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Old 04-05-2013, 01:51 AM   #1
ur-aero OP
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Germany, central
Oddometer: 3
Looking for partner: Buying and riding a bike in USA and Germany


Im Uwe from Germany and, after long time reading only, I registered new to advrider. Since 8 years Im riding Motorbikes, in summer vacations I took several trips around Europe.
Im 45 years old and work as a teacher here in Germany. I have a year free from my job starting July 2014. I intend to come to the western USA to trip around for 3 or 4 month. Therefore I would like to have a Motorbike or even only a small scooter. The problem is, Im german, I have no address and no bank-account in the US. I dont know if I can register a Motorbike under these circumstances, I guess its not.

My idea is, to find a partner living in the western USA who has the same ideas of tripping in Europe, and to help each other. This should be much less expensive than bringing an own bike over the ocean or renting a bike officially (eaglerider or so).

The arrangement should be: the host helps the guest with searching and buying a Motorbike, registers it one his name/address and pays insurance and taxes/ fees from his bank-account.
The guest gives the host all the money for the costs he has, cash or however. He than can use the Bike as long as he needs it, and at the end the host helps with selling the bike, maybe even if the guest is back home again.

To give you some ideas what is possible here in Germany: I live in central of Germany, it is 550km to Baltic see or the same distance to the alps. A trip by train from Germany biggest international airport in Fankfurt to my home takes 3-4 hours. Couch surfing stay in my apartment is possible for a while. I know the most Motorbike dealers around my home. I have time to drive there with you or before your arrive. There are also dealers who store a bike for some month for a small fee if you want to come back once.
Best weather for trips you will find from April to November, but you can get to south Europe with a bike on a train the rest of the year.
Insurances covers all European countries, normally also Morocco and Tunisia in north Africa.
If you want to see what pre-owned or new Motorbikes are offered, go to, click on the Motorbike-icon, type in my postal code (PLZ = 32839) an choose a bike by brand or type. Other costs: for example a 600cc Motorbike with 50-70 HP: insurance is about 10/month, Tax 50/year (get back the rest after leaving earlier), registration and number plate once 50. For double cc and HP (up to 98HP) double the prices for insurance and tax. So this is less than renting a Motorbike for 1 or 2 days.

Hope to find a partner and friend this way. Please contact me.

Best regards

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Old 04-06-2013, 03:48 AM   #2
Joined: Oct 2011
Oddometer: 27
Hey Uwe, I'm Heinrich a German fellow.

Last year I traveled the US for six months. I started in San Francisco, went to the east coast and then back to SF. Wheatwhacker from this forum helped me buying a bike and it was overall a wonderful experience. I'm going to visit him beginning of May in Ireland, as he returned to his motherland during my trip across the US last year.

At least in California it's not a problem to buy and register a bike as a foreigner. You pay the registrations fees (~10% of what you bought the bike for) cash at the DMV. Progressive is your best bet for getting insurance without an American driver's license. Simply paid by credit card. For my V-Strom 650 it was about $700 for a year of coverage. Including collision coverage, which would be comparable to the German Vollkasko. This paid of in my case . The only thing you need is an address in California that you can use to register the bike. Nobody cares if you really live there.

I can give you contact information of people over there that might be willing to help you. Or better, directly ask wheatwhacker as he knows a lot of guys in California. Finding someone whose address you can use to register the bike will be no problem at all.

And if you're lucky, one of those might do the same thing, wheatwhacker did for me about a year ago. I watched craigslist for a bike that seemed reasonable for my trip. When it popped up, I told him to go for it, he went there, took a look and picked it up for me. When I arrived in San Francisco, it was already waiting for me in his garage. When you're done with your trip, you can just sell the bike again.

Just remember, if you want to stay in the US for more than 90 days, you have to get a visa. Not a big deal, you just have to visit an American consulate und pay about 120.

Ther than that, plan ahead in terms of when you want to visit. The western US has a lot to offer. From high alpine regions, especially in Colorado, which I highly recommend visiting to vast deserts. The alpine regions are best visited between July and September. Many passes are open only by July because of all the snow there. I came through Colorado last year in October and I hit the first snow. Your at almost 4000 m altitude, so riding season is limited up there. But it's awesome! On the other hand, avoid deserts during summer. Riding is not much fun and it's really dangerous. Expect 40C+ and no shades for many miles.

