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  #1  
Old 11 Sep 2008
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Question Buying an Enfield and riding it back to London

Hi all,

I'm planning to go to New Delhi, buy an enfeild and ride it back to London.

But having read this website I seem to have hit a few technical snags.

1) Is it no longer possible to buy a motorbike in India and ride it across the border? (I have visas to Pakistan and Iran) Is the policy of not allowing bikes bought in India to be register in your own name still in place? Is there no way of getting around it?

2) Does this mean its near impossible to buy a bike in India and ride it back?

3) I don't have a Carnet. Is this a major problem?

4) I have a bigger problem - that I only have a provisional UK license and a CBT license, but not a full bike license. I can ride more powerful bikes but left it too late to get the full license.
Highly irresponsible of me, I know. But does that mean my trip is definitely a no-go?

5) Has anyone done this trip lately? Any tips?

thanks!

S.
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  #2  
Old 11 Sep 2008
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Ok, it seems I should buy my bike from Nepal, where I can get the Carnet, and then ride it back through India (I don't have that much time to spare, but what the hell).

Anyone know how much more expensive it is in Nepal and any contacts for buying an Enfield in Nepal?

thanks in advance!
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  #3  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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MY TIP IS - DON'T BOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forgive me for saying so but how exactly do you propose to ride the bike back to Europe when you haven't even passed your full bike test!

Not only will you not have a driving licence but your insurance will be null void too.

Best get legal before considering riding a large bike such a distance. You stand a good chance of being caught out when you pass into Europe because it's highly likely that the police will inspect your docs. Not withstanding the above, are you really such a DICK HEAD to risk having a serious accident like this and not be insured?

I can't speak for anyone else but I personally don't want idiots who haven't passed their full bike test riding on the same roads as ME and my family.

Why not just do what the rest of us did - PASS YOUR FULL BIKE TEST!

Once you are legal then you may go where you wish without risking other peoples lives. If you still wish to do it now then get a 125cc instead!
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  #4  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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heh, I was expecting a response like that.

In my defence, I have been riding a 125 cc bike for ages and am quite good on it. In fact, I've ridden one around india too and am quite good on bikes.

Hence feeling quite comfortable on something bigger.

Are European authorities really likely to check my driving licence? I could say it was stolen? I have a provisional and a CBT....
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  #5  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Im pretty sure they will check your documents and is it not ban worthy riding something illegally ? and altho you have been riding a 125 and consider yourself good on it would it not be worthwhile doing a das course and getting your full license and some experience on a 500 or bigger there a completely different kettle of fish so to speak,

even if your not going to listen to us think about these 2 possibilities,

1. getting banned or your bike taken from you for not having a full license when coming into the country

2. the safety of others on the road when you realize the bike is a lot more powerful than you realized and runs away with you.

please dont be so daft as to ride without a license and also when you get back would you ride the bike without a license ? you need to get a full one i think

regards keiren
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  #6  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keiren View Post
2. the safety of others on the road when you realize the bike is a lot more powerful than you realized and runs away with you.
He did say he'd be on an Enfield. It couldn't run away from him unless he had both legs and an arm amputated and he dragged himself by his fingers. Even then, it'd be neck and neck.

I've heard, not tried, that crossing the border from India to Pakistan is not a problem. I met an Aussie with an Enfield who said he went into Pakistan yelling "Pakistan!" and was cheered on by police, not stopped. He didn't have his passport stamped going in or coming out. Or maybe it was just traveler's BS. Will it work for you? Who knows? But it's probably less risky than crossing Pakistan and Afganistan on your ride back to the UK.

Of course, I'm a yank and a learning bike (aka "girls bike") is a 600 that is usually traded for a "real" bike in a few months. I'm not like that, but I've heard that one about a zillion times.
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  #7  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Londonman View Post
Hi all,

I'm planning to go to New Delhi, buy an enfeild and ride it back to London.

But having read this website I seem to have hit a few technical snags.

1) Is it no longer possible to buy a motorbike in India and ride it across the border? (I have visas to Pakistan and Iran) Is the policy of not allowing bikes bought in India to be register in your own name still in place? Is there no way of getting around it?

