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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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US & Canada 2014

Hi

Well here we go. Myself and my wife are Australians preparing for a trip to the US and into Canada commencing June 2014 for a couple of months to catch up with some friends we haven't seen for a few years now. But instead of seeing the country at 35000ft, we would like to experience it at 3ft instead.

We are shipping our own motorcycle into LA from Australia for a pick up at the end of May. Most of the approvals for the import and export are in place and our bike looks set to be crated up in the coming weeks and sets off in early April. Our flights are now booked as well. I'll add here that the HUBB and its participants have been a wealth of info for all of this. I cannot imagine how it would have been pre-internet to plan something like this. Hats off to you both Grant and Susan.

All going well, our general itinerary is leaving LA on 30th May to visit a good friend in Las Vegas before heading towards the Zion NP maybe across to the Navajo bridge up though US 163 and head toward the Colorado rockies, Million Dollar Hwy & independence pass (if its open), black hills area across to the upper Michigan peninsula and on into Ontario. Our return leg is somewhat loosely planned at this stage. We are undecided whether to head back after coming over the top of Lake Superior to come across US 2 or stay in Canada heading west through the provinces. But most likely to end up in BC either way, coming back down the WA and OR coastline before heading a little inland to return to LA.

A biker friend in Canada has sent me a heap of awesome AAA maps that he has marked up for the great rides in the states and provinces that we'll pass through. That along with all the advice on roads that has been shared here, we can hardly wait for it to begin.

I would like to ask if anyone could help with local advice on where I could clean the bike for when I recrate it on our return to LA before we return to Australia. Australian quarantine is quite rigid and no doubt our bike will be pretty dirty from the all the miles. Any local advice anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

We are looking forward to catching up with some great friends we miss dearly and hopefully meeting any Hubbers and making new friends along the way.

Clasty
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  #2  
Old 5 Mar 2014
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Location: Langley, B.C. Canada
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Hello Clasty,

When you and your wife are visiting British Columbia and need a place to stay, maybe do some bike maintenance, or simply want to drop by for a visit, feel free to get in touch. I live in the small town of Fort Langley, not far from Vancouver. My email is ms514(at)telus(dot)net Happy travels!


Regards, Michael.
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  #3  
Old 6 Mar 2014
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If you guys are in the Edmonton area stop by or give me a call. I depart for Ushuaia on Aug 30th though.

Garry
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  #4  
Old 6 Mar 2014
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If you pass through Lethbridge, Alberta, you're welcome to stop for a night or two here as well. Laundry, a place to sleep and a well equipped shop await... Either way, enjoy your trip! You're in for an adventure.
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  #5  
Old 6 Mar 2014
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Thank you for the offers. We really appreciate it. We'll be in touch at some stage hopefully. We're looking forward to seeing your part of the world.

Clasty
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  #6  
Old 12 Mar 2014
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Hi Clasty,
I'm heading over to the US tis year as well. I'll be there mid July for two months - will you still be there?

Matt
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  #7  
Old 13 Mar 2014
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Hey Matt,
Yeah we'll still be there. Should be back along the west coast somewhere around mid July.

Clasty
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  #8  
Old 13 Mar 2014
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Clasty, sounds like a great trip, if you find yourselves in BC in August, there's no better place to be than the HUBB meeting in Nakusp:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/events/canwest-2014
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  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2014
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Me and Mrs Fox are based in Whistler BC until the HU Can west meeting, although we'll be away for 6 weeks from May 19th.

I am sure we can sort something out in terms of a mattress on the floor if you need a place to stop for the night when you are passing through.
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  #10  
Old 16 Mar 2014
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Clasty, if you get to Toronto, Canada, do give me a call - you are welcome to come by my home and use my garage / tools etc. for any service or fine-tuning you need to do on your moto. Welcome to use the washer-dryer too.

As for cleaning the bike before shipping it back to Oz, Los Angeles is the car enthusiast capital of the world, I'm sure you will have no problem finding a coin-op car wash where you can spend all the time you need cleaning the bike. Basically, just buy about $25 worth of cleaning supplies at an auto store (a common cleaning product is called "Simple Green" - it is an aggressive detergent that will do a great job everywhere but not damage anything) and take those supplies to a coin-op car wash near the airport, then spend a couple of hours detailing the bike.