I hope this was helpful. Enjoy the trip, there's a lot to see over there! If you have any questions, don't hestitate to contact me.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
Ken Fritz
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Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Orangevale, CA
Oddometer: 1,025
address in California?

PM me for this deal. I got bike in Ireland with Wheatwhacker and am open to working with you.

The distances are too great for a small scooter, so plan for a bike of at least 250cc. 450 and 650 bikes are more common bikes here.

Ken Fritz screwed with this post 04-06-2013 at 09:05 AM
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #4
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Possum Kingdom Lake, TX
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Pm sent
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
Where fun goes to die....
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Glendora, Ca
Oddometer: 4,072
I have already done similar things for several travelers from across the pond (wales, England etc).

PM me if you need help in this, can always help out another rider.

DSM8 - A different kind of mean
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Old 04-13-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
ur-aero OP
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Germany, central
Oddometer: 3
Great you are!!!

Hi friends,

never thought of getting so many positive reactions to my questions.

Thank you very much to all of you!!!

The pms I received started with:
Hey, someone helped me with buying a bike in Europe, so I will help you here in the US. Im open to working with you

going on with:
Ill help you, get in touch with me when you are here. We can make some tours together..

Up to:
You can have one of my bikes and I get one of yours in Europe

After all I learned a lot:

It is not really hard to buy a bike and get insurance in California. One way is to get a CA drivers license (45min deal) and every insurance company will tell me to be welcome. The other way is Progressive Insurance, wich also accepts european licenses for paying a littel bit higher rates.
For both I need an address of registration, but using the address of a friend is no problem, an friends are easy to find on advrider

My idea of using a small scooter is, the traffic ist to fast and it is not easyer to register. Different from Germany.

The idea of borrowing bikes to each other is sympatic to me, too. This means the bike is ready for going and the owner in his country cares for selling it or keeps it in his garage.
I have 3 bikes, one of them is a touring enduro, equiped with boxes, tank-bag etc. But: Insurances in Germany are usually only for damage we do to others (cars, persons). My own bike is not insured if I cause an accident. Insurances for that case are extremely expensive here.

So, thanks for all, Ill keep in touch with you, and im really looking forward to my trip.

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Old 04-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #7
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Granbury Texas
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i thought, by the title, this was a internet dating site. haha
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
ur-aero OP
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Germany, central
Oddometer: 3

...and you klicked it
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:20 PM   #9
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Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Wandering
Oddometer: 1,086
i thought, by the title, this was a internet dating site. haha

...and you klicked it

well you never did say if you're male or female

but you did mention 'scooter'.....
5 weeks in Baja
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:12 AM   #10
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Kentucky-Eastern that is!
Oddometer: 3,178
Originally Posted by ur-aero View Post
...and you klicked it
I "clicked it & "I'm long time married & I call them "ride partners" if there hasn't been time to make friends yet.
As a frame of reference, CA is a more expensive place to doa MC than some other states but that is where your going to fly perhaps? Consider flying where the MC will be purchased & the ride involved will be part of the journey. Sales tax & registration varies for each state & much less in other places. FWIW, my Progressive renewal for my BMW R1150R is $131 USD yearly, full coverage.My 2 cents as a MC to go for if cost is any factor but you want a worthy road machine is a Suzuki Wee Strom 650 in the models prior to 2012. Since the new Wee came on there are plenty on the market and some great deals to be had. If you were a teacher in USA might be all you could afford.
There are lots of cheap places to fly in USA from the international hubs so best to think based on bike prices/locations,who's helping you buy ( I'd consider such) and takes little of your time to head west after purchase. Ride your plan but consider that much of the great riding is in the eastern mountains outside of the population centers.Obviously, fact remains that more bikes will found in population centers but not always. I live very rural & it makes sales much harder at times for me(from lots of experience doing so) as many will not travel for even a great price & machine, whereas I must usually travel as not much of interest in a very poor locale with almost nothing around but Harley machines & thats not my ride.
"If I had my life to live over,I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up.I'd be sillier than this trip, take fewer things seriously, I would take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges, at age 85
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:27 AM   #11
Joined: Apr 2013
Oddometer: 1
in Europe - Romania you can trip with bike at a nature virgin
Romanian Adventure -
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