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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 17 May 2012
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Cheapest way to 'Do' America by bike?...

Hi

I need advise for best way to do this...I have a month or so to ride from new york to LA early next year and have been quoted £1900 to ship my own bike from UK to New york with open return back from LA. Is this the best way to achieve this trip?...I'm wondering also about buying a bike there and bringing home or selling to a dealer at the other end. Also is it best to camp or hotels?...

any advice much appreciated

thanks

Les
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Old 17 May 2012
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Hi,

In general its best to do wild camping or ask people to pich your tent then to use Hostels and its quieter too.

Shiping is moastly more expensice then to bay a bike there. For the quote you got to onely ship your bike i would do the whole trip

Have fun, Tobi
Gringo travels through Chile and Argentina part 1
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Old 18 May 2012
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£1900 is nearly $3000, plenty to purchase a solid used motorcycle here. And to echo TA's sentiments, that's more than I spent riding 30 days and 6600 miles from the east coast (Maryland) to Alaska this past March. And I wasn't being particularly stingy about hotels or food. Unsure how you would go about titling, registering, and insuring a vehicle bought here but I imagine it can and has been done. There's nothing quite like bringing your bike with you of course... I believe I've seen it may be cheaper to ship to and from Canada though; Toronto seems to stick in my head for some reason. Not terribly far from NYC either, 500 miles or so direct.

Gas prices have been rising. Still cheaper than Europe, but its a big country. I saw prices ranging from $4.00-4.50 a gallon for regular, about $0.20-50 higher for premium this spring when I crossed and moved up to Alaska. This will probably be the summer it hits and stays over $5.00/gal. So, one place to save fuel is a more fuel efficient bike whether you buy it here or bring it over.

Camping will be much less expensive than staying in hotels, especially since it seems that cheap hotels are fast disappearing. It was rare to find a place even at an old mom n' pop motel for less than $50/night before taxes. Most campgrounds near population centers are anywhere from $10-35/night. Many National Forest, BLM, and National Park as well as many state and local camgrounds are free or nearly so in the more remote areas. A lot of the pay sites have access to water and showers, some even have laundry. Most of the free camping is west of the Mississippi River. You could always investigate websites like couchsurfing.org or this forum for houses to stay for nothing.

Food can be another budget breaker of course. Good local diners and cafes will often have decent to good food at prices equivalent or better than the chains, so support the little guys. Liquor laws and prices vary wildly from state to state and county to county in some states. You could easily save a bundle by buying fresh food and cooking for yourself as you go, but there's a helluva lot of good eatin' out there.

If you plan to visit a bunch of National Parks, or even just a couple of the big ones with hefty entry fee's, it might be worth buying an Annual Pass (I think non-US citizens/residents can buy it).

U.S. National Park ServiceAmerica the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass Series
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  #4  
Old 18 May 2012
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It may be cheaper to buy in the USA than ship after you take in all the miles you can put on a bike in that amount of time. one place to look on the web is http://www.cycletrader.com/New-Or-Used-Motorcycles-In-New-York/search-results?state=New%20York|NY&vrsn=hybrid As well as looking at bike shops in New York. Selling on the other side may be a bit of a pain but you may be able to get a bike shop or used car lot to take it. Another option is renting there is a place that will rent you a bike in New York and drop off in LA Jupiter's Motorcycle Rentals - BMW Motorcycle Rentals, Cross Country, New York & Los Angeles . Not cheap but it may work.

Camping most of the time will be cheaper than a hotel. I have paid $45 for a caping spot and the same a room. Ask a local where there is a cheap place to spend a night and you can find many places to spend the night free. This may help you find some Camping USA - Camping & Campgrounds Resource

For a cheap hotel there is Motel 6 a chain of cheaper hotels. After a long ride there is something to be said about a hot shower and a real bed. Here is where there at Motel 6 - Find Discount Motels Nationwide & Book Motel Reservations.

You may save a bit buying kit in the USA as well.
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Old 18 May 2012
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Ocean freight can be surprisingly cheap. But there are so many things to take into account, if you're doing it the first time, expect to pay more. Plus it's a pain in the proverbial behind to arrange (at both ends)... For 1 month, I'd most likely try to get a good price for rent, or buy in the US. Renting is by far the easiest, that's why it's not cheap either. If you have only 1 month, you don't want to spend many days arranging stuff at your start&finish locations.. but sending your own, or buying there, that'll be tough to avoid.

I rode around the western parts of US 3 years ago with my GF as pillion, some 13000kms in 6 weeks, and I think we averaged about 60 USD per head per day including all food, accommodation (mostly average/cheapish motels - get 'Room saver' or 'Travel coupon guide' or similar leaflets from gas stations or tourist infos) and fuel. It was good value for us, when Euro was almost 1,50 to a dollar. But do note, that prices may have changed a lot since then.
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Old 22 May 2012
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I think you can still travel fairly well for $120/day two-up, and especially well if solo, but prices here have definitely risen dramatically mostly in the last year. I took a long ride this spring and last spring, and noticed that everything (food, gas, lodging) was 10-25% more expensive this year.
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Old 6 Jun 2012
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Last year, as part of my RTW I bought a bike in LA for US $2000 and sold it two months later in the East for US $1800 on Craigslist. Insurance no problem and camping (wild and site) was available everywhere.
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Old 27 Jun 2012
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Contact Martin here:
Helping people buy bikes in the USA - ADVrider

Super nice guy, 100% reliable and for sure by far the cheapest way to travel the USA!
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