After the recent NZ-ride the question that pops up the most is regarding the bike-shipping. Shipping versus renting versus buying/ selling.... It all comes down to the length of time on-the-road (plus a few other things). 2 of the group had hire-bikes, an older BMW F650 with 53.000km on the clock but in fairly good nick for that. No troubles whatsoever with the bike for the 13 days it was hired @ NZ$ 155/ day incl. panniers and full insuarance/ $1500 excess. The other was a 2004 model Suzie V-Strom 650 with 8000km/ panniers/ topbox in superb nick, some tiny marks of a previous off-the-stand fall. Again no trouble at all for 17 days @ NZ$ 165/ day incl. everything/ but $3000 excess. The Nelson (South Island)-crowd it was hired from proved to be exceptional re: customer service. It came with basic maps/ tour suggestions and all documentation, a replacement for a broken pannier-key forwarded overnight to our next planned location, in contrast, the F650 ONLY came with a copy of the hiring contract. Pickup and drop-off of both bikes was totally pain-free and very quick in both cases. Additional to the hiring cost would be a travel-insurance that covers excess-payments on hire-vehicles @ around $150 per rider/ 14 day basis (also incl. medical/ cancellation/ luggage etc etc) Both bikes were delivered and picked up "to/ from the door" by the hiring-outfits. Grand total for 14 days hire incl. everything about A$2400. Shipping: Base-cost plus fuel surcharges brought the total to around A$1550. The "bond"-payment of NZ-GST @12.5% of bike value is a temporary payment and gets refunded in full after the bike has left NZ-shores (to prevent private/ un-taxed imports). Additional to that is shipping insurance (again depending on vehicle-value) of around $200 and full comp insurance in NZ via an NZ company, at about $250/ month. Both insurance policies carry a huge "BUT" making things pretty questionable,i.e. in case of a claim under full comp, the rest of the annual premium is due to to insurer (that's another 11 mths worth of premiums at $2750 total) Then there's a $2000 excess, effectively making claims under $5000 totally pointless. Similar conditions apply to the shipping-insurance. Timing has proven an annoying point. Due to work-commitments, hardly anyone can take a day/ days off to get a bike to the shipping depot (from where the actual packing/ shipping takes place). Therefore bikes have to be delivered on a Sat morning or such and well in advance of the shipping date. Most freight-related industries, Customs etc etc don't work at weekends. In order to have the bikes at the depot in time for shipping AND be physically able to deliver them, we dropped the bikes off on the 29th Jan...3 weeks plus a weekend later pickup was on the 20th Feb. Due to Easter being so early riding was cut short by a few days at the end of our time (4.5 weeks later); due to Good Friday and packing schedules the bikes had to be at the depot on Thursday morning latest...to actually ship out on the 4th/April...a week and a half later. Again due to shipping schedules and then personal restrains re: work/ weekends etc. they'll be back in our hands by the 23rd April. Total time requirements turned out to be close to 3 months with a bit over 4.5 weeks on-Kiwi-roads. Apart from the shipping cost there's also the cost of a set of tyres (say $400-500), a full service before and after shipping @ about $250-300 each (or more), general wear and tear on the bike (guessing $200 plus) and the extra-depreciation due to another 8000km on the clock of anywhere from $500-2000 (depending on value/ age of bike). Then the cost of getting the bike to and from the depot in Melbourne/ Sydney which could be from a couple of cab-fares of $100 each to paying bike-transport companies an extra $200 each way (or way more, depending on arrangements and practicalities), adding the NZ-cab fares to and from the shipping depot@ roughly $100. To sum it up and go with mid-values/ average conditions, the shipping-option came to around A$4400 REAL cost per bike. No insurance included in that, rough time requirement 3 months. This is based on the 4.5 weeks/ 8000km we spent on NZ roads. Buying a bike: An option we haven't considered and didn't really delve into at any depths while over there. generally (new) bike-prices are equal to AUS pricing...some 10-15% above, some 10-15% below, quite a few models we've never seen in AUS. Similar structures apply to 2. hand bikes. Wheeling/ dealing at the new-bike end seems to be way less aggressive than in AUS, on-the-road pricing generally slightly higher. Considering a smaller-buyer base and the accumulated number of ex-hire bikes over the years, 2.hand prices were reasonable (from the little we've seen). Buying a bike is no problem, selling it after could be. Dealers should be contacted in that regard, some offer to purchase bikes back, at a heftily reduced rate...which might still well be a viable option looking at the above figures. All the above does NOT take into account any personal preferences but pure numbers and a few other pros'cons of either option. Hiring is a good way up to a certain length of stay... shipping is the option for longer stints and if one doesn't care about the insurance/ bike-away-from-home issues. At some point all 3 options juuuust about overlap and it's all down to personal choice.