Originally Posted by ricemannv
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with permanently importing a foreign registered bike to the United States. I have a 2006 BMW F650 GS Dakar that I bought from Auto Haus BMW in Manila. I will be moving to California and was wondering if I could ship and register my bike in California. Thanks.
The bottom line answer is: "don't even think about it...."
Here's the US NHTSA list Cinqugrana refers to:
(page down alpha-order to ~ page 7)
Note that last BMW bike approved was approx 5 years ago, and
certainly doesn't include any recent K, R, or F models.
The basic reason is that the combination of US DOT + EPA rules to "conform"
vehicles to US "type-approval" safety and (particularly) emissions is so
complicated/ onerous, time-consuming, and EXPENSIVE that it simply doesn't make sense. It will cost you more in required testing and documentation fees than the value of your '06 F650 Dakar.
UNLESS, by some quirk of international marketing, your Dakar originally sold/ bought in the Phillipines was originally manufactured to US specifications, in which case it will/ must bear a US "FMVSS" VIN placard and number
permanently mounted on the frame. In that unlikely possibility, you could import it permanently to the US in a relative heartbeat.
In general, the answer to this question is: sell the Phillipine (or any other country) bike, or leave it there to return ride on later visits; and buy a similar US-spec bike when you relocate permanently to the States.
You can--of course--import the Phillipine bike into the US as a personally owned temporary
import to "tourist" ride for max 12 months--assuming you are simultaneously entering the US on a tourist visa; but the bike would then have to be re-exported after max 12 months. And you would not be able to sell or re-register that temporary import in Calif, or any other US State.
Welcome to the USA !