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Can u trust a "Grey Import"??

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by DANNIBOI, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. ey guys, thinkin of a couple of bikes 2 get, cbr250rr or fzx250 zeal. some have come up as grey imports.....

    wat does this mean and can they be trusted coz iv heard that alot of Grey Imports hav had the clocks turned bak???

    any thoughts.... cheers :roll:

  2. You never know. You just have to be thorough when inspecting + purchasing.

    If anyone ever tries to sell you a 2007 CBR, it's probably a 1987 that's just been complianced in 2007. Brought over in a container load of horizontal bikes.

    Most of what you're after are grey imports and I'd argue that they're probably the best 250 bikes to prepare you for their bigger brothers.

    Some have had the clocks turned back and others have just had new clocks put on them. They often mean jack.

    THe upside is that they're pretty cheap and parts are easy to find. I'd suggest go for an FZR, they can get about as quick as a CBR, at a fraction of the price and they're awesome.

    Btw, if anyone tries to charge you $6k+ for one of these bikes, laugh in their faces. Also stay away from Sumoto.
  3. and also, do u pay more to insure a grey import????? :idea:
  4. You sure do. Don't even think about comprehensive insurance.

    My quote was about $3500 pa, with an $800 excess or something. I paid $2600 for my bike.

    I believed their spiel about the late model bike with a brand new paintjob, what a bargain for $7grand.

    It's basically a polished turd. You'll buy it for $7-8 grand and you're not going to be able to sell it for more than $4-5. That's if you get lucky.
  5. take it for a test ride thrash the fcuk outa it to see if its running rite.
    It no diffrent to buying any other 2nd hand bike
  6. They are called that because its an Unknown.

    They are in unknown condition because you cant talk to the previous owner and don't usually get any records with it, you have no idea if the oil has ever been changed or warmed up before being thrashed.

    And parts may be available in some places, in Melbourne there is a place called International Motorcycle Importers http://internationalmotorcycleimporters.com.au/
    they can get a lot of parts, but in most cases Bikes or Cars that are not a Australian Released model wont have parts at your dealership (so are harder to find and usually more expensive).

    Basically if you get one its GOOD LUCK on condition!

    But then again a lot have been looked after and make it over here in "ok" condition, all they need is a good going over before buying to make sure your not getting a lemon.

    Also the importers usually re-spray them and put new sticker kits on so they look a lot newer then they actually are, I think this is why a lot of noobs see the compliance date as the build date.

    If you go that way then good luck to you.
  7. In my experience, I looked at a few and bought one, look at the compliance plate and choose one that has been in the country the longest. I figure you have more chance of getting a realistic kays figure on the tacho, and it's been here long enough to have had any major issues resolved.

    Mine is a 1992 bike and was complied 1997, so it was still fairly young when it got here. Alot of the bikes I looked at were complied in the last 3-4 years and the kays and condition of them were too unrealistic. Some had less than 20k on the clock and were being advertised as the complianced year and not the build year. Then there is Sumoto who are training the arses to be unscruplious in the private market too.
  8. Action wanted just under $8k for a 20yr old CBR250. I know they are a popular bike but i just don't see the appeal to buy something so old when a new bike can be had for almost the same money.

    Even $6k for private sales seems like a joke. Then again, there must be plenty of buyers out there to keep the prices that high?
  9. I've had 2 CBR250RRs....one was very clean, but previous owner had dropped it with scrapes, it biatch to start and power didn't feel so strong (this bike I was looking after for a mate, I wouldn't have bought it for myself). The other was dirty, dusty, but the engine was so sweet, and once cleaned up was a goodun. I never had any problems with this bike. Once tuned to my liking, it was bulletproof.

    Never go solely on looks and especially on km/s (unless its known to be in the country for a long time). The 'new' ones sold by the dealers have nice paint new stickers and paint. They may have new oil and plugs and had a bit of a service, but the engine is still a bit of a lucky dip. Paying $8k is a joke.

    Also as tends to happen with grey imports, the best ones go first and then you start to scrape the bottom of the barrel, with the not so good examples arriving in the later years. When looking for a new bike, I was told by a dealer that they're not getting any more imports as their prices are going up, and the quality is going down, so looking for decent second hand bikes instead.

