Shipping a GSA to London from LA

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Motomochila, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Motomochila

    Motomochila Mad Scientist

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    I'm riding Europe in June of this year for about 30 days or more. Thinking about shipping my GSA from LA to London to arrive in time for a once over before taking off on my journey. Other option is to buy a used bike in London and then sell it after my ride. Anybody done either instead of renting? I talked to a few that have spent far more time riding Europe and all have shipped their bikes. Is 30 plus days worth shipping? Who's the best and safest shipper? If you bought a bike, how much did it cost you after selling?

    Would it be better to ride a 650 or 800 instead of my GSA? I also have a KTM 690 enduro and could ship or buy one just the same. I've seen many pics of riders on smaller bikes doing the world, but is it comfortable enough?

    Leaving June1-5th in 2013 if anyone is interested in joining along for the ride. The wife will meet my in Rome sometime in July. (The only way I could convince her to let me go).

    Thanks for your input guys, and girls. -Jerry
    #1
  2. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    Must be to London?
    Stefan from Knopf Tours arranges air transport across the Atlantic, but to Germany. He is based in Heidelberg and offers also year-round storage at inexpensive rates.

    The big savings are when he ships containers to/from major bike events in the States - he can include customer's bikes inside. You already missed LA container, but there is one coming out of Orlando after the Bike Week.

    Anyway, contact him for advice; he is a nice guy. Here is the info and sample pricing: http://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/MotorbikeTransport.html
    #2
  3. Dan-M

    Dan-M Long timer

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    I don't know how costs compare but it seems renting would be the most hassle free way. A used bike may be of questionable reliability.
    Shipping + customs + possible delays = headaches.


    I like the meeting the wife in Rome angle to make the sale. I used the same trick in Baja a few years back.:beer
    #3
  4. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    That is actually quite true. Shipping will run about $1k each way, plus insurance, plus paperwork, plus storage, plus set of tires, plus... plus... plus...

    For rentals, you are looking at 700-1000 Euro per week, depending on bike brand/model.


    Plan & reserve early; you are going there in prime riding season and desirable bikes get booked fast. I don't have any contacts in the UK, but for reference here are rental outfits I used on the Continent - I had great experiences with every one of them. You will not be able to rent one-way, so plan your route as a loop - location like Frankfurt, Zurich or Munich or even Milan may be most convenient for you. (Actually, AdMo has one-way Milan-to-Rome for extra charge).



    AdMo-Tours, worldwide coverage
    http://www.rental-motorcycle.com/

    Bosenberg (brokers with agencies in Germany, Switzerland & France)
    http://www.bosenberg.com/

    Iberian Moto Tours
    (several locations throughout Spain)
    http://www.bmwmotorental.com/


    Individual agencies:

    Knopf Tours mentioned in above post.
    http://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/Rental.html


    Stergios Papagatsios
    MotoGreek Motorradvermietung
    Kistlerhofstrasse 84
    D-81379 München, Germany
    phn.: +49 (89) 7849904
    email: motogreek@arcor.de


    Motorrad Center Tullius GmbH
    Eisenmännchenstr. 4
    65201 Wiesbaden, Germany
    phn: 0611-182106-0
    fax: 0611-182106-13
    email: andreas.fehr@tullius-wiesbaden.bmw-net.de
    http://www.motorrad-tullius.de/


    MotoTouring
    Milan, Italy
    http://www.mototouring.com/
    #4
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    I rented a 12GS from IMT in Madrid last May for a week. They were great to deal with.

    Previously, I also had really good luck by just finding a BMW dealer (in Dusseldorf, for that trip) and calilng them directly and renting (a K1200GT) directly from them for a week.
    #5
  6. 5_19

    5_19 Adventurer

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  7. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    If renting in London, you'll have some difficulty and pay extra for going over to the continent. Not saying it can't be done but I found there were limited rentals available and a surcharge when I tried to do the same a couple of years ago.

    That may make shipping a viable option.
    #7
  8. Motomochila

    Motomochila Mad Scientist

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    Looked into rentals; at 1200 euros per week, or $1593.00 dollars per week for a 1200 GS or GSA is pretty steep when you consider 4 or 5 weeks. Spending over $6 grand just for bike rental would greatly hinder my travel plans. That didnt include mandatory 180 per week for insurance. This is the reason for my inquiry. Has anyone bought a certified used bike from a reputable dealer and sold it after riding 5-8 thousand miles. 6500-8500 euros would buy a fairly decent BMW or KTM adventure motorcycle. I've looked at a few with low miles. Still hoping I can get a dealer to work a buy-back deal so I can lower that $6 grand price tag. Could be a pipe dream. Maybe better to ship both ways. Regardless, I'm looking at the 15th of June or a day close to head out. The holidays have hindered my UK buying investigations via phone, but I will continue as soon as the UK dealers get back to work.
    #8
  9. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer

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    I have looked into rentals as well, and yeah it is pricey. I know Marty Hill has shipped his bike a few times over seas and has had no problem. Maybe he will chime in and let you know who he uses ( i know he ships it out of Fla). It makes more sense to ship it of you are going to be there that long.
    #9
  10. Montauk

    Montauk Been here awhile

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    May I suggest, when you are looking for shipping from LA to London, perhaps you may also want to check prices if you were to ship from east coast, such as NY. It is closer from NY to London. I don't know the difference in price be, but it's worth checking into.

