Shipping a GSA to London from LA

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

  1. Andylaser

    Andylaser Heavy Metal

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    Just noticed a local BMW dealer is offering bike hire rates. Dont know how these compare to others. May always be worth seeing if there is a deal to be had for a long term rental.

    http://blog.bahnstormer.co.uk/?page_id=90
    #41
  2. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I WAS familiar with the UK system as I was car dealer there from 1967-1980. Before cameras and computers you could use a Guinness label for a tax disc! I was an Auto Dealer in California from 1981-2004.

    Hence these things interest and often rankle me!

    So...OP will have what? Third party insurance on his own shipped bike? At what cost? Can he ride it in UK on the Euro third party? Will he be happy with third party only and no crash coverage?

    If he gets in a nastydent of his own doing and wrecks his bike :cry (like I did in Baja,,see 'hit a cow in baja' in faceplant). What then? Mine was a total loss to me.

    Just considering the options as I too will visit UK and Euro some time soon I hope. I do have a daughter in UK so that may help with logistics.

    If I'm to ship a $10,000 bike for $5000 shipping cost and have a nastydent I'm out $15,000. Not including insurance cost that I paid but cannot take advantage of.

    Therefore my Accountant says RENT.

    My HEART says take your own bike.

    Compromise is buy and sell.

    Oh well. Motorcycle travel is not inexpensive like it used to be. When I was in my 20's we used to ride motorcycles around the Greek Islands and considered just one step above a Backpacker! I think Ewan and Charley F'd it all up for us.
    #42
  3. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    A couple of years ago I tried buying a bike in Ireland and I ran into the same insurance problem that JMo did for the UK. I have a personal friend who owns a BMW dealership and they explained that they could sell me a bike, and I could register it, but that as a non-resident of Ireland I could not get insurance. And having an Irish passport was no help.

    I know that Wheatwhacker has registered bikes for other inmates in Ireland, and that he is a reliable and trust worthy fellow. He has shown those that use his services how to get Green Card insurance, but I have my doubts that the insurance is valid in Ireland itself. It may pass muster if you are stopped by the Gardai and show your non Irish driver's license and leave them scratching their heads, but if you have a claim it might be another story. But it may work for claims outside of Ireland, which would reduce the risk considerably if you just drive to the ferry and back.

    I may do a ride from Dublin to Morocco next year. If I do I will buy a bike in the US, register it in Cali, then ship it to Ireland. Green card insurance will then be valid in Ireland and Europe. I will store the bike with relatives in Ireland as I visit there once or twice a year. The bike registration can be renewed each year by mail in Cali, as there is no inspection or smog required. The draw back is that to sell the bike in Ireland it would need to be imported, unless I sell it to another Cali resident who wanted it for similar purposes.
    #43
  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Dang, I used to have a car and motorcycle license for UK and my daughter and mother still live there. I let my UK passport and DL slide.

    I may just put something together if it's possible.

    (1) You buy a bike. No problem, you offers your money you get a bike.

    (2) You need insurance?

    (3) To get insurance you need an address, If I 'live' there I am a resident, I've had people live at my house for two days then change their mind.

    (4) Thing is can you get insurance without a UK license? We shall see about that.

    If I figure this out you lot will be the first to know.

    I offer this service now in California and it's been working well.

    How about a 'rent to own' ? That way you may be able to offer insurance.

    It's just hard to comprehend that this has not been dealt with and overcome.
    #44
  5. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

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    Why wouldn't Green Card Third party Insurance be valid in Ireland? I buy this type of insurance each year in Germany (through Knopf>ADAC). It is valid all over Europe, the green card form itself lists all the countries it is valid over including Ireland, all of the EU, etc. Excludes some of eastern europe, where you buy bullshit insurance at the border (good luck collecting on that).

    Regarding damage to my own bike, I am content to pay for damage to my own machine. Makes me drive safer....usually. I'm not interested in paying a FORTUNE to have an insurance company pay my collision/theft damage in Europe.

