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Grey imports & parts

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by bulby, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. #1 bulby, Oct 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Hi folks,

    So everyone tells me it's difficult to find parts for grey imports. But how difficult is difficult in this case? Would I need to wait for a couple of weeks to have the parts imported for them greys?

    From my experience with my GS500F, nobody ever has the OEM parts in stock anyway and I've always had to order them in from Suzuki. Except for that one time I got the clutch lever from the wreckers. A bit odd for a supposedly popular bike, but yah.

    Sorry if this has been asked before. Did a quick search but couldn't find anything much. Could be my poor searching skills though :p
  2. Can't say I've ever owned a grey import but would imagine it depends on how common or uncommon your bike is and how old it is.

    I've been warned off buying italian bikes for the past five years but have found that anything I've ordered came faster than it did for my Suzukis. I must admit though I have done my own research on bike specific forums to find parts suppliers and on one occasion got a cousin of mine in italy to send me a part that he bought from a supplier that refused to ship to Aus for whatever reason.

    Maybe if you mentioned what grey import you were looking at people might be able to give better advice.
  3. Which model bike in particular are you asking about? If you're willing to do the searching yourself, you'll find most grey import bikes do still have some sort of support overseas.
  4. The bike shops won't order parts for a grey unless there is a similar part from an official bike. That leaves wreckers or sourcing it yourself from overseas.

    The only grey I would buy is the cbr because it was officially imported for a year and there are heaps at wreckers as they are popular.

    The rest I wouldn't bother unless it was a second bike.
  5. I have a box out the back of the shop full of parts from Aus spec bikes that were meant to fit the equivalent grey import. Lots of parts dont cross over to the grey model. The guys who bring grey imports into the country dont offer a very good spares back up of the products they import. With all my official import Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha spares I just click the picture on the screen, the part number gets fired off on-line and the next day its on my door step. With grey imports there no parts books or service info to help you out when it comes to spares. You can spend days ringing around trying to find parts that fit. Plus if you cant fix it because you cant get the bits the arguments it causes with customers when you tell them they owe you $$$$$ and you give them back a bike that still isnt fixed just isnt worth the pain.

    With your GS500 Suzuki would carry a pretty big stock of parts on the shelf and it it was out of stock it only takes two weeks max to get parts in from Japan. Not too sure why you cant get bits for your GS?
  6. Well for my VFR 400, I had to buy some parts from the UK, because they were cheaper (even after shipping costs) but also had parts ordered in by a Honda dealership. As long as I had the microfiche with part numbers, Honda could order them in for me from overseas or other stores that might have them in stock nationally.

    Just depends what grey import.
  7. #7 bulby, Oct 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    I was thinking something along the lines of japanese 250cc inline 4's. Like the cb250f, fzr250, zxr250, cbr250r/rr.
  8. This is my personal opinion, you have a more rounded bike with your current bike than the grey import. You're better off sticking with that and then upgrade to the bike of your choice (unless you are happy with a little 250cc buzz box :) )

    With buying a grey import, you potentially will then be buying a bike that has some niggly issues (e.g. CBR250RR carbies get out of balance and make it a hard starter). They are now 20ish years old so they are showing their personalities more than a 2yo GS500F.
  9. True that. Which is why I'm hoping they don't write off my GS500F.

    I'm just doing my homework and see what my options are and what I need to consider and so on while I'm waiting to hear back from my insurer :)
  10. im a parts interpreter and ill just tell you to fog off......
    we dont have the parts catalog for them, we dont have the part numbers in the system, ands its a massive pain to have to call the manufacturer and be on the phone for half an hour+ trying to get the part in, which often doesnt happen as its an 20yr old bike with millions sold and your trying to get old stock (manufacturer only support bikes for a few yrs)
    so the only real parts we can get in is aftermarket...... where the whole process is repeated as they only stock things for the australian market. and even then only consumables (gaskets, chains, sprockets etc) and your really stuffed if its an electrical part.
  11. Bottom line seems to be that you'd need to do your own homework on parts interchangeability, be prepared to spend time sourcing parts yourself from overseas and hope that there's an active, English speaking (or your language of choice if you're lucky/smart enough to be multilingual) web community for the particular bike of interest.

    It's certainly possible. Many people run grey imports quite happily. But it's a fair bit of effort. IMHO probably too much to be truly worthwhile for a 20 year old 250 screamer. They're not that good.
  12. Yeah. I've decided not to go for grey imports. It's a good thing I started this thread afterall :)

    Thanks, guys.
  13. yep, thats about the jist of it.
  14. Better than anything else you can ride on your L's though...
  15. Thanks to me ex, I know enough Japanese to try and source them parts from Japan.
    But yeah. I must admit, I don't find the idea of getting an anal probe each time I need to get some minor parts to be overly appealing... :bolt: