Buy a bike in Europe - help - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Dec 14th, 2006, 12:52 pm Thread Starter
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Buy a bike in Europe - help

Every year for the last 6 or 7 years I have traveled to Europe for three or four weeks to ride with an American friend that lives there. Other than the first year or so he has had a second bike that I could use. He is now back to one bike so I have to look at getting a bike for 3 or 4 weeks. Renting for this period of time year after year is just too cost prohibitive so I am looking into purchasing a bike to keep over there. Has anyone on this forum done this and what all is entailed? My friend feels certain we can find a place to keep it but insurance, registration, licensing, etc. are all things that have to be handled. Anyone have any information, suggestions or ideas?

Thanks.

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
Champagne 2001 LT
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post #2 of 20 Old Dec 14th, 2006, 1:52 pm
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Question

Alex, first you must decide in which country you will purchase the bike. This can depend on where your friend lives and where you will ride, etc...

The other considerations are local taxes and bike registration. I have a brother who lives in Monaco and who rides as well, so I can ask him a few questions once you have things narrowed down a bit.

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post #3 of 20 Old Dec 14th, 2006, 2:36 pm
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How did your friend handle his second bike? Seems like it would be similar, but with you supplying the cash and signatures.

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post #4 of 20 Old Dec 14th, 2006, 5:18 pm
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Buying a bike in Europe

Remember bikes cost more here, even when made here. Denmark has prohibitive taxes, an LT costs around $65000.
Depending on what you want to spend, a Honda Deauville is a good cheap tourer. 650-700 V-twin, 55mpg, 115mph. £6,200 new($12,000) or from £2,300 used ($4,500). I done a saddlesore on one and wasn't!

http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/D....jsp#focusHere


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post #5 of 20 Old Dec 14th, 2006, 6:22 pm
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Just RENT, no storage hassel, no maintanace (dead battery or flat tires) when you get there, no paying for insurance for the 11 months its just sitting, no problems period.

I think in the end if you really look at the numbers, its cheaper and the bike is always a new one. Plus if you decide to go elsewhere one year you wo'nt feel guilty you are not using the bike.

Maybe he has a friend who could rent you a bike?
Or work out an exchange with a european biker (you go there, use his bike and he comes here and uses yours? Not my prefered method but know of people who have had positive experiences.


I have rented in New Zealand and Italy and had great experiences with both companys.

Good Luck
Ride Safe

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post #6 of 20 Old Dec 15th, 2006, 5:17 am
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I´m with Doug on this one.

Machines that sit around without being used generally deteriorate pretty
quickly.

Also, the storage fees, if payable, would soon add up to more than the difference in buying versus renting.

If you do decide to buy, is it not possible, as a foreigner in Europe, to buy directly from the factory ?.
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post #7 of 20 Old Dec 15th, 2006, 8:56 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

My friend lives in Germany. He is retired military and his wife is a DOD's teacher on a military base. He has his bike/s registered through the military. This option is not available for me.

I would not be buying new - looking for something in the $5000 range. My friend would look after the bike so it would not be sitting or unattended from year to year.

Renting for a 3 week time period would be at least $2 - 3 thousand each year, every year for the forseeable future. That kind of money adds up fast and is money that is just gone. Remember, I have already been doing this for the last 6 - 7 years and hope to continue to as long as I can and my friend is over there (he's figuring another 6 - 7 years). My friend has been kind enough to loan me one of his bikes for most of that time which is the only thing that has permitted me to make this annual trip. If I had to rent all that time, I would have most of the price of a new LT in rental fees by now and another one by the time he leaves Europe.

If this were a one time deal, I agree, just rent and spend the money. However, I am looking at the long term picture and shelling out that kind of money every year is just not possible. The choice is to try to do this or stop going or, at least, stop riding when I'm there. Nah!

The question is how do I get it registered, insured, licensed, etc. I'm sure my friend could do a lot of the leg work - just not sure how to proceed.

I know this has been done and I know of some other people that are looking to do the same thing. I just don't know anyone personally that has done it.

Please keep the suggestions coming. I appreciate all responses. There IS a way to do this.

Thanks.

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
Champagne 2001 LT
Space Coast BMW Riders
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post #8 of 20 Old Dec 15th, 2006, 11:48 am
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Question

Alex, wouldn't you better "exporting" a bike bought in the US and keep it there? You may want to find out via your friend if you would need to re-register the bike in Germany or if you can keep the US plates and avoid paying taxes...
The you would have to worry about insurance and maintenance.
Just my 2 Euros...

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06 Mercedes-Benz E350 Estate (parts and people hauler)
2012 BMW X3 (parts and people hauler)
86 Porsche 911 Cabriolet (my "new" baby)



For her I climbed the highest mountain!
For her I swam across the deepest ocean!
For her I walked through the largest desert!
And then she left me... She said I was never home!!!


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post #9 of 20 Old Dec 15th, 2006, 4:06 pm
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Buying abroad

Alex

I think you might be imagining a few problems. In the UK and the rest of the EEC we do not have Bill of Sales or Title. Each vechile has a log book that records the registered keeper and address. in this case your name at your friends address. Do not buy a bike without a logbook and make sure details match. In the UK you can do a thing called a HPI check to see if there is outstanding finance or if the bike has been an insurance write off.

My wifes bike is registered in her name but insured in my name. Your friend could do something similar with you as a named rider with you paying. The only other issue may be compulsory vechile examination every year or two and normal servicing.

I think your friend may be able to ask someone on the base for info as I am sure it will have been done before.

Another option would be to ask a Scottish based LT rider if you could borrow his bike ;-))

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

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post #10 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 8:44 am Thread Starter
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Couple of concerns.

1. The cost of shipping the bike over would have to come out of the amount of money I have available to purchase the bike. I have a pretty fixed amount of money I can spend at this point.

2. Can you run for an indefinate amount of time on US plates in Europe or do you have to, at some time, register the bike there?

3. If you have to register the bike there, can you get a US spec bike registered or would it have to be converted to European specs?

4. Can you get US insurance to cover the bike in Europe?

Again, thanks for the thought and comments. Keep them coming. I'm sure there are some things/options I still haven't considered.

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
Champagne 2001 LT
Space Coast BMW Riders
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post #11 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 8:54 am Thread Starter
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Thanks. Great info! It's nice to know some of the ins and outs of how things work in other places. Things I will definately look in to.

Would love to get back to Scotland. Had a great time there. Beautiful, rugged countryside.

Remind me to show you my picture of the Loch Ness monster. (Mom snapped a pic of me standing on a rock in the water of the loch).

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
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Space Coast BMW Riders
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post #12 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 9:27 am
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Buy a Bike in Europe

I believe you can ride for about 6 months on your US plates. You would then need to register.
When you register you would then be "importing" the bike. To work out the costs
add 9% to the value of the bikeThen add approx 16.5% MWST to that figure.
If you have already owned the bike for at least six months I believe most of the tax is not charged, but I don't know if this still works from outside the EU.

When I tried to insure my UK-registered Moto Guzzi Cali 3 in Holland I went to the dealer who had given me an insurance quote of approx £400. I started to fill in the paperwork and he told me the license plate number was wrong. I said it was a UK number. He tore up the form saying the bike must be locally registered.
The only insurance I could get was from my bank at a cost of £100 per month! (£1200 per year).

My options were to import the bike which would cost me around £1500 or wait until I had it at least six months and register it at a cost of £80.

As one of the other members said the best option is to give your friend the money for him to buy a bike for you in his name and insure it as before. The only difference being this time you paid for the bike. It would also give him an emergency bike to use (returning the favour).


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post #13 of 20 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 5:01 pm
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bikes in europe

Alex

Lots of info about importing vechiles and other stuff

http://www.direct.gov.uk/Motoring/Bu...583&chk=fvejyg

I know this is UK specific but a lot of the rules are the smae across the European Union and this site is in English.

