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Old 10 Aug 2003
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Location: NY,NY,USA
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Shipping a bike from UK to New York

I have somehow managed to aquire a nice little bike in the UK (my old stomping ground) and need to figure out how to get it to where I live in NJ. The bike is not expensive and I am not in a hurry so information on the cheapest option would be appreicated.

Can anyone help me?


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Old 11 Aug 2003
Susan Johnson's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Canada
Posts: 695
Hi Barry and welcome to the HUBB!

Unfortunately, I don't have good news for you. Registering a UK origin bike in the US may be a major hassle. The bike will not be DOT approved, and getting it approved is likely to be prohibitively expensive. See this HUBB post for a discussion on this topic. Carefully check the requirements where you live now before embarking on this. The exception is that if the bike is over 15 years old it is exempt from some of these requirements. It might turn out to be better to leave the bike in Europe and use it for touring over there.

If you decide to proceed, I would contact Wallenius Wilhelmsen as a starting point. They are a Swedish company which specializes in shipping vehicles, roll on roll off ships, no crating required. See this Shipment detail for a description of the process from Southampton to Galveston. Expect to take a minimum of 3 weeks. Prices are variable, minimum would be about US$5-600. North American contact details are at this link.

Get some quotes via air too, because sea shipping always involves port charges which can make the price differential with air shrink to insignificance. Check out Motorcycle Express, who we have used and recommend, for air shipment. They do express quotes, US$ price for one way from London to NY is $1,677. If you want to save some money and don't mind picking it up and driving it home from Toronto, the price from London to Toronto is only US$1,245.

Good luck and please let us know how you make out!

Susan Johnson

"It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses."
Edgar Guest

'One world, two wheels'

[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 10 August 2003).]
Susan Johnson

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997
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Old 11 Aug 2003
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Thank you for the quick response. I will follow up with a few of those and see how it goes. If $1600 is the best I can find then I will probably skip it since the bike only cost $600!

One thing working in my favor is that they did bring in a version of this bike to the U.S. under the GB500 name. Other than some stylying differences I believe they are mechanically identical. Hopefully this will help me get it signed off or, at worse, I will have to swap a few parts from the local version.

Thanks again!

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Old 11 Aug 2003
John Ferris's Avatar
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Location: Reno,NV,USA
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I am not sure about other makes of bikes but BMW's have different VIN's in Europe that the ones shipped to the US. I have known people who have gotten Euro bikes into the US and had the state refuse to register it becuase the coumputer saw a non US VIN.
Also the exhaust will not have the US DOT stamp on it. Just because it is the same make and model as sold in the US does not mean that you can import it.
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