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imported motorbikes

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by kellbiker, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. I am sure u guys have had this discussion before but what's the opinion of bikes like the 1990's vfr400 or cbr250's that are being imported into australia... given a bit of a make-over, complianced with the import year etc...?????? most seem to have low kms, reasonable prices, come with new paint and rubber....

    i'd appreciate anyones input / advice / experience...

  2. Like any used bike it depends on whether you get a good one or not. There's plenty out there that have been made by piecing together bits of wrecks and given them a quick once over with the spraygun - often these are also ridiculously overpriced. Some would say this is true of all imports but there are some good ones out there too. I had a lot less problems with my 17 year old Kat in 30,000kms of riding than some brand new Hyosungs ;).
    If you know what to look for on a bike then they're not a bad option. Just make sure you do your research VERY carefully to make sure common consumable parts are readily available (many Jap-only models share parts with ones sold here, others don't) - also a good idea to make sure you can find a mechanic willing to work on it (or be able to do it yourself).
  3. Seem is the operative word.
    Most people in the know believe these bikes have odometers tampered with, and stories of dodgey repairs to sell the bikes abound.
    Plus, an older bike with very low kilometres (if genuine) can have more problems than one ridden regularly. Leave anything mechanical to sit for ages, and things go wrong.
    Best bet is to bide your time, have a hit list of bikes you want, have your money ready and haggle.
    Sadly, it's just the wrong time of year for a bargain.

    Regards, Andrew.
  4. Believe being the operative word. If you look at the Japanese bike sale websites you'll see ridiculously low mileages on old bikes is actually extremely common. Have heard of import 250s clocking over the speedo, so if they were wound back the engines must be exceptionally well made.
  5. Oh dear, not the damn picking little bits to quote game again. :roll:
    I also said that anything with extremely low mileage can be an issue as well doe to it sitting around for so long. Probably with a belly full of filthy acid laden oil and a tank full of varnish.

    Regards, Andrew.
  6. :cool: now boys.... play nice!!!

  7. True, but given the choice between a 90 model bike with low kays that may have been sitting, and a 90 model bike with ridiculously high kays that's been ridden every single day - I'd take the low kay model. Some stuff is going to age whether the bike's used or not and at least low kays means the engine/carbs/gearbox aren't completely worn out.
  8. There's a stack of pros and con's for getting greys.

    The only grey's that are worth getting are the ones that were also released in oz... unless you like buying parts from overseas and paying a crapload of postage charges.

    Unless you're not fully licenced looking for a 400 I'd have a squiz at www.lamsinfo.com and pick a locally distributed alternative.
  9. There's a lot of truth to what fhqwhgads is saying.

    I've got a grey imported SR, and it's a wonderful bike. A friend of mine has the same model, but a much earlier year and he's got nothing but good things to say about his as well.
  10. thanks guys...

    yes i am fully licensed and to my knowledge the vfr 400 has been released here in oz. i know someone with the vfr750 and he has no issues getting parts from our local honda dudes..

    the story i have been told regarding the low kms on these bikes is that they are trade-ins after the japanese changed the law allowing their riders access to bigger bikes. been told that 1000's of these were traded, the marked flooded, so they were warehoused until buyers were found..

    ciao, kell
  11. It is possible to get a good grey import bike (congrats to those who did).

    It's more common to get one with problems of some sort or other (we are talking about 15 year old plus bikes remember).

    Also some insurance companies don't like to (or refuse to) insure grey market bikes that weren't imported into Australia.

    Sure buy one if you like, just be aware of the issues (and don't go paying $6000 for a 15 year old bike just because it's got a shiny new paint job).

    $6000 will buy plenty of new bikes.
  12. Yep that's the important bit. They are old bikes and should be priced accordingly - maybe a little bit higher than local bikes with much higher mileage but certainly no where near the sorts of prices some dealers try and charge for them. Easy to pick the dodgy dealers - they're generally the ones that advertise the compliance year rather than the year of manufacture.
    Have heard good things about this place though:
    Have been tempted to pick up another (larger) grey import for myself but haven't got around to making a trip to Brissie. I do know they'll transport anywhere in the country but I personally wouldn't buy a bike without first checking it out for myself.
  13. They cracked down on grey imports a couple of years ago. the result is there are now less of them, less companies bringing them in and they are older.

    As a result of these things, I would not linger buy one.
  14. I'm very happy in general with my imported GSXF400 - but I've also been bikeless for over a month waiting for a set of rings to be sent out from Japan because these were never imported to Oz and parts are hard to find. Not necessarily an issue with all imports, but something to be aware of.
  15. And you'd still be riding a shitty little 250, so who cares?

    Regards, Andrew.
  16. :roll: Have a look at the link I posted earlier. Not all grey imports are 250s, there's plenty of +1000cc stuff as well like FJ1100s, BMW K/R1000s, Honda GL1200s - stuff not that dissimilar to what you're riding.
  17. thanks so much for all your advice and input guys...

    definately have alot more to think about before the final purchase..

    still very hooked on the vfr 400 - taken it for test rides and am in love..

    but maybe not the import - sounds like a good second hand one for my first choice, and import second...

    again, thanks heaps

  18. When is a good time of year for bargains then? Just after summer or what? (Doing license in January and being the impoverished uni student i am, have the patience to save a few quid)
  19. In the cold and wet months of the year are best to pick up a bargain (or if your buying new/second hand from a dealer the end of the financial year and the end of calander year is when they really try to move old stock)