Planning a trip to Spain/France for 1 month

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by tarheel rider, May 23, 2013.

  1. tarheel rider

    tarheel rider Tight Lines

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    Has anyone had experience with either shipping a bike to Europe or renting bikes there? When I cross 3 weeks there it looks like it is better to ship. Are there any complications with shipping or does the shipper handle all papers? I plan to make Barcelona a base and do trips from there. Anyone in Barcelona want to swap bikes for 4 weeks, you come see the Southeast US while I go see Spain/France?

    John:norton
    #1
  2. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Probably best in Trip Planning?

    I looked into renting and shipping some years ago. Both were a rip off, IMO. I ended up buying a bike in the UK (even though France has 5 times more bikes than England)

    I had a friend in France. After my six weeks riding UK, France, Spain and Portugal, I left the bike at friends house. Returned two years later and did another six week tour, this time adding Italy and Morocco. France and Spain are spectacular, world class motorcycle riding.
    Sold bike in UK after that for about an 800 UKP loss.

    All pretty easy to do. I bought from private UK seller who I found BEFORE I flew over. Set it all up, arrived, bought bike, got insurance over the phone, hit the road.
    In the year the bike was parked in France my French friend called the local dealer in his town. They came and collected the bike, did full service, tires, new chain/sprockets. It was ready for pick up and perfect when I returned.

    After selling the bike it ended up costing me about $1700 for BOTH six week trips, (total miles 24K),included $600 service/parts.

    A huge expense is FUEL. Now about $8 a gallon. Maybe fly over,
    buy a nice 250cc scooter? 80 MPG? Makes MORE AND MORE sense to me.

    Renting and shipping your bike over is pissing money away, IMHO. UNLESS ... you leave your bike in Europe for future trips. Shipping back and forth will be about $3500 RT ... plus a major paperwork headache.
    #2
  3. tarheel rider

    tarheel rider Tight Lines

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    I talked to a tour group in Spain and they sell their bikes at a reasonable price at the end of the season. They are owned by a BMW dealer that is all over Europe and will store the bike at any of them, I could just fly in and move it from place to place over time. If reasonable I could spend 2-3 years getting around all of Europe!
    #3
  4. JAGVELASCO

    JAGVELASCO n00b

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    Hello friend. I think this company can help. It specializes in off-road travel arrangements in southern Spain and Portugal, based in Seville. I guess they will find them and offer rental bikes full service.

    http://fosiltrips.com/index.php/es/offroad-es
    #4
  5. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    Keep in mind that there are certain formalities if you buy the bike, like registering and insuring it. You might PM this inmate in Ireland who can answer all your questions about this. http://advrider.com/forums/member.php?u=40433
    #5
  6. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Now your talking! Excellent idea! That, in fact was my plan. But on my 2nd trip prices in the EU had really jumped up ... sort of priced me out. I still wish I could have left the bike there. It's the perfect low cost solution. And finding save and cheap storage is NOT THAT HARD TO DO.
    All the best! :freaky
    #6
  7. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Not sure about every EU country but in the UK I did it all via mail. I DID have a local address to use. I used that same address for my insurance through Bennett's, who were very reasonable, no Hassles. Never once asked if I was a UK citizen. But this was over 10 years ago. Things can always change.

    All my Bike paperwork came in 3 weeks and my friend mailed it to me while I was on the road. Easy. (DVLA Log book in my name). Being a US citizen and not having a UK license never was an issue. Same deal upon the sale. No issues for new buyer. From what I've heard, France is more complicated, but no first hand experience. NO issues having the Brit
    plate anywhere. No one EVER asked for my Log Book or proof of insurance .... and I was stopped at several road blocks in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
    Only wanted to see my Passport in every case.
    #7
  8. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

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    With about 2 hours of computer time in the states I have a bike in Ireland, where I am right now. Martin(WheatWacker) located my 96 Transalp on Donedeal, similar to Craigslist, talked to the seller, then while inspecting the bike sent pics via iPhone, called me with bike condition, needs, etc. I said yeah, let's get it. The bike is titled in my name, tagged and registered, insured with green card good for here and all EU countries, purchased using Motosapiens(info in trip planning).

    I arrived a couple of days ago to a bike fully charged and running, all the paperwork, indoor secure storage, looking just like Martin described. I brought a rack, sprockets and chain, put on new tires and am ready to go.