My experience shipping my bike between Canada and Europe has been that as long as there is no evidence of insects (dead ones that you hit while riding on the highway) anywhere, and no dirt anywhere (especially under the fenders), that pretty much satisfies the agricultural people.

Perhaps bring some towels with you to the freight shed when you drop the bike off - you can wet the towels in the washroom, and use them to get rid of any dust that might be on the tires after the ride from the car wash to the air freight drop-off.

Michael
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  #11  
Old 17 Mar 2014
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I am heading over to America in early August (from Sydney) and was planning on buying (hassle to buy/register/sell) or hiring a bike there (current quote at 2.5k USD for 4 weeks)

However, would be great if you could share some information on the costs/times of taking your own bike over

I am hoping to get to the North Carolina HU Meet also.
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  #12  
Old 23 Mar 2014
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Thanks Michael. That would be awesome. I might get in touch when we get close to Toronto if that suits you. It will be great to meet up. We have friends in Toronto that have invited us to stay however, the bike will probably be needing a service and a look over by then and they have no room for that or a workshop. I'll more than likely end up cleaning the bike in LA as you say. Thanks heaps for the tip.

Mr & Mrs Fox. Thank you for the offer. We were hoping for look through Whistler and it would be great to meet up if we do. We keep an eye the dates and hope to make it when you are home. We'll be in touch and let you know if that suits.

Unfortunately the HU meets don't work for us. I would have loved to go to one somewhere along the way. We'll be to early in Grant for the one in Colorado and the one in BC and the Triumph rally in Nelson. Timing for these just doesn't work for us. We have a commitment in Eastern Ontario to keep in June, so we'll just go with the flow.

C
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  #13  
Old 23 Mar 2014
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Hey 7days,
I did a fair amount of research and cost comparisons over all options. Its pretty much a personal preference and how long the trip is. 4 weeks would probably be borderline for shipping you own bike in lieu of hiring one. I'm looking at around 3500 for the shipping but we are heading out for 2+ months so it was more economical in that regards for us to ship ours.

The thing that I considered over buying one was that I have set our bike up for us. I like riding it, know its pretty well and have a bit of a personal attachment to it. Personally, I couldn't think of anything better or more satisfying for me than experiencing another country on it.

Import approval seemed reasonably straight forward. Import approval for it to return into Australia is required but reasonably easy for an Australian plated vehicle. You must get this before the bike leaves for overseas though. And you need a letter of Exemption from the US EPA prior to entry into the US so it can be presented upon entry. But do your research. The info is out there on the web and on this site. You also need to sort out US insurance for the bike.

As far as shipping goes, I did a fair bit of ringing around for pricing and asking if they had done much shipping of bikes. Dave from Get Routed would have been the best but his timing didn't suit our commitments. His dates line up for Sturgis and other similar events. There is some good info on here in the shipping section and advice from people who have used different shippers and air freight. I ended up using a global company who has allowed me to store my crate in their depot while we are touring.

I could go on, but that's it in a nutshell. Plenty of others here have done it and could add more.

C
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  #14  
Old 28 Apr 2014
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Isn't it amazing how a single phone call can change things in an instant. Months of planning and preparations can come undone. Due to some unfortunate news, we had to postpone our plans while we waited for test results to come back. Our world dropped out from under us there for awhile, however, now we have been given the all clear, we are picking up the pieces of our plans (so to speak) and revive this adventure.

So the plan has changed somewhat. It looks as though we won't get to ride up into Ontario as we will be there briefly before the bike arrives into LA and keep to the western half of US and Canada and spend more time exploring that part.

We'll meet the bike in LA around the 26th of June now and head off from there to LV then Zion, Bryce canyon, Arches into Colorado up to the Black Hills. Its pretty flexible from there, maybe Yellowstone then Glacier into Canada. I wouldn't mind checking out the Kootenay region and visit Edmonton, and explore the Rockies. Time permitting Vancouver Is looks good and hop over into Washington state and make the return back through OR to LA.

Would still like to catch up with some of you here along the way if that suits and maybe try and make the HU meet in Colorado now.

Who knows, this may work out for the better.

C
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  #15  
Old 28 Apr 2014
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Hi Clasty

My wife and I are doing a very similar trip. We arrive in LA on 11 June and have a week there to buy a bike and then set off for 7 weeks on a very similar route to yours.

Should keep in touch as we may cross paths on our travels.

We are from Sydney.
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