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Thread: Shipping bikes to Europe or buying one there

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Great Falls, MT

    Shipping bikes to Europe or buying one there

    I am thinking about doing a three month tour of Europe in a couple of years. Is it easier and cheaper to buy a used bike there or shipping one from the States?

    I ride a 2013 R1200RT


  2. #2
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    My personal experience is that used bikes are more expensive in Europe. In addition to a higher price in general, the exchange rate is not in your favor either. The Euro is overvalued vs the U.S. dollar. Just go on any European ebay site and compare for yourself.
    The other thing to consider is, what you are going to do with the bike after your trip. If you buy a used bike, it will not likely be easy to import it into the U.S. as the bikes available on the market over there do not meet U.S. Federal requirements, DOT and EPA. Then there is the issue of proper insurance and licensing if you buy a used bike there to ride. If you don't have a place of residence over there, you can not register the bike unless you register it with a customs plate for export. Then you HAVE to export it after your trip.
    Shipping a bike over there on your own, without the help of some of the bike shipping specialists is going to cost you around $800.- one way per ship.
    Airfreight is more, but has the advantage that you can time the whole thing much easier.
    That all being said, it may be worthwhile looking into renting a bike.

  3. #3
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    You may be able to purchase a used bike and per-arrrange a buy back when you are done. I dealer that does not normally rent might find it appealing to take the $$ that the shipping would cost you to get back a bike with a few thousand kM more on the clock.

    What ever you do do not get discouraged, Europe is a must do ride, IMHO.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  4. #4
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    San Antonio, Tx
    Check out the Horizons Unlimited site, . There is information there about resources for shipping bikes to various parts of the world. Depending on where you ship the bike from/to airfreight can be an affordable option, but generally speaking ocean fright will be the best dollar value.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    The biggest mistake people make... is thinking they have time.

  5. #5
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I have used these guys for rental before. I only have this link in German, sorry. But if you click around, you get an idea. These are all dealers who rent basically any brand, any model.
    If you pick a R1200GS in price category 4, it shows Euro 299.-/week. That's Euro 1200.- for 4 weeks and I am sure they give you a break if you negotiate for a period that long.

  6. #6
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
    Check out Knopf tours. He ships bikes and rents bikes for various lengths of time. I'm planning on renting one from him this coming summer. And he's often at The MOA Rallies as a vendor.
    I remember stopping at a dealership in Germany about eight years ago. Checking the price of a new BMW was considerably higher than in the USA. Can't explain why but it did surprise me. Good luck on your adventure.
    Karen Jacobs
    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  7. #7
    Amma Holly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Ancaster, ON
    +1. I highly recommending shipping to Stefan Knopf. He will have a container leaving Florida in March. Not only is it cost effective, but he looks after all the paperwork headaches for you. Worth it for that alone!

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