Crazy or possible? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2008, 1:41 pm Thread Starter
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Crazy or possible?

Hi all,

A friend of a friend needs advice from the US touring community. Here's the story:

A biker from Russia - fairly young but experienced in domestic long-haul - wants to come to the US and make a coast to coast ride. His plan is to arrive in Los Angeles, buy a motorcycle for $2000 - 3000, ride to New York or D.C., and then sell the bike and fly home from the East Coast. Sounds easy, eh? The guy speaks just 20 words in English, but has a GPS...

Questions:

- Let's suppose he manages to buy a bike (which in itself seems kinda problematic), how does he register it without having a US address?

- Is it normal for a seller to leave tags on the bike? Normally one would go to the DMW and obtain temp tags, but the guy does not have an address...

- Will it be OK to ride with just a title on hands?

- How does he buy a temp insurance (well, liability only, i would guess)?

Any LEOs here who could please answer that?

Anyone had an experience with foreign friends coming in the US for a ride?

Your advise and insights will be very helpful...

At this point i feel like discouraging him from going alone, but look for an organized cross-country tour instead. Same bucks, probably. Less fun, though...

I am also posting this on the MTF.

Andre
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post #2 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2008, 5:37 pm
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeERideWNC
-

- How does he buy a temp insurance (well, liability only, i would guess)?

Why? Mexicans don't. Some states don't require MC insurance, FL as an example.


Let me add I personally know people near me who never register their bikes.
No tag, No insurance, No inspection and they never get caught.
just curious - what race are the people you personally know who don't register their bikes?

Ted

Camarillo, CA
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post #3 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2008, 6:18 pm
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Re: Crazy or possible?

I suppose he could pull it off by using a friends address or perhaps the address of the hotel he is staying in but it seems to be more trouble than it is worth. Even when your a local with all the right papers it's not unusual to run into registration problems. With the language barrior he could end up stranded at the DMV or insurance agent. If all goes well he still has to deal with disposing of the bike at the end of the ride, that of course is assuming his inexpensive purchase survives the trip. Has he looked into rental agencies that deal with foreign visitors? Oh, and as to the tags, in Calif the tags/plate remain on the bike, the transfer is just paperwork but he will get hung up without proof of insurance at time of registration.
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post #4 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2008, 9:59 pm
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Re: Crazy or possible?

What kind of a bike is he looking at using to tour the US? I might be able to do him a huge favor, if he would do the same for me in a few years. Especially being from Russia, that is where I want to go in 2 years to do some riding.

Neil '00 K1200LT '08 KLR
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post #5 of 12 Old Mar 28th, 2008, 10:05 pm
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Best bet would be to rent a bike and get the insurance with it. Shouldn't be a problem.

Don't know if there are any national companies that would let you rent for a one way across the country though.

Perhaps.

Good Luck.

John

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post #6 of 12 Old Mar 29th, 2008, 1:05 am
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironbuttwannabe
What kind of a bike is he looking at using to tour the US? I might be able to do him a huge favor, if he would do the same for me in a few years. Especially being from Russia, that is where I want to go in 2 years to do some riding.
That sounds like a great idea, except that crossing Russia coast-to-coast is just a bit different than crossing the US.

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post #7 of 12 Old Mar 29th, 2008, 11:11 am
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeERideWNC
Maybe it is different in CA, but I doubt it.
No, you're right - we have racists here, too.

Ted

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post #8 of 12 Old Mar 29th, 2008, 1:24 pm
 
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Re: Crazy or possible?

He would probably run in to more trouble trying to register it than he would if he rode with no tag.
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post #9 of 12 Old Mar 29th, 2008, 8:25 pm
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Re: Crazy or possible?

I agree...might be easier to ask for forgiveness instead of permission. Also, doesnt he have light 20 - 30 days to register it after he purchases the bike? With a bill of sale in hand he should be good to go. Figure out the insurance play and clutch out!

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post #10 of 12 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPE3B
Hi all,

A friend of a friend needs advice from the US touring community. Here's the story:

A biker from Russia - fairly young but experienced in domestic long-haul - wants to come to the US and make a coast to coast ride. His plan is to arrive in Los Angeles, buy a motorcycle for $2000 - 3000, ride to New York or D.C., and then sell the bike and fly home from the East Coast. Sounds easy, eh? The guy speaks just 20 words in English, but has a GPS...

Questions:

- Let's suppose he manages to buy a bike (which in itself seems kinda problematic), how does he register it without having a US address?

- Is it normal for a seller to leave tags on the bike? Normally one would go to the DMW and obtain temp tags, but the guy does not have an address...

- Will it be OK to ride with just a title on hands?

- How does he buy a temp insurance (well, liability only, i would guess)?

Any LEOs here who could please answer that?

Anyone had an experience with foreign friends coming in the US for a ride?

Your advise and insights will be very helpful...

At this point i feel like discouraging him from going alone, but look for an organized cross-country tour instead. Same bucks, probably. Less fun, though...

I am also posting this on the MTF.

Andre
Not sure about California, but here if you buy from a dealer you get at least a 30 day temp plate. You would just need insurance. Another thing to note is that at least here you have 30 days to transition insurance from one vehicle - so if he currently has a bike his existing insurance might cover him for some period of time (no idea how Russian insurance works though...)

Getting rid of it quickly might be an issue, unless you were willing to take a loss on the purchase.

Buying a $4000 dollar bike and just throwing it away at the end is probably cheaper than renting a bike with insurance from the prices I have seen. Last time I looked it was close to $150 a day with very limited per day mileage.

I've been thinking of doing something similar but going from the US to Germany. Fortunately I have a friend who will assist with language issues as well as let me use his address for all the legalities.

Sounds like a great adventure to me - I say do it!
Tim

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post #11 of 12 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 8:45 am Thread Starter
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Dear all,
Thank you for responding to this thread.

Someone on the MTF forum suggested renting from eaglerider in LA and dropping the bike at their office in DC - could be the best option if they really do that. Just wonder what the free mileage is with a 3-week rent.
I just checked eaglerider for a local one week rent here in DC area (for a totally different occasion), and it was 300 miles and 0.31$ per mile after that. Won't take you far... But these were Harleys, of course...

Another option, of course, is some sort of a bike swap with folks interested in checking the Russian bikers' hospitality and pot-holed roads (or no roads).

Will continue looking.

Andre
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post #12 of 12 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 10:38 am
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Re: Crazy or possible?

Andre -

Perhaps this was already suggested on the other forum, but why not have a friend "pre-purchase" the bike for the rider. That way, when the rider arrives, he can re-purchase the bike from his friend. This will save lots of time for the rider, plus his friend could help him with DMV issues.

If he is only planning to spend $2,000 - $3,000 on a bike, then either give it to the 1st lucky person he sees upon arrival, donate it to a charity, or just leave the keys in it on the side of the road or at the airport.

Ted

Camarillo, CA
2012 Ducati Multistrada 1200S - Red
2007 R1200S - Black - Sold
2003 K1200LTC - Silver - Sold
IBA# 16554

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