6ish month Europe stay, shipping vs buying bike

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by road_runner87, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. road_runner87

    road_runner87 n00b

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    Hey all,

    I've been a lurker for a while, and am suddenly finding myself with a million questions, and having a hard time finding concrete answers, and anecdotes from people who have done it.

    I'm currently living in Vancouver, BC (from Denmark), and given the current environment with COVID, as well the freedoms I have work-wise (I'm a software developer), I am seriously considering heading across the pond to set up camp in Portugal come Jan/Feb for 6ish months. Why not, right? :D

    Now the thing, I most definitely want to have access to a motorcycle. I currently ride a 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, which I love, and would love to bring with me. I've seen Air Canada allows for motorcycle transport for roughly ~$1200 one way, which really isn't much of a deterrent. My questions really end up in the realm of:

    - Insurance
    - Other costs such as registration, getting Portuguese plates, etc? I get I can probably ride on Canadian plates, however, a part of me feels that would bring more attention than I'd want. Thinking theft here. Thoughts?
    - Am I better off buying a used bike there? Cost wise and such? Being there short-term, I was wanting to really just stay as a tourist, without the need to declare myself living there. So I'd guess it could make this difficult?
    - I am financing the bike in Vancouver, have 2 years left, any complications regarding that?

    Those are my initial thoughts and questions. No doubt more will come up as I get some answers. Thanks everyone!
    #1
  2. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    You may want to check with Air Canada again about the Fly-n-Ride program, last I checked it was suspended. Your insurance question can be answered by inmate Dooby. License plates are up to you, I thought outside the EU plates might mean more opportunities to talk to friendly folks. Check with Wheatwhacker, Dooby or Stephan about buying a bike over there, they are the go to guys. I've also heard of people contacting mc dealers personally to cut a lease or buy deal. Another help might be to post in the EMEA section of trip planning, more direct experience there. Be glad your Canadian and can at least go to Europe now. Check out 2021 plans in EMEA. Good luck.
    #2
  3. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    For 6 months just buy and sell when you leave
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  4. Johann

    Johann Commuterous Tankslapperous

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    The time limit for visits to any Schengen country is normally 90 days in any 180 day period. After three months you are supposed to apply for temporary residency. That applies to EU passport holders as well, I donĀ“t know about Canadian passports or whether there is a longer term visa available.

    The time limit for using a foreign plated vehicle is normally six months/183 days, you would have to double check how that applies to a Canadian plated bike.
    #4
  5. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    you are Danish, buy a bike there and register at your parents house or a relative, then ride to Portugal. I purchased with the help from Motofierme (wheatwacker here) and got 3 months ( can be extended) green card insurance from Motosapiens in Bulgaria The bike was registered in Ireland and I used it for 90 days then sold it to another Canadian with the help of Wheatwacker.
    #5
  6. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv Super Moderator

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    Portugal is a cheap country. For your 2400 USD that you'd spend anyway you can buy a used bike and sell it when leaving. You will still be in riding season after 6 months so it shouldn't be too hard. Also when buying you're in off season so bike will be even cheaper.

    I wouldn't want the hassle of dealing with all that paperwork to ship, having to wait for the bike to arrive and the same upon return. Plus you get to ride a new to you bike for 6 months with no heart feelings. Like having a european mistress for 6 months
    #6
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  7. Johann

    Johann Commuterous Tankslapperous

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    There will be a problem when you try and register the vehicle in your name at the IRN office without proof of residency (short term or long term), or a 1 year rental contract or proof of address.
    The DUA is the matriculation document that puts the vehicle in your name, no DUA no insurance and no IUC (road tax).

    https://irn.justica.gov.pt/

    If you knew somebody local that was willing to buy the bike in their name and buy the insurance for you the insurance is on the vehicle not the rider so as long as you have a licence that is valid to use in Portugal you would be good to go.
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  8. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    My knowledge here is also incomplete, but my wife is a British and Us citizen and I am US citizen only. We inquired (before Brexit) about buying a bike there vs bringing one of ours over. We have a garage to keep it in over there at her parent's house. We were told that I could ride it as US-registered, with green card insurance, but she could not. Green card insurance was only for non-EU citizens. OTOH, I could ride a UK-registered bike, but insurance is for a specific person, so we both would have to be listed. It was not clear if she needed a UK motorcycle license or not to ride a UK registered bike, or for that matter, a US-registered bike- some said we did, others said no. She has been living in the US and riding here since 1983, and never had a UK motorcycle license. For us, for 6 month, probably the easiest thing would be to buy a UK bike, register a UK bike at her parent's house, and pretend she is only a US citizen.
    All in all, registering a bike in Denmark at your parents' address sounds like the way to go. Do you have a Danish motorcycle license?
    #8
  9. nzedjared

    nzedjared Adventurer

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    Other option is to rent bikes in Lisbon as you need them. Then no insurance/import or even maintenance hassles.
    A while back I used Lx-Moto in Lisbon (Nadia and Antonio) and negotiated a long term rental on a new T100 Triumph and had a great time for about 50eu / day (low miles since I was working, not touring; Antonio allowed an especially low rate). I'll be doing this again as soon as I can get back there (especially since Fly Your Bike is now no hold) !

    Looks like he has a 797 ready to go now if you like the Duc motor... having ridden one and my current Duc S2R1000, my opinion is twins are great for the tight roads of Portugal; wasn't getting over 50mph except on nasty tolled motorways. They also rent a CB650R, BMW R nine T, Tracer 900 GT w/ hard cases...ie you can have fun riding other stuff with less hassle.
    lxrent.pt -- they may not remember me but you can mention an American named Jared sent you

    Also, tell me how you get around the 90d of 180 Schengen thing. I was thinking I'd have to head to the Ireland the UK (or Georgia, Croatia, ...) for 90d to restart the clock.
    #9
  10. r0ckrat

    r0ckrat Been here awhile

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    The only item I have read anything about shipping a bike involves your financing. You MUST get approval in writing from your finance company to be able to ship - you may be able to ship it there, but there will be a major hurdle in getting it shipped back if you are able to get it there. I think it was a BMW Forum that I read this on, but someone was having trouble getting their bike back from Europe because they hadn't gotten prior approval, and a little over 3 months later they couldn't get the finance company to give them the approval to return... something about the length of time they'd been gone, and the fact that they took it out of the country without approval. The company doing the shipment needed the approval to be able to accept the bike for shipping. This was a US person, so the rules may be different for you, of course.

    (Technically, until you make that final payment, the bike isn't really yours... so taking it out of the country without approval from the other registered owner is akin to theft after a certain amount of time.)
    #10
  11. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    Remember that the UK is in the process of splitting from the EU, and at the moment it is uncertain as to whether UK registered bikes will need Green card insurance to enter the EU and there will likely be time limits on the amount of time UK citizens can remain in the EU without a Visa. ( likely to be 90 days in the EU within any 180 day period)

    The Republic of Ireland remains within the EU.
    #11