Originally Posted by rdwalker
I'd say that the 3-week period is barely on the borderline of being worthwhile to ship.
You will need to pay for shipping and arrange a lot of paperwork prior to trip. May need Carnet de Passage for customs - the shipping company will let you know. You will need insurance effective in EU prior to pickup there (some recommend buying through ADAC, the German Automobile Club).
The general recommendations are for airfreight (check with Lufthansa), since ocean-freight can take an undeterminate amount of time and the bike may be damaged in transit.
You'll need to prep the machine - most carriers require draining of fuel. You will need a few days leeway to pickup and get organized on other side - possibly same on return dropoff.
In comparison, I have been paying in last few years weekly rental rates from 600-1000 Euro, depending on included mileage and insurance, for R1200RT's and K1200GT's. Typically, the included mileage is 1500km, then 0.30-60 Euro per km.
Don't know off-hand about 'LT costs - these bikes are not very common in Europe for rentals. I only remember seeing LTs listed by Bosenberg for some rental stations in Switzerland.
Some of the best places to check out rental facts and costs are AdMoTours.com and Bosenberg.com - these outfits are specifically geared for American riders. I strongly recommend them, especially if you do not speak local language at rental location.
And finally, bike swap suggested by our UK colleague sounds great, too... I should look into that myself for future trips - never thought of such possibility.
Enjoy pondering your choices! Robert.
Hi guys, just some comments and facts from experience:
* Bike shipping by air freight Frankfurt - Calgary + Toronto - Frankfurt 2500 USD including a 100 USD group discount from http://www.motorcycleservices.com/
in August 2006.
* Air freighting the bike makes only sense from / to Canada. US border formalities / terrorist fobia take time and money and is big time hassle.
* Drop off the bike to air feight is 48 hours prior to bike flight. This is really not such a big deal as one might at first think. Rider can take a separate flight to destination and wait for the bike and get over the jetlag.
* Paperwork (through Motorcycle Services) is not overwhelming. They do it all the time and have routine for it.
* Bike preparation is no big deal either. Max 1 gallon of gas in the tank. Antenna off. Nothing tied on the bike. All the cases can be loaded and locked, tank bag in place.
* separate insurance is needed, I purchased my US / Canadian insurance through Motorcycle Services, perhaps they could arrange the European insurance as well, I don't know.
I am not suggesting that shipping own bike is the only way to go. It depends how much actual riding one is going to do and what kind of bike one is happy with.
I never even considered a rental option (imagine me riding a rent-a-Harley to CCR...
) so I don't know how much that costs in US / Canada. But I'm pretty sure that the 3000 USD that I spent for shipping and insurance I would have not been saving anything by riding a rental bike for 9000 km. Especially with your European price examples...
Bike swapping would be one good alternative, though.