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I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Ellen Delis,
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Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #1  
Old 19 Sep 2010
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Buying a Motorcycle In Australia (2010)

This Post is meant to give one person's experience buying a motorcycle in Australia for the sole purpose of riding around the country and then selling it at the end of the journey. I rode from the end of May through July, 2010

Rider: I am an American. My USA motorcycle license was valid for my entire time there and from what I was told by the the NSW "Road and Traffic Authority" (RTA) is valid indefinitely. One only has to get an Australian license (issued by the state of residence) if they plan to reside permanently in Australia. Furthermore I was not limited by the tiered licensing requirements that apply to Australians, meaning that my non-tiered California license allowed me to ride any size or type of bike. I was under the impression that this is true for most English speaking countries

Bike: I was looking for a Dual Sport bike, in the mold of a KLE 500 or DR 650. I found, and was told, that these bikes are not very common in Australia. They also, not unexpectedly, carry a premium over more road oriented bikes. I wanted to spend no more than what it would have cost me to ship my own bike, there and back, from California ($3500-$4000 USD). I settled on a 1996 VFR750. Not the best choice for Australia's roads, but given where I planned to ride, and that I had less than two months, it made sense (see attached map).

Buying Process: I paid $3900 AUD from a dealer, and sold to a private seller for $2200 AUD. I took a bigger hit than I would have liked, but buying from a dealer, one will always pay more, and I did not want to spend weeks at the end of my trip trying to sell the bike. The dealer I went with in Sydney, "Bikebiz" (Bikebiz - New & Used Motorcycles, Motorcycle Parts & Motorbike Accessories), were helpful and their inventory of used bikes seemed well maintained. I would recommend them over the other dealers I visited (I had not a single mechanical problem with the VFR in over 12000 miles). There are number websites to look for bikes and to try to sell on after. I used primarily Trading Post - Online and Mobile Classifieds, and Used Motorbike For Sale - Buy and Sell Motorbikes Australia - bikepoint.com.au, while searching for motorcycles.

Paper work: The paper work process is surprisingly easy in Australia. Every motorcycle that is up to date has what is called "Rego" (registration). This paper serves to show who is the registered owner, that the fees are up to date, that the bike is road worthy. It also serves as insurance paperwork, as personal liability insurance goes with the motorcycle. Therefor ones does not "have to buy" insurance when buying a bike. The Process is listed below:
1) Find desired bike and pay seller
2) Have seller fill out the sale portion of the "Rego" paperwork
3) Take this to any state RTA office
4) Be able to produce proof of residence within that state (I used my Hostel accommodation address and all I needed was a copy of a receipt showing that I stayed/was staying there, signed by an employee)
5) Passport and drivers License from home country
6) pay 3% of sale price of motorcycle, for taxes and fees.

That was about it. I was then off for two months. The main thing I learned while over there is that, in comparison to the USA, motorcycle parts and labor are 30%-40% more expensive, even when exchange rates are taking into account (A rear Michelin Pilot road cost me $300 AUD in Perth, and I was told that was a deal). While I paid more than I had expected for the VFR 750, knowing it came from a dealer, who gave me a three month warranty, New tires, and that the bike had gone through a complete service, was worth the piece of mind knowing I was less likely to break down in the outback, or need to use the services of an expensive repair shop (hourly rates were often in excess of $100 AUD/hr)

All that being said, buying and selling a bike is a very easy process in Australia, and unless you are greatly attached to your own bike (yes big BMWs and KTMs are readily available, just expensive), it is far easier and cheaper to buy a bike and then re-sell it when your tour is over, either to a third party or back to the dealer you bought it from (albeit taking a bigger hit)

Also, Sydney and Melbourne are by far the two best places to buy motorcycles. Everything in WA is more expensive. Bring your own gear as well, as helmets, gloves, luggage etc. is extremely expensive

Cheers

Matt
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Buying a Motorcycle In Australia (2010)-australia-map.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 19 Sep 2010
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Did you not try and sell it back to the dealer you bought it off in the first place? Would have been interesting to see what he would have offered. Given the extra miles you put on the bike, I don't think you did too badly on the depreciation front.
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  #3  
Old 20 Sep 2010
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Just one warning about buying a vehicle in NSW - they have annual roadworthy tests which must be completed when they fall due otherwise the rego/insurance becomes invalid.

Queensland and Victoria have roadworthy tests that have to be completed within the previous 30 days before the sale, which makes life easier when travelling for an extended period and not wanting to return to NSW for a test.

Each State varies in the process for buying and selling - the websites for each transport authority has good pages on what's needed.

Drivers licences only have to be exchanged when becoming a resident in Australia - visa.

