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Old 02-05-2013, 03:43 AM   #16
PeterWebtrax OP
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Capital country
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Step 1 - Buy the bike

Early last year I saw the Beemer for sale by one of the Advrider inmates in Oregon. I had been toying with the idea of getting a pre-89 bike from overseas for several reasons:

High Aussie dollar - means bikes much cheaper, cheaper than they normally are. On average about 2/3rds the cost here.

Wife and I were planning a trip to Canada later in year, and I had a friend there who wanted to go for a ride together after I got rid of the wife.

Pre 89, meant much less cost and hassle bringing the bike back into Aus. The legislation changed in Jan 89, which means any bike newer than Jan 89 needs to meet full ADR compliance. Which you wouldn't think would be too difficult for a motorbike, but from what I've heard about Harleys coming in it is still about $2-4000 for lots of minor fixes.

If the bike is pre-89 it just needs to meet basic roadworthy test in your state, which in gods-own Capital Territory costs a measly $50.

So, I saw this pristine R100GS for sale in Oregon. One owner from new, only done 50,000k's, love at first sight. Agreed a price, found a friend of a friend in Seattle who kindly agreed to check it out, agreed to buy it, sent over a deposit.

I got the seller to agree that the sale would only complete when I got the import approval done here, as 'no import approval, no import', so not much point buying it.

That's when the first problem arose. The bike is an 89 model, presumably built in late 88, but you have to be able to prove that to DIISR. Owner didn't have the original sale document, and the VIN plate which has the VIN number and manufacture date stamped on it, was barely legible.

There was some corroborating evidence to suggest it was 9/88, but nothing definitive. There are various BMW VIN decoders on the net that will tell you the manuf date.

The owner said that with the naked eye you couldn't read the manufacture date, but he sent over several photos of the VIN plate, and by sheer luck managed to get one where, with a little enhancement, you could just make out the pin pricks of the second 8 in the year. Or I thought you could.

So I sent off all the evidence with my application to DIISR, and waited. It took about 4 weeks from memory, but I'm told it can take longer. Eventually it was approved, so first hurdle jumped.

Paid the rest of the money, and arranged for the bike to go to the friend of friend in Seattle for storage until I came over. Great guy, didn't know me from a bar of soap, but picked up the bike, and stored it in his garage for about 3 months.

I had a few issues that arose before the delivery of the bike when the owner found the clutch slipped under heavy load. Long story, which I won't bore you with, but made me realise the problems that can arise if you are planning on using the bike over there. It was the sort of work I could do if I had the bike here and in my shed, but didn't, so we had to pay expensive BMW mechanics to do some stuff. The owner was very good about it (he didn't need to tell me about the problem) so I was lucky.

If you're not planning on riding the bike over there, not an issue, but if you are, you need to be confident the bike is ok, so a good test rider is essential.

So that's the end of Step 1. I now own a motorbike in the US. Next problem, how do I register and insure it so I can ride it for 3 weeks over there. Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

Cheers
Pete
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:50 AM   #17
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:51 AM   #18
PeterWebtrax OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
Nice, hasn't got the standard tank though.
It is the standard tank, but the owner (a product designer) couldn't stand the look of the standard stickers so he took them off a few days after he bought it.

I'll try to put them back on just so it looks more original.

He also replaced the rear guard so it looks a lot more modern than the original. Might need to put the original back on to pass the vehicle inspection if it is not below 45 degrees from the centre of the wheel.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #19
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This is a good read already
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterWebtrax View Post
It is the standard tank
Don't want to get into an arguement and am happy to be proven wrong, but to my knowledge the paralever GS fuel tank had a raised cap and was 26 litre capacity (see below), whereas the flush fuel cap, 24 litre capacity Mystic tank, which looked the same, also fitted.

I'd be trying my luck with that guard for rego, good chance it would pass.


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gsd4me screwed with this post 02-05-2013 at 02:44 PM
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:50 PM   #21
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Did a bit more Googlerising and you are correct. While the Europeans got a raised cap, the US market got a flush cap.


1988~1990

The GS is introduced, replacing the G/S. The US got only the R100GS, but an R80GS was sold in other markets. The major differences between the R80GS and R100GS are:

the oil-cooler on the R 100 GS
a small 'tombstone' windshield on the R 100 GS
798cc vs. 980cc. The R100GS got 40mm carbs in non-US markets while the rest got 34mm carbs.
The differences from the previous generation are:

Paralever rear suspension (185mm travel) and 40mm Marzocchi fork (225mm travel), resulting in...
More weight and a longer wheelbase, allowing...
Larger battery tray to accomodate large or small battery (large was provided).
Rear subframe with small rack
Painted headlight/instrument nacelle
40mm Brembo dual-piston front brake
New centerstand design (pedals curved out)
17" rear rim, cross-spoked wheels allowing tubeless tires. Heavy, though.
6.4 gallon tank with two petcocks. US got a flush cap, EUR got a protruding cap with horizontal tube vent.
Stainless steel exhaust with a black cover plate
No kickstarter (but available as an add-on). I think all Swiss bikes have the kickstart.
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gsd4me screwed with this post 02-06-2013 at 12:53 AM
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:12 PM   #22
GodSilla
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterWebtrax View Post
"....and I had a friend there who wanted to go for a ride together after I got rid of the wife." How much did that service cost, and how do they dispose of the remains?

