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Old 09-15-2014, 08:17 AM   #1
ryker OP
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British buying a bike in the US

Hi,
I am planning a cross country trip from east to west and would like to buy, register and insure a bike on the east coast but I am clueless as to how to do this.
I have searched online but with no success.
If anyone has any advice on how to do this then I would be very grateful.
I have a full UK motorbike license.
Many thanks.
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:51 AM   #2
High Country Herb
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I'm no expert, but one key piece is having an address to list as your "residence" where the state will send the registration documents. It can't be a post office box, either.

Different states have different fees, so you might want to look for the best deal. For instance, California charges a fee every year, while Arizona and Oregon charge a smaller fee every 3 years I think. I am not familiar with the east coast states.

If you plan to sell the bike on the west coast (California) make sure it is emissions complaint for all 50 states. Some bikes (mostly 2-strokes) are not street legal in California, which will make them difficult to sell. Even 50-state bikes will be a bit harder sell because many people just don't know if they will have trouble registering an out of state bike.

You might want to ask in the Regional Forum for the east coast, as those people will know more.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:09 AM   #3
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In Oregon the motor vehicle people require proof of insurance before they'll sell you tags. Probably that way most states.
Bikes are looked on as fun, not transport for most Americians. If you dont need the latest and greatest, you can probably get a good deal compared to what your used to.
To sell a bike in Oregon, you take their money, give them the signed and dated title, and go on your way.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:55 AM   #4
ryker OP
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Thanks for that, much appreciated. I am planning to store it in California for a trip up to Alaska during summer time next year, so I am just looking to buy at the moment.
I'll go onto the local regional forums and see what advice they can give me.
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:19 AM   #5
High Country Herb
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Make sure the state you register the bike in does not have annual inspections. California doesn't, but I'm not sure if they are all the same. I wouldn't want you to have to ship it back east to get it inspected before they renew your registration.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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Where abouts on the East coast are you starting?

I'm in New Jersey, might be able to help you out.

I know to register a vehicle here, you just need a valid driver's license, and proof of insurance. Insurance is not a problem, but I don't know if they'll accept a foreign license. I would think so, for we have TONS of people from Europe and Asia here, and they all drive.

Either way, I can stop by the local Department of Motor Vehicles and ask. Can even take a look at any local bikes if you want (23 years of engine and cycle experience), as well as store it for you till you arrive. No big deal.


Oh, I wouldn't worry about inspections in the US. Chances are you'll be out of the state you registered the bike in, and other states have no clue as to other state's inspection regulations. Lots of states don't even have inspections anymore. Cops also don't pull over bikes as often as cars (unless you're really being an a-hole, and even that doesn't always get you pulled over!). I'm amazed at what people ride pass a parked cop car, and never get pulled over. Nothing like the UK and Europe.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:32 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the info.
Antirich5, I'll send you a pm.
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Old 09-18-2014, 01:25 PM   #8
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I doubt that you can register a bike with a foreign license in NJ. I even think that you have to be a legal resident in order to do so. Before 2001 you could come with foreign license and get NJ or NY one just by passing easy multiple- choice test. But now New Jersey is very strict when it comes to licensing. Florida and I guess some other states are much more relaxed.
But I think there always ways around it.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:06 PM   #9
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Some states issue titles when you register a vehicle. Arizona does this, for instance. I know foreigners can buy a vehicle here, and register it, but you do need proof of at least liability insurance (you guys call it 3rd party I believe--it covers the other guy if you are the cause of an accident, and you don't get compensation).

There are quite a few states on the east coast, so see which one, if any, issues automatic titles.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:58 AM   #10
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Go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) website for the state that you plan on buying the bike in. It will give you the most accurate information on what you will need to do.
If you have a specific brand in mind, you could also email a dealer in that state.
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:02 AM   #11
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Looks like he found a bike and is on the road. Just got a PM asking for tent space. Should be meeting him tonight I guess.
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ride4321 View Post
Looks like he found a bike and is on the road. Just got a PM asking for tent space. Should be meeting him tonight I guess.
Yep, talked him into a new KTM 690R Enduro. Should handle the altitudes and highways a bit better.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:13 PM   #13
ride4321
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Originally Posted by antirich5 View Post
Yep, talked him into a new KTM 690R Enduro. Should handle the altitudes and highways a bit better.
That's a much bigger bike than he started looking for, should do the job nicely.
Expecting him around 7:00. He's gonna have to come down to the bar iffin he wants food cuz there's nothing in my fridge at home.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:22 AM   #14
ride4321
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Left a PA and TN map with Will this morning and pointed him towards Romney WV. Wish I was going along. Anyhow, snapped this pic before leaving for work. Doubt we'll see this bike as clean again...



Enjoy your trip Will and post up pics.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:18 PM   #15
ryker OP
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Haha, she will never be that clean again, she is now looking as dirty as her exhaust note sounds
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