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Old 12-17-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
leftfield123 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Beylikduzu, Istanbul, Turkey
Oddometer: 42
Pissed What is it with Turkey?

I relocated to Istanbul at the end of August and have been looking for a motorcycle. I'm running into two problems. The first is that most of the bikes for sell here are brands I've never heard of, or in the case of Jawa, not for 30 years. I look at the classifieds and see names like Mondial, Kuba, Kanuni, Ramzey, and Zongshen. Of these bikes, almost all are 125 or 150 cc. I did see a Kuda 250, once! The other problem is that if I want to buy a bike from a well known maker, then the price is through the roof. Before leaving the States I sold my well equipped 07 FJR for $7k. The same bike here goes for about $15k. I saw an ad for a '04 Wee Strom and they wanted $8k. The idea of riding a 150 on the freeway makes me a bit antsy even if I do see dozens of them on the road every day. I'll probably hold out until I can afford something better and bigger but who knows when that will be. So my question is, has anyone ever heard of the bikes I listed? Other than the web page for a couple of them, I haven't found much on line reviewing them.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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Location: Slovenia
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It's the same story for most small countries in Europe; bike prices are double what you're used to in the States. In big markets, like Britain and Germany, prices are lower, but still higher than American prices. I've never heard of the bikes you mention. Where I live, the local manufacturer is Tomos. Back in the old days everybody had a Tomos moped. Now it's only postmen who ride them.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
Mark Manley
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Kanuni produce replica East German MZ's, single cylinder 250-300 two strokes beloved of men in Wellington boots and wax cotton jackets. They are surprisingly capable for what they are but not quite what you are used to.
If it's in the Touratech catalogue then you don't need it

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Old 12-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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Location: Oxford
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Originally Posted by Nadgett View Post
It's the same story for most small countries in Europe;
Possibly true, but Turkey is a very big country, and it's in Asia (or at least most of it is).

To the OP, have you thought of buying a bike somewhere else (Germany, UK) and importing it?
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
leftfield123 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Beylikduzu, Istanbul, Turkey
Oddometer: 42

I wanted to bring my FJR from the States, but to get it in Turkey was too expensive. When you bring a bike in here the government determines it's value based on the Turkish market. Then they assess a tariff somewhere between 25-90 % (it's always at or near the top end from what I've been told.) As a result, the book value of my bike was around $7500, here it's value is double that. As a result, I would basically have to pay for the bike twice.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #6
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I think most of the marques you mention are PROC-made copies of Japanese bikes of the 1980s.
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Old 12-30-2012, 02:51 AM   #7
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
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TR has very tough import laws, and very hi taxes. Theres alot of chinese bikes, and in the SE, many old russian bikes. Japanese bikes are expensive, and harley prices are just crazy. You could ship to/buy a bike in europe, & ride it into TR as a temp import, but you wont be able to leave TR without the bike, & it will have to be taken out/back in to renew the temp import time to time. I dont know all the rules, but contact inmates dickyb or asphaltmueller, they are both europeans living in TR with TR registered bikes, maybe they will have some ideas.

I also am friends with the guys in the Istanbul M/C club. Good bunch of guys, and maybe they know of some bikes for sale?

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Old 12-30-2012, 05:12 AM   #8
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Location: Kas-Antalya,Turkey
Oddometer: 1,043
Have a look here for bikes if you are not aware of the site

The small bikes that you mention are okay for commuting, being economical to run and cheap to buy. However, they do not last. I live on the coast near Kas and the affects of the hot sun and salty air soon turns them into faded piles of rust.

Bikes over here, along with cars, have a high initial purchase price but they keep there value. I have found myself in the odd position of selling bikes for more than I paid for them after two or three years of ownership.

Depending on what you are looking for there are bargains to be had, or at least fairish value for money. If you look on Sahibinden you will see that BMW's are generally selling for silly money. However, bikes like the Yamaha XT660R and Yamaha TDM850 are relatively reasonable. I'm assuming you have a Residency permit. You will need one to buy a bike

Good luck,


P.S Turkey is littered with radar speed traps. A big, fast bike can soon turn into a very expensive hobby
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:11 AM   #9
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Location: Where Continents Meet
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Welcome to the club letfield123.
Due to high taxation and low amount of sales figures (say business volume) prices are much higher than US.
In fact most of EU is much higher thn US.

As a trade off we have lots of offroading where you can enjoy without much of limitations.
Also now that it is winter you may have some good eals on second hand bikes.

I would not reccomend the chinese konock offs as they will not be comparble to the FJR you had. Look for the known brands as the rest of the world. Check the as Dicky has mentioned.

If you are in Istanbul, there are many shops you can visit where they have new and second hand bikes you can look.
If you need an information or a mechanic to check the bike you are interested let me know, I maybe able to help.

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Old 01-04-2013, 11:32 PM   #10
leftfield123 OP
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Beylikduzu, Istanbul, Turkey
Oddometer: 42

Thanks to all for your informative replies. Although I've been in country since the beginning of Sept. I won't get my residence card until the end of this month. I've seen the site listed and hope to meet the guys at the club next week. I'm Facebook friends with Mehmet and will keep in touch with those of you here in Turkey if I need help.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:05 AM   #11
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Where Continents Meet
Oddometer: 152
Hello Letfield;
Mehmet is one of the most common names in Turkey. In the club we have around 4 or 5 Mehmets....
I guess it is like John or Ian.

In any case, the prices of second hand gets low as the winter settles in. There are many guys who want to sell by the winter and buy with the spring! They use the money somewehere else in between.

Good luck.
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