"which in gods-own Capital Territory" Yes, it's mine, thanks for the acknowledgement, a blessing is forthcoming.

Cheers
Pete

See my question above Pete.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
Don't want to get into an arguement and am happy to be proven wrong, but to my knowledge the paralever GS fuel tank had a raised cap and was 26 litre capacity (see below), whereas the flush fuel cap, 24 litre capacity Mystic tank, which looked the same, also fitted.

I'd be trying my luck with that guard for rego, good chance it would pass.


Nice Bike.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:31 PM   #24
gsd4me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldust View Post
Nice Bike.

Pity I wasn't in the right place at the right time.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:13 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
Pity I wasn't in the right place at the right time.
My experience tells me that you can be in right place at the right time too many times
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:50 AM   #26
AL-58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
Don't want to get into an arguement and am happy to be proven wrong, but to my knowledge the paralever GS fuel tank had a raised cap and was 26 litre capacity (see below), whereas the flush fuel cap, 24 litre capacity Mystic tank, which looked the same, also fitted.

I'd be trying my luck with that guard for rego, good chance it would pass.
I had a '91 Paralever R100GS, bought it 3 months old in Sydney, The flush fuel cap was standard fitting by then.

Al
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:23 AM   #27
PeterWebtrax OP
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Step 2 - Rego and Insurance in US

Next problem, I wanted to ride the bike for about 3 weeks in August, so the bike needed to be registered and insured.

Insurance wasn't too big a problem. Went to Progressive online, did the application online, used the friend of friend's address. Had to get 12 months, but about $300, good value, could cancel later. Everything done online, except they still send out the paperwork to be signed, so by the time it was sent on to me, and back through Seattle, they were asking 'please explain' questions. Got there eventually, so all good.

Rego was a different matter. Every state in the US has different rules, but virtually all of them require proof of residency in the state, much as ours do. Difficult if you don't have a gas bill or similar.

The other issue is the sales tax or 'use tax' that many charge. Like our stamp duty, but can range from none to 10%. Bit much for a 3 week usage. Oregon was in the 'none' camp, but had fairly strict residency requirements.

I have heard from other inmates that they were able to register over there by going in to a small licencing centre, and they didn't require the documentation, but I couldn't really take that risk.

The other option was to get an 'unregistered vehicle permit', same as we use when buying a vehicle from another state. Trouble is most are only for 3 days max. But good little Oregon let you get one for 3 weeks. I was starting in Washington, which only did 3 days, but figured I could get a few repeats to cover me there.

Typical cost about $20 for each permit.

They didn't seem to care whether you took the direct route from A to B like our DMVs do, in fact couldn't care less. So Seattle to San Francisco via the Washington and Oregon Back Country Routes were quite feasible.

So, after a very enjoyable trip around the stunning countryside of Canada with the wife, I picked up the bike in Seattle, and headed off for an eventful ride.

Ride report here if you're interested: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=830651

Next step, getting the bike out of the US.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:41 AM   #28
lookfar
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I'm in!! might like to do this myself one day.......not necessarily the same make of bike though


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Old 02-06-2013, 02:53 AM   #29
PeterWebtrax OP
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Step 3 - get the bike out of the US.

Before I left Aus I had looked at the various options for shipping the bike back home. There are quite a few companies doing it now, ranging in price from about $1000 to $2000. That doesn't include the GST you get slugged bringing the bike in.

Also doesn't include any charges AQIS might hit you with for cleaning the bike if they deem it to be 'dirty'. I was told that their criteria is fairly arbitrary, some spotless bikes get cleaned, some real dirty ones don't, it's a lottery.

I went with Robin at Shoreline Motorcycles in Brisbane, as he was cheap, and seemed to know what he was talking about. Most of his containers come into Brisbane, but if you are willing to wait a bit longer you can get Sydney or Melbourne.

In terms of paperwork, there is only one absolutely essential document you need. The 'Certificate of Title' to the bike. US doesn't handle registration like we do, you have a Title deed which proves you own the bike (like our land titles) and registration is totally separate.

But basically if US Customs can't see the original Title deed attached to the vehicle, it won't leave the US.

As it turned out my delivery got its first major delay because 2 cars in the container did not have the correct paperwork, so the container sat on the dock until they did.

And knowing the bike needed to be clean I spent about a day and half cleaning it before delivery to the shippers. And even though the bike is in immaculate condition for its age, you soon realise how many nooks and crannies can hold 20 year old built up grime.

In hindsight I should also have sprayed the whole bike with WD40 or similar to provide some basic protection from the elements. My bike ended up taking 4 months to get here, and some of that time it was obviously outside.

September 14th I delivered the bike to the shippers in San Fran, which was an eye-opener. Big warehouse filled with about 100 collectible cars of every shape, size and age, plus about 40 motor bikes. Major drool time. And apparently most of them were coming to Aus.

The shipper said he had one of Robin's containers going to Sydney a few days after the Brisbane one, so I said yes, I'll have that one. Unfortunately that was the one with the cars with dodgy paperwork in them.

Signed the paperwork, took some photos to show condition of the bike, and gave her a farewell kiss.

Next step, getting the bike into Aus.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:55 AM   #30
PeterWebtrax OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lookfar View Post


I'm in!! might like to do this myself one day.......not necessarily the same make of bike though
.
Sorry, the instructions are only relevant to old BMWs. You'll have to go elsewhere;-)
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