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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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  #1  
Old 24 Jul 2003
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Buying a bike in Japan and driving to England

Ok, I've been looking all over the site and still have some questions. I'm planning on buying a Dirtbike in Japan and travelling across Asia and Europe (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Tibet, Nepal, China, shipping to Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, England). Here are my remaining areas of concern:
1) Buying a bike in a Japan and getting a Carnet: it seems like this is done in lots of countries and I assume Japan is no different; does anyone know about the plausibility of buying a bike in Japan and registering for a Carnet
2) Driving in China: is it possible to ferry a bike into China and be allowed to drive it?
3) Tibet: I've heard it's possible to drive into Tibet without dealing with the government paperwork hassles? Is this doable? If so what route would be good from China to Tibet to Nepal (sorry, I know this should be in the Routes forum)
4) Is a Carnet really needed for Nepal, India, Turkey, Greece and Italy?
5) Is getting foriegn damage and theft insurance for the bike worthwhile?
6) If shipping from India to Turkey is there any special paperwork needed?

This is my first Bike trip, and first trip to all of these countries, so any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks,
Tim
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  #2  
Old 24 Jul 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaptainTim:
4) Is a Carnet really needed for Nepal, India, Turkey, Greece and Italy?
5) Is getting foriegn damage and theft insurance for the bike worthwhile?
This is my first Bike trip, and first trip to all of these countries, so any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks,
Tim
You definetely don't need a carnet for Italy and Greece, at least if you have a western nationality (maybe it's different if you come from a country which require a carnet for europeans).

Third parts damages insurance is obviously mandatory in Europe and Turkey. You can have a "green card" which cover all of these states.

You said this is your first bike trip: isn't it a little bit ambitious?
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  #3  
Old 25 Jul 2003
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Yeah, it is a bit over the top, but I am going with 2 guys who have dirtbiked around Thailand before.

Thanks for the info on Europe.
Tim
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  #4  
Old 25 Jul 2003
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaptainTim:


1) Buying a bike in a Japan and getting a Carnet: it seems like this is done in lots of countries and I assume Japan is no different; does anyone know about the plausibility of buying a bike in Japan and registering for a Carnet
In theory there should be no problem - the reality is often different - for instance it may not be possible for a foreigner to register a bike in Japan. Write the Japan Community and see what they have to say.

Quote:

2) Driving in China: is it possible to ferry a bike into China and be allowed to drive it?
T'ain't that simple. First you have to spend six months or so dealing with the bureaucracy and convincing them to let you in with a bike, and then arranging a driver / minder / guide to drive a 4wd along with you - and of course you have to pay his expenses and fees - minimum US$100/day. In practice almost no one does it.


Quote:

3) Tibet: I've heard it's possible to drive into Tibet without dealing with the government paperwork hassles? Is this doable? If so what route would be good from China to Tibet to Nepal (sorry, I know this should be in the Routes forum)
no.


Quote:

4) Is a Carnet really needed for Nepal, India, Turkey, Greece and Italy?
see Pietro's answer, plus you definitely need a carnet for India and Nepal. No there is NO way around it.


Quote:

5) Is getting foreign damage and theft insurance for the bike worthwhile?
IF you could get it at a reasonable price, sure - but you can't. Forget it. You're on your own.

Quote:

6) If shipping from India to Turkey is there any special paperwork needed?
no.

Quote:

This is my first Bike trip, and first trip to all of these countries, so any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks,
Tim
Tip: read this site a LOT! And have fun, we look forward to hearing your stories! I suspect you're Canadian (I have access to everything - being the admin helps! so you might want to come to the Revelstoke Travellers Meeting in September - details on the Meetings page. Note that it's a good idea to put in where you're from - helps others answer questions, as it often depends on nationality. Might even be someone in the same town you could get together with for a and a few answers. Also see if there is a Community in your town.



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  #5  
Old 21 Feb 2004
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Hi Tim,
I'm also a Nova Scotian...but living in Korea. I am planning a very similar trip, slightly different itinerary but asia to europe anyway. There is a great Honda Trans Alp here in the town I'm working in and I'm considering buying it to make sure I really do go on this trip. I also am wondering about Carnet and registration issues not being a permanent resident or citizen of the country I'm planning on buying the bike in.

Have you gone through the process already? Did you buy a carnet from CAA in Canada or find some other option?
Let me know what happend with your situation. I am very curious.
Hope you have a great trip,
ride safe,
Jason
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  #6  
Old 24 Jan 2007
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bumped because I'm currently in Japan and I'm trying to figure out what is needed for the treck home (California.) I've read all of tokyotolondon.com but they didn't give too many details on the paperwork involved and of course that was over 10 years ago. How has China changed?
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  #7  
Old 31 Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DearScotty
I've read all of tokyotolondon.com but they didn't give too many details on the paperwork involved and of course that was over 10 years ago. How has China changed?
Hi (from www.TokyotoLondon.com)

Buying bikes in Japan is a bit tricky ... they dont really let you register the bikes in your name if you arent a resident ... so you have to beg and plead to get the dealer to let you keep the Japanese registration plates.... The Japanese residents here may be able to shed more light on this.

Technically our bikes were not registered as we rode through Tokyo to the ferry terminal in Yokohama.

As for China, I just got back from Shanghai where I had a good old chat with Butch. Dont believe all you read about China. The reality is its not simple, and it will be extremely unlikely to be able to do it legally. We had a load of support on our side, including big name sponsors and several Chinese cultural organisations. Further, as Butch points out often, any inter provincial motorcycle travel in China is banned at present. Even those with the legal paperwork are restricted to the province in which the bike is registered. So while there is a small chance you will be able to ride there, it will almost surely be illegal and with authorities on your back. I understand that even if you go with a guide, you have to change guides now at provincial borders and a new guide and guide organisation, from the new province have to escort you on. Its not a pretty picture. My advice is unless you are VERY well connected or prepared to pay a lot of money, or prepared to risk the wrath of the Chinese security services, forget it.

The paperwork when we went was pretty straight forward ... Chinese drivers licences and Chinese bike registrations ... occasionally when we rode through restricted areas we needed Alien Restricted Area Permits.

I have just updated the site extensively with about 3 times as much detail (after listening to our original daily dictaphone diaries for the first time in over 12 years), if that helps.

On a positive note, Chinese driving practices, though still abysmal, have improved out of sight in the past 13 years. The road surfacing too has improved out of sight. Food quality, fuel quality et al are also a world apart from what they were. Traffic in the towns however is now an utter bitch. It was already bad in 1994, now its horrible.
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Last edited by colebatch; 31 Jan 2007 at 14:38.
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