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Old 09-14-2014, 09:12 PM   #1
DynastySS OP
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How do modifications play out in Europe?

I have a dream and I am in the throes of planning a trip through Europe. In this dream I am going to bring my personal bike from the states. Obviously we are a bit more lenient with mods here (full exhaust, fender eliminator, integrated turn signals, etc).

So my question is, if I keep the US plates and have all my paperwork, how much trouble am I likely to get in during my little foray? Or have some of you experienced any issues while traveling around?

Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2014, 02:30 AM   #2
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Realistically certain things you have done, like the integrated turn signals and stuff, would probably get a pass from most road authorities as long as you have the foreign plate. Exhaust can be touchy, and for example up here in Finland the police do occasionally have a stop set up where they will get you to blow for an alcohol test...and if they hear your bike is too loud will measure its noise at idle. In that case it might net you a ticket but there's still no shortage of free-flow pipes around.

The main thing is that the Germans, for example have an organization called TUV. If it's not approved by TUV it's not legal. So if for some reason the cop decides to look, you could run into issues.

But that said, I don't know anyone who's had their mods cause them problems while driving around in Europe. And as long as you don't try to import the thing (re-register it) I would say you're probably okay on this.
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:30 AM   #3
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What Mike said. I'd add that if your lights work and can be clearly seen i.e. not obscured, if your horn can be heard and if your exhaust volume is not excessive, you should be fine on foreign plates.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:30 AM   #4
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And there's always the possibility of (gasp!) refitting the stock can for the trip.

But, as the others have said, if you're obviously in Tourist Mode and the exhaust isn't loud, you probably won't have a problem.

Worst case, you may find yourself buying an approved can before you can continue your ride.

Yer pays yer nickle (or Euro) and yer takes yer chance.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
DynastySS OP
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Thanks, boys!
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:21 PM   #6
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As long as your bike passes local laws (where it is registered to) there should not be any problems. Unless some of the mods would be considered as a safety hazard but then it wouldn't probably pass your local regulations either.

Things would be different if you wanted to move here permanently, bring the bike with you and register it locally. Then it would have to comply with local regulations (after registration, re-do mods like everyone else does).

Still, things vary a lot from one EU country to another.
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Old 09-16-2014, 04:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinlandThumper View Post
The main thing is that the Germans, for example have an organization called TUV. If it's not approved by TUV it's not legal. So if for some reason the cop decides to look, you could run into issues.
The german TÜV (note the umlaut ) is responsible for all vehicles with german license plates... So you don't have issues with them or the police when you have a non-german license plate.

That being said, you CAN run into trouble with the police if your vehicle is deemed unsafe (lights/brakes failing, worn tires) or if it is too loud.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by KLF View Post
As long as your bike passes local laws (where it is registered to) there should not be any problems. Unless some of the mods would be considered as a safety hazard but then it wouldn't probably pass your local regulations either.

Things would be different if you wanted to move here permanently, bring the bike with you and register it locally. Then it would have to comply with local regulations (after registration, re-do mods like everyone else does).

Still, things vary a lot from one EU country to another.
That makes sense to me! Gracias.

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The german TÜV (note the umlaut ) is responsible for all vehicles with german license plates... So you don't have issues with them or the police when you have a non-german license plate.

That being said, you CAN run into trouble with the police if your vehicle is deemed unsafe (lights/brakes failing, worn tires) or if it is too loud.
That is encouraging to me. What does trouble with the police entail? Fines? Impounding?
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:19 AM   #9
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Fines? Impounding?
Both.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:19 AM   #10
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Both.
They straight up impound your bike for an exhaust?!
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #11
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Totally dependent where you are. I can't think of any crime that would result in impounding a vehicle here.

Worst that happens here you get a ticket and lose plates, to get them back you need to have bike inspected (we don't have yearly inspections on bikes like cars do) and that's probably where all the other mods are found out (basically, lose time and money).

I don't know what they would do for a foreign bike here, probably give a ticket and kick you on the road again.

Somehow I do have a memory that they could take your plates and send them to the border station where you would pick them up when you leave the country. I can't find anything to verify that right now though.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:17 AM   #12
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They straight up impound your bike for an exhaust?!
At most safeguarding, not impounding.
If you fiddled with the pipe to make it even more noisy, the police will prohibit you to ride unless it is repaired. On the spot, not perhaps sometime in the future.
If neccessary, they will call the towing truck for you. Then, suddenly, the rider finds the lost restricter in his pocket.
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:31 AM   #13
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I'm with the "you should be fine" camp.

There are tonnes of motorcyclists over here, and tonnes of aftermarket pipes. Like the others have said, with a foreign plate you should have nothing to worry about as long as everything is reasonable ie roadworthy. The local laws such as TUV only apply to vehicles registered in their own respective country.

I find the Police are quite tolerant with bikers over here, and there is quite a large biking culture.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:00 AM   #14
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They straight up impound your bike for an exhaust?!
I doubt that. There are H-Ds rolling around France that can make a small earthquake with noise. If your bike is 'reasonable', no prob.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:35 AM   #15
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Last year I did 9,800 miles this year about 9,000 been to 21 countrys in Europe, one police check and they wanted to see my safari tanks on my KTM 990 ADV. on a Florida plate. (banch of aftermarket parts) nobody ever said anything.
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