KEEPING A BIKE IN EUROPE - WHO DOES IT?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Boredsurfer, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

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    So I was considering purchasing an investment property in Nice, France so I can keep a bike there for moto holidays but now I am worried the potential revenue from Airbnb rentals won't make it worth it.

    So instead, I am thinking about just purchasing/storing a bike in Europe. Should I just ship over an American bike or buy one there?

    Anyone have any advice for me about ANY of this? What am I missing?

    Thanks!!
    #1
  2. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    I'm in the middle of 7 weeks in Europe, shipped a bike to Stefan Knopf out of LA this past Feb, picked it up 1 Aug. http://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/Storage.html He runs a terrific operation IMHO, truly "turn key." There are pics, etc on the blog link in my sig line.

    There are at least 2 other regular participants on ADV that offer a similar service, Dooby and Wheatwhacker. I wanted something "central" so Stefan's Heidelberg, Germany location works better for me.

    In a word, it is awesome...do it!
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  3. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

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    Awesome info! Thank you very much for taking the time during your trip. I will check all of this out.
    #3
  4. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

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    The Knopftour "Buy and Sell" service is genius!!
    #4
  5. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    I kept a bike with Stefan from 2009 through 2017 - both were old bikes that "lost favor" when a new bike moved in. Will probably ship another over soon.

    As to buying a bike in Europe, it's essentially impossible to register and insure it unless you have a legal presence (as in residence) in a country. Dooby & Wheatwhacker have work-arounds for this. The easiest thing to do is to ship a US registered bike over and keep your US registration in place. US plates are a great conversation starter and are essentially "invisible" to photo radars, which EU plates aren't. With a tip of the hat to the Canton of Graubunden that noticed that my rental bike was going a wee bit (75 in a 60) fast. CHF 100 worth of fast. With Dooby & Wheatwhacker you will, of course, have EU plates.
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  6. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    If you are on East Coast Air Canada is a great option from Toronto to Paris they give discount if bike flies with you.

    There are many places which would store your bike like Motocamp Bulgaria, dooby motoshops, friends etc
    #6
  7. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer Supporter

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    No problem...crazy always loves company... :photog

    First 2 questions you should ask yourself: 1. how long/often will you get over to ride, and 2. does your state require annual bike inspections. If you have to ship your bike back and forth every year, that would be expensive and a PITA, IMO. If you're not going for longer periods of time and at least annually, renting might be the better option.

    I can't say enough good things about Stefan and his set up, including a workshop where you can do some maintenance. He's very helpful and has this whole process wired. Before I went to the ADAC office for roadside insurance, he wrote out a list of the maps I should ask for. Handed the clerk the list and ended up with these Moto-specific maps.

    IMG_20190802_185957541.jpg
    #7
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  8. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    A note on #2 - Only relevant if the inspection is required to renew your registration. Virginia requires an annual inspection, but doesn't require that inspection to renew registration - so if I'm not riding the bike in Virginia...

    Regarding #1 - absolutely. Having your own bike is significantly cheaper than renting - assuming that you're going to be making multiple trips. If this is a one-shot deal for 3 weeks or less, rent.

    My fixed costs were about $1K/year - or about 1 week's rental. Divide your shipping cost by the number of planned uses to get a per-ride number and add that in. See where you are on the scale. and does it make sense. If you're storing a bike, you can keep a set of riding gear with it so you don't have to schlep it through airports. I rented this year and had forgotten just what a PITA that is.

    At some point, your bike will have to exit the EU, so you have the costs associated with shipping it back - unless you sell it to a "qualified buyer", which I did with both of the bikes I shipped over.
    #8
  9. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Another option is to buy US registered bike which already in EU.. that if your state doesn't require inspection to register it.
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  10. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    I did register a bike in Europe, but I also have residence there.
    #10
  11. dooby

    dooby aka Frgich

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    When clients are buying bikes through us, all the bikes are bought through our company through lease agreement. Then there are two options that clients have when they're finished with their ride (all of this is arranged prior and is part of the agreement), to sell the bike by themselves or buy and sell deal with us where we provide buy back for the predefined price (mileage table etc is part of the contract).

    We provide one stop shop: bike purchase on Croatian licence plates, storage, service, spare parts, air, sea and land freight, and third party coverage which is our product as we're the only insurer covering EU registered bikes owned by non EU residents (any of the EU countries that is). We cover many of the motorcycle and car rental fleets in Europe like Celtic rider in Ireland.

    Martin's/Motofeirme clients are covered through our insurance service.

    BR
    Dooby
    #11
  12. dooby

    dooby aka Frgich

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    Just as an additional info we also rent motorcycles and do tours (non paved roads that is) so we provide both offering at the same place.

    We can also provide purchase of road side assistance but to be honest, that is kinda waste of money in my view. ADAC is not what is was 20 years ago, and same thing goes for all the others. Much safer and faster option would be to ask for local help when the shit hits the fan as that will be time wise better, believe me.

    BR
    Dooby
    #12
  13. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    I may end up selling my 2009 BMW G650X Country after I’m done with my EU tour.

    It has current CA tag and we’ll taken care off.
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  14. Boredsurfer

    Boredsurfer Been here awhile

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    I appreciate the offer. Europe needs more than one cylinder for my weight :) Good luck with your sale.
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  15. Tuff Tunica

    Tuff Tunica Moto-Skiveez creator

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    Just sent you a PM.
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  16. rpav

    rpav Adventurer

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    I keep a bike in Europe, but as mentioned earlier impossible to register and insurance if non resident. I have all paper work in a resident friend's name, and just "borrow/lease it" while riding.

    i
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  17. nortoneye

    nortoneye n00b

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    Another thumbs up for Stefan Knopf in Heidelberg. Rented for the first 2 trips then bought a F650gs from a Florida resident that was listed on Stefan's site. Kept USA plates on it and purchase the Green Card insurance, Stefan has the necessary form filled out and ready to go. It is cheaper to buy a bike already in Europe, I have no plans to bring the bike to the US. Am just returning from my third trip on the bike and will do the necessary maintenance at Stefan's shop before leaving.
    #17
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  18. MichaelJ

    MichaelJ Long timer Supporter

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    I've got an Internet Buddy that's headed for Stefan's tomorrow winding up his ride. Look for a white F800GT. Tell him that Michael J said "Hi" and confuse the hell out of him. :evil
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  19. nortoneye

    nortoneye n00b

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    I'll look for him
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  20. nortoneye

    nortoneye n00b

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    Message delivered
    #20