    You can get yourself a half decent bike for a good price ($5k) if you look around....there's no need to pay top dollar. Look after it, and you'll get what you paid for it back when you go to upgrade (providing the big manufacturers don't bring out a new 250 sports bike, making the arse fall out of the second hand 250 market).
  10. I dont get why people freak out about grey imports, which funnily enough make up a fair portion of the 250 market anyway. A 1989-93 bike is going to have a fair amount of previous owners anyway and it's not like you're going to hang onto it forever. The odo windback is a windup :p , started most likely by local manufacturers or distributors. Fines for doing it are so harsh it's not worth doing.

    I wouldn't buy a 20year old 250 (like CBR or FZR) for 5-6k anyway, much rather get a VTR250 a few years old for same or less!

    The insurance is a scam, no reason they should be any more expensive than the local equivelants, that's the real downside to imports.
  11. But how would the authorities police windbacks and/or odometer swaps? As far as Australian authorities are concerned, the bike is "new" the moment it is complianced - no traceable history at all prior to that.
  12. Insurance isn't a scam at all.

    The insurance costs of a Commodore 6 and an 8 are hugely different. It was about $700 a year for a Commo and $2.5grand for the 8.

    Same with Skylines etc.

    The type of people attracted to fully faired 250 sportsbikes are the boy racer types, who unfortunately are more likely to be involved in a crash than your VTR or Spada types.

    I did 2 quotes for a Z750 and a GSXR750, I'm paying double for GSXR, I don't think it's a scam though.

    Plus, a grey import would get written off if you dropped it. Which leads me to my next point.

    Chances are, you will drop your bike at some point. Whether or not it happens in the garage or on the road is a matter of luck and skill, but it'll probably lie down at some point.

    A VTR is a much better bike to lay down than a CBR. You'll probably not even be able to tell it's fallen.
  13. Moreover, you can't guarantee that the cluster on the bike is the original cluster....particularly when a percentage of the bikes are built up from parts.

    Unless Noriuki in Japan was a courier with his CBR250RR, the km's won't be too high on most of these bikes anyway. But km's on the odo should be taken at face value.

    The only way to get more confidence in the km's is to buy a local (tri colour) delivered bike.
  14. Many of the imports listed r stickered as CBR250RR are actually just single Rs (there are a few differences, one being single vs twin discs on the front....can't remember the other differences).

    An import is more likely to be written off in the event of an accident due to non availability of parts, hence higher premiums.
  15. Yeah the cbr250r (mc19) are all grey imports. Might have trouble insuring them.

    However CBR250RR's (mc22) were officially imported by honda, and a lot of parallel importing also went on. Probably won't be a difference in premiums for the RR's as the bikes are identical (apart from colour scheme).
  16. These guys are down the road from me and were my first point of call for a motorbike.

    They had me convinced that a 2005 CBR was actually a 2005 CBR. The guy kept going on about how it was a late model bike, there's a 6 month warranty that won't be needed and you can't go wrong.

    They also offered to respray the bike in any colour I wanted. They literally told me to choose a scheme and they'll sort it out for me at no extra cost.

    But for about $7 grand, you'd bloody well hope so.

    Anyone in the market would be much better off buying one private sale and having a bike shop resticker and respray it.

    I think it's amazing that these guys can peddle off 20 year old bikes as new ones. I only found out because I decided I wanted to buy new and paid a visit to a Honda dealer. My request to have a look at a new CBR RR was met with much humour.

    That was my first lesson on the unscrupulousness of these flesh peddlers.
  17. thats where they woul have lost the sale with me, why would they offer to paint a brand new bike? i mean it comes out of the crate in 3 or 4 colour options and possibly a limited edition and thats it.
    When i got the FZR i had all sorts of jetting problems with mine anyone else had this with their import?
  18. No different to buying any other bike really. Do your research so you know what you are looking at and can then easily spot the bullshitters. Get a reputable mechanic to give it the once over and bobs your mothers brother.
    I never worry about comprehensive insurance and 3rd party is no different to an official import so there's no real drama there -for me anyway.
    I bought my grey import with an alledged 10,000kms on the odo, ridden it for another 70,000kms so far with no problems and she's still going strong. You will get a fair idea of distance covered just by looking at things like brake discs, footpegs, radiator condition etc etc.
  19. some good advice here.

    all you need to do is check for the purple compliance plate (on or near the front forks normally) this means it's a Grey import. If there is no purple compliance plate (and it is being sold by a dealer) then it is a genuine australian import and was imported by the manufacturer directly to OZ and theoretically should have a full traceable history here. But you can take a fair bet that probably 95%, if not all the ones you will find second hand will be Grey imports. Not that there is anything wrong with it, as long as you are careful, like others have said, get a trusted friend or a mechanic to look over it for you.