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Riding in England!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by DanielHarris, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Heya guys!

    I'm about to shift off to England in a few months and I'm just curious if anyone has had any experience with motorcycle licensing in England. I've been told that we can use our Australian licence in UK for 12 months, and then we have to swap for an English one. Does anyone know if an RE license can pass as a "full" license in this case?

    Also, has anyone ever shipped a bike to England? Any stories? Any problems with rusting??

    Cheers guys, and I hope you're all having a groovy day :cool:
  2. No idea about licensing or shipping to, but a mate told me you can buy decent quality second hand triumphs reasonably cheap over there. He looked into buying some and shipping them out here, but I don't think he ever got around to it.

    Check ebay.uk though, might be cheaper to buy one over there than ship yours over.
  3. Dan, don't know the answer to any of those questions, but Carri27 went to the Isle of Man this year and she should have some up-to-date info for you on some of those matters... Enjoy your stay..
  4. Secondhand cars and bikes are cheaper overthere so I don't think it's worth shipping it over.

    Good luck riding on icy roads :shock:

    Check this out re licence http://tinyurl.com/984ps
  5. Wow, awesome to get so many quick replies!

    I understand shipping isn't ideal but I'm considering it for two reasons-

    1) I've got a job with a very generous employer who has offered to cover the costs of shipping a vehicle.
    2) I'm on a RE license, meaning I'm restricted to 250cc motorcycles. There really aren't many 250cc motorcycles on the market in England, their learner license restrictions limit them to 125cc bikes, so they don't have the market for them like we do here.

    Also I've noticed that Asian bikes seem to be cheaper here, while European bikes are cheaper there, which makes sense geographically. If I grab an asian one, I'm assuming it'll rise in value sending it over (?).

    Cheers guys, and thanks for all the replies!

    And yes, riding on Ice would be very scary :-O
  6. Careful of the secondhand bike market over in the UK, there's a lot of very clever bastards over there who can dodge knackered bikes up pretty well for sale.

    There's also an enormous theft issue over there from what I understand, at least compared to here in Oz.

    It's a good place to ride though, the wet weather makes a better rider of you and when it's dry the poms tend to ride like f*cking madmen. You'll have a ball.
  7. Depending on the part of the UK riding may be only "comfortable" for 4 months of the year.
    Shipping ia bit costly BUT if you really like (love) your bike its OK. My Darmah went on the container with us (and came back) , you need it steam cleaned and certified "bug free" before they will take it, also need to drain ALL fuel and disconnect/ throw away the battery.
    Drivers are MUCH more courtuos but also crazier so take care and enjoy.
    PS the further north you go the nicer the people.
  8. i wouldnt worry about getting you bike knicked as I moved from UK over 4 years ago now..... :grin: and as for license......never used one till I came to Oz cos I didnt want to get kicked out. :shock:

    I know I know......but Im a changed man now or wee little man at that.
    Riding in Uk is fast and the roads are more congested and narrower too.....LOADS of twisties and black ice and bizzarre weather.....good luck.
    Dont ship your bike as the re-licensing fee's and MOT (rwc) will cost and arm and a leg and your first born.......so says the angelic scotsman.
  9. I got my licence in the uk before emigrating in '96 and used an international licence here for best part of a year... the licencing is similar to here in that the first 12 months is 'restricted' - big difference (second hand info from a friend there that rides) is that you can restrict any bike.

    You can also drive/ride on an Aussie licence for up to 3 months... but if you are away for longer than 3 months you are unlicenced and uninsured unless you got an international licence from your original country.

    Friend in the uk that works for the licencing people there if you want some more info send a pm.
  10. unfortunately, both the brits who helped me with all things UK when i headed over there have since been banned from this site as far as i'm aware. i'll forward your message on to them if i can.

    meanwhile, perhaps post your question on this site which is a UK motorcycle forum: http://www.visordown.co.uk/
  11. Learner restrictions in the UK is 33hp I.E. you can ride a blade if you so wish but it must be restricted to 33hp.

    I wouldn't bother shipping one over, no matter how generous your boss is :)
    There's a huge market for Grey import 400's; get one of those then bring it back when your finished :)

    Your initial problem re swapping license. You need proof of address in your name. This needs to be a phone bill, utilities etc.
    They are pretty strict on this stuff!

  12. I have a mate arriving from UK in 3 weeks who rides,ask me bit later and he may be able to answer your questions in person.If its anything like here,which I wouldnt be surprised if it is,once you start importing bikes,you have got engineering certificate inspection issues,local licencing and registration issue because its an import :blah: I personally wouldnt bother,you may end up with a