Importing an old Beemer

Discussion in 'Australia' started by PeterWebtrax, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Did a bit more Googlerising and you are correct. While the Europeans got a raised cap, the US market got a flush cap.


    1988~1990

    The GS is introduced, replacing the G/S. The US got only the R100GS, but an R80GS was sold in other markets. The major differences between the R80GS and R100GS are:

    the oil-cooler on the R 100 GS
    a small 'tombstone' windshield on the R 100 GS
    798cc vs. 980cc. The R100GS got 40mm carbs in non-US markets while the rest got 34mm carbs.
    The differences from the previous generation are:

    Paralever rear suspension (185mm travel) and 40mm Marzocchi fork (225mm travel), resulting in...
    More weight and a longer wheelbase, allowing...
    Larger battery tray to accomodate large or small battery (large was provided).
    Rear subframe with small rack
    Painted headlight/instrument nacelle
    40mm Brembo dual-piston front brake
    New centerstand design (pedals curved out)
    17" rear rim, cross-spoked wheels allowing tubeless tires. Heavy, though.
    6.4 gallon tank with two petcocks. US got a flush cap, EUR got a protruding cap with horizontal tube vent.
    Stainless steel exhaust with a black cover plate
    No kickstarter (but available as an add-on). I think all Swiss bikes have the kickstart.
    #21
  2. GodSilla

    GodSilla I did that.

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    See my question above Pete.
    #22
  3. Bulldust

    Bulldust Bulldust

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    Nice Bike.
    #23
  4. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Pity I wasn't in the right place at the right time.
    #24
  5. fayeslane

    fayeslane Rankest of amateurs

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    My experience tells me that you can be in right place at the right time too many times :lol3
    #25
  6. AL-58

    AL-58 BMWs make good landfill

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    I had a '91 Paralever R100GS, bought it 3 months old in Sydney, The flush fuel cap was standard fitting by then.

    Al
    #26
  7. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Next problem, I wanted to ride the bike for about 3 weeks in August, so the bike needed to be registered and insured.

    Insurance wasn't too big a problem. Went to Progressive online, did the application online, used the friend of friend's address. Had to get 12 months, but about $300, good value, could cancel later. Everything done online, except they still send out the paperwork to be signed, so by the time it was sent on to me, and back through Seattle, they were asking 'please explain' questions. Got there eventually, so all good.

    Rego was a different matter. Every state in the US has different rules, but virtually all of them require proof of residency in the state, much as ours do. Difficult if you don't have a gas bill or similar.

    The other issue is the sales tax or 'use tax' that many charge. Like our stamp duty, but can range from none to 10%. Bit much for a 3 week usage. Oregon was in the 'none' camp, but had fairly strict residency requirements.

    I have heard from other inmates that they were able to register over there by going in to a small licencing centre, and they didn't require the documentation, but I couldn't really take that risk.

    The other option was to get an 'unregistered vehicle permit', same as we use when buying a vehicle from another state. Trouble is most are only for 3 days max. But good little Oregon let you get one for 3 weeks. I was starting in Washington, which only did 3 days, but figured I could get a few repeats to cover me there.

    Typical cost about $20 for each permit.

    They didn't seem to care whether you took the direct route from A to B like our DMVs do, in fact couldn't care less. So Seattle to San Francisco via the Washington and Oregon Back Country Routes were quite feasible.

    So, after a very enjoyable trip around the stunning countryside of Canada with the wife, I picked up the bike in Seattle, and headed off for an eventful ride.

    Ride report here if you're interested: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=830651

    Next step, getting the bike out of the US.
    #27
  8. lookfar

    lookfar from the land of OZ

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    :lurk:*sip*

    I'm in!! might like to do this myself one day.......not necessarily the same make of bike though


    .
    #28
  9. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Before I left Aus I had looked at the various options for shipping the bike back home. There are quite a few companies doing it now, ranging in price from about $1000 to $2000. That doesn't include the GST you get slugged bringing the bike in.

    Also doesn't include any charges AQIS might hit you with for cleaning the bike if they deem it to be 'dirty'. I was told that their criteria is fairly arbitrary, some spotless bikes get cleaned, some real dirty ones don't, it's a lottery.

    I went with Robin at Shoreline Motorcycles in Brisbane, as he was cheap, and seemed to know what he was talking about. Most of his containers come into Brisbane, but if you are willing to wait a bit longer you can get Sydney or Melbourne.

    In terms of paperwork, there is only one absolutely essential document you need. The 'Certificate of Title' to the bike. US doesn't handle registration like we do, you have a Title deed which proves you own the bike (like our land titles) and registration is totally separate.

    But basically if US Customs can't see the original Title deed attached to the vehicle, it won't leave the US.

    As it turned out my delivery got its first major delay because 2 cars in the container did not have the correct paperwork, so the container sat on the dock until they did.

    And knowing the bike needed to be clean I spent about a day and half cleaning it before delivery to the shippers. And even though the bike is in immaculate condition for its age, you soon realise how many nooks and crannies can hold 20 year old built up grime.

    In hindsight I should also have sprayed the whole bike with WD40 or similar to provide some basic protection from the elements. My bike ended up taking 4 months to get here, and some of that time it was obviously outside.

    September 14th I delivered the bike to the shippers in San Fran, which was an eye-opener. Big warehouse filled with about 100 collectible cars of every shape, size and age, plus about 40 motor bikes. Major drool time. And apparently most of them were coming to Aus.