    He's done over 20 bikes and has a reasonable fee structure. I helped him pick up another Transalp yesterday, straight forward transaction as described to the buyer in the states. For me this was the ideal way to have a bike here for the next 3-4 months, plus I can sell this bike for a profit or store it here until next year. More info in trip planning and on Facebook under motofeirme
    #8
  9. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    IMO, good advice. I know of Martin's reputation .. it is excellent. I'd do this in a NY minute if I could escape to the EU again. Sounds even easier than the way I did it in the UK.
    I was lucky ... I got hold of an honest seller. (a copper actually!) who did not misrepresent the bike. It never missed a beat and he rushed through the Log Book so I got my paperwork back quickly.

    I'd love to get hold of one of those 660 Tenere' Yams over there that we can't buy here.

    Good luck guys. Wheatwacker is stand up guy. Go for it!
    #9
  10. ThisWayHome

    ThisWayHome Adventurer

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    Last Friday I rode my motorcycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles to drop my motorcycle off at Schumacher Logistics (http://www.schumachercargo.com/) for shipment to Rotterdam. The price is $495 plus port fees (maybe a few hundred dollars) payable upon arrival. The company ships all around the world. The downside is that there is not an exact guarantee when your motorcycle will arrive at its destination because they are a cargo consolidator and wait for a full container before shipping on the boat. Typically people wait up to two weeks for the container to get full and then another 30 days to reach Europe from Los Angeles. Obviously, your motorcycle would arrive much quicker from the East coast. This is the most economical way to ship a motorcycle to Europe from what I've researched.



    #10
  11. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    That is a good way to go if you have an open schedule. I assume they provide insurance?

    If you can get your bike to EU for between $500 to $800 ... that is much cheaper than Air Freight. It's funny how they can't pin down "port fees". Just more proof how corrupt things can be .... they make it up as they go and get as much as they can on the day! :lol3 Knowing someone and having an "inside" connection is the only way to beat that system.

    My other question is ... what the Hell do you do with your bike once you get it over there? (after your done riding of course!) Ship it back again? $$$ Sell it (you can't!) Leave it? (probably the best idea).
    #11
  12. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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    This!

    And this.

    I've done both all over the world. Renting can be very expensive, especially if you have trouble in a remote place or far away from the renter's location.
    Shipping is a crap shoot. If it goes well, it's only expensive. If it goes poorly, you may never see your bike again. You may be asked to crate your bike (Do you have a crate?), remove fluids and battery, and alot of companies wont give you a firm date for delivery...BUT...they also aren't a storage company either, so you can be charged exorbitant fees if you aren't there to get it when it shows up. Not to mention customs, etc.....

    Buy/sell is the way to go....
    YMMV
    #12
  13. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    The best way to ship is by air.

    Sea is fine if,
    A. If you have full control of the container.
    B. You have plenty of wiggle time at the destination.

    A typical container from the west coast of the USA costs $5,000.
    There is a USA customs fee of $85/bike.
    To clear and deliver a container in Europe costs US$1000.

    That's $685/bike before crating and loading for 10 bikes.
    That's if you have 10 bikes ready to go at one time. A 40' container should take 15 bikes, 3 wide and 5 deep. I shipped a 20' container last year to Ireland with 3 bikes in it. I also had a bunch of other crap in the container so I did not mind the cost. I posted here and horizions that I had space, got one genuine response, so I presume that getting 10 people together would be impossible.

    Fast forward to my shipment.
    My container was due to arrive Sept 15'th, I saw my bike on October 2'nd. I was not worried as I was living here. If I was on a vacation, that's 2 weeks of vacation time burned up.
    If I really wanted my bike in the country I was visiting, I would fly it there, regardless of cost.

    I started motofeirme as an alternative to shipping.
    We are now in a position to do a buyback system which basically gives you a bike for approx 20 euro/day plus insurance if you rent for a month or more.
    #13
  14. Ken Fritz

    Ken Fritz Long timer

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    I was one of the first to be helped by Martin. It's been a great relationship from the start. We return to Europe in July for another ride on the bike he helped us buy in Ireland. This time the bike is basically free - the cost differential of buying vs. renting or shipping has already "paid" for the bike.
    Hassle free!
    #14