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Old 09-21-2012, 02:05 PM   #16
MichaelJ
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Location: Sterling, Virginia, USA
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I think that I lied earlier - the battery was disconnected (no big thing) and my tank was empty (it had just undergone significant repairs and the paint was still curing - less than 4 days old when I dropped the bike off). But the other bikes that were heading back had been ridden to the shipper's location and dropped off - so I know that they had fuel in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenThere View Post
I would be going over for an indefinite amount of time (job related) so I will need to get the bike to pass whatever inspections (TUV?)...
That puts a bit of a wrinkle in the matter. I'm not sure that Germany requires to bring the bike into TUV standards, but I do know that it can run into thousands of $$ in Switzerland from people that have done it. Be prepared for unpleasant surprises. Your company should be able to give you the info that you need, but your BEST bet is to contact the German Embassy or local Consulate (there is one in Miami and they will have accurate information.

As far as your license goes, this is from the Consulate's web site: As long as you have not taken up normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, you may drive or ride motor vehicles with your valid foreign driving licence for an unlimited period.

So, it looks like you'll be good with your US license as long as you don't actually take up formal residence.

They don't say anything about vehicles on line, so you do need to call them - you may be able to get "Tourist Plates" for the duration of your stay, or you may be able to just run around on your US plates.

You might also drop Stefan an email - he's probably familiar with what you need to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenThere View Post
So, as far as paperwork for your bike, did you have to give them (Stefan) anything (copy of registration...)?
What I dropped off in Orlando (in addition to the bike - which I trailered down from Virginny (I was going to Jacksonville anyway for the Iron Butt Associations party)) was:

5 copies of title back and front (3 Notarized)
5 Copies of Passport (3 Notarized)
3 copies Driver's License
1 Statment that you Name and full address shipping the bike all info like year make vin number to germany for personal use with stefan knopf Motorradreisen and that stefan knopf can take care of customs. Sign and date it (Notarized)

Export Power of attorney signed which is attached to this email

Original Title MUST be lien free.

This was in early '09
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:00 AM   #17
BenThere
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Excellent, Michael!!

Thanks again for the replies. I spoke to Stefan on the phone yesterday.

Ben
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:02 PM   #18
Cameleer
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Location: Dubai/Spain
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Stefan Knopf (www.knopftours.com) coordinated my bike's customs and insurance ordeal into Germany and arranged for it to be shipped to his place from Hamburg, hosted my bike for 4 months and provided all kinds of support. You cannot go wrong with him.
Best of luck, C
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:22 PM   #19
wheatwhacker
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Location: Cork, Ireland
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I just shipped 3 bikes from SF to Cork Ireland. Zero problems with shipping or customs. One of the bikes belonged to a friend in SF. Port charges for him were zero.
The total cost for a 20 container from the west coast of the us were $5K including port charges and $85/bike for us customs clearance.
As I said, I had 3 bikes plus all my own crap. You could easily put 10 bikes in the same container, uncrated, which costs $400/bike.
If you people are interested in getting bikes over here, I can handle unloading the container and storing the bikes. Aris export in California did a super job in organizing the shipping and I have a customs clearance agent here who did a great job getting the shipment through customs.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #20
BrookingsAl
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Seattle to Rotterdam container, arrival June, 2013

I'm organizing a container of bikes from Seattle to Rotterdam with pickup in Rotterdam scheduled for June 1, 2013. Still have room for more bikes. Although we are planning a round trip with riding time for one month, we could possibly accommodate your bikes as well for at least getting you to Europe. With the sidecars, each bike could possibly take the room of 2 bikes, so we might go for a 30' container instead to fit everything in. I'd be willing to work up some estimates if you're interested.

Here's the details:

We are shipping from Seattle to Rotterdam and back, with an expected pick-up date for the bikes in Rotterdam of June 1, 2013. Bikes will need to be returned to the shipper in Rotterdam NLT July 1, 2013. Our shipping agent in Seattle has suggested a shipping time of 30-45 days so bikes could be leaving Seattle as early as mid-April and not returning until mid-August.

At this point, we actually have room for 2 more bikes. A 20' container will hold 7 bikes, at this point we have 5 spaces committed. If we get a lot of interest, it is possible to consider an even larger container which should bring costs per bike down more.

The only reason we are trying to enlist other people in the shipping is to decrease the cost to everybody. In working with the agent in Seattle, we have attempted to determine all the costs involved. Some are fixed for the container, some will depend on how many bikes ultimately go in the container. The shipping agent in Seattle is experienced in shipping motorcycles.

I'm not doing this as a business venture, nobody involved with the ride will make any profit on the shipping.

We can't really predict how much costs will increase by next year, but here is a breakdown of what we know at this point:
5 Bikes - $1047/bike
6 Bikes - $938
7 Bikes - $861
These costs are one way to Rotterdam from Seattle. We expect similar prices for the return.

Al
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:44 AM   #21
eejespersen
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Location: End of the world, Faroe Islands
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Small shipping company, eager to serve. No I don't work there - anymore.
http://eimskip.is/en/Pages/default.aspx

Another even smaller company, also eager to serve. Don't work here either.
http://www.samskip.com/

...and the not so small company, which I accidentally work for:
www.maersk.com

You should ask the companies to include all fares in their offer, and have them do all the paperwork, because it can be very tedious. There's insurance and CO2 fare to consider as well.
Rotterdam is the main and biggest container-hub for Europe, it should be the cheapest destination, but ask the individual company for advice on that part.