2) Does this mean its near impossible to buy a bike in India and ride it back?

3) I don't have a Carnet. Is this a major problem?

4) I have a bigger problem - that I only have a provisional UK license and a CBT license, but not a full bike license. I can ride more powerful bikes but left it too late to get the full license.
Highly irresponsible of me, I know. But does that mean my trip is definitely a no-go?

5) Has anyone done this trip lately? Any tips?

thanks!

S.
Hi Londonman,

Contact Andy at 1A HIRE RENT, RENTAL OF ROYAL ENFIELD MOTORCYCLE MUMBAI DELHI KOLKATA, INDIA. EXPORT RESTORED ENFIELDS, LAMBRETTA & VESPA.

I spent 4 weeks on an Enfields last year, rode down the west coast and up the east and dealt with Andy who has become a personal friend.
I´ve been back to India with my wife to visit him a few months after the trip.

He will sell or rent you an Enfield, new or used to bring home to the UK. He knows everything there is to know about them.

He´s also the CEO of a software company, a very switched on guy - I would certainly recommend him 100%.

Mike
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  #8  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Michael Greeve View Post
Hi Londonman,

Contact Andy at 1A HIRE RENT, RENTAL OF ROYAL ENFIELD MOTORCYCLE MUMBAI DELHI KOLKATA, INDIA. EXPORT RESTORED ENFIELDS, LAMBRETTA & VESPA.

I spent 4 weeks on an Enfields last year, rode down the west coast and up the east and dealt with Andy who has become a personal friend.
I´ve been back to India with my wife to visit him a few months after the trip.

He will sell or rent you an Enfield, new or used to bring home to the UK. He knows everything there is to know about them.

He´s also the CEO of a software company, a very switched on guy - I would certainly recommend him 100%.

Mike


Try this link 1A HIRE RENT, RENTAL OF ROYAL ENFIELD MOTORCYCLE MUMBAI DELHI KOLKATA, INDIA. EXPORT RESTORED ENFIELDS, LAMBRETTA & VESPA. if you have a problem with the other one.
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  #9  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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Words Fail me that some of you out there are telling this young man to go ahead and break the law. More importantly he's going to risk his own and other peoples lives en-route! I can only assume from this that those of you who think he should ignore the law like this have a criminal record / Poor Driving History themselves...

The UK Police now have powers to sieze vehicles which are being used without insurance or licence. Not only will he lose his bike but he will also get at least 8 points on his licence and a huge fine of about £700.

Your documents WILL BE INSPECTED when you arrive in EACH European country as the bike will need importing or a carnet. Do you really think you can "pull the wool over their ears" by telling them you have forgotten your docs? Get real... Police forces throughout Europe are all linked closely these days. Your driving record AND Insurance Company Record can be checked in a few minutes using a PC link to DVLA.

I don't doubt you stand a chance of getting away with it until you reach Europe though...

Just go and pass your bike test like the rest of us or do it on a 125cc. I know someone who did that trip on a Honda C90! Others do it on 125 Trail Bikes which are fun little things...
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Last edited by kentfallen; 12 Sep 2008 at 17:03.
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  #10  
Old 13 Sep 2008
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Neil, have you ridden through India? He said he had and if he has, he's quite capable of riding anywhere in the world. He didn't say he was going to get a Hayabusa and sneak into GP.

Small bikes might be great to learn on, but the traffic in India might be the worst in the world and the school of hard knocks is just as well. I met an ex-Indian Army Major who said traffic was worse in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both of which Londonman would have to ride through.

You said, "I can't speak for anyone else but I personally don't want idiots who haven't passed their full bike test riding on the same roads as ME and my family" which makes me wonder if you've done any riding outside of the UK. You can't even get a 125 roadbike in the US. Even finding a 250 is hard and the salesmen try to talk you out of them. I wasn't kidding when I said a 600cc bike is considered by 90% of American motorcyclists a girl's bike. Motorcyclists are quite full of useless machismo much of the time.

