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Old 05-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Portugal
Oddometer: 49
Shipping bike by boat to Australia

Hello all,

In a few days I'm moving to Australia and I would like to have my Africa Twin with me. It seems to me the perfect country for her. I will stay a long time and despite not being able to handle it before leaving, since I'm not sure if I can afford it, I would like to leave everything prepared. The problem is that the bike was not marketed by Honda Austalia and I still do not know how much it costs to import her, have to talk to Canberra.

Also one day I would like to be able to return overland all the way back to Portugal, as this guy:

Now I'm trying to obtain information from a Freight Forwarder / Customs Broker about sending the Africa Twin through shipping to Sydney.

And after a few laps I got a contact of a guy that can help me. However he asked me to send him some data for him to calculate prices, since the bike would have to be dismantled and shipped in a box, because by shipping it must go through a number of different ports / transhipment.

The most important thing is not the weight but the volume. Now does anyone here who has gone through a similar situation can help me to calculate these values​​.

- Weight of Mota (206 kg)
- Size of bike w / front tire, glass top case disassembled (??)
- Volume of the box where the bike is sent (??)

Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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Checkout Get Routed who might have a backload happening from Europe.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:14 AM   #3
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I´ve taken my bike from home to Oz four years ago... but that was a TEMPORARY import.

From your post I read you´d want to make a PERMANENT import, am I right? This will include all taxes & duties to be paid, and I believe could become very expensive (and naturally it will be on top of all freight expenses).

I do not know, how long you would be allowed to have the bike in Oz temporarily, what I do know is that you will need a carnet to do that. But the government´s webpages surely must have the answers.

Do note, that no matter what type of import you want to do, all vehicles entering Oz must be EXTREMELY clean, and not just the outside, for they will have to pass the AQIS quarantine inspection.

There was just recently an older bus from Finland (yes, you´ve read correctly, and it had been driven overland more or less all the way!) that they tried to get temporarily into Oz, but in the end got stuck with the quarantine inspection, and ultimately the vehicle had to be freighted elsewhere, a huge disappointment for those travellers I´m sure. A bike will be easier to clean, but still a lot of work!
Also note, that the quarantine requirements also apply to everything else you´re bringing in, such as riding gear (and leave every single food item out of your packages!!)

I did Finland to Oz on a DL650 with my GF as a pillion 4 years ago, we spent 6 months, probably too short but was still a fabulous trip, one of the best I´ve ever done – if you want to check out our "blog" (well, still not complete, as I was writing to a magazine at the time of the trip, so the "blog" suffered, sadly it´s still missing the last part, but I am going to finish it, that´s a promise!) the reports can be found here:

And I´ve also done other trips in Europe and different parts of Asia (especially the Southeastern part of it) so although my info is maybe getting partly outdated, I´ll be glad to help you out any way I can!

ps. If your looking for a freight agent, I think I got a pretty good deal from Tradelanes in Melbourne, when I shipped my bike back home from Sydney to Helsinki by sea (it cost me about 500 euros at the sending end, and 170-180 euros in Helsinki). I don´t know if they could help you out, when sending the other way, but they seemed to know their stuff, and probably won´t hurt to ask.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: W. Canada
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Originally Posted by JoaoPCF View Post
Hello all,

In a few days I'm moving to Australia and I would like to have my Africa Twin with me. .
If you are immigrating into Oz permanently, check the gov't website for the rules. They are often a lot different and a lot more flexible than the rules for short stays are.

For the physical shipment of the bike, I'd call the closest Savino Del Bene and/or SDV Logistics office and request quotes. These are the largest freight forwarders in Europe and they will have no problem setting you up in one of their consolidated container shipments from Lisbon. Savino puts a huge amount of freight through Lisbon
I'd also ask both of these companies for airfreight quotes (I'm guessing the rate might surprise you).
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JoaoPCF View Post
However he asked me to send him some data for him to calculate prices, since the bike would have to be dismantled and shipped in a box, because by shipping it must go through a number of different ports / transhipment.
This is what you DO NOT want to do.
You want to find someone that will have a 'consolidated container' that once loaded will be sealed and travel to Sydney.
The container will be trans-loaded a couple of times onto different ships - but you do not want your bike transloaded.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Portugal
Oddometer: 49

I see, thanks for all your help.