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/BIKES/bikes.jsp has bikes for sale in the UK - I am sure there will be asimilar German site.

You might find shipping fairly reasonable and you have to keep in mind that the exchange rate is not very favourable for you just now.

A US bike in mainland europe should have no problems getting registered as you both drive on the wrong side of the road - just pick a bike that is available in the US and Europe.

US insurance in Europe - don't know ask your present insurer?

Graham Wintersgill
On the bonnnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond

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post #14 of 20 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 8:35 am Thread Starter
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Again, thanks. Good links and info.

Tell me about the exchange rate! Gettin' darned expensive to come and visit you all. Worth it though.

Registering a European spec bike in the states is very difficult. Everything has to be converted to DOT (Department of Transportation) specs in order in enter and be registered. Generally very expensive and a lot of hassle. Germany has their TUV specs and, as I haven't looked into it, don't know if they will accept for registration a DOT spec bike. I just sort of figured that, like the US, it would have to meet their specs which was why I was just planning on buying one there. I don't plan on sending it back to the states. Just sell when I'm done with it.

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
Champagne 2001 LT
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post #15 of 20 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 12:31 am
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The idea of shipping a US-bike to Europe and getting it registered (especially in Germany) sounds very risky to me. Even in Finland where we have no annual bike inspections or TUV-specs it still is a big time hassle and becomes expensive.

I second the idea of making a deal with your European friend and buy the bike in his name. That is by far the simplest method. Just make sure that YOU are covered by insurance when you ride "his" bike...

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #16 of 20 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 3:48 am
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Ari,

Do you mean that you can own a bike in Finland without ever having to have it inspected on a regular basis by an authorised centre ?.
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post #17 of 20 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 8:30 am Thread Starter
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Agree. I can't imagine getting a US spec bike registered over there. Sure would be nice if there was some sort of standard so that if you vehicle met specs in one country it would be OK in another. Oh well (sigh). Probably makes too much sense.

Registering and insuring in his/our name/s was the first thought and one that I had no problem with. Unfortunately, he has had a problem in the past that would make this rather more expensive than normal.

Alex H Lindsay
Melbourne, FL
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post #18 of 20 Old Dec 26th, 2006, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by simoncharles
Ari,

Do you mean that you can own a bike in Finland without ever having to have it inspected on a regular basis by an authorised centre ?.
Yup, that is the way it goes over here. Cars have a yearly inspection but bikes dont However, it does not mean that you can ride any kind of two-wheeler over here. If your bike looks or sounds weird you can ride it as long as you are caught by the police - usually a motorcycle cop - and he can demand the bike to be taken to a (car)inspection center where everything will be checked "by the book". This usually means a kiss goodbye to non-CE lights, turn signals, non-CE mufflers, extra long choppers etc.

But, compared to the poor Germans with their TUV -system, we have it pretty easy. For instance, nobody is (or will be) interested in my Dauntless hitch or my rear luggage rack whereas in Germany both would be a no-no (if the famous TUV stamp is missing... that is).
So far I have been lucky with my HID conversions. I have not been stopped by the cops and I doubt they would even recognize anything special. But looks like I will not be using my Motolights which I bougt at the CCR as with those I would clearly be looking for trouble. The darn things do not have a ECE-marking (or any marking for that matter) and they would be drawing too much attention so I will try to sell them to somebody whose bike is less on the limits of law than mine.

Best regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

Bike trip from Finland to USA:

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post #19 of 20 Old Dec 27th, 2006, 3:47 am
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Ari,

You do have it easy there.

Here in Spain its:
After first 4 years,
then every two years after that,
and then anually after 10 years.

They DON´T like modifications !

Simon
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post #20 of 20 Old Jan 5th, 2009, 6:55 pm
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Re: Buy a bike in Europe - help

Do a bike swap, see my thread.

Dean

Just booked a table for two for me and the wife. It was bound to end in tears though - she's crap at snooker.

Such an unfair world. When a man talks dirty to a woman its considered sexual harassment, but when a woman talks dirty to a man its £2.50/min
(charges may vary).

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