A few questions about moving to Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by duke72, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. duke72

    duke72 Adventurer

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    Will be moving to Edmonton from Ireland for a couple of years this summer. First of all is my Irish license sufficient or do I need to do another test? Realistically how many months can I expect to ride during the year? Finally what are bike prices like? Was thinking about shipping my wee strom over but could be tempted to sell here and buy a new bike in Canada if prices are favourable. Not necessarily wee strom. Thanks all.
    #1
  2. billy_037

    billy_037 Been here awhile

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    European drivers license is only valid 3 months after immigration. Don't forget to ask your insurance company in Ireland for your driving records. Can make a big difference in insurance premiums.
    So, be prepared that you have to redo test for your drivers license (for bike and car; in writing and on the road).

    Riding season: normally May -> October. But, in Alberta you can aspect snow every month of the year. On the other hand, we were riding 2 weeks ago. Temp. 18 Celsius. Today -15 Celsisus. Just lovely.

    Bike price: Biggest advantage in Alberta, gst only 7 %. Retail prices in Alberta are too high compared with the prices in US.

    More questions, just let me know. Made the move from Belgium 7 years ago. And to be honest, one of the best things I ever did in my life.
    #2
  3. duke72

    duke72 Adventurer

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    Thanks Billy. Thats very helpful. Have been looking at some of the ride reports from your neck of the woods. Looks fantastic. Might persuade me to change to a GS1200 that I've been thinking about for a while.
    #3
  4. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    Bring some of your beer, we don't get many brands as far as imports go.
    I am an hour and a bit south of Edmonton, look me up when you get here.

    Jeff
    #4
  5. Stand Up

    Stand Up Ride non-painted roads

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    Calgary's alotment was 15 - they sold 32. Last year they eventually got 34 but no guarantees. I imagine GSs are in short suppply in Edmonton. You may want to send some emails to the dealers.
    Stand Up
    #5
  6. Kritter

    Kritter Been here awhile

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    Welcome to Edmonton (when ye get here that is). Generally I start riding in late March or early April, the season usually comes to an end in late October...after that you may be able to ride once in a while through out the winter depending if warm spells come along, this year was abnormally warm and bikes were seen on the streets occasionally through December, January and February (definitely not the norm). As for prices, Japanese bikes are usually cheaper here than they are in the States, you will have to negotiate the price to get it lower. I have not ever had to pay sticker price on a new bike in Alberta (but have only bought Japanese bikes).

    Another bonus for you is that there is a wonderful motorcycle exhibit running at a museum just south of Edmonton...the exhibit opened last year and will be running until this fall (I believe).

    Again, welcome to Edmonton!
    #6
  7. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I think you would be better off to sell the wee Strom
    there, and buy another bike here.

    I looked at a wee Strom last fall, a leftover , and they were asking
    about 7000 CDN for it. Might be easier to do the conversion for you than me.

    The boys from Alberta are right, they have no provincial tax, so you save 7% there. Also, if you are working in Alberta, they have no provincial income tax,
    which is huge saving.


    Oh! ...and Hi DirtyDeeds, and Kritter

    Kritter, I put 160 km on the bike yesterday, and the new windshield is totally great, Quiet, no wind buffeting. Targa makes one for 41.95 CDN, part # 24-961S You might have to drill a couple of holes, it's actually for an FJ1100.
    #7
  8. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Bike prices in Europe, including Ireland are quite a bit more than you will find in Canada. You'd be better off buying one here, using it, and when [and if] you head back, take it with you, you will save alot of cash. If Ireland is the same as Canada, you will be able to bring back any posessions you have, if you have been out of the country over a year.
    As for the riding season, I don't live there, but my brother in law is from St. Albert, and he does confirm that it has snowed every month but July. Billy_037 mentioned the chinook [warm wind] which the western prairies can enjoy sometimes, which can last days. In general though, you will find it colder in Edmonton than in Ireland. When my dad was alive, we would go bird hunting just south of Edmonton for yrs in the fall. I remember it was generally shit-ass cold in November, with ice forming in our hair when sitting in our freind's jacuzzi.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #8
  9. Kritter

    Kritter Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info Ron...oh and BTW ya bastage I don't want to hear about you going out riding..we have been getting snow all week :cry Enjoy your riding :D
    #9
  10. ~dirtgirl~

    ~dirtgirl~ Dirty girl!

