Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > All Miscellaneous questions > Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else

Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 9 May 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Posts: 343
As a Uk citizen can i ride a USA bike in Europe?

Here's the thing. I'm a UK citizen riding a USA bike in Africa. I've always been planning to fly it back to the UK from Nairobi. I know that I'm not allowed to ride it in the UK until I've imported it but I'm wondering can I ride it in other EU countries. (I'm just thinking I might fly to say Greece from Nairobi instead of straight home and ride across Europe)

Obviously I'm trawling the internet for help but the best advice always comes from the HUBB.
Reply With Quote
Old 9 May 2011
chris's Avatar
Probably out riding
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: God's Own County
Posts: 2,356
I can't see any problem with this as long as the bike is legal in Europe (not sure if there is a max time limit for non EU bikes in the EU), it's insured (e.g using ADAC green card insurance (lots of info in another thread)), it's in your name (i.e. you've got "permission" to ride it) and you're allowed to be in the EU (which clearly on an EU passport you are).

I believe you (immigration), the bike (customs) and it being legally on the road (the Old Bill) are separate from each other.
Reply With Quote
Old 9 May 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ljubljana Slovenija
Posts: 28
No, you can't.
You can ride it in non EU countries.
Reply With Quote
Old 9 May 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: aberdeenshire scotland
Posts: 157
I would have thought chris is right, there is nothing stopping you getting a temp import to the EU/uk country and then you have to register it after your 6 months. As long as you do not intend on keeping it here. Your carnet can also be used.
Where it gets sticky is it depends on if you are a resident of the UK, IF the bike is registered to your address in the US and you have been out the country for the best part of the year then you would not be a resident , If you are a resident then you can not drive forign plated vehicle unless it is from a country you are employed/self employed in even an EU registered vehicle. You could however try and get temp export plates, but only if you intend on importing the bike to the UK.
Temporarily importing a vehicle : Directgov - Motoring

the classification of a UK resident is defined as having lived in the country for at least six months and that you spend the majority of your time in the UK during the year. ITs the same as for tax free working abroad.
Reply With Quote
Old 10 May 2011
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,001

A friend of mine who is a citizen of Austria was heavily fined (several thousand Euro) for riding my Canadian registered motorcycle in Germany.

I think that the rules on this matter are pretty clear - if you are a citizen of an EU country, you are not permitted to ride a non-EU registered vehicle within the EU. If you are a bona-fide tourist from outside the EU, then you can ride your own non-EU registered moto in the EU.

I don't have any references to back this up, only the unfortunate experience of my friend on my motorcycle.

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Non-citizen buying a bike in Europe/UK nicola_a Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 3 4 Apr 2011 21:21
Is it possible to Buy & Register a bike in USA if not a US Citizen? colmobrien84 Trip Paperwork 4 3 Mar 2010 16:42
Getting insurance to ride someones bike in europe Debz Trip Paperwork 6 20 Feb 2006 18:18
How can I ride bike in Europe after SA colesyboy Europe 14 10 Sep 2004 06:02
purchasing bike in Europe/ US citizen Asa Trip Paperwork 15 7 Jun 2002 01:47


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.


Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:15.