    From LA to NY, you have to check for yet 2 more options:
    (1) If you can ride it to NY before hand and fly from there to London, and ride back from NY to LA.
    (2) Find it national transporters. Dealers transport bikes from one location to another, you may want to check with local dealer - Irv Seavers, Long Beach BMW Motorcycle, Ventura BMW Motorcycles, and I think there is a new one - Countryside?
    #10
  11. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    Ok, here we go. Knoff ships out of orlando, fl. right after the daytona thing in feb./march. He has also shipped from the west coast at one time via boat. If in a hurry air ship must be from/to vancouver. On the east coast either montreal or toronto are used. Knoff flew my bike into atlanta once, not sure if still possible. Flew bike from london to vancouver this past june using motorcycle express. Cost is about $1200 by ship from orlando/about $2200 by air from/to canada from anywhere in europe. Break even is about 3 weeks vs. rental. I ship the bike fully packed and carry nothing on the plane to frankfurt. Take the train to heidelberg or have Knoff send a van ($35) for pickup. If you need or want more detail PM me.

    I would guess that buying a bike and re-selling it on the way out is a bad idea. What happens on the last day when they offer to take it off your hands for 1/3 of it's worth?
    #11
  12. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Shipped by ST1300 from Winnipeg to Amsterdam in 2008, did the research and for me it was too costly to rent (trip was almost 4 months), as well as riding own bike with custom seat com system and no limits where you want to go.

    I brokered the whole thing myself, and found a shipping agent just to stamp the DG labels on and provide me with the paperwork for both the outb and inb trip.

    I used Air Canada Cargo, my brother and wife are Flight Attendants so I had some discount, but in reality it was not that much. What made the real difference is that I started to speak to the Cargo supervisor at least 9 months before the trip, and got him excited about my project, I would touch base every few weeks or so. I had my dealer crate the bike (using a Gold Wing delivery crate), the Agent came and looked at it and left the paperwork. I had it delivered at the Cargo center, it was shipped by road to Calgary then put on the Jumbo jet to Franckfurt and trucked again to Amsterdam, on the way back I used the receiving broker to ship back with my existing return paperwork. I don't remember the cost of the outbound but inbound was about 1300.00 Eu. The actual custom part was seamless, took less then half hour and we had to return cause the dude forgot to stamp the paperwork.

    I did have some help and as I was prepping for the bike a forum member from holland offered help to store the great while we were on tour.

    Funny thing on the way back I had a few liters of fuel left in the tank and nobody cared, of course battery was unplug for both legs.

    For moto insurance, I would definitely recommend http://motorcycleexpress.com/ After receiving my payment they overnighted my Green card insurance valid for most of Europe including the Balkans and some Northern African (bordering the Med countries.

    If you want to take a quick peek at my set up and how I went about it click on the link to my ride report and look at the first few pages.

    We used http://www.hostelbookers.com/ for accommodation and often stayed in 1-3* hotels paying a fraction of the price.

    Sorry fort typos I did this really fast.

    Great trip in perspective.
    #12
  13. Motomochila

    Motomochila Mad Scientist

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    Spoke to both a BMW and a KTM dealer in London on Saturday. Seems I can buy a "certified" used GS 800 for around $9,000 or a KTM 990 for the same price; low miles- under 5k, and sell either back for a total cost of about $1500.00 out of pocket plus fuel and expenses. I would prefer a GSA1200 but I these seem to be hard to come by in the UK. Whatever parts I need I will bring along to customize my ride; GPS, bar risers, soft bags, etc. I''l sell the bike back with the add-ons less GPS, (leaving mount hardware) and the bags, (again leaving mounting hardware). Much cheaper here in the states.

    Buying as a foreigner I do not have to pay GST, or said a salesman; I'll have to check that out soon. I will need to pay for licensing and insurance, but it looks as buying might be a viable option for me. LA to London is looking like about $1300-1500 each way for my GS plus I will need to service the bike completely on either end since the chemicals are drained and the battery disconnected. That alone adds 4-5 days of waiting for a dealer to get to my bike. Remember its my vacation, not theirs, so nobody will be in a hurry to get me going on the road.

    Dates are around the 15th of June and getting to Rome on the 4-8th of July and returning to London about the 15th through the 20th of July. So far; me and probable one more. Hey...solo through Europe is cool too. I'm sure I'll find a few friends along the way. :freaky
    #13
  14. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    No chemicals are drained. Battery neg disconnect takes about 2-3 minutes. I was ready to leave Knoff's within 30 minutes/most of that was waiting for the gps to find where it was.
    #14
  15. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer

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    That and you figuring out where you were :lol3:lol3:lol3
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  16. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    I like the idea of buying and selling a used bike. I really think that's the cheapest and most fun way to go. Allowed a few days to shop and buy, get registered, etc and then off ya go.

