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Old 30 Jan 2009
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brussels
Posts: 48
Paper questions from Antwerp to Los Angeles

Hi Guys!

My first post ever!

I've been browsing around this wonderfull site for 2 full weeks, 6 hours a day minimum and it kicks ass!!!

Now, i've already found so much usefull info but on some hot points of our trip i cant find some up to date info or to many different answers. So please help me out!?

I'll try to be as specific as possible:

So my friend and i are landing in LA the 15th of april by plane from Brussels/Belgium. After the USA, we want to ride trough Mexico, Guatemale, Belize, El Salvador, honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and fly back home.

For the bike we have two options:

1) shipping the bike from Zeebrugge to Hueneme by ro ro WW, It would cost us 980 euro per bike + costs in Hueneme. It that case i would buy a transalp(1999 or so) here in europe, put all the gear & modifications on it and drive with Belgian plates and insurrance.
  • who knows what the actual costs are in Hueneme?
  • to clear the bike in costums, do i need USA insurance in advance(online) or will my belgian one be ok, just to clear?
  • If i understand well, its ok to buy only USA insurance, cuz the other country's w'll be visiting we just pay for that on the borders automaticly?
  • Is insurance much more expensive if you're younger than 25? I'm 24.
  • otherwise i would try to get insured here in Belgium for my bike Internationaly. But if i drive lets say with my car trough europe, than i have insurance in every country if i have an accident. Why does it change in Central Amerika?
2) Buy the bike in the usa, get plates, insurrance, make all modifications, finding gear and drive our way to panama, there sell or dump the bike.
  • Is there a touratech kind of shop, center, somewhere near L.A where we can quickly find all our stuff. Like Zega Panniers, crashbars, bigger tank, centerstand, etc for most types of bikes. We can do that by ourselves, my friend is a mecanic. But a workplace and tools would be great, any ideas?
  • for the moment i preferre shipping, because i can't seem to find the right bike for me in the US(for the moment). W're +- students, so we cant buy something new. Here in europe all those Africa twins, Transalps, Dominators are very budgetfriendly and everywhere. They Dont excist in the USA! and a XR is just a bit to high for me. Bmw is to expensive. Any ideas or links for bikes? Something off road but still capable of riding sweet like transalp. Our budget for the bike + modifications/gear is 4000-5000 euro MAX
  • I've heard it can take up to a month for getting the right insurrance, registration and plates. I've heard a day as well. I have a contact in LA, a belgian guy who works and lives there. We can use his adres. I've read we can already start riding and have the papers send to us by him. Are we safe/insurranced then?
  • I've read they stamp your motorbike into your passport and you cant leave the country without it, we want to sell or dump the bikes(get all value off it). How can we do this? And dont miss our plane and getting $2500 fine?
For the moment i'm in for option 1, i hate it being so expensive, 980 bucks to ship is a lot of money. But i feel save with the fact that i can rig my transalp in all peace, get everything right on time, get to know the faults en prepare for that. The bike + full gear should cost me around 5000 euro in this way.

Do you think buying something similar + finding gear in LA USA would come cheaper? And is a better choise, i like the adventure aspect of it. Or would it be to much waste of time? Finding the right pannier rack, crashbars, etc?

Please, if you can just answer only one detail, you would help me a lot!

Its driving me crazy for the moment

Off course you guys get something in exchange for your hard typing labour! Once i'm on the road i'll make you guys proud of seeing those beautifull pictures, nice posts and credits to the MASTERS OF OVERLAND!

If this aint the right place to put this post, tell me.

Thanks in advance!

Stijn Jansen
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