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Old 1 Apr 2014
Kilian's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 127
Keeping a EU registered bike in America

Hi everyone!

After a lot of riding in Europe, the time has come to start thinking about the Americas. Over time, I would like to do the Pan American Highway and also ride across the USA and maybe even Canada.

However, I only have 5 weeks off work every summer, so I am thinking of doing it over several years. I have studied different options - buying a bike there, renting... and in the end I concluded that it was probably best to use my current bike. It is already fully equipped for such a trip, it is old enough so it something happens to it, it won't matter much, but at the same time it can still cope with doing a few thousands of miles every summer, and I know it is very reliable.

What I need to know now is whether my project is feasible from a, let's say, legal point of view.

My plan would involve shipping the bike to a starting point (possibly Buenos Aires), ride for 4-5 weeks and then storing it somewhere for a year and flying back home. Providing I manage to find the right place to store it, what would be the legal framework?

I know as long as a bike is registered to my name and the name matches the passport, there is no problem to ride in and out of a country, but what about leaving it there for a year?

Would I be asked to pay import fees?

Could I get around that with some kind of notary document stating that I did not sell the bike, only stored it, and it is going to be off the road for a year and then taken out of the country?

The motorbike is registered to my name and address in Barcelona, Spain, and for obvious reasons, it would not be taken for its 2-year technical vehicle inspection, but I have never been asked to produce that paperwork abroad. Could it be a problem anywhere in South, Central or North America?

What about road tax? I pay it in Barcelona, but then again, have never been asked for that paperwork abroad.

I am both a Spanish and English speaker, so there would be no language barrier to worry about.

The most likely places where I would store the bike for a year would be:

Peru (coming from Argentina, I already have contacts in both countries)

Somewhere in Central America (I cannot make it to the USA in one go)



Any thoughts will be very welcome
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Old 26 Apr 2014
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Your better off to buy in the USA.
Keep an eye on craigslist > sites
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