I reckon most road-oriented Beemers are pretty comfortable, but our (new) American friends tended to look at my bike as a 'dirt bike'. It wasn't a dirt bike in the European sense, but I wouldn't have wanted a true dirt bike for those mileages - and my butt is probably considerably more padded than most guys'!
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  #9  
Old 4 Mar 2014
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First off - thank you everyone for the response!

The shipping is going to be around £1700 UK-Bruswick(GA) and back from LA-UK. The plan is to ride a lot of the TAT and I'm loving my DRZ I have so I'd like to do it on one. I'm also a tall and pretty skinny guy at 6'4 (193cm or something) and about 12st 8lbs (77kg maybe) so aside from the low bars the drz feels like it was made for my stature!

Regards to buying and selling in the US, I'd be open to that if I can find a decent bike at a good price and find the know how to do the paper work. Also if I am unable to sell are there companies in the US like there are in the UK where they buy any vehicle? I know they give a lot less than what it's worth but if worst comes to worst and I need is sold then what can ya do. I will look deeper in to this in the morning ... also for the guys and girls in the US what's the best website to buy used bikes over there? We use autotrader here in the UK.

Liam
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  #10  
Old 4 Mar 2014
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Craigslist.com is always a good place to start. You can search by region or search all of Craigslist (Google it) if you want to look at bikes from all over and spend some time dreaming about various options for fly and rides.
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  #11  
Old 4 Mar 2014
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I've been looking on CL ... I was wondering if you could sear on all of it but haven't found how!! How do you do that?! That'd be awesome!
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