Registering a K1200LT in France - The high's and Lows!
I eventually registered my K1200LT in France in March 2010, It was to say the least a painful process, however, as always in France, persistance always prevails!
I started the process in 2007, but actually not very seriously, however I did complete a very important step. Obtaining a French Certificate of Conformity from BMW UK, that was was easy and completely painless. I just phoned them, they asked me to fax a copy of my UK Registration Document (V5) and a few days later a French CoC arrived in the Post.
Easy I thought! So the next thing I did was to take the CoC and the original Purchace receipt to the local Hotel des Impot in Gourdon (Lot 46) and a Certificate D'Aquisition was issued
Double easy! whats all the trouble I keep hearing people talk about! So a few months later (At that time my home in France was a holiday home so I was only down every few weeks/months) a visit was made to the Prefecture in Cahors....All stop...I did expect it though, The CoC stated quite clearly that the K1200LT that I had developed 85KW and I knew and the limit in France is around 72KW for my bike, The lady very politly told me I had to get the power reduced, all of my documents were in order but I had to have the power reduced and the fact that it had been reduced attested by a BMW Dealer.
Never mind, I'll do it soon I thought and then over the course of the next few months (actually nearly 2 and half years!) I progressively went from each French BMW dealer in SW France and eventually (my experience only) I discovered that they did not have a clue how to de-power a K1200LT, infact most of the time they would simply look at the bike and say why do you want to do it!
If I'm honest they were all totally useless (so much so that I still get my French registered bike serviced in the UK as I simply do not trust them to do the job). Eventually I wrote to BMW UK and asked for a contact in BMW France (which they gave me very quickly). BMW France just said take it to a dealer they will de-power the bike for you...but I've been doing that and they don't know what to do I protested...What do you mean they don't know what to do you have a BMW and they are BMW dealers, take it to xx in Toulouse or xx in Albi or xx in Agen but I have taken it to all of them I said and they don't know what to do! The last statement from BMW France was simply the work must be done by a BMW dealer you have to go back to a dealer. They also said I would need to complete a 'formulaire homologation motoFG' and send this with the attestation from the dealer that depowers the bike back to BMW France.
Interestingly my bike needed a service and so I duly booked it into Cooper BMW in Tunbridge Wells (probably the best BMW in the country as far as I am concerned) and I mentioned the problems I was having...A guy in the service reception (Mathew) said, I'll help if I can...and he did. Mathew established with the help of the techictians what needed to be done with the help of BMW Germany
So...I wrote to BMW France and asked them if I could get the work required and attested by a BMW UK Dealer. BMW France responded very quickly actually, they confirmed the work could be done by any BMW dealer as long as it was a main dealer UK or France, it did not matter!
I knew I had to change the headlamp and despite many searches on ebay a new one eventually had to be ordered (one appeared on ebay the week after...sods law!) and was fitted and adjusted by me.
The bike was booked in for a relay to be fitted (actually it needed to be removed but they didn't know that til it was stripped down), I thought 'this is going to be expensive' as the relay was under the petrol tank, that is not an easy place to get to on an LT, however luck was on my side. On a trip back from France on the bike before the service apointment, it started to rain very hard just north of Rouen, normally I would be totally hacked off by this but fate was to prove otherwise in this instance.
K1200LT are fitted with a Radio CD Player which is notoriously affected by heavy rain, sure enough when I arrived at the ferry terminal, the radio had stopped...it was covered under my BMW UK Extended warranty and to replace it requires the removal of all the items also needed to replace the de-power relay....RESULT!
Cooper BMW removed the relay which de-powered the bike and then completed a Motronic update and readout (to confirm the change in power)
I pre-wrote a letter (in English) that confirmed the power had been reduced, the headlamp dipped to the right and the Speedometer read in MPH and KPH and gave it to Mathew on a Memory stick and asked him to print it on Cooper BMW Headed Paper and then get the service manager to sign it. This they did without question.
The cost of the above....the depower £30.00 and a nice bottle of Cahors wine for Mathew
The next stage was to send the Attestation documents with the completed 'formulaire homologation motoFG' to BMW France, with my cheque for Ä20 (which they never cashed!)
Two weeks later my revised CoC arrived with a completed BMW France Attestation and armed with this I made my way back to Cahors Prefecture and registered the bike
BMW France - Bruno Geniller 0033 388 41 79 20 0033 388 41 79 79 email: [email protected]
Cooper BMW UK - Just call there service department and ask for Mathew
GlaxoSmithKline UK - Panadol (you will need these to relieve the stress headaches!)
I also have templates for the letter (attestation etc), formulaire homologation motoFG and all the forms I completed, if anyone wants them, just send me a private e-mail