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Old 04-07-2012, 08:06 PM   #1
wheatwhacker OP
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Helping people buy bikes in the USA

I'm not a vendor as this is non profit but, satisfying experience to be able to help people out.
I'm guessing some of the moderators felt the need to bump it over to vendors for some reason thinking I was rolling in dough from the experience.

If it gets bumped again, I'll close shop.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...4#post18404414
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
JDowns
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Hi wheatwhacker,

Checking out bikes on craigslist for foreigners and helping them with registering is a great help to those who may not speak English as a first language or are hazy on what it takes to register and insure a bike in the states. I know when I went to New Zealand, I had a similar experience with a kind hearted Kiwi who spent the day taking me around and even bargaining, helping me figure out how to register and buy insurance etc. What a great guy. It's what this site is all about. Maybe if some of the people you have helped could post here it would help clear up any confusion. It would be a shame if you were mistakenly penalized for being a good samaritan. It would be like putting the tentspace folks in the vendors area.

Keep up the good work!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
Adv Grifter
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This is a very helpful service to foreign travelers.
Problem is most are not trusting enough to come to the USA and buy a bike .... seems most prefer to spend $2500 and fly their own bike over. Many have no idea what bikes are available here, and clueless regards prices. Many don't believe you can get a DR or KLR so cheap ... as in Europe they are double the US price.

Some Euros have no clue how things work here or grasp how easy it is to get a bike and get on the road. (easier than most euro countries) Many even believe they need a Carnet for S. America, so some mis-info out there. I see many travelers flying their bike to Buenos Aires and starting the trip there. Big money to ship a bike from the EU to S.A. but more and more are inclined to do this. Getting the bike out of Aduana is an expensive nightmare.

At one point I thought of starting an Adventure Bike business: Buy popular dual sport bikes used, prep them for travel, re-sell to Euros coming over. Never did it but still a chance for someone. Several outfits in UK doing this.

Waiting on the title seems to be an issue ... but the title can be forwarded easily and securely. Insurance varies. Getting it is possible ... but finding it cheap not so easy.

My Kiwi buddies I helped outfit were headed South and never bothered with US insurance. Once in Mex. they bought it. Both KLR's made Argentina after 7 months on the road. Sold them off for close to what they paid for them ... flew home with CASH.
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
Witold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Some Euros have no clue how things work here or grasp how easy it is to get a bike and get on the road. (easier than most euro countries)

Waiting on the title seems to be an issue ... but the title can be forwarded easily and securely. Insurance varies. Getting it is possible ... but finding it cheap not so easy.
Possible, but you are being very generous by saying that it's 'easy'. How/where do you register a moto if you are not a resident of any state? As far as I can tell, this is not even possible in most states - particularly the states people want to fly into (JFK/SFO/LAX/BOS). There's a long thread here with people trying to figure out these sorts of paperwork issues.

You are right that most Euros are used to paying a lot more for everything. I've met many of them in developing countries and it was funny to hear them say what a good deal this or that is, and me constantly complaining that it costs the same or more than in US. After traveling 5 continents and having lived on 3, one thing I learned is what amazingly good value USA is. ("cheap" is not the same as "value".)
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
wheatwhacker OP
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They last couple to stay here were from Australia.
I sourced 2 KLR's, one here on ADV, the other from a Craigslist posting.
I checked the one bike out, paid for it and brought it home.
They wired me the money,
The other, an ADV inmate, kept the bike at his home for them till they arrived.
They then shipped all the gear they bought here to my house.
When they arrived, they went to DMV, put the bikes in their names and titles arrived 10 days later.
Once you have the Reg papers you are good to go anyway and the titles can be forwarded to any address in the USA.
Insurance from progressive was only a matter of a phone call.

Any more questions and I'll be delighted to answer.

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Old 04-08-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
Panny
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We can recommend Martin as a good host!
Was very relaxed to stay with him in 2010. Nice guy, easy going with him. Safe parking in his garage and we had a beer or two, too:-)

Hope to meet you "on the road" again!

Greetings from New Zealand

Panny
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:06 AM   #7
DirtyADV
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Bought a bike (KLR) from Martin a few years ago, great price and he had it ready with fresh oil and new tires when I picked it up!

And the price was good!

Hope your are able to keep it up Martin and hope to be able to travel america again! But then I might be in the hunt for a KTM Adventure =)


/Johan
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:44 AM   #8
deanosky
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Martin!!!!!!

Martin is a Great guy!!!!!

The is no gimicks here or something fase about him, he is not doing this to make money (for any of you skeptics out there).
I started My trip through south america in San francisco. I arrived fresh off the plane from Australia at martins place he had a bike there for me and I even slept on his couch for three weeks as I had some troubles with parts gettign the bike preped.

He is a great guy he helped me getting my bike preped for the trip as I had no experience with doing a long distance trip.

He is a relaxed as you can get, an honest guy who truly loves motorcycles and helping others out who share the same passion.

We went on a day trip around San francisco, some bar crawls in San Fran, he also introduced me to some of his friends who I also made a day trip with.

