Long term bike rental in Europe

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by flrider, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. flrider

    flrider n00b

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    Long time lurker here on ADV.
    I'm planning a 2 -3 month trip in Europe in the spring/summer of 2014.
    Hoping to get in the UK, Scotland, the Alps and ride all the way to the Black Sea.
    Any leads on rental companies that do long term rentals at reasonable rates? So far I'm getting quotes of $130/day which seems a little high for 2 months. Travel restrictions are also an issue.
    Buying is an option but, insurance seems impossible to get unless your a resident.
    #1
  2. syaufu

    syaufu Been here awhile

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    ship yours if over 1 month..easy and cheap if by boat.it is cheaper to ship if you have to rent for over 1 month..by boat takes about 2-3 weeks and costa about $6-800 ..by plane about $3-4000 round trip and takes 1 day each way..customs seems easier when done by airplane as you just go to the airport and do some paperwork and pick your bike up ..via ship almost have to hire a guy at the port in Europe to get it done..still not difficult..at the port in the US you can do it yourself but it cost a couple of 100 in fees to get it out ..either way not difficult just takes a little time to get it setup..Houston to London cost me about $1000 with all the fees etc..about the same on the return..Always nice to have your own bike also..bj
    #2
  3. flrider

    flrider n00b

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    I agree, having my own bike would be great but, the horror stories about bikes being delayed for weeks and exorbitant customs fee's scare the hell out of me.

    I'll do some more research on shipping even though this was something I was hoping to avoid, hence the question on my original post but, given the options of paying over $6000 for rental, shipping is starting to look way better.

    Any recommendations on punctual shippers or, is there such a thing :)
    My original question still stands about cheaper rental.

    I did get a response from a BMW dealer in London who was willing to sell me a bike and buy it back when I was done, for a lot less than I paid, I'll admit but, the privilege of purchasing in the UK seems to be one that is only given to the Queens loyal loyal subjects, ie, you have to be a resident, or, at least seem like one.
    #3
  4. jdn

    jdn Adventurer

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    There is a forum member from Ireland that offers travel services for what you want to do. He has his thread here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=868979. Basically he offers to buy a bike of your choice, store ist until you arrive and buy it back if you leave. I assume there are certain conditions that need to apply but you should check that yourself... Maybe it's an option for you. Seems to be a lot cheaper than bringing your own bike or rent one.
    #4
  5. flrider

    flrider n00b

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    Thank you. I sent him an email and got a very enlightning response.
    He is recommending a Honda Transalp.
    Here is his response to my email.

    Maybe it's time to start looking to buy.
    #5
  6. jdn

    jdn Adventurer

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    Glad to hear it! Hope that helps realize your plan... :clap
    #6
  7. IanJ

    IanJ Criminal Mastermind

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    I'm just about to head out to pick up my bike from Martin in Ireland -- so far, everything's gone well. I did the math, and found that by far the cheapest option was to buy a bike there. Even if I drop my 2002 SV650 (just over US$2500 on DoneDeal) in a ditch on the way to the airport (which I won't), I'll still be thousands of dollars ahead of renting for the 6 weeks I'll be there. syaufu, I dunno where you did your shipping from, but the absolute cheapest option I found (for which I believed the price) was about US$1500 each way via Canada Air, if I trucked it from Seattle to Vancouver myself. Shipping from the west coast of the US simply didn't seem to be a viable option.

    Martin is working up an actual business there in Cork doing this, and I think he's going to be pretty successful at it. It's a great idea, and as more people do it and tell us about it, I figure it'll take off for him.

    I don't expect to have a lot of internet access while I'm there, but Ill certainly make the occasional update.
    #7
  8. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    Just a note to be careful posting personal messages on a public thread; it's not allowed within the rules. I don't suspect that Martin will mind in this case but you can't have one rule for one and another for the rest. If you message inmates privately, that's where the communication stays; private.
    #8
  9. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    By your tag "flrider", I assume that you're in Florida - so this might work for you:

    Stefan Knopf ships containers of bikes back & forth between Heidelberg, Germany and Orlando. The schedule is basically from Orlando to Germany IMMEDIATELY after Bike Week and the other direction (I believe) in the December time frame with the bikes hitting Orlando February-ish.

    Stefan is relatively inexpensive and handles everything for one fee. You drop your bike off at the shippers, and the next time you see it, it's ready to ride at Stefan's place.

    The down side is that your bike will not be available in the US for almost a year, but you have about a 7 month window in Europe available to ride it.