    My advice:

    1. ship your own bike, get green card insurance and put aside a repair fund so you are "self insured". Ride carefully, watch where you park, worry a lot, enjoy the ride a bit.
    2. Buy a cheap bike in Ireland using Wheatwacker or the like, green card, ride the piss out of it. Store it for next year. Sell it for most of what you paid. Smile a lot.
    3. Rent. Pay a ton. Don't damage the bike or ride it too far. Worry a lot. Pay too much. At least you should rent a bike you always wanted to ride/test.
    4. Stay home. Read about other people going to Europe. Be sad.
    #45
  6. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    That's funny. Love it,
    #46
  7. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Or, you could ride USA...

    lots of....

    Little Italy

    Little Saigon

    Chinatown

    Polish Center

    German quarter

    Portugese community

    Greek neighborhood

    Barrios

    Uptown

    Downtown

    Blue Mountains

    Fruited plains

    Desert

    Thousands of Lakes

    Two major oceans

    Thousands of rivers

    Great off road

    World class benchmark Interstate

    Many different language!

    Freezing cold to scorching hot

    Proximity to very foreign Country (Canada)

    Proximity to native tongue (Mexico)

    Interaction with peoples from India and Pakistan (Motels)

    Interaction with Lebanese (Gas stations)

    You can get hassled by Police, robbed by Dudes, hit up by Chicks, listen to rock and roll and country music all in one day and still have change out of a $50 to fill your bike and leave town quickly.
    #47
  8. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here Supporter

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    Hi folks.
    I just got directed to this post as there seem's to be some confusion about my services that I offer here in Ireland.
    Firstly, I am not affiliated to any insurance company. http://motosapiens.org handle all the insurance issues on the bikes I buy here. They use the same underwriter as some of the other companies, so, basically the same insurance cover but, at a much more reasonable price.

    So far, over a dozen riders have left my premises here in Ireland bound for either Europe via the Cork - Roscoff ferry which departs less than a half hour drive from my place, England via one of the many ferry crossings or a tour around our beautiful country here.

    http://www.brittanyferries.ie
    http://www.irishferries.com
    http://www.stenaline.ie/


    My services include helping you choose your bike, negotiating with the seller on your behalf, picking the bike up and storing it for you till you arrive.
    The bikes are "fully" insured in all countries in the EU including Ireland, I repeat, including Ireland.

    Buying here and reselling the bike when you are done or, storing it for future trips is the cheapest way to go. You can trade ownership between friends if you want without any issues. I have a cop friend here that knows what I'm doing and it's all perfectly legal. They even patrol my premises when I'm away.
    I really cannot add any more to that other, than you guys ring any cop station in Ireland and ask about the legalities of my system. You will be pleasantly surprised to find out it is all above board.

    I am running this service at a loss but, do it for the love of the adventure. I have just invested over 3,000 Euro in added security and will continue to invest in more facilities including campgrounds and cabin camping.

    You can support me or, continue to throw money to shipping companies. Loosing a $1000 in depreciation on a motorcycle is a lot cheaper than paying double that to ship to and fro from the US.
    Here are the advantages of my system over shipping.

    A. You have a way better selection of motorcycles.
    B. There is no time that you are without your bike on either side.
    C. No worrying about extra money being charged at ports.
    D. You can leave the bike here when you are done with your trip and more importantly, unlike your US registered bike, you can easily sell it here when you are done. Selling a US registered bike here is not a good idea as the buyer will also have to be a US resident, preferably in your state, or importing the bike into Europe, which means paying import duties, both options limiting the value of your bike.

    Here are a few examples of what people are doing.

    One guy purchased a KLR 650 for 1,200 euro. He shipped over racks which he installed when he got here. He then mounted his pelican cases that he used as luggage cases and off he went.
    More guys are buying transalps for 1,500 to 2,500 euro and just storing them here.
    The Honda Varadero 1000 is a very popular, very reliable bike to have and seems to be a good replacement for the GS. Many of my clients that own BMW GS's have gone this route and seem very happy.