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    Hi, as Billy said you will need to take your class 5 (car) and class 6 (bike). You can get an international license that lasts a year but I would strongly rec. that you do the tests they are VERY EASY!! I came from Devon UK 9 years ago and drove myself to my car test, did the test in 15 mins and drove home. No 3 point turns, parallel parking etc! Good luck with your move, if you come for a couple of years I bet ya you will end up emmigrating! Don't say I didn't tell ya so! :evil

    oh, nearly forgot, bring ANY history from your insurance companies in Ireland, we gained hugely on the insurance premium by doing this! :deal
    #10
  11. Goat-Boy

    Goat-Boy Gnarly Sheepfucker

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    Trade the bike in Ireland for (many kegs of) Guinness and come on over. You'll (we'll) be happy that you did. :slurp
    #11
  12. duke72

    duke72 Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the info everybody. Say I do decide to bring my own bike over whats the deal with import duties, taxes etc?
    #12
  13. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking that it will be more trouble than it's worth. Bureaucrats seem to be pretty finicky about bikes that don't have the proper Canadian approved stickers, even if they are identical to what we have here. There was quite a long thread about a month or so about importing bikes for registration here, and my recollection was that it would be a pretty rigorous procedure.
    On the positive side, I was in Argyll Motorsports yesterday, and they had 2 1200GS on the floor, still for sale, as well as an HP1200 (with a sold sign). They also had a few Stroms, big and wee. There was also a few 650 GS and both a new and slightly used 650 Dakar. Also several DR 650/400's. No problem finding a bike.

    As for riding, especially DS, well, Edmonton used to be in the middle of a prehistoric ocean. Then it was scraped even flatter by zillions of glaciers in how many ever ice ages that we have had over the eons. This was good if you're looking for oil, not so good if you're looking for twisty roads. However just a few short hours from here to the west.... lots of possibilities.

    Plus there are several excellent venues here in Edmonchuk (you'll understand when you get here) that pour a good pint. Welcome!
    #13
  14. Stand Up

    Stand Up Ride non-painted roads

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    I was just talking to a guy who said he wanted to sell his 2005 1200GS Red, ABS, crash bars, 900 km, never dropped, repaired or serviced. $17,500. If interested let me know.
    Brian
    #14
  15. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    What he said. I had to sell my GS in Europe because I couldn't get it imported here. Checked the parts fiche, EVERY part was identical, but they wouldn't do it. Sell it and buy one here.
    #15
  16. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Recent changes to guidelines covering vehicle importation into Canada, from the USA, have made it much easier to get in machines newer than 16 yrs old. Previously, this task was very difficult, if not impossible. All vehicles older than 15 yrs old are allowed in no problem, just as before.
    Now, any vehicle is allowed into Canada [from the USA] if it is on the Transport Canada admissible vehicle list. Vehicles 16 yrs and older are allowed in even if they are not on the list.
    Vehicles coming in from countries other than the USA can come in under only one condition, that the vehicle is 16yrs old, or older.
    If your bike is newer than 16yrs old, you may have a vehicle entry capability if you post a bond which will be repaid once the machine leaves the country. You may also have the argument of needing this special bike for your livelyhood. Canada immigration will have details of vehicle importation.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #16
  17. vanveen

    vanveen Been here awhile

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    from countries other than the U.S. it has to be brand new or 15 years old or more, immigration has nothing to do with it, they deal only with people, its the customs boys you have to deal with
    #17
  18. Dave Lindhorst

    Dave Lindhorst Been here awhile

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    You need to talk with Canada Customs as you may not be able to import your present bike into Canada. Having said that you may not be able to take a bike from Canada back to Ireland so you want to check that out with Irish Customs. Best to be prepared as a bike you can't license in Canada is of no use to you.
    #18
  19. duke72

    duke72 Adventurer

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    This has been a great help. The general consensus seems to be against bringing my own bike over. Was just looking at Argyll Motorsports site and they list GS1200 as $17800 new. Is this the final price or do they have to add on taxes etc?
    #19
  20. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

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    You'd have to pay the GST (Goods and Services Tax), which is currently 7%. Alberta has no provincial sales tax. Registration is minimal, but insurance (we pay them separately here) can be pricey. It is based on the category of bike, location, age, driving record, how long you've had a bike licence, phase of the moon, whether or not the inlsurance company is afraid of june bugs and whatever else they can hose you with.
    #20