Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 31 Jan 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brussels
Posts: 48
Bike Conflict

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
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 31 Jan 2009
Moderated Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 502
Buy new KLR650's in the USA, ride them back and sell before going home; far simpler, far cheaper (base price is $5600) and you will probably sell for $3-4000 when you get back. Spending $1300 USD on shipping (each way?) is just nuts. Six months of comprehensive insurance, albeit with 20% excess, is about $1500 USD but at least you can get it for US plated bike.

Good luck,

S
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 1 Feb 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester
Posts: 190
Fly the bike out, shipping by ship entails a ton of extra costs , I'll try find the section in Chris Scott's adventure touring handbook...

But my flying bike out quotes are semi reasonable, about £720 to fly a CBR600F sized bike without dismantling to Canada. I reckon a transalp or an Africa can be reduced in packing size.

The book advises you to fly to Canada and ride down to the mex border for less hassle, then its a case of some paper work buy insurance you need it for US/Can and ride down to Panama.

heh btw I have nice 1990 Africa twin for sale.... €1100 and its yours and its got half the mods you want on it already, crash bars big tank etc.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 1 Feb 2009
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,135
Most of the info you need is here on the HUBB if you keep searching.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 17:25.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 1 Feb 2009
farqhuar's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oztralia
Posts: 564
Lunapix, I did the same thing as you are contemplating twice before. The first time 35 years ago and the second time 25 years ago. It was harder in those days and has only gotten easier since, however, I had minimal problems.

My last trip in '84 was as follows:

1. Fly to LA, check into YMCA, pick up newspaper, scan ads and buy a used CX500 2 days later. There are plenty of bike shops in LA - I found a place in Azusa which had everything you could possibly need in the way of accessories. I didn't bother with either a carnet or insurance - simply not necessary. I did go to the California DMV and register the bike in my name (at the YMCA address and obtained a AAA vehicle details document which is used for crossing borders in Central (NOT South) America) and got a temporary title.

2. Kit out bike (add panniers etc.) I ended up with a full dress Honda with Windjammer fairing, king and queen seat, top box, panniers etc.

3. Ride around Southwest USA and up to Canada to test out bike and get a feel for it.

4. Head South to Panama - no problems whatsoever taking the bike across the borders. Only problems were needing to replace the rear tyre in Guatemala. Travelled through El Salvador and Nicaragua whilst the coups and fighting were taking place - heard lots of sniper fire.

5. Flew bike and myself from Panama City to Bogota - had problems getting customs approval as I had no carnet (which was required). Went to visit local Columbian AAA and had lunch with AAA president who issued me a letter saying my AAA papers were in order and all that was necessary to enter the country (nice piece of bluff, but bluff gets you 95% of the way in any travelling). Columbian customs reluctantly allowed me to bring the bike into the country. Headed South down to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and up to Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil with no one questioning my docs.

6. Debated whether to ship bike back to Australia but ended up selling it (illegally) for 2/3rds what I paid for it to a Brit in Brazil.

7. Oh, almost forget to mention, I picked up a pillion passenger in LA and took her down south as well.

Now for a few controversial comments. In my opinion:

1. You don't need an offroad bike for this journey (nor any other journey frankly for that matter). Offroaders are a painful compromise for the 90% of your journey that you will be doing on the bitumen.
2. You want a Japanese, not a european bike. They are stronger, cheaper, more reliable, easier to fix and parts are more readily available.

Garry from Oz.
__________________
Garry from Oz - powered by Burgman
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 1 Feb 2009
Moderated Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 502
Inusrance....

.....the quote was for the S. American part of the trip, not the US; btw, riding without insurance is not wise IMHO and also rather selfish?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 1 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brussels
Posts: 48
Guys,

Thanks for the tips, i guess i will folow your advice and buy my bike in LA. Everything willl work out fine if i read from your experience.

Also, in my opinion asking dumb questions simply doesnt exist. Like i told you i've been looking this site for 2 weeks non stop and couldnt find the info you guys now could give me on one minute of work...

This site could be managed much better, but the fact its here is good enough.
if you look by country the USA isnt even in the list...

I believe this site is here as well for newbies and people looking for information.


Thanks for the info once again!


Any ideas for a good motorcycleshop in LA to fit my needs?





Grtz
Stijn
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 1 Feb 2009
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,135
Don't take the my "dumb questions" comment too seriously

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 17:26.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 1 Feb 2009
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,135
(add to all these various 80's vintage cruisers from 500cc to 850cc)

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 17:26.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 1 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brussels
Posts: 48
Patrick THX A LOT!!!!

Nice info, just what we needed to know. I'll try to do as much research thru our Belgian LA contact. Problem is he is the creative director of TBWA/chiat day. So he's a very busy man. But we can use his adres to get things send over, etc. With your info we should be fine, the rest i can find out in here in tranquility now i know what to do concerning the bike. Big relief.

I hope i will be able to serve this site like you do after my trip. If everything goes fine i will have my driverslicence(final exam) on the 7th of april and i land in LA on the 15th. Am i breaking any record?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 1 Feb 2009
strikingviking's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Mazatlan, Mexico
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
Buy new KLR650's in the USA, ride them back and sell before going home; far simpler, far cheaper (base price is $5600) and you will probably sell for $3-4000 when you get back. Spending $1300 USD on shipping (each way?) is just nuts. Six months of comprehensive insurance, albeit with 20% excess, is about $1500 USD but at least you can get it for US plated bike.

Good luck,

S
Darned good advice.

You may or may not be able to get by without the permanent title but border crossings are much easier with a "Pink Slip" in your name. This can be fast-tracked in California for an extra fee, but the quickest is Arizona. Temporary importation permit requirements can differ greatly at various borders within the same country, even Mexico, so be safe obtain permanent title before departing. Also, the DMV registration form Does request insurance information which they randomly check and that could bite you later if trying to renew.

Selling the bike is possible as many do exactly that but bear in mind, that many countries down south, DO indeed stamp your passport regarding the bike.

Equally important: when passing through Mazatlan, I always have a spare room for long-riders.
__________________
EARTH RIDE!
Understanding the world through adventure travel.
www.strikingviking.net


Last edited by strikingviking; 2 Feb 2009 at 00:46.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 1 Feb 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brussels
Posts: 48
Thx Viking,

If we pass there, good chance. we would be very happy to look you up!

I'll keep in touch.


Stijn
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does anyone else have this conflict? Baron Bolton The HUBB PUB 34 4 Nov 2008 17:11
Sudan: Conflict Around Abyei discoenduro Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road 1 5 Jun 2008 10:20

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 18:41.