    The shipper said he had one of Robin's containers going to Sydney a few days after the Brisbane one, so I said yes, I'll have that one. Unfortunately that was the one with the cars with dodgy paperwork in them.

    Signed the paperwork, took some photos to show condition of the bike, and gave her a farewell kiss.

    Next step, getting the bike into Aus.
    #29
  10. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Sorry, the instructions are only relevant to old BMWs. You'll have to go elsewhere;-)
    #30
  11. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Good thread, thanks. I've got 2 1/2 bikes on the water at the moment... the KTM I rode from Sydney to Laos, a '47 Beeza that I still haven't clamped eyes on (bought it from a photo) and most of a '38 Norton... the frame of which I brought back as my checked luggage.

    You raise some interesting issues. I brought the Norton frame home, because the Thais would never have let it out of the country... but all the other parts, no problem. The reason being, no title or rego or import permit for it. It had been (literally) carried out of Burma 16 years ago and if the frame had been there, that's it... pay whatever import duties they deem appropriate - which would be significant. The Beeza, on the other hand was easy - it came into Thailand on a temporary import permit the day before the container was packed.... straight in and cleared out of Thailand. Its registration is, believe it or not, American.... and the guy I bought it off isn't American. I dunno how he got it, but I intend to ask, next time I'm over there.

    The KTM was the hardest of the lot. My shipping agent went on holidays and my temporary import permit expired. She was supposed to renew it before she went on leave. They wanted me to go back to Thailand to sort it out, then they wanted me to pay $22,000 import duty.... and so on. I wrote a nice letter to them explaining why I'd had to leave in a hurry, enclosed a scan of a big $ surgeon's bill for a family member, etc, etc... and I got a "oncer" approval for the bike to come out. I reckon they'd have played hard ball without the surgeon's bill.

    The KTM left Oz on a carnet - about $1,100 total cost for that for a year. That expired in August, but I was into countries that don't require a carnet - eg Thailand and Laos... so I let it lapse. Instead of renewing it, I got a $50 Vehicle Import Approval for a returning vehicle. If I'd been smarter, and submitted all three applications together, I believe it'd have been $50 for all three, rather than each. The only VIA hassle I had was that they require a photo of the compliance plate. Mine got half wiped out by the tusk of the elephant that attacked us.... the sticker is now two pieces, with a groove up the middle. I got lucky though... all the numbers are on the edge and still visible. I sent them a photo of the elephant standing there with his foot on the fallen bike.

    So far, so good.
    #31
  12. farqhuar

    farqhuar Lone Wolf

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    Sorry to take the thread off topic a little, but you raise an interesting point regarding the carnet Bigfella - specifically, how did you get your carnet deposit refunded without actually having the carnet fully stamped out of each country?

    I have used carnets in the past, and the RACV was quite specific about seeing all the stamps before they would issue a release against the deposit amount (100% of the value of the bike).

    I am guessing that you must have had the carnet stamped out of Malaysia when you rode across the border into Thailand and then not had the carnet stamped for entry into Thailand. When I crossed that border on my RD350 years ago (36 to be precise) carnets were most definitely required for Thailand.
    #32
  13. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    I haven't sent the carnet back yet (they have asked for it) I'll send it back when the bike clears here. They were happy to have it back along with a stamped document showing where the bike was (says he, without looking up the actual email)... but that was the gist of it. I'm hanging on to every bit of paper I've got until all the bikes are under my lock and key. The deposit is only $250 out of that $1100.
    #33
  14. brfoster

    brfoster Baile Atha Cliath

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    Hi Dave,

    I am a bit of a GS fan. Just wondering where you found that info on the web. Cheers
    #34
  15. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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    Phaaark!!! Got a copy of that pic anywhere here? If so, I must have missed it.
    Jayzus!
    #35
  16. farqhuar

    farqhuar Lone Wolf

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    Hmm, maybe we are talking about different things. By deposit, I mean the bank guarantee that you need to put up in order to obtain the carnet. This used to be between 100% and 300% of the value of the vehicle and would only be returned to you once the stamped carnet (with matching entry and exit stamps for each country) was returned to them. Sounds like the process may be different nowadays.
    #36
  17. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Better not drift too much here.... but here's the beast.... he's twice as old as the one that nearly killed the keeper at Taronga recently. This little bastard is a 4yo adolescent bull, weighs 2 tons and was trying to kill me. He threw me - and the bike three metres... from over near that pile of feed.

    Photo is buried in here somewhere in my ride report

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=740906&highlight=Cape+York


    [​IMG]

    Looks benign enough eh? Don't believe it. An elephant expert there couldn't believe I got out alive.... it did cost me a busted camera though (I had two with me).
    #37
  18. The Bigfella

    The Bigfella Big Adventurer

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    Nah... done as an insurance policy. They come chasing me if a country declares default on the carnet. I'm stamped out of all countries I entered though, so no hassle. They'll have it back within three weeks (I hope).


    .... sorry Peter.... I'm waiting for the next instalment too....
    #38
  19. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Keen to know what problems, if any, when you try for registration.
    #39
  20. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    All in good time, grasshopper...

    Suffice to say, as of last Thursday, I am the legitimate owner of a very nice R100GS in the ACT.

    Cheers
    Peter
    #40