I'll talk to this companies you said JDK too, it's never bad to have different prices. I already have the general flight prices, way over the top, that's why I'm considering boat transportation.

I'll also have to send an e-mail to the Australian Government; I can't do anything until I have the prices for importation. But I'm staying only for 3 years, so it won't be permanent.

Also this weekend I'm dismantling the whole bike to clean it (!!) and measure it without the parts I mentioned.

Another thing that is eating my brains is the fact that this bike wasn't sold in Australia, so how will I get spare parts if I need them? I know that the Africa Twin has a fame for being indestructible, but you never know

Thanks for your help again guys. I'll keep you updated.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:03 AM   #7
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This isn't directly comparable since I temporarely imported my bike to Australia and re-exported it a year later.

We shipped 4 bikes in a 20' container from Oslo to Melbourne.
Export clearance and shipping came to NOK 20.000,00 (may have 40k, can't recall exactly ) for the container and took 6 weeks.

It took another 2 weeks getting the container released from the harbour, hauled to a warehouse, getting quarantine "inspected" stickers on the bikes, temporary import clearance (had to get BMW Townsville (since I had an acquaintance there) write a fax stating the value of all 4 bikes) and then finally getting the bikes. That whole ordeal was another 20k (or 40k.... it was the same amount as the shipping)

When shipping them back to Norway we asked Soutbank BMW in Melbourne for 3 crates (that new bikes come in) and they gave us them for free. They even offered to let us pack the bikes in their parking garage as well and was very helpful when the crates were picked up (after we had left). Had to remove the front wheel and mudguard as well as mirrors. Tied the bikes down to the floor of the box and stuffed most of our luggage around the bikes. The return freight came out just shy of the container freight per bike, but it was much easier handling the crates and no waiting when the bikes arrive back home.

Next time (hoping) I'll easily crate mine both ways.

Warning, I would not ship in conatiner if they didn't let you tie the bike down and untie it yurself. I've seen numerous ride reports on ADV rider where the so-called experts do it and it looks like a mess when the container is opened at the other end.

You may want to look into ATA Carnet to make life easier, but they are only valid for 12 months. Either way - hope you have a nice trip - I know I had a blast !




'01 F650 Dakar - modified as best I can

2005: Australia - 8 months/ 26.000 km (anti clockwise circle)
2009: Norway - 2 weeks/ 6000 km (Lindesnes to North cape)


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Old 06-29-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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You might like to also contact the guys (Ivan Smoljko) at www. as they are motorcyclists themselves and having dealt with them by email and getting pricing they are competitive, plus the know what needs to be done. If you contact them, then let them know that the kiwi with the XT1200Z at Brisbane motorcycles for export to China recommended you to them. All the other information and requirements are listed on the Australian government webpages which I have viewed before, but you can find yourself using a web search engine.
Kiwi ADVenturer inmate Dr, Paramedic, NP, (ex)firefighter exploring life via the ADVenturous 2 wheeled route. It's not the destination but the journey & choices made therein; that determines the measure of ones legacy. Don't sweat the small stuff, life happens while we're not looking. Hug those around you who have a place & meaning in your life, for it may not come again.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:55 PM   #9
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Try posting in the Australian forum, there are a few blokes there with AT's who could help with spares availability as well as import procedures.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:21 AM   #10
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Portugal
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thanks to all for your help. for now i got the at on stand by as i just bought a klr. but later i'll definitely try again. i'll keep you posted.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
Joined: Jun 2011
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I was reading this thread with excitement until I saw the last post

I have an AT in Europe that i'm looking at bringing home back to Australia as well... was hoping for an easy answer! ahh well
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