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Old 12-21-2012, 05:25 AM   #1
Mike1234 OP
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West Europe, Summer 2013

Hello all

I'm weighing up options for a W. Europe trip next summer.

From the little bit of research i've done so far i'm considering either buying second hand, or renting a bike in Germany and then traveling for up to three weeks. I have an EU passport so that may be a positive factor.

As experienced folk, what would you recommend? Buy or rent? Buy and store to use each year (that's really a dream).

Any ideas are welcome as i'm really in the "concept" phase.

Mike
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:44 AM   #2
MichaelJ
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Financially, your cheapest option for a 3 week ride is to rent.

Looking at BiancoBlu's site in Milano, an R1200GS will run you €2,705 for 3 weeks, which is a significant amount less than shipping your bike bothways, port fees and insurance will cost - not to mention the reduced hassle factor of renting.

If you plan to make multiple trips, keeping a bike in Europe is definitely the cheapest way to go. You still have the shipping charges, but they are spread out over multiple rides. My bike went over in 2009, and has had 3 rides so far. I didn't make it over this year, but will be there next. I am doing business with Stefan Knopf, who runs a pretty much full service operation - rentals, shipping, storage, on-site shop, on-site B&B and will arrange whatever insurance you need/want. Plus he's a great guy and fellow biker. About 1.5 hours by train from Frankfurt airport.

An ADVRider denizen - Wheatwhacker - is providing shipping/storage services also. Stefan is in Heidelberg, Germany and Wheatwhacker is in Ireland.

To buy and register a bike on the Continent I'm reasonably sure that you have to have an address there - not just a passport.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
Mike1234 OP
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Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
Financially, your cheapest option for a 3 week ride is to rent.

Looking at BiancoBlu's site in Milano, an R1200GS will run you 2,705 for 3 weeks, which is a significant amount less than shipping your bike bothways, port fees and insurance will cost - not to mention the reduced hassle factor of renting.

If you plan to make multiple trips, keeping a bike in Europe is definitely the cheapest way to go. You still have the shipping charges, but they are spread out over multiple rides. My bike went over in 2009, and has had 3 rides so far. I didn't make it over this year, but will be there next. I am doing business with Stefan Knopf, who runs a pretty much full service operation - rentals, shipping, storage, on-site shop, on-site B&B and will arrange whatever insurance you need/want. Plus he's a great guy and fellow biker. About 1.5 hours by train from Frankfurt airport.

An ADVRider denizen - Wheatwhacker - is providing shipping/storage services also. Stefan is in Heidelberg, Germany and Wheatwhacker is in Ireland.

To buy and register a bike on the Continent I'm reasonably sure that you have to have an address there - not just a passport.
MichealJ,


Thank you for your informative reply; indeed, even if long term i plan annual trips, it is becoming clearer to me that at least for the first trip, hiring is the way to go.

Thanks again.

Mike
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
wheatwhacker
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Mike, if you have 3 weeks and you are on a budget, there are plenty of cheap bikes here that you could buy before you come and sell pretty quickly.
If a rental is costing over $2,500, just buy a $2,000 or less bike and sell it for whatever you can get for it when your done or, just leave it there. All part of the adventure.
You don't need an expensive bike for an adventure.

Here is an example:

http://www.donedeal.ie/for-sale/motorbikes/4068018
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wheatwhacker screwed with this post 12-22-2012 at 05:28 PM
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:33 AM   #5
MichaelJ
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...just buy a $2,000 or less bike and sell it for whatever you can get for it when your done
How does one get around the registration and insurance issues, being a non-resident? That scenario isn't going to happen on the continent.

Also - the rental I cited was pretty much at the top of the food chain - there are lots of MUCH cheaper rentals available.
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:44 AM   #6
Mike1234 OP
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Thanks Both.

I think rental is easier red tape wise; at least until i know that this is something i want to regulalrly do. If i were to buy; it would be to buy, use and store for annual adventures.

As far as level of bike, even an 80's z500/750/CB etc., would work for me. As long as safe and reliable, i'm not fussy as 99% of my riding will probably be on asphalt roads, riding slow and enjoying the freedom.

Mike
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:01 AM   #7
MichaelJ
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Another option is Stefan Knopf - he sometimes lists bikes that he's storing for his customers. Click here

These will usually be bikes that have US registration, so changing the title/registration over is easy (I'm assuming that you're a US citizen and/or resident). I've even seen a few bikes on eBay with pics that were taken in Stefan's back yard

It should be noted that these bikes are in-country on Tourist status and will have to leave the EU eventually. Either you will have to ship it back or pass it on to another eligible buyer. Selling to an EU resident usually isn't financially viable after taxes, duties and modifications to enable it to be registered in the EU are paid for.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:25 AM   #8
Mike1234 OP
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Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
Another option is Stefan Knopf - he sometimes lists bikes that he's storing for his customers. Click here

These will usually be bikes that have US registration, so changing the title/registration over is easy (I'm assuming that you're a US citizen and/or resident). I've even seen a few bikes on eBay with pics that were taken in Stefan's back yard

It should be noted that these bikes are in-country on Tourist status and will have to leave the EU eventually. Either you will have to ship it back or pass it on to another eligible buyer. Selling to an EU resident usually isn't financially viable after taxes, duties and modifications to enable it to be registered in the EU are paid for.
Thanks Michael; actually it was Stefan's website (that i read about here), that inspired the idea for me to buy and store.

As it looks now, when relevant, i'll hire from Stefan for a week or so and leave buying and storing as a future plan.

Thanks to you and WW for your information so far.

Mike
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