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Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

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  #1  
Old 13 Feb 2009
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Buying Bike in Delhi--Urgent Question

Hi. I'm new here. Thanks for a great board that is chock full of useful info. I have a pressing issue in regard to buying a bike in Delhi. If anyone can help me that would be absolutely great.

I am from the US and ride a Honda Shadow 750 there, and I've also done motorcycle touring in Thailand and Indonesia. I just arrive in Delhi, and this is my first time in India in 10 years. I plan to buy a new Enfield 350 Electra 5s from a dealer for $1650 and tour for 2.5 months in India and Nepal, store the bike, and come back to India in Jaunary 2010 for some more riding. The problem is that all the dealers say that I cannot register the bike in my own name, since I only have a tourist visa and am not an Indian resident or citizen. But a very reputable new bike dealer offered to register the bike in his own name and give me a blank bill of sale signed by him, so that I can sell it to whomever I want. He also said that I can insure it in my own name. And he would give me a receipt from my purchase in case the police have any suspicion about my riding a bike registered to someone else. This seems fine to me, and I spoke with Mr. Lalli Singh and he also agreed that this would work.

But I am concerned that this will prevent me from getting into Nepal. I will have all of the papers for the bike with me, as well as the receipt, but it will still be registered in the dealer's name. Is this going to give me a problem at the Nepal border? It would ruin my trip if I couldn't ride into Nepal. Does anyone have experience with this or something similar? Please PM me or reply here if you have any info that could be helpful. I need to leave Delhi by Monday so this is getting pressing.

Thanks,
Todd Powers
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Old 16 Feb 2009
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Hi Todd and welcome to the HUBB.

I can't give you an official answer to this question. Border crossings almost always come down to who happens to be the border official on duty that day but I can tell you that the India/Nepal border is pretty much an open one.

I'd say you wouldn't have a problem. Many people buy/rent bikes in India and ride into Nepal for a tour in the mountains and then back again. and I have not heard of there being any problems. Like I said the border is open and when I crossed I pretty much entered Nepal before I realised I had missed the Indian customs office and had to turn back. India and Nepal has an agreement that their citizens can freely cross the border and I don't believe they need a carnet for their vehicles either.

I, of course, wouldn't recommend it but you could enter and leave Nepal without any kind of official stamps but I would get the passport stamp and not mention the bike. This may cause problems if you get into trouble with the police but everything is pretty laid back here.

Good luck with the crossing and ride safe in India. It is a dangerous place to be on a motorbike.

Oliver
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  #3  
Old 17 Feb 2009
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I checked with someone who rides back n forth between India and Nepal on an Indian bike and helps to arrange it for other people.

It is standard procedure to walk to Indian immigration and get passport stamp, walk to bike and ride through to Nepal and then walk back to Nepal immigration and get one more stamp and then walk to the bike and ride off.

Basically keep the bike out of sight of customs!
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Old 17 Feb 2009
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Indians and Nepalis don't have to stop at the border. My Enfield had Indian plates and I forgot to stop until my bike was on the other side.

I walked back to get my passport stamped. You know, my bike was parked, and it seemed like a nice time to go for a walk.

Of course, I've also heard of taking other roads so you don't pass by the customs office at all.
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Old 18 Feb 2009
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"The problem is that all the dealers say that I cannot register the bike in my own name, since I only have a tourist visa and am not an Indian resident or citizen"

This is not strictly true. I went to India for 9 months on a tourist visa and registered an Enfield in my name. I simply used the address of the Hotel where I was staying.

One word of caution, you will only be able to sell the bike in the state in which you registered it unless you get dispensation from the Government office at which it was first registered.

Finally make sure you buy a crash hat and have a registration plate fitted/painted onto the front. The reason is that all states have different regulations and as you cross from one state into another the Police will be waiting nearby with hands outstretched!

Have fun
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Old 25 Feb 2009
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If your name is not on the letter of sale then you dont own the bike. A blank one wont do. Renting in india is much easier and buying is much easier in nepal. There are a lot of bikes which are sold in similar ways and are often stolen. Be safe, if you need more help, im in delhi, i can come along if you like.

Thanks,
Chanderjeet
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