    I had a bike stored at Stefan's for 4 years and just sold it when I finished a 3 week ride 2 days ago (didn't want to ship it back).
    #9
  10. flrider

    flrider n00b

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    Thank you Michael, I was unaware of this service.
    I have decided to go with the wheatwhacker plan. It seems, after much research, that what he is offering is the perfect solution. Even taking a 50% depreciation hit on a US$4k bike, it's foolish to even consider shipping my own bike, plus, I get to ride one of those Euro bikes not available here in the US.
    I'm searching for a Honda Africa Twin at the moment :)
    #10
  11. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    Transalps are nice, too :D
    #11
  12. Mao

    Mao n00b

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    I am literally sitting in a hostel in Dublin tonight after having done a twenty day tour around Ireland on a bike I bought through Martin and I can say I am perfectly happy with his services and can't recommend him enough.

    My vacation was a bit short notice but when I arrived the bike was there ready to go, having been serviced by a mechanic at a cheaper rate than I normally pay in the US. It performed flawlessly for my vacation and I just dropped it back of at his place this morning.

    He has a large metal barn with plenty of space for keeping bikes safe from the elements and he has taken pains to put pretty solid locks and bars on everything to keep it safe. I crashed on his couch for one night but he's constantly working on upgrading his place, adding storage for people to keep luggage safe while they tour and I think he is in the process of looking to add a small trailer for people to stay in while they are local.

    While I was there he had a few other people come through picking up bikes and all their experiences seemed to go well. I was happy enough with his services I would definitely use him again.

    [​IMG]

    And, after all those words a picture of the bike in mention.

    And a picture of the bike at the Healy Pass. Btw Ireland is beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    My only complaint is I spent all my time riding and seeing and didn't schedule enough time to drink and chase women around Dublin and Galway. Always next year :)
    #12
  13. Chinchillin'

    Chinchillin' n00b

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    Greetz,

    I'm currently on the road myslef, at Metz, but was in Chamonix the other day (hated leaving!) and met a fellow biker on a sweet Aprillia that he'd rented from an outfit in Monthey. He was enthusiastic both for them and their Apprillia 850GT

    Might be worth considering.

    Their contact details:
    Motorbikes Center
    Z. I Boeufferant
    1870 Monthey
    CH
    Tél. 024/472.82.26
    #13
  14. flrider

    flrider n00b

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    Thank you ever so much Chinchillin but, the idea of owning my own bike in Europe seem like a lot better option then renting.
    I have been looking at bikes on the Irish classifieds and as Martin said, I can be up and running for under $4K with a fully loaded bike.
    If I use this bike for 2-3 weeks a year for 3 years, the bike has more than paid for itself and I should still have a decent residual value if I decide to sell.
    I have a good friend in New York who also want's to ride over there so, we have decided to split the purchase cost and Martin said he can title the bike in both our names, thus making it even more affordable.
    Martin has sent me some excellent referrals and I'm very confident in his ability to source, store and prepare bikes.
    Now, to order some European maps and get some pointers. Norway looks nice.
    #14
  15. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    There is another possibility - in Italy is possible for a foreign tourist to buy a bike (or car) and plate it with an "EE" license
    that its valid for a year. The vantage is that you will not pay the V.A.T. thats 21%
    I could check for dealers that do this kind of business.
    #15
  16. flrider

    flrider n00b

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    Your offer of help is much appreciated. It seems that buying in Ireland is a lot simpler and no language barrier is a great bonus.
    I have my heart set on an Africa Twin so I'm playing the waiting game till the right one pops up.
    #16
  17. drswift

    drswift DRSWIFT

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    I looked into Stephan Knoph, and it seems like a reasonable deal if your are going for a few months. He ships out of L.A. as well as Vancouver. He also has bikes listed for sale on his site.
    http://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/MotorbikeTransport.html

    I'm still trying to figure how to get insurance for a U.S. registered bike.
    #17
  18. Sfcootz

    Sfcootz Banninated

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    I paid 45 Euro a day for my wee strom through CIMT in Italy. However, I paid mileage, er, kilometerage on it, too. They were the cheapest I found but I was only looking in Italy.

    Good luck, let us know what you find out.
    #18
  19. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer

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    "Green Card" - RTWDoug has a source for about 60 Euro/month that I used in July. If you go through ADAC or similar it's about 105 Euro/month (granted, the liability limits are low with the Romanian insurance).

    I had a bike shipped/stored with Stefan for 4 years. I sold it when I left in July to a USAF SSgt. I want to get a more dirt-oriented bike and my old GSX100G was not worth the shipping costs to bring it home.

    I kept minimum US insurance on it to keep my US registration in effect (a requirement in VA - no insurance, no registration) and bought Green Card for the times I was riding it.

    US plates on a bike in Europe are a great conversation starter :D
    #19
  20. Donmanolo

    Donmanolo Been here awhile

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    Well yes, but the drawback to that is that you can only get export plates for a brand new bike, otherwise buying as a foreigner is a major headache down here without a resident permit.
    #20