Buy/sell is by far the easiest way to travel around Australia. I'd expect that if you'd owned the bike for a year or had a month to sell it then you would n't have taken the $1700 hit - but $30 a day for travel is not too bad - try to get a hire deal for that price.
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  #4  
Old 22 Sep 2010
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I had a loose agreement to sell it back to the dealer, but they said they would give me $1500-$2000, assuming I brought it back only with extra miles. Plus, while in Townsville, a couple of drunk twats pushed the bike over in the middle of the night and broke the mirror, footpeg, and scratched up the fairings
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  #5  
Old 24 Sep 2010
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This is a very good thread, thank you for sharing it is very informative! I plan on going down the same road so this is priceless! Speaking of buying gear before going, what do you think of this thread? You think its worth waiting to get there to buy a helmet?
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...tandards-51407

Thanks!!
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  #6  
Old 25 Sep 2010
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FYI- SA do not have roadworthy tests unless you are transferring rego from another state - but then it costs $$$
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  #7  
Old 28 Sep 2010
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As far as helmets go, Australia has a unique (at least in my travels) holographic sticker, for approved helmets. I brought my own Helmet from the USA (DOT & SNELL) approved and was told at the dealer that it wasn't legal in Australia because it didn't have the holographic ticket. That being said, I never had a run in with police so it was never checked. I would assume if you weren't doing something stupid on the bike they would cut you a break.

As far a rego, everything I heard is that is difficult and expensive to transfer registration to a different state especially for a foreigner. Of all the states, Western Australia and the Nothern Territory seem to have to least beurocratic red tape in general.
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  #8  
Old 4 Jan 2011
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We also plan a trip of 5 1/2 month Australia and New Zealand from Germany and I´m actually checking all possibilities of "bike transport", "bike long term hire" and "buying a bike over there" (Thought in Australia shipping it to NZ and back means splitting Australia in two parts).
Would be good to share our informations.
What I know from now:
with a carnet for such a time you have no problems in both countries with customs. The problem which might occur is to clean the bike like that that you won´t have problems with this quarantine authority who´s ckecking it. Also your transport box has to be made of certified wood or metal. Transport by air seems too expensive for us (we need two bikes). By ship it is round about 3500€ for two F650GS, by air approx. double. (GER - NZ; AUS - GER). And you still need the transport from NZ to AUS.
Regards
Robert
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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Around the world traveller

Hy. I want to travel around the world . I was thinkink to travel by hitchhiking to Australia and after that when i'll be there to buy a bike and travel around the world with it . It is possible ? Wich is procedure for registration in this case ? How should i do ? I need an advice . I am looking for an honda ct 110. Thank you so much
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  #10  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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they have notice boards in most hostels which i have seen bikes for sale on
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  #11  
Old 16 Mar 2012
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Gumtree is an excellent place to buy a bike from what I have seen, many of the bikes are already set up for traveling.
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  #12  
Old 25 Mar 2012
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Some very lonely roads there

Looks like a great trip you have have planned. I had a quick look at where we're planning to ride to. Think carefully about the weather conditions that we'll be travelling in. Many parts of Northern Australia suffer flooding during the wet season (basically Dec. to Feb.) and roads (especially in Outback Queensland) get closed. That having been said you might be lucky and the rain holds off. We've just had two very (and I mean very!!) wet summers here in Queensland and travel has been difficult.

Also be aware that some of the roads you are travelling on will be very lonely. You'll need to carry water and be self sufficient to a degree. Getting petrol (gas) when travelling on a bike (with limited range) also needs to be factored in.

Enjoy Australia!
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Old 25 Mar 2012
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bike in Oz

Hi Robert,

good place to look for bikes and to get an idea about the market is:

Used Motorcycle For Sale - Buy and Sell Motorcycles Australia - bikesales.com.au

The beauty is, you can do it from home. Depending on your age you can also join the Ulysses club, here in Australia or in Germany, members are very helpful. In case you come to the SW of WA, call in. You wouldn't be the first German riders i went for some trips with.

Servus

R M
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  #14  
Old 27 Mar 2012
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bying a motorcycle in Australia

Hello.
Abouth going around Australia, I shipped my Harley last year to Australia,started in Melbourne on September the 1st,and went back to Melbourne on Januari the 12th this year. I did Melbourne,Adelaide,Alice Springs,Darwin,Broome,Perth,Nullarbor?back to Adelaide. Then inland via Broken Hill,and Bourke to Townsville and Brisbane ,Sydney,and back to Melbourne. I did 25.000km in 4,5 months,had temperatures between 8°C,in the morning in Melbourne,and 44°C in Fitzroy Crossing,at noon. Ionly had 3 days of rain on my whole trip. So I think if you be gone in Darwin before the wet season starts,you are fine.
Thaks.
Chris.
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  #15  
Old 29 Mar 2012
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Nice !
Did you met some problems to ship your bike ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils chris View Post
Hello.
Abouth going around Australia, I shipped my Harley last year to Australia,started in Melbourne on September the 1st,and went back to Melbourne on Januari the 12th this year. I did Melbourne,Adelaide,Alice Springs,Darwin,Broome,Perth,Nullarbor?back to Adelaide. Then inland via Broken Hill,and Bourke to Townsville and Brisbane ,Sydney,and back to Melbourne. I did 25.000km in 4,5 months,had temperatures between 8°C,in the morning in Melbourne,and 44°C in Fitzroy Crossing,at noon. Ionly had 3 days of rain on my whole trip. So I think if you be gone in Darwin before the wet season starts,you are fine.
Thaks.
Chris.
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