    I am hoping in the future to have some of you as clients. What better way to have a second home in Europe other than use my place as a place to either store your bikes, pop in and do some repairs, have a beer and hopefully in the future stay a few nights and explore the beautiful Kinsale/Cork area.
    Whether you ship your bike, buy your bike from a dealer or use me to help purchase the bike, there is always a welcome and a helping hand here should you find yourself in need of assistance or a place to call home.
    #48
  9. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Nice :clap

    That's what I'm talking about, a feller that knows how to get things done.

    There is often a way, you just have to find it, see my sig line.
    #49
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Ah yes, the good old days "Tax applied for" - and they had no way of checking x



    Yes, the insurance is valid for all EU countries, that includes the UK & Eire. It is just that that sort of policy itself is not available to buy in the UK, you have to go to a mainland European country (typically Germany) to get it.

    I understand it is possible to get further cover (for typcially fire and theft) from Knopf Tours and the like, but that will be even more expensive... and likewise (even if it is available) fully comprehensive (ie. your fault) damage insurance would be exceptionally expensive to obtain.

    I believe the principle of the Knopf Tours style insurance is to offer the minimum cover that is legally required so you can use a vehicle in Europe - although I defer to what Wheatwhacker says regarding the underwriter Motosapiens use, if they are able to offer 'full' insurance cover, and at a realistic price - I would certainly go with that company!


    I agree... for anything less than month, it makes far more [financial] sense to rent something (which is what a couple of friends from the US did last summer for our road trip around Europe) - one price, everything sorted, just fly in and collect the bike...

    For anything more than a month, shipping your own bike is an option (it is currently around $2000 USD each way by air), plus sorting out monthly insurance with a European agent.

    I would say buying (and selling) a bike, especially in the UK, is really only viable if you have family or friends here that can help with logistics.

    Hee hee - certainly there has been a dramatic increase in [transatlantic] shipping costs in the past 5 years - but this is partially due to the paranoia of the TSA and airlines in general carrying 'dangerous goods' - with regulation changes in early 2009, only a very few shipping agents now handle motor vehicles in and out of the US by air, so it is in effect a cartel.

    If you can afford to be flexible regarding how long your bike is in transit, then sea shipping is certainly a far more cost-effective option still.

    Jx
    #50
  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    That is certainly an option - I considered doing a similar thing in reverse in 2009, leaving my UK bike in the USA - especially as the shipping cost had so dramatically increased (but ultimately decided to bring it back after all).

    At the time there was seemingly no reason (customs / legal / paperwork) for me not to be able to do that - just leave it in a friends garage, come and go as desired and insure with Progressive as required - either an ongoing annual basis, or canceling the policy and taking a new one out when I returned, the US being far more accommodating with insurance for foreigners of course...

    However, having read a couple of threads on here recently about UK bikes staying the US long term (specifically the Yamaha 660 Tenere of a friend of mine), it seems that the US customs situation has changed and a foreign vehicle is only allowed to stay for a maximum of year now. I'm not sure the situation is the same in reverse (ie. in the UK, Eire or rest of Europe), but I imagine so - so you'll need to check into that if you are planning on keeping a US registered bike here long term....

    Of course it is simple enough for you to cross a boarder in Europe (especially in Ireland, as from south into north is technically a boarder), but with all the Big Brother cameras and passport controls to mainland Europe, they may keep a record - and consider you are violating the import/customs rules, especially if you only do it 'Tijuana' style for the day...

    Jx
    #51
  12. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    I have followed Wheatwhacker on this forum from when he was providing services to people purchasing bikes in the US to his current offering of equivalent services in Ireland. I can attest to the fact that he is honest and beyond fair in his dealings with all the inmates here. I do not wish to discourage anyone from using his services. In fact, if I ever have the pleasure to meet Wheatwhacker in person, the first and second pint'a will be on me.

