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Old 14 Aug 2002
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Location: chicago, IL, USA
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Buying Bike Abroad

Hi everyone,
I am interested in riding across Australia but do not plan on bringing my bike (02 Yam FZ1) there, mostly due to the cost/delay of shipping.
Anyone has experience buying/selling a bike in Oz as a foreigner ? Is it better to buy once there, or from the US and take delivery once I arrive ? Is it a big deal to resell ? Can I use my US insurance or do I have to buy local insurance ? What problems may I run into with registration (ie no Oz address).
I am sure those of you who got experience in this field can think of many other questions/answers...
Thx in advance and good riding.
Pierre Buret (POB)
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Old 21 Aug 2002
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Meinerzhagen, NRW, Germany
Posts: 70
Hi Pierre,

I never found a country where it is so easy to buy and sell a car/bike - but I didn't do much of that outside Germany anyway ;-)

You just buy the bike, when the owner is changing - as far as I know - it HAS to go through roadworthyness - not even half as tough as the german one, but it has to...
If that's not exactly right, I would at least insist on that!

It's fairly cheap - even the old ones are fairly good - the ABSOLUTE BEST PLACE IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY to buy a bike from shops and private (or spare parts, or bags, or tools or whatever you need for a bike) would be Melbourne, Elizabeth Street - that's not a joke - other cities just do not have the same amount of motorbike-shops that close together - and the quality and price is reasonable because of that - you get a fair amount of diversity either!!!

Melbourne is the food capital - they have the very best restaurants - and is a good start anyhow... (Great Ocean Road for example ;-) )
I went into a shop, bought the bike - registration and insurance is coming together - if you need to register yourself usually any post-office will do - they need an address in Australia (doesn't have to exist, but they do need one) - usually backpackers take the one of the hostel they're in.

The same would be selling the bike - either to a shop or private - if you want a fair price allow 1 to 2 weeks for selling - depending on the season either!!! Shouldn't be a prob - but you know - selling is always depending on the market ;-)

It was absolutely no problem at all - as far as I know you can add extra cover insurance for persons you take with you, but I'm not sure about that point!

Do always take enough water and petrol - meaning a hell lot more than you intended to need - the US is big - Australia is just as, but with 18.000.000 people and more than 2 thirds at the coast it's not really populated...

Anyhow - don't run out of rego (the date will be given on the bike somewhere on a plate or something), you will have to go through roadworthyness again...

The garages all over the country are OK - but I'm on war with professionals ever since I had my first vehicle...
Remember the distances between two places where you can get tyres, spare parts or anything can be a problem.
Even smaller cities in size DO have everything, but as Alice Springs (SMALL!!!) just having some 20.000 people you can imagine what I mean...

Happy travels - Mel... The Cookie
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Old 22 Aug 2002
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 21
Just a correction on the road worthy issue when transferring owners...

South Australia (and most likely Western Australia and the Northern Territory) do not require a road worthiness check unless there are extreme circumstances. So if the bike you buy is registered - you just need to do the paperwork and nothing else.

Just remember the distances - fuel, water and a reliable bike will be your friends!

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Old 27 Aug 2002
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Location: D.C.
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So a foreigner(I'm US) can register and insure a bike easily? Hows the riding down there?
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Old 27 Aug 2002
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Meinerzhagen, NRW, Germany
Posts: 70

But it surely depends on what you want!
If you want proper offroad - or unsealed roads go for Western Australia and Northern Territory - there's hundreds of k's full of it - and everywhere far off coast should be OK either...
I mean there's plenty everywhere - just not 1.000 km in one stretch in Victoria ;-)
The one and only IMPORTANT advice ist - take water and petrol - and ENOUGH OF IT!!!
It's a good idea to go with other travellers you meet on the road - or in backpackers!
Ask the locals about current conditions - MOST info is reliable, but not all...

Tell me what you want (maybe drop me an email) and I tell you what I know about it!

There's an absolutely excellent site in German here:

There are some things you can still use when you don't understand it such as this (just to get used to dead horse with wedges):

If you need translations I'll tell you when you ask...
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