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  #1  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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Smile visa waiver and general help!

hi, im looking to travel from the uk to california where I plan to buy a bike and travel south through central and south america.
can anyone tell me how tell me how I can be eligable for the visa waiver scheme when I will not have an onward ticket to show on entry, is there anyway around this.
Also is california a good place to buy a bike for such a trip?
can anyone tell me the best place to get bike insurance for 2 or 3 months for california and will I need insurance in mexico and further south.
many thanks to anyone who can answer these questions!
also any aditional info on this trip you think important would also be apreciated.

I would also like to hear from anyone planing a similar trip!

david.
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  #2  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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I can't help with info on the visa. Perhaps a call to the US Consulate would.

Some Kalifornia bikes have a few added pollution gadgets on them that bikes from other states do not have.

States have different sales and property tax rates.
Kalifornia isn't the cheapest state for vehicle registration and insurance.

Some states have vehicle registration that's greater than 1 year. For example, Louisiana is 4 yrs and someone from this board posted that Montana was permanent (one time) registration. This could be valuable.
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  #3  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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The disadvantages of buying in Cal. is what Lone Rider mentioned.

The big advantage of buying there is the sheer number of bikes in that state--the law of supply and demand means you will (most likely) get a better deal on a bike than other states.

The only problem with registering in other states is that you have to physically go to the other state with your bike, and it sounds like you are landing in Calif., buying a bike, and riding southward.

You will need insurance in most any (I am pretty certain all 50) US state, but I know that Calif. for sure requires it. Mexico also requires it, and you must get a separate Mexican policy. I think the better bet for Mexico is to get a 6 months or longer policy as the cost is significantly lower than buying the "weekend" deals, even if you're only staying a month or two.

California has literally hundreds, if not thousands of places to buy an insurance policy. I would have no idea where to guide you as your particular circumstances are different from a resident, but I am sure dozens of people from other countries have done a similar situation, and can guide you where to go to buy a policy.

Perhaps you can find a bike in California here on the Hubb, or try these links


www.recycler.com and http://www.cycletrader.com/
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  #4  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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There is nothing to do for the visa waiver. The visa is waived so you just present your passport. However, things are changing so check with the US consulate in the UK or try the site I added below. It may depend if you have a new passport.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/vwp/

The topic of one way ticket has been discussed endlessly. Do a search, but don't expect any easy answers.
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Old 6 Aug 2006
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No probs

I've been questionned about why I didn't have a reservation for a rental car, who I was visting, and why, and whether I intended to be involved in criminal activities etc, but they never asked for an onward ticket when arriving in the US.

Thing they want to know is whether you want to work there, and they'll fire a zillion questions at you and make you feel guilty for something no one knows, and then they let you in.

;-)
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  #6  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbert
I've been questionned about why I didn't have a reservation for a rental car, who I was visting, and why, and whether I intended to be involved in criminal activities etc, but they never asked for an onward ticket when arriving in the US.

Thing they want to know is whether you want to work there, and they'll fire a zillion questions at you and make you feel guilty for something no one knows, and then they let you in.

;-)
The questioning is probably more to do with our so-called "Homeland Security" issues than working. Somehow, these questions will see if you have bad intentions while you are here, and if you have a Middle Eastern surname, you will get extra hassling.

We have an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, so the working questions probably have to do with whether or not you are there to take one of the illegal's jobs away from them.(C'mon, someone has to look out for the illegal aliens' interests!)
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Old 6 Aug 2006
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Here are some companies I found randomly by putting in 'Mexican auto insurance' in the Yahoo search engine.

http://www.drivemex.com/

http://www.bajabound.com/

http://www.mexadventure.com/

https://www.mexicaninsurance.com/quoteMIQ.asp
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  #8  
Old 6 Aug 2006
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www.mexonline.com/legal.htm also has a big list.
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  #9  
Old 8 Aug 2006
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thanks for all the replies, from what Ive discovered it seems that an onward ticket is a requirement for the visa waiver and there is no way around it, although some people on this site say they were not asked for it when entering, entery can be refused without it. therefore I will most likely buy a return ticket (Im told its usualy cheaper anyway).

L.A. seems to be the most convinient state to buy a bike but registering the bike once only seems to be very apealing.

any thoughs on what would be the most apropriate bike?
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  #10  
Old 9 Aug 2006
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As far as dual-sports/enduros, we won't have as wide a selection as Europe. A Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki in the 650 range should suffice, and these bikes are fairly plentiful in the states, and should be easy to find in the L.A. area. Look a few posts up at the links to recycler.com and cycletrader.com I should have added to use a zip code of 91325 (one of the many zip codes in the Los Angeles area) when it asks what zip code to use. One problem I can forsee in your search is the vast area that makes up the greater L.A. area. If you are staying with friends/relatives it should be easier to get to a bike to look at. Otherwise, it might be a logistical nightmare due to the immense size of what will come up in your search area. Not to discourage you, but try to find someone from here (Horizons) in that area to help you out if you don't have anyone there already.
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