    I wouldn't be too worried about selling it at the end, dealers will make some money off of you of course, or you could put a for sale sign on the bike while you ride it around, and maybe by two bikes while you're on the trip! :D

    One thing though, be careful about leaving bikes in many places in Europe - they get stolen like crazy, so invest in a real chain and possibly a disk lock too. :wink:
    #16
  17. PukaWai

    PukaWai Been here awhile

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    I just did that last summer. Shipped it using Schumacher Logistics (their warehouse was somewhere in Gardena) and it cost $450 for their end and the actual transport. Then paid another 175 euro to the receiving agent (which was set up by Shumacher) for that end. this was one-way cost. I was even allowed to stuff the panniers with my gear. You'll need to allocate 2 months for the shipping, it's on the ship for one month. I shipped it to Bremerhaven, but I think the cost is about the same for any of the major ports they service. The whole thing went rather smoothly. You will need to buy the European "green card" insurance beforehand.
    If you want to get even more bang for your buck, consider leaving the bike with the already mentioned Stefan Knopf for a year and go back next year for another month - his fees are very reasonable. He's also your best deal for rentals - not brand new bikes, but well maintained and no per KM charge like most of those rental places.
    PM me if you want more details.
    #17
  18. ajmac

    ajmac gorilla balancin on a pin

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    fly your bike in and ship it back (roro wilhaus williamson or wtf its called ) .save alot of heartache with your time constraints!!
    moto milan is slightly cheaper for the grreen card for europe and covers morocco although i believe stephan can organize all that too through adac and of course roadside assist.
    FWIW that is the crazy time in europe i headed to the arctic at this time and that certainly thinned out the crowds but dodgin caribou probly aint the missus idea of living the vida loca huh (send her by bus/train to rome n head north).:clap
    have fun:D
    #18
  19. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    I'm in london.

    Place i know does rentals at good prices. Has GS models from the F650GS through to the R1200ADV.

    About town motorcycle hire. Look under Enduro for the GS models .. http://www.abouttownbikehire.co.uk/
    #19
  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi Motomochila - if I might offer some info which I think you (and others from outside the EU considering similar options) will find makes the decision easier...

    Basically, while a UK dealer can take your money and physically give you the bike, you won't be able to register or insure it in the UK without a UK address, and more importantly, you have to be a UK resident (or at least have a visa allowing you to stay for an extended period, such as European citizens for example) to get insurance cover in the UK... and in addition, you are also not able to insure a non-UK registered vehicle with a a UK insurance company either - they don't like to make things easy do they?!

    So while it would be 'technically' possible to have the registration document made out in your name, and say use a friend's UK address for example, the real problem comes back to the insurance - and even if you did bluff them, in the event of an accident or claim, the policy would be void, and at the very least you might be subject to criminal prosecution - so it's really not worth even considering!

    I have an American girlfriend who has exactly the same problem when she visits here - in the end, she gave me the money and I bought the bike she wanted and registered it in my name, and have her as a named/2nd rider on my insurance policy - it's the only way to do it legally, such is the anomaly of the UK insurance industry!

    So for non UK or EU citizens, really your only options are shipping your own bike, or renting something for the duration of your trip...

    Regarding shipping, people have already mentioned Motorcycle Express (air)

    http://www.motorcycleexpress.com/

    and Wallenius Wilhelmsen (sea)

    http://www.wilhelmsen.com/Pages/wwhome.aspx

    and I would also add James Cargo to that list who are UK based out of Heathrow, who specialise in bikes and can handle everything:

    http://www.jamescargo.com/

    Although of course you will still have to arrange separate insurance - I did something similar when I brought my US bike to the UK a few years ago - I insured it for six months using Knopf Tours - they are not cheap, but can offer non UK/EU citizens European wide coverage (and include Morocco if you desire) on a monthly basis...

    Also note, it is unlikely to be notably cheaper shipping from the east coast vs. the west coast - certainly the air fright price is basically the same.



    Alternatively, the good news is that as a non-resident, at least you are able to rent a bike (including insurance) here in the UK, for use in Europe too - I had a couple of friends from the USA do this last summer, and it really is the most simple way of doing things. I know there are a number of European 'tour' companies that can rent you anything you want for a price, but we ended up going to this hire place in London (who have the additional benefit of not being far from Heathrow Airport) -

    http://www.motorcyclehireuk.com/Motorcycle-Hire/About.html

    Not BMWs, but they have a range of bikes on offer, from around £280 a week (plus I think it is an extra £30 per week for European insurance use) - far cheaper than the European rental companies? and if you add it up, quite possibly cheaper than shipping and insuring your US bike?

    There are a couple of other bike rental companies based in London offering a range of bikes/manufacturers, but be aware that some will have weekly mileage restrictions - these guys had a limit of 250 miles per day, but spread over the two weeks it was plenty for our trip through France, Switzerland and into Italy and back... and to be honest, it didn't seem as if it was rigorously enforced - they were pretty easy going and I'm sure they would cut you some slack if you are renting for an extended period.

    Anyway, I hope that helps with your plans!

    Jenny xx
    #20