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Old 30 Mar 2013
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Japan back to the UK 2013

I’ve been invited to visit a friend in Iwaki, Fukushima in August 2013. I was looking into flight costs and wondering whether or not to go, when a friend of mine said to me “why don’t you ride a bike back”.
So I’ve been scanning HU posts of information. Chris of Japan, if you read this it would be nice to hear from you, but that doesn’t exclude anyone else or any helpful advice.
So I wondered what would be the possibility of buying a Honda Africa Twin or xr650l within a few weeks and heading home. Sat here in England I imagine that
(Because they are manufactured there) Japan is full of good quality second hand Hondas’ weighting to be snapped up for a little money? Naive perhaps?

I have done several long distance bike trips, the biggest was a 4 month solo trip to Mongolia two years ago. I have read that it is not so difficult to go from Japan to Russia but I have already ridden in Russia. I only got as far east as Novosibirsk so I wouldn’t be disappointed by the challenge of riding home through far eastern Russia. However. The real gem for me would be to try and come home Vietnam Laos, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey into Europe. Has anyone done this route before?

This post is to kick-start my brain and get an overview of possibilities and problems.

So my questions go something like this:-

If I buy a bike in Japan I will be exporting it a few weeks later as I head home in either direction. Is this possible to do and keep the bikes Japanese registration?
I will need paperwork for the bike to cross boarders. Perhaps I can ride it home and send the registration back to Japan for my friend to record as destroyed?

The Russian route would not require a carnets for a Brit on a British registered bike, is that also true for a Brit on a Japanese registered bike?

I have heard that some countries do not allow bikes over a certain size, does anyone know if that includes the countries above?

I know that I will need some form of carnets for the second route. As I haven’t used one before I’m still unsure of how they will work for me as I am buying the bike in a foreign country. Do I buy the carnets in Japan or England and am I destined to loose whatever money it costs me, as the bike will not return to Japan?

Thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read and reply.

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Old 31 Mar 2013
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The Russian route is probably cheaper - due to shipping costs and carnet.

Japan - Vietnam
Laos - India (think Burma may be out)

Keep the Jap rego.
Once you are home then Import and rerego... check the cost of that now while you are home. If it is too expensive then check wrecking it for parts only - cheaper import fees? and no rego.
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Old 31 Mar 2013
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The biggest problem with buying a bike in Japan is that you will require residence here to register it in your name. And you will need a visa in excess of 3 months to get residence documents. It used to be possible to to do "alien registration" with a short-term visa in the past, but Japan revised immigration laws last year. Foreigners are on the same system as Japanese now, and to get on that you require a visa longer than 3 months.
Maybe your friend can keep it in his name and give you permission to use it, but I don't know how that will work internationally. Getting a longer visa may be an option, but they may make you enter Japan's national health insurance scheme if you are an official resident. This will just add up costs for you.
Regarding the Carnet, this assumes that you will return the bike to the country of origin. You won't get your deposit back unless you prove that it is back in Japan or that you have paid all customs duties in the final country. The later involves more paperwork, and the automobile club may not issue the Carnet if you tell them in advance you don't plan to bring it back to Japan. Note that you don't need a carnet for Russia, Mongolia and the Stans.
As for what is available in Japan, see here. Many bikes available in Europe were never sold in Japan.
Japanese Motorcycles GooBike Exchange | Best Place to Find used Japanese and Foreign Motorcycles

Oh, regarding a bike registered in a country other than your nationality: THAT is no problem. I rode my Japanese registered bike with a US passport.
Japan touring information
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Old 31 Mar 2013
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OK thanks Warin and Chris, I have a short memory because I remember looking into this possibility 3years ago, before my trip to Mongolia. It was easier then to ride in both directions than it was to buy a bike in Asia and I think that still applies. I am very surprised to find out how expensive bikes are in Japan, at a glance almost double the UK second hand price, for those models anyway.
Once again thanks for you replies and happy travels Rich.
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