Purchasing a bike in mexico

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by paulsc, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. paulsc

    paulsc Stromtrooper

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    Hi guys,

    I've been trying to find information on this online but can't come to a conclusion.

    I would like to buy a small (200cc or less) motorbike in mexico. Is it possible as a foreigner ? Is the paperwork (e.g. getting it registered / gettings plates) going to be an issue ? I don't have a visa, I am traveling through for a couple of weeks / month and then on to guatemala.

    Thanks for your help!
    #1
  2. fujian

    fujian Been here awhile

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    I'm sure there is a thread already started on this subject. Funny though I also need information on this.

    Hoping to buy a small dual sport bike and ride it from Mexico to South America ( Argentina )

    Hopefully someone can re direct us to the proper/already started thread.
    #2
  3. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    The biggest hurdle is the "factura" and then paying the "tenencia" registration to get a plate.
    You will need a local address. You will need someone to provide this for you because the state government will ask for a "comprobante de domocilio" which is an electrical, phone, or water bill with the address on it. You don't have to live there or even rent there, you just need a copy of a bill with an address so you can register the bike. Often, the dealer will do this for you to get the sale.
    You'll also need copies of your passport and your immigration status as a tourist (the tourist visa).
    Sometimes the dealer will offer to do all this with a "coyote" someone who has a contact inside the bureaucracy and gets things done quick and dirty for a price.
    Make sure all your paperwork is legit and organized as you'll be using it a lot as you go from border to border through the various countries on your route.
    Realistically, you will find a better selection of bikes in the USA at much better prices. If you are doing it on a pizza or postal bike, buy it in Mexico, but if you are looking for a bigger bike, get it stateside.
    #3
  4. Klutch

    Klutch gringo goatrider

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    I've had the same experience on the west side of Mexico.
    Still can't figure out what the deal is on the Italika and similar small bikes that I see running up and down Hwy 200 from Tepic to Barra de Navidad that never tag their little bikes. When I ask the riders they always just say "no es obligatorio" but I'd like to see something official.
    Maybe it's like my home state (Colorado) where low powered vehicles don't required title or registration to ride on the street?? When we lived in Oklahoma even a tiny moped had to have all registration kept current. Hated that state!
    #4
  5. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    I know that some scooters here at 50cc size are exempt. Dont know how that will change with the new obligatory liability insurance.
    Small dual purpose bikes here, at least good quality ones, are about 35% more expensive than the US and limited parts backup. Honda have that 400cc street bike, the Tornado and the 125cc XL.
    #5
  6. pax maac

    pax maac Been here awhile

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    Never heard of that here in Estado de Mexico. Everybody has to have plates. About once every 2 months the state police will have a moto checkpoint set up, stopping everybody on a bike no matter the size and checking for plates, circulation card and license. And they have a big truck with them that they fill up with bikes that they confiscate.
    #6
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    When they did the big truck thing here in Veracruz, 40% of the unplated bikes were ones that had been stolen. Big bike theft is very rare in Mexico, little bikes get jacked all the time.
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  8. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    amigo it is as they say, and will very a little state by state. Here in BAJA if we go by the book even bicycles need plates, so any motorcycle/scooter also need them, however I see more unplated scooter/small motorcycles than plated ones, very sad for me since I am a ATGATT even more with plates,

    Some states do have a circulatin card and other don't, Mexico city does not, and al my chilango friends have a lot of questions to answer when crossing a border of why do not have one, here in my state we do have them also we require a motorcycle specific driving license.

    I am sure it will not be a big problem.

    BTW where do you live? if you live in close to me, I could help you out. When I bough any of my bikes I was only ask for my license for paper work for the bike, then I went to the DMV and got plates, and here is a trick some times they will ask for the licenses sometimes they will not. If you are ask for one you can say you don't have one because you did not have a bike for the exam, so you are registrating the bike and then getting the license, and since they are both issue in the same building they will fly with it.

    Saludos!

    Damasovi
    #8
  9. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    He cant get a license with only a tourist visa, as far as I know.
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  10. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    I haven't tried it, but here at the local office in Jalisco they say you can get a drivers license with a FMM, temporal or permanent visa. The application fee is 196 MXN for moto license or 337 Car License. If you want 'assistance' with the Spanish written exam, a local transito will 'help with translation' you for about 500 MXN.
    #10
  11. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Hmmmmm, I need to adjust my translation rates! Thanks, Kiko!:deal

    Perhaps you are right, things vary so much state to state here it is hard to say. I can tell you that, up until earlier this year, a lot of people were buying cars in Veracruz and registering them in Puebla because it was so much cheaper for the tenencias. However, Puebla stopped that by forcing you to have a Puebla driver's license and putting some restrictions on getting one of those, too.

    The OP should pick up that bike in Jalisco, judging by what is on the market these days, it is a good deal. Those are pretty quick little bikes, parts aren't cheap but they are available. Though I imagine the tianguis have some Chinese parts on the tables, no?:wink:
    #11
  12. Klutch

    Klutch gringo goatrider

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    I'm going to try and get my mexican driver's and moto license in Nayarit next week to see how the process goes. My mom knows where the office is supposed to be on the road going East from Mezcales in San Clemente. I might take a spanish speaker with me just in case but I'm told even tourists get their DL very easily.
    I stop and talk to most moto riders I see in traffic in PV and more of them are telling me that placards (plates) are required, they just don't have them?? Prob wouldn't work too well for a gringo like me. Time to hit the moto shops in PV and figure things out.
    #12
  13. Klutch

    Klutch gringo goatrider

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    #13
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    #14
  15. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    Saw a 90 something KLR yesterday turquoise color with 92k miles on it still chugging along. I asked the guy how much work the engine had been thru. Said he did not know but he thought the previous owner had changed the spark plug out sometime around 5 years ago.
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  16. Klutch

    Klutch gringo goatrider

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    Rode this 2 year old 110 Italika this week. Ran waay better than my expectations but I don't see myself outrunning the local policia for having no tag.
    I passed my wife's car with it and she was doing 60 mph!
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    You know the old joke about riding scooters and....
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  18. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Must be raining really hard if you're posting on a Sunday morning :freaky
    #18
  19. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Well...it has been a "little" wet around here since Fernando and then Ingrid washed out two favorite roads.
    That along with a bad fall I took the other day, non-bike related, and the dislocated shoulder, and a leaky fork seal have all conspired against me!
    Been awhile since I heard from Officer Shawn, hope all is well.
    I guess you take Sundays off now that you are retired, eh? LOL!
    #19
  20. GuateRider

    GuateRider Long timer

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    Sorry about your fall...stay away from that break dancing ...:rilla
    OS is thinking about a short run down here in November, but he still needs clearance from his commanding officer .
    No riding today for me , today is our Independence Day...so I had to march :thumb
    #20