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How hard is it to import a bike from Europe?

L

Laplander

Guest
Have any of you guys imported a bike from England or elsewhere in Europe over here to the U.S? What kind of time frame is to be expected? Is there a ballpark figure? How concerned should I be about the V5 and registration books I see one some bikes listed?
 

Dinny

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I imported my bike from England to the west coast USA. Sea freight was about 6 weeks and about the same cost as air freight which arrived in about 4 days. I had it done door to door and crated. Shipping and crating was paid in the uk but import duty ( over 500cc) was applicable and was I believe 2.4% of insured value. Throw in import fees etc and it ain't cheap. Registering it over here wasn't too bad and not expensive but I had the V5.. You end to prove its owned by you so also get a receipt if you are buying one.

Cannot remember exactly but I did it by air and I think all in was about $4000 ish, sea freight was slightly cheaper but the import fees were more and with air they told me the flight and I could track it. Pick up in UK to delivery at my house was about 6 days total.

i used James Cargo and they were very good.

Mark
 

mercurycrest

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I'd suggest Flying to WhiteHorse, riding Your new Rapide 112 miles to Skagway, take the Alaska Ferry Lines on a lovely three day trip through the Inside Passage, land in Bellingham and either ride home, or rent a Van. :D
 

ClassicBiker

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Yes I imported my Comet from England back around 2003. It was rather easy actually. I saw it advertised in ClassicBike at dealership in Cornwall called Lanivet Motors. The comet was for sale at £500.00 which was reasonable then. So I called them up and got them to send me some photos over the internet. I enquired if they had a broker to handle international sales they did and all up that was another £1000.00. The broker arranged for it to be shipped right to my door. Lanivet tried to convince to save money and go pick it up at the warehouse once it had cleared Customs, I declined and had the crate dropped in my drive way. All things considered the only disappointment I had was with the crate. They used a used Yamaha shiiping crate and it wasn't really upto the job. The bike was leaning to one side and the rear stand and fender were a little bent. But I dropped fresh oil, fuel and a battery in it and it fired right up. Couldn't have been happier.
I you do import use a broker it is worth the money. They know the appropriate paperwork to get. When I went to register the Comet at the Michigan Secretary of State, I need to provide paper work stating it was legal for it to be exported from the U.K., that it was exempt from EPA compliance due to age either because it was over 25 years old or was around before the EPA. Both of which it was but the broker provided all that. I took all the paper work and my certificate of insurance down to the local SoS office and after arguing with the obstinate and hateful little anti-biker cow behind the counter that a 53 year old motorcycle was indeed around before the EPA (est 1970) and was over 25 years old and on both counts exempt from EPA meeting EPA emission requirements and that the paperwork provided was indeed the documents that said the bike could be exported and was mine. I finally called for the office manager who at first tried to be reasonable and polite with her and explain where she was making her mistake and to get on and do it. He finally lost his temper and literally told her to shut up and go away he would take care of it. After which he apologized to me for the delay, inconveinence, and her attitude. We had a thirty second discussion about what the rate of exchange was so we knew what amount of tax I had to pay, five minutes later I had a plate, registration and a title.
To this day I swear somewhere in the world a pig sprouted wings and took to the air. The biggest obstacle was the cow behind the counter and that only took up 15 minutes of my life.
Steven
 
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