Still is on of my nicest experiences out of my 9 month trip through central and south america!

Made the start of my journey much easier, and for sure saved me a lot of money also.

Even if your going through San Fran look Martin up for a beer!
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:17 AM   #9
Daandus
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Cool!

I would love to start a second trip this way, because it is way easier and cheaper than flying bikes in from Europe.
We stayed a week at his place (with our bikes from The Netherlands) and had an amazing time!
If anyone is scared to do 'business' with someone abroad they have never met, I can understand... but I have forwarded some travellers already to Martin as you can trust this guy 100%. Him doing this to make money sounds like a joke!
We even allowed him to drive our bikes, the highest level of trust someone can achieve! ;-)
Don't think he is the best guy to repaint your bike to showroom-condition, but he does know every nut and bolt and knows a lot about mechanics! ;-) Exactly what we travellers want & need!

Luckily some people in this world do things simply because it comes straight from the heart, and Martin and his bike-stuff is a great example.

Don't forget to start a good discussion about 'potatoes' when you get there, and be amazed about the smile on his face! ;-)

Daandus screwed with this post 04-09-2012 at 08:55 AM
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Possible, but you are being very generous by saying that it's 'easy'. How/where do you register a moto if you are not a resident of any state? As far as I can tell, this is not even possible in most states - particularly the states people want to fly into (JFK/SFO/LAX/BOS). There's a long thread here with people trying to figure out these sorts of paperwork issues.

You are right that most Euros are used to paying a lot more for everything. I've met many of them in developing countries and it was funny to hear them say what a good deal this or that is, and me constantly complaining that it costs the same or more than in US. After traveling 5 continents and having lived on 3, one thing I learned is what amazingly good value USA is. ("cheap" is not the same as "value".)
The above posts confirm that, at least in CA, getting the bike in the travelers name is not difficult. I'm sure Martin can provide details since he has quite a bit of experience. Looks like lots of travelers have had a great experience while in San Fran.

My Kiwi buddies (4 or 5 years ago) used my address when registering at DMV (titles arrived 2 - 3 weeks later). DMV had no problem with them at all.

I forwarded titles to them. (boys already off to Mexico). They used CA DMV Temp registration to obtain Mexican TVIP. This may have changed now as Mexico is tightening up the whole foreign vehicle process. Best to have original title in hand these days.

Prior to arrival, I found several bikes on Craig's list so when the Kiwi's came they had 6 or 7 bikes to check out. Another friend lent them a car. Within two days they had bought two pretty nice KLR's, $2K to $3K ea. Both in great condition.

I had found one DR650 ... but it was a shitter and the seller lied about condition. So that one was a waste of time ... but this can happen on any classified site.

I like Martin's idea of pre-buying bikes. I hope he compensates himself for this as it's an important part of the deal!

Next, prepping the bikes (my garage and tools). One of the KLR's was well set up, the other, mostly stock. The Kiwi's bought riding gear, luggage and a few bits/bobs on line ... and all the gear arrived within a week. Off they went.

Their biggest problems with the bikes on the trip came mostly from lack of mechanical experience. They neglected some preventative maintenance. But they made it ... and managed to sell off both bikes at end of the road.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #11
Witold
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I wish there was Airbnb for motorcycles.
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #12
Unstable Rider
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Sounds like a very generous service. Great to read the posts of those that have used your services.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:28 PM   #13
lebretonstef
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I was at Martin's house last September, I enjoyed the hospitality and good advice from biker.
Thanks again Martin, Good trip!
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #14
wheatwhacker OP
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Examples of deals put together in the last 6 months.

September 2011.
Suzuki strom 650. 2001, 22,000 miles, $4,200 fully kitted, trip ready, sold to British lady for USA trip.


November 2011
Suzuki Vstrom 1000, trip ready, $4000. Sold to local here who hired me to find one for him for Panama trip.
KLR, 2000, 18,000 miles, boxes, needed doo, sold for $1800 to my friend who was coming to Panama with me
KLR, 1999, 22,000 miles, Needed doo and rear shock, sold to Australian for SA trip. $1,800

March, 2012.KLR 1998, 32,000 miles, $1,300.............for a coworker.
March, 2012 KLR 2004, 5,600 miles, kitted out, trip ready, $3,400.....Sold to Australian traveler.
March, 2012 KLR 2000, 14,000 miles, kitted out, trip ready, $3,200.....Sold to Australian traveler. (needed doohickey)
March, 2012 Suzuki strom 650, 38,000 miles, no boxes, aftermarket pipe, $3,400, sold to German traveler

I charge $100 per bike to check them out and pick them up, more if they are more than one hour away.
As the clients are involved in the haggling process and are CC'ed in every email exchange, the potential for me to "profit" is zero and all cost savings are passed on to the eventual buyer.
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:09 AM   #15
Heino
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I'm the German traveler and Martin is about the most helpful person I have met. His garage is filled with my stuff that I had sent to his house (and a bike, of course) right now. Dealing with him has been a real pleasure so far. I just hope there is really a bike waiting for me when I arrive in a few weeks.
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