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Old 02-22-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
clear856 OP
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey USA
Oddometer: 2
Europe Paperwork Questions

I have a few questions regarding the paperwork required to tour Europe on a motorcycle.

Purchasing/Transporting Motorcycle:
I am currently looking into the proper motorcycle for my trip across Europe. Currently I am considering purchasing a Kawi KLR here in the states, modifying it and shipping it to the UK or purchasing a bike in the UK thats ready to go. I am looking at the UK motorcycle classifieds on for BMW GS series motorcycles (650-1150). I am looking to spend no more then $5000 on the bike.
I read up on the procedure for shipping a motorcycle over there, but I am not familiar with buying one over there. I have some friends who would be buying it on my behalf before I get there.
How would the insurance and registration process work?
Are there any issues that need to be addressed when it comes to moving around Europe with a bike purchased in the UK?
Can you guys recommend any other online classifieds for motorcycles in the UK?
I am still trying to weigh the cost/benefits of either approach. Any comments or experiences would be welcome.

My trip includes Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. I have read that Syria and Jordan would require carnets. How would I go about getting a carnet in Europe? If I ship the bike from the US can I purchase a carnet from a European source? What would happen if I did not purchase a carnet?
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:48 AM   #2
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: The Mitten
Oddometer: 64

I too am planning a trip around EU and maybe north Africa. I think if you are planning on staying for more than 2 weeks, it's more cost effective to ship your bike. no? my journey should take approx 2 months. I'm still looking into getting a Green card and Carnet for myself. I think some shipping companies will line that stuff up for you. or at least point you in the right direction. I wish there was a nice comprehensive list of all paperwork (where to get it) that you'd need for such a trip. I'm reading alot of posts and following links but its very confusing.
maybe I'm just dumb.
Some things that I need addressed off the top of my head:
Insurance - do i buy it here thru my insurance co. or from someone in EU?
green card (is that the same thing?)
Carnet - where the hell do you get one?
Visa - ditto
shots - i assume not for EU but Africa for sure.

my problem is I don't know what I don't know. ya know? so, I'm not sure what questions to ask... If anyone can clue me in to some of this stuff, Id be forever grateful.
- zanx!
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:54 PM   #3
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: SoOrange NJ USA
Oddometer: 399
Without answering all the specific questions, you'll find most answers more quickly here:
and the many other geo & topical sub-forums on this 'HUBB'

for US-registered vehicles, from
for UK-registered vehicles, from

Euro Green card insurance for US-registered vehicles:
for UK registered, depends on the rules of the domestic UK bike insurance company.

Visa questions:

Another good website for both UK/ regional & GS-specific (sale) queries:

For UK vehicle registration
There are no (other) barriers to riding a UK-registered bike anywhere in Europe, as long as it's properly registered and insured. But you need to be clear with your UK 'friends' in whose name the bike would be registered and insured.

As a very general rule, for a long-term (~months) ride, buying in US & air/seafreighting to Europe is more 'cost-effective' than buying in UK/ Europe, but there are significant 'hassle' tradeoffs either way, and it will also depend on what you expect/ plan to do with the bike at the end of your ride--i.e. return it back to US, keep indefinately in UK/ Europe, or re-sell in UK/ Europe.

"Google is your friend...."

CourtFisher screwed with this post 02-23-2010 at 08:40 PM
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:37 AM   #4
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: The Mitten
Oddometer: 64

Thanks 1,000,000
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