    It may very well be that he has found a legal and viable way for a non Irish resident to insure an Irish registered motorcycle. If this is so, then I will most likely be using his recommendation for my own insurance needs in the near future. However, while I am neither an attorney nor an insurance expert, I have been told that the reason Irish insurers cannot insure a non resident on an Irish registered motorcycle is a matter of law, and not just a matter of insurance company inefficiency. But I do not know if this is just a national law in Ireland, or whether it is a result of EU regulation. A similar law appears to apply in the UK, so it does raise the question.
    #52
  13. Enduro10

    Enduro10 Been here awhile

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    Lot of interesting things to see...

    How can a foreign buy and ride a bike in the USA ?
    #53
  14. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Here in California you just need an address to receive the title from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Buy the bike you want, go to the DMV and change the title to your name, wait for the title to be mailed to the address you are using. US insurance companies will insure foreigners. California may not be the best place to do this as California charges sales tax on the purchase. Maybe some inmate from a state with no sales tax knows how it is done there?
    #54
  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    You use me like travelers use Wheatwacker in Eire.

    I locate/buy/register/insure, also have welcome sign out with room rental and some repair/modification availability.
    It's a good landing spot first step for travelers. I have three in the country right now.

    I offer (for a fee) my services and address and expertise.
    #55
  16. bcostell

    bcostell Been here awhile

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    I live in NorCal, have dual citizenship (US and UK). So I have the great advantage of not being constrained by the insurance/license BS that a US citizen has to put up with. I can't offer any great advice on how to navigate the difficulties of buying/insuring. However, I can share a thought as to how to make it 'potentially' more economical.

    If you're only ever going to make one trip, then all of the expenses will have to be amortized the one time. If however you plan (or change your plans) to make several trips, then it gets much more interesting. In my case I picked up a peach 2005 1150GSA on xmas-eve. I found it on ebay, had the dealer deliver it close to Heathrow airport. I rode out on xmas day. Channel tunnel, Paris, Alps, Pisa, Rome, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Milan - where I put it in to storage. 30 euro's a month. I went back a month later, rode down to Ascona, took the ferry to Greece, rode around a bit and parked up in Athens. Heading out this week for a couple of weeks - touring Crete. End of summer, going back to tour Turkey. Over xmas this year I'm doing either southern Italy and Tunisia or southern Spain.

    So, as you can see, if you figure multiple trips, then the expense for the bike really drops down. Storage for a year is less than $500. There are secure places dotted around europe. The big expense is the up front bike purchase. But, you don't have the big hit shipping expense.
    #56
  17. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    So what insurance do you use?
    #57
  18. rattis

    rattis Long timer

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    The Tuckers sorted me out well and beyond the call of duty :D
    Honest, helpful and friendly and to boot knows some nice rides in their neck of the woods.
    also there's a nice Mexican restaurant close to their hom that serves nice margaritas in pitchers :1drink
    #58
  19. Motomochila

    Motomochila Moto Scientist and time traveler

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    One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier posts; the bike must have a clear title with no lien holder to ship and insure....unless military. I have my title on the bike I am shipping, a 2011 R1200 GSA but I did finance the bike for 12 months when I bought it new last year. I got the signed off title from BMW finance in March and never gave it a thought when I started this venture.

    Last famous words in many mishaps.

    I can't ship my bike and get "Green card" insurance with a signed off title unless it accompanies a notarized signature. That ain't gonna happen, so now I am rapidly attempting a new title from my local California DMV office. Since they work at blazing fast speed, I'm sure I'll have no problem at all to meet the June 1st delivery date to the air forwarder.

    Fingers crosses and hoping I can pay someone off to actually get a clear "pink slip" for my GSA. Next, the paperwork and the crating. Until then, it's time for distilled grains to calm my anxiety.
    #59
  20. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Oh crap.
    Last Title I recently did took 20 days from my visit to DMV office to when I got it in the mail.

    I'll PM or email you with a possible solution.
    #60