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Thread: Shipping a Bike to Europe

  1. #1
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Shipping a Bike to Europe

    Mary and I are in Spain, and we've spent the last few days in the Pyrenees, where there are lots of motorcycles. For some reason, the riders seem to be enjoying themselves.

    I've thought a lot about 2002, when I shipped my bike to France for a month's ride in the Alps.

    The itch is reappearing. What might I expect it to cost these days to ship the bike by air (uncrated, but presumably palletized) from the west coast (LA or SF or Vancouver BC) to Europe?
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  2. #2
    Boxer n Cruiser jfmoore430's Avatar
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    You probably need to specify what size bike. I too am wrestling with the rent or ship decision. Thinking of taking an apartment rental for a month near Barcelona and touring Spain and Portugal from there.
    John

    2011 BMW R1200 GSA
    2009 BMW G650 GS

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Thanks, John. To get a quote from a shipper, I agree; I hoped that someone might respond here that they shipped their model x for y dollars, and I could get at least some idea of the cost.

    When I did this in 2002, the break even point for rent/ship was between three and four weeks. That trip was a month's riding, followed by a month's house trade (and occasional riding), so I could justify the shipping cost. I very much enjoyed having my own bike to ride; I suspected that I'd have yearned for it if I'd been on something else that summer.

    On this trip, we spent most of two weeks in Portugal, then four days in Barcelona, then a week in Tarragona, and are now in a lovely rural house (the word "villa" comes to mind) near the almost-not-on-the-map tiny town of Sant Julia del LlÚr, a bit west of Girona. The riding would be good, I think, the pavement in both countries is in good shape, and the drivers used to the presence of bikes. OTOH, there's a whole lot of traffic. However, drivers in Spain tailgate like nobody's business; even as a car driver, I feel nervous about it, and often pull over to let them go by.

    Barcelona has much to do and see, but the Metro is very easy to use, and I'm not sure I'd want to ride and navigate there. We usually like to stay in smaller places. Even up here on this holiday weekend, traffic is impacted by folks driving back home to Barcelona.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #4
    Registered User gfspencer's Avatar
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    Sometimes I prefer the Pyrenees to the Alps. That's a great place to ride. Unfortunately I can't tell you how to get a bike over there.
    2015 R nineT

  5. #5
    Registered User calr80's Avatar
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    I sat in on a presentation by Stefan Knopf at the rally in July. He had lots of good info regarding shipping bikes to Europe. He said that Air Canada Motorcycle Express will ship a bike for $1000 from Calgary if you fly with them. He also will ship bikes from the west coast (LA or Seattle) for $1375. Check out Knopftours.com for more info.

  6. #6
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Thanks, calr80. I rented from Stefan for a 1996 trip, and had a fine experience. Thanks for reminding me about him.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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    I paid about $560US each way from YUL to FRA this past may on Air Canada. I flew AC to get this price. All was perfect!
    Marty Hill
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    Ride till you can't

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    Mary and I are in Spain, and we've spent the last few days in the Pyrenees, where there are lots of motorcycles. For some reason, the riders seem to be enjoying themselves.

    I've thought a lot about 2002, when I shipped my bike to France for a month's ride in the Alps.

    The itch is reappearing. What might I expect it to cost these days to ship the bike by air (uncrated, but presumably palletized) from the west coast (LA or SF or Vancouver BC) to Europe?
    You may want to contact a few shipping companies and get multiple quotes. Prices differ from one company to the other.

  9. #9
    Cowboyatheart
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    Moringa, your body & brain will thank you! PM for discounts Smart Mix at TasteMoringa.com
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  10. #10
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    I am going to go to Europe next year. Hope CA will have a good deal then also. I will be going for three months

  11. #11
    Registered User cameleer's Avatar
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    As mentioned earlier, Stefan is a one-stop-shop for it all and I would definitely go with him, don't forget it also involves customs etc.

    Another option is to rent a bike in Spain, perhaps more costly but with zero percent of the hassle. I use www.imtbike.com

  12. #12
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I wrote to Air Canada. They replied on October 15 and said:

    Our current "Ship Your Bike" promotion ended Oct 1st. This program is not confirmed for next year, so we cannot give pricing or routing at this time. Also, please note that we do not ship motorcycles out of the U.S.A.
    Please contact us in January 2016 for an update.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    Did Air Canada do all of the paperwork/insurance/green card or did you do that yourself? I tried to call A/C this week. Their phone sys was down. I will try again next week.

    What other carriers have members tried and had success with?

  14. #14
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martyhill View Post
    I paid about $560US each way from YUL to FRA this past may on Air Canada. I flew AC to get this price. All was perfect!
    And you didn't even stop by for a visit! May you have a flat tire for that.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by calr80 View Post
    I sat in on a presentation by Stefan Knopf at the rally in July. He had lots of good info regarding shipping bikes to Europe. He said that Air Canada Motorcycle Express will ship a bike for $1000 from Calgary if you fly with them. He also will ship bikes from the west coast (LA or Seattle) for $1375. Check out Knopftours.com for more info.
    I'm still looking for transport in 2018 for our 9 month trip in North-America. Thank you for this information, I took contact with Stefan Knopf, really nice guy and he knows what he is talking about.

    Motor greetings from Belgium

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