If you want to go to all countries in Europe, you need this company to get to Iceland and Faroe Islands: http://www.smyrilline.com/home-11406.aspx -
If you as I like getting fancy national flags on your panniers, consider Shetland and Orkneys, Hebrides, Faroe Islands, Åland, Lapland and Scania - they all have their own national flags, despite not being independent countries. Plan your trip to Kalinigrad/Russia very carefully when navigating the Baltic region.
Gibraltar, The Channel Islands and other self-governing British Islands also have own flags.

Have a nice trip
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #22
insureguy
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RoRo Shipping to European Ports

I used Wallenius Whilhemson. This is the actual shipping company. They offer RoRo Service to many ports in Europe from many ports in the US. You will need to use a shipping agent. You will need to deliver the bikes to a port. I've shipped to Antwerp and Bremerhaven and out if Barcelona back to US. It's about $1300 each way including port fees, shipping fees and agent fees. This is uncrated Roll On Roll Off. My bikes always arrived, no damage. You will need to find your bike at whichever port you select. That can be interesting. The trip will take about 10 days, but you'll need to deliver the bike to the port a few days earlier. No insurance is included.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:53 AM   #23
lhendrik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
I think that I lied earlier - the battery was disconnected (no big thing) and my tank was empty (it had just undergone significant repairs and the paint was still curing - less than 4 days old when I dropped the bike off). But the other bikes that were heading back had been ridden to the shipper's location and dropped off - so I know that they had fuel in them.



That puts a bit of a wrinkle in the matter. I'm not sure that Germany requires to bring the bike into TUV standards, but I do know that it can run into thousands of $$ in Switzerland from people that have done it. Be prepared for unpleasant surprises. Your company should be able to give you the info that you need, but your BEST bet is to contact the German Embassy or local Consulate (there is one in Miami and they will have accurate information.

As far as your license goes, this is from the Consulate's web site: As long as you have not taken up normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, you may drive or ride motor vehicles with your valid foreign driving licence for an unlimited period.

So, it looks like you'll be good with your US license as long as you don't actually take up formal residence.

They don't say anything about vehicles on line, so you do need to call them - you may be able to get "Tourist Plates" for the duration of your stay, or you may be able to just run around on your US plates.

You might also drop Stefan an email - he's probably familiar with what you need to do.



What I dropped off in Orlando (in addition to the bike - which I trailered down from Virginny (I was going to Jacksonville anyway for the Iron Butt Associations party)) was:

5 copies of title back and front (3 Notarized)
5 Copies of Passport (3 Notarized)
3 copies Driver's License
1 Statment that you Name and full address shipping the bike all info like year make vin number to germany for personal use with stefan knopf Motorradreisen and that stefan knopf can take care of customs. Sign and date it (Notarized)

Export Power of attorney signed which is attached to this email

Original Title MUST be lien free.

This was in early '09
I shipped with Stefan in 2012 and took two big rides in Europe. Shipped from Orlando to Heidelberg like you. I have had the bike there since May 2012, and plan to leave it there for a long time.

Regarding vehicle registration, my US registration seems to be good indefinitely, as my residence remain US based. I never heard of "tourist plates". Your US plates will get you a lot of attention in Europe, marking you as an adventure tourist. You should carry copies of your US based vehicle registration document with you as local police and some border guards in Eastern Europe seem to want to see that at time.

When I shipped, my paperwork included vehicle title (New York State) and it had one lien (BMW NA) and NO PROBLEMS with Stefan or Customs. I'm sure BMW NA would be pissed if the bike got destroyed in Europe, who knows what my US insurance would say, but I don't plan to tell them. You may be more concerned. I plan to eventually pay off the BMW loan and cancel the US insurance.

You will need to buy green card insurance for the time you are actually riding the bike in Europe. Stefan can handle that for you too.

If the bike breaks down you will need some roadside assitance/towing service and you can get insurance for that through Stefan for 12 months cheap.

If you break, and need medical attention you will need medical insurance. Check with you US carrier for coverage. Good luck with that. I bought some supplemental medical policy through Stefan by the month to get me emergency coverage, etc. was also inexpensive.

Overall, this process has been a very pleasant one.
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lhendrik screwed with this post 12-05-2012 at 08:00 AM
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:53 AM   #24
Paulius1
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Lithuania, Kaunas city
Oddometer: 7
Hello fellows. If you decide to travel through Lithuania, Kaunas city and you will need some help: motorcycle service (I can recommend few small services who is very professionally take care of my motorcycles), affordable accommodation, or simply sleep in my home at one night, or someone else's, you can contact me.
I also participate in couch surfing program and will be happy to spend day with guests - motorcycle riders, if I will be free.

Notify me PM when you really know your plans.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:33 AM   #25
MichaelJ
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Location: Sterling, Virginia, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
I plan to eventually pay off the BMW loan and cancel the US insurance.
Virginia requires me to have insurance in order to keep the bike registered. I keep the absolute minimum liability on it to satisfy that requirement - well under $100/year

.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
If you break, and need medical attention you will need medical insurance. Check with you US carrier for coverage. Good luck with that. I bought some supplemental medical policy through Stefan by the month to get me emergency coverage, etc. was also inexpensive.

Overall, this process has been a very pleasant one.
Also consider an air evacuation policy with MedJet or similar. Handy riding around the US & Canada, too. Also, for an extra $25, they'll ship your bike back to your home.
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