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Old 1 Jun 2006
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Shipping a bike disassembled?

Recently I purchased a DRZ400s for a around the world trip. During initial preparations, I disassembled the bike to repack all bearings. While working on the bike, it occurred to me that I might be able to ship the bike in 3 components. Each package would be listed as motorcycle parts. Only the frame, engine and gas tank would need ‘hazard material’ status. I figured each package would weigh less than the 175 pound limit once stated by Emery Express.

People here in Hawaii once used this method to ship motorcycles from the mainland.

My question is this; has anybody ever shipped a motorcycle dissembled, and in separate packages? If so, what is the status with customs? Does a shipping package labeled as ‘motorcycle parts’ equal to the same cost of importing a completed motorcycle? Would shipping the packages to a friend in your destination be difficult? When putting the bike together, are there problems with legality of riding that bike if it has not been cleared by customs?

My problem areas for shipping are; the United States to S.E. Asia to India. Maybe this might be a solution?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 1 Jun 2006
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One obvious problem - especially if shipping outbound - is that if one of the portions goes missing, you're on a backpacking trip from the start.
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Old 1 Jun 2006
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I priced shipping 'moto' parts, as you've described, via UPS from the US to Venezuela and was quoted 2-3x the cost of regular air freight shipment, depending on the speed of service.
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Old 1 Jun 2006
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Don't do it - you can be charged heavy custom duties - cause they think you're going to sell the parts, why else bring them?

There is NO duty on your travel bike as long as you leave with it, so no problem.

READ the Trip Planning pages, particularly Shipping, Paperwork, Carnet, Borders. Menu on left.
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Old 2 Jun 2006
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Don't do it...

About the more less same issue, was other with the same "crazy" idea.....
Take a look on:


Dakar Motos

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Old 3 Jun 2006
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Thumbs down Bad idea !

Appart from the problems of asembeling the bike "some where" there is a legal problem.

Almost any country will first of all charge you with import duty's and procedures. It can take weeks to clear things through customs and wil be very expensive (India charges 100 % import duty on motorcycle-parts for example).

Then, after you asembled it, you have a bike that is NOT imported (temporary of permenent) into the coutry, so it is there iligaly. Vehicle-smugle is a serious crime in many country's (due to the high duty's).

To ride the bike legaly you need a (mostly) temporary import permit or a carnet de passage (which you can ONLY have filled in when you enter the country)

So.... It is a very BAD IDEA !...... (but creative )

You can however make the bike itself a lot smaller by taking of the front-wheel, handle-bar, cases etc and pack it as economiclally as posible.

Make the crate as small as posible: you wil pay for volume. They will quote a kilo-price... but this wil stil be converted from the volume. This is the bigest "trap" is shipping. Everything goes by volume, but everyone speaks of kilo's. As a guideline you can use 200 kilo for every cubic-meter.

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Old 3 Jun 2006
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Hey guys, Mahalo (thanks) so much. Guess will have to ship the conventional way.

Can hardly wait, only 1 1/2 years to go!

E Hoi Hou
(till next time)

AKA MauiDRZ, Joemama
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Old 16 Jun 2006
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The trick to finding an inexpensive air carrier who will ship your motorcycle to the mainland goes like this:

You want to find a charter airline that uses older, wide body aircraft such as the L-1011 or DC-10 - although any wide-body will do. Hopefully, that airline crams the main cabin full of tourists - just like sardines - and they have a very strict weight and piece limit on passenger baggage, for example, maximum 2 pieces per passenger, and a $25 a pound penalty if the passenger is over the baggage weight limit.

If you find a charter carrier that works like that - and there are tons of them - then the odds are very good that the airplane will have huge quantities of empty cubic space on the lower level, where the baggage holds are. They won't have much weight capacity left, but they will have acres of cubic space left. Because they are a charter carrier, and because Hawaii probably doesn't export much by air, chances are that they will not have any super-lightweight revenue cargo to put in that empty space.

To an airline, a very large cargo container (maximum weight capacity - about 15,000 pounds) that has a single 500 pound motorcycle in it is considered to be virtually empty - like shipping a container full of popcorn. Heck, they probably have empty containers they need to bring back to the mainland anyway. So, if they can get $1,000 from you for carrying your motorcycle inside this container to the mainland, that's money for nothing as far as they are concerned.

This is how I select my air freight carriers, and it usually results in two happy people: me, and the accountant at the airline.

Here's a picture of the easiest way to pack your moto:

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Old 16 Jun 2006
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I see you don’t live in the US. Major problem now shipping via air: Next to impossible, homeland security B.S. vs. Hazard material. Last year we traveled to Asia, had a difficult time even getting to reach somebody who might give us a quote, or requirements needed. The closest we got was K.A.L, and then it seemed like a very uncertain possibility at best.

We did settle with DHX (Dependable Hawaii Express) for sea freight. Cost for each bike was around $1250 (Hawaii, Long Beach, to Tokyo). No direct shipments to Japan from Hawaii, go figure?

As for my plans now, will ship Pasha to California (National City Ca.) on their new Roll-Roll. Then possibly use some of the listing on the HUBB Long Beach to New Zealand.

Before, I need to work my ass off for the next year. Till then been working on modifying my DRZ400s for a around the world trip.
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Old 16 Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by JoeHilo
I see you don’t live in the US. Major problem now shipping via air: Next to impossible, homeland security B.S. vs. Hazard material.

Try contacting Motorcycle Express (http://www.motorcycleexpress.com/) and see if they can help you. The are a US based company (NY state) that I have used for all my past moto shipments. They will be familiar with all the issues that arise from the current security phobias in the USA.

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