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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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UK,SE Asia,Oz:Dreams killed by reality

Hi folks,

I'm in need of some advice/encouragement. After a few tough years my girlfriend and I have decided to follow our dream and start a new life on the other side of the planet. We both worked really hard and sacrificed a bit to follow it. So here's the dream; ship our bike to SE Asia, travel around for 6 months experience as much of the culture as possible, then start our lives afresh in Australia. We've been saving for the past few years and should have about 12k between the the both of us by the time we plan to finally go in March 2013.

Now here's the reality; I've budgeted about 3k to cover the cost of shipping the bike to SE Asia and then into Oz.
My bike is a Honda Transalp XL700 worth about 4.5K. I've just been reading up on Carnet de Passages and it is looking like this is gonna cost me a bond of 150% the price of the bike's value i.e £6,750. Meaning that when I take this into account we'll have about 50p to spare to travel around SE Asia and then start our new live in Oz.

It is now looking increasing likely that in order to be able to afford travelling around SE Asia for 6 months then starting up again in Australia I will have to sell my bike. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my girlfriend very, very much but my bike - I just cannot bear thinking about leaving her! Is there any way of getting around selling my bike. Note: I have already tried selling my girlfriend.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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Hi, I don't know much about carnets but i believe it's possible to underwrite the price of a carnet with Insurance which will work out much cheaper.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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Have you spoken to Paul Gowan at the RAC about an insurance policy to cover the carnet? it is about 10% of the full deposit and you get some of it back when the carnet is returned.
I presume that you intend to take the bike to Australia and have looked into import duty payable there and any mods to make it legal, a kph speedo to start with.
If gaffer tape doesn't fix it then you haven't used enough tape
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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SE Asia is great, and no way possible to see everything on one trip... but why not ride from Europe to India first? You'd still need to ship across Burma (China is out of reach, if you're on a tight budget) but it's much shorter distance, so likely cheaper. For reference, I payed about 600 euros to send a DL650 from Chennai to Bangkok by air in 2008.

For importing to Oz, note that some new bikes have 'universal' headlights with symmetrical beam, and speedos that can be changed to show kmh or mph (but I don't know if XL700 has those).
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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I don't think the Carnet is your biggest challenge in that situation. As other have said you can just get an insurance for a lot cheaper. Also you can just ride there instead of shipping.

However it seems to me like $12K to travel AND start a new life in Australia is a big dream. Life in Australia is expensive.

It seems like perhaps you are trying to solve too many problems here...just follow your dream and go ride for a while, then see what happens. Or just go straight to Australia and start your life there now.

And worst case, just sell the bike. Trust anyone here, you will find another bike easily. Finding a good partner is much more challenging.
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Old 21 Jun 2012
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Sell the bike in the UK.

Fly to SE Asia, rent a bike & travel round.

Head to Oz with 10k GBP to start a new life.

Simple. It's only a bloody motorbike.
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Old 21 Jun 2012
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Keep it simple.

I'd suggest you:

Sell your bike here. Fly to Oz. Buy a bike there (thus avoiding all your importation/carnet issues and costs) and explore Oz a bit before you settle down. By traveling around and meeting lots of new people in your new homeland you'll expose yourselves to lots of opportunities that may not otherwise come your way.

Save your trip to Asia until you've had a chance to get established in Oz.
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Old 22 Jun 2012
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Thanks for the advice. Jim - I have looked into the cost of importing the bike into Australia and discounted that due to the high costs involved. The idea was to take the bike in on a Carnet and try to extend it until I had established myself (job, etc.) and could afford to take the bike off the Carnet and pay for its import.

The more I look into it the more expensive shipping my bike to SE Asia then Oz is turning out to be.

Docsherlock and itchyfeet; I think I may have to take your advice on selling the bike here, it just seems like doing so would be a compromise. It's my first "real" bike and I broke my ass saving for it and I'm sure you can appreciate the connection you have with your first bike. I've also pretty much got everything I need to set off right now and live off the bike, everything except cash that is!

I suppose the idea of renting in Asia is growing on me now, especially knowing that it would be so much cheaper than lugging the bike from the UK. I haven't given up just yet on the original dream - it's still there, maybe now it's just tweaked and not killed by reality.

Right! Now it's back to planning a weekend jaunt up to the Highlands!
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Old 22 Jun 2012
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A great website for planning all things biking and SE Asia: RideAsia.net • Motorcycle forum for riders from all of Asia
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Old 22 Jun 2012
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Base your decision in numbers!

To avoid regrets, make calculations to take a decision, that's how I would proceed. If maths say it's not doable, then forget it and go for plan B, C or D.

It's just an example, don't know your maths:

- Cost/day/person all included on a tight budget: 20€? (2 pax x 180 days) = 5400€ = 4400 GBP (depends on countries, needs, fuel and luck)
- Cost of shipping the bike to SE Asia + OZ = 3000 GBP (be sure to bring spare tooth brushes to clean the bike in depth!)
- Cost of Carnet = 250 GBP? (no idea UK)
- Cost of deposit and bureaucracy = 700 GBP?
- Visas (was it in cost/day?) = what countries? Not expensive there.
- Unexpected works on the bike/spares sent, import duties, inspections, etc = 600/800 GBP?
- Cost of a month setting down in OZ and looking for a job (some new clothes and more?) = 2000 GBP? (it's sooooooo expensive there!)
- Back-up in case everything goes wrong or family matters force to you come back to the UK= ?

Add 10-15% to the total for miscalculations just in case.

I don't mean this is ok, just a quick example.

What woud I do? I'd KEEP THE GIRLFRIEND first (if she follows you, she loves you and it's not everyday you find a woman willing to leave security behind... and stand you!). Then, if you love too much your current bike, keep it for a while in the UK: it can be your back-up to be sold in case you need cash. Fly to SE Asia (Air Asia?), get a bike there (say a Pulsar 220, you could go 2 up), travel six months or more, but keep enough cash for Australia (don't plan to travel there yet, it'll be 3 times more expensive). Find a job, make lots of cash, save and in some time you make THE BIG BIG TRIP. You still want to live in OZ (and love your old bike)? Go to the UK and ride back to OZ. You prefer to come back "home"? Then get a cool bike in OZ (or two if you manage to brainwash your girlfriend, a hard task), ride to UK and park it next to your old bike and star breeding your stables.

Does it sound like a plan? I hope so. Most important: GO!

Best wishes and happy travels,

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Old 20 Aug 2013
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Hi rundanielmc,

just came up with this thread. I was wondering what happened with your plans? Did you sell your GF? Your bike? Is Oz your new home?
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