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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 5 Nov 2006
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My First Trip, Vancouver to LA

Hi Everyone,

I have just found this site from the Adventure Motorcycle Handbook and I have a feeling it is going to be a godsend!

I am planning on riding a bike from Vancouver to LA over 3.5 weeks in May 2007.

Since I have never done anything like this before I wanted to get some advice on what I can realistically expect to achieve in this time. I am know it is not very long.. but I simply want a cruise down the coast (myabe Vegas, but not sure if I'll really have time for this).

My main concerns are buying a bike in Vancouver and selling it in LA.. or rather being stuck not able to sell the bike in LA.

Any advice would be greatly received.

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Old 5 Nov 2006
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Vancover to La

Hell ! This is only a 2000Kl trip! You could make it in 20Hr. Would think for the problem of selling the bike in LA you would be better to bring it back to Vancover and sell it there. Cal has a lot of regs on polusion and a lot of Canadian bikes can't be registerd there with out a lot of mods.
Namron / 03 Yamaha Venture, Calgary, Alberta Canada.
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
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Old 5 Nov 2006
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It's a 2 day ride between Vancouver and LA, so there should be no need to sell-and-fly due to time limits. It'll take longer to sell a bike than it would to ride home.

That's a beautiful part of the US and you'll have plenty of time. I suggest web research, State tourist agencies, Nat'l Park & USFS, etc. Beaches to the mountains, to the deserts - all within 1/2 a day...it lacks few things. A few days in southern UT wouldn't hurt...
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Old 5 Nov 2006
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Welcome! If you plan on leaving from the States, i would sugest buying a dike from the States. You could come to Vancouver and visit for a while and hunt for a bike in Bellingham or Seattle. It will be cheaper and you'll save a mint on taxes alone. Three weeks gives you LOTS of time to explore Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada and California.
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Thanks guys. I know it is a fairly short trip, but I want to spend a few days in some of the cities on my way down. From what you have said, it looks like I can comfortably make Vegas as well.

I won't actually be going back to Canada after the trip, but returning home to the UK.

I am doing a snowboard season in Canada then riding down to LA for the flight home.

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Old 7 Nov 2006
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rent a bike

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to rent a bike in the US?
No problem to arrange insurance and no problems selling it.
For a short period, I think renting is cheaper.
Google for a company where you can rent it in one location and bring it back to another.

Good luck with your trip.
Jan Krijtenburg

The bikes I ride are a Honda GoldWing GL1200 Aspencade and a 1978 Honda CB400T
http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/ (my personal homepage with trip reports)
http://www.krijtenburg.nl/HU_BoZ/ (The HU Motorcycle Travellers Community in my area)
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Old 7 Nov 2006
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I have looked into that a little bit. I found one company so far (I will look for others) but the costs are pretty high.

To be honest, they were renting out brand new 1500cc Harleys! but even for 650's I am looking at about $800 a week, which, to be honest is just too expensive, since my travel budget needs to last for 14 months!

I will look aroudn more as I am sure I can find cheaper, older bikes for the period. But buying/selling should theoretically give me a free bike for the 3 weeks.. but obviously with added hassle.

Damn, there are so many options! I think my decision will come down to pay for convenience, or struggle for the shoe-string!

This is great advice, thanks guys... keep it coming.

I am so excited abotu this trip.. and the US stint will be good practice for my 6 weeks biking round New Zealand in January 2008!

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Old 12 Nov 2006
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You could start in Seattle....


I went from Vancouver to LA on a 1970s Z500 in Sept/Oct 1992 (part of the end of uni backpacker year off, travelling through Britian, Europe and North America). It was easier to buy the bike in Seattle, ride up to the Canadian border and get a shuttle bus up to have a look at Vancouver... the basic advantage was that I had a US registered bike, which meant it could be easily sold in LA. Down side, it was (at least back then) too hard to take the bike up to US (being a cheap backpacker there wasn't much um insurance and the Canadians sortof wanted that!) As with any vehicle the less time you have to sell, the more firesale the prices are... In my case I bought for US$500 and sold for US$250 - but I think inflation may have occurred since then .

Best of luck,

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Old 12 Nov 2006
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Great Stuff

Hey Rob (and everyone else)

This is awesome. Thanks a lot.

Since I will be starting in Vancouver I'll try to shuttle down to Seattle and buy there. Then Ride down to LA and sell there.

I am so excited!


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