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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  #1  
Old 17 Mar 2017
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XTZ 125 - Small bike through a small loophole

Hey all! I'm looking for anyone else that has a Yamaha XTZ 125 in the States. Mine is aging and, as the need for repairs is growing, it is becoming apparent that parts and knowledge are not in abundance.

I bought my XTZ125 in Ecuador a couple years ago and rode back to the States. The difficulties stated as soon as I reached the USA border. Customs wouldn't let me in unless I imported the bike. It was around 9pm and the normal office for imports was closed for the day. They tried to send me back to Mexico where I would be required to pay another large deposit to temporarily reimport the motorcycle. Then find a cheap hotel for the night in Reynosa. After several months on the road, my triumphant reentry to the USA was not going as planned.

After a lot of waiting and a lot of talking, I was allowed to try my luck at the commercial freight office. Things started going better. I was now out of the mainstream process and in a place where solutions could be made. They let me into the country on the condition that I had to legally import the motorcycle within 1 year. He walked me past the guard, explained the situation, and I was in. No stamp, no papers, nada. Just the verbal request that I register in a year.

Trying to import the motorcycle would have cost thousands due to all the bureaucratic hoops. The XTZ 125 has never been distributed in USA, so it does not carry an EPA approval. Additionally, the bike cost just over $2500. If the original value exceeds $2500 by any amount, it is required to use a licensed import agent to facilitate the process. The original price tag was written 12,000 kilometers and a continent ago, but them's the rules.

Whenever I approached a licensing office with my Ecuadorian registration, they asked for my import papers. I tried a few offices, but always the same. So I dealt with the problem by losing my registration. I approached another department of licensing, but kept the details vague. They told me, "if you lost your registration, you'll need an inspection by the state police." Okay, well at least that's not an import. So I got the police inspection done and brought the signed form back to the department of licensing. The office was now trying to push me through the "lost registration" process rather than the "foreign import" process. The ladies behind the desk had an issue when trying to enter the location of purchase. She said, "Ecuador's not an option in here." Her coworker said, "oh, just click there." And Voila! Plate issued.

So I've got my mini XTZ 125 registered. It's a probationary title for three years. This time frame is meant to allow a rightful owner the opportunity to speak up if the bike was stolen. After three years, it'll be fully titled.

It was no small feat to get a USA license plate for this bike. And I have a hunch that my XTZ 125 might be one of very few living permanently in the USA. Due to its exotic nature, parts are not the easiest to come by. So as Spring time rolls in, I'd like to try and find any others out there. Anybody?

While speed may not be it's strength, it's the most durable, maintenance free, badass little bike I've owned. Corners like a bandit on pavement and rides through potholed dirt carefree. Just sloowly.
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Old 17 Mar 2017
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Cool story
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Old 17 Mar 2017
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amazing tale indeed. guess it's not possible nowadays but back in 1986 i crossed the usa on a kz650 as a tourist with a US driving license/ID card obtained through a similar loophole.
where was it made BTW, brasil, argentina?
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Old 17 Mar 2017
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Where else, but China! Japanese brand, assembled in China, sold in Ecuador, ridden to the States. It's seen a good cross section of the world and it's only 4 yrs old.
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