I thought a carnet wasn't needed for the EU. Do they stop you at each EU border crossing to check your paperwork? I don't know. I haven't been there yet.

If Londonman wants to make the attempt, why not? He knows the risk when he gets to EU. As the cliche goes, you only live once and no one gets out of here alive.

As for me, I love small bikes. If I wasn't on an old POS 250 and wanted something newer and more dependable, I'd follow Nigel Marx' advice and do it on a Japanese 185cc sheep bike with a reinforced frame. He nearly tempted me into selling my Ducati when I was at his house looking at the sheep bikes. The side stand on each side, and the clutch and cable locks, are strokes of genius. But there's no way I can buy one in California and I like riding with California plates. Besides, I want a girder Norton single as my next bike.

-Dave
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  #11  
Old 13 Sep 2008
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I wouldn't normally agree with Neil, but this time he is right.... Its got absolutely nothing to do with riding ability, as I would agree that an Enfield is likely to be perfectly manageable given his experience. But the legal and insurance implications make no sense - every time you cross a border, and every time he gets stopped by the police, he will be running a significant risk of being arrested, or having the bike confiscated - or both.

And he will get stopped - every cop who has never seen a Nepali plate before is going to pull him at the slightest excuse, and I doubt that he will get as far as the EU before that happens. If he does, that first EU border post is going to take a real close look at a beaten up Nepali Enfield. They might well miss his licensing deficiency because they tend to focus on the bike papers, but its a big risk.

And if he gets involved in any sort of accident he will be in deep shit. The police will definitely spot the licence problem then !
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  #12  
Old 13 Sep 2008
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Driving without a license, nullifies whatever insurance you have. This means if you have an accident (and in many foreign countries, if a westerner is involved, he is automatically to blame) you might have to pay 100.000£ or more, OR go to jail to sit that amount of money off!

Good luck with your project, have fun.

Why not a tuktuk ? Some danish guys drove one from Bangkok to Denmark 18.000km.
Tuktuk - fra Bangkok til Aarhus
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  #13  
Old 13 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
Your documents WILL BE INSPECTED when you arrive in EACH European country as the bike will need importing or a carnet. Do you really think you can "pull the wool over their ears" by telling them you have forgotten your docs?
Neil, I'm not condoning the idea of riding without a licence but this simply isn't true. Once in the EU, e.g. Greece nobody anywhere will ask for any bike documents even at Dover. At most other borders, the customs officials want to see a carnet and some form of insurance (which can be bought if you don't have it) but practically never a driving licence.

The idea that unusual plates are pulled over by police is also incorrect (Wheelspin). I've done thousands of kilometres on bikes with Arabic words & numbers on them over several years and NEVER been pulled over; not in the UK, the EU or anywhere else.

I attribute this to the fact that police generally like bike riders and like to cut us some slack. For that reason, I hope Londonman doesn't abuse the goodwill that's out there and gets his licence.
Stephan
PS Neil, isn't it "eyes" not "ears" - unless it's cold?
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  #14  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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Thanks for the very valuable advice everyone. I think I might do this trip next year instead because of the complications involved in the paperwork.

I dont doubt my own motorcycle riding abilities but the hassle of the border-checks might be too much.

I'm going India anyway though. I might rent an Enfield (thanks for the link) or a Japanese bike.

Anyone know if you can buy and then ship over powerful Japanese bikes (say about 500cc) from India? Most websites don't seem to advertise bikes above 125cc.

thanks
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  #15  
Old 15 Sep 2008
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Bikes in India are small, mostly for fuel efficiency I think. Mostly 125 and 150s with the occasional 180. I was warned that riding a "large" bike, and they were indicating the 180, could lead to problems finding a mechanic if it broke down outside a big city.

I saw a large Yamaha in a dealership but I didn't ask how much it cost. I'm sure with the huge import tax (180%) it was plenty. There's a Ducati dealership in Mumbai, so you can always pick up a couple of those. Indian roads are perfect for high speed. That's why there's the Ferraris and McLaren in Delhi. Those cars are actually there. I have no idea if there's a road where it'd be safe to go over 80k since most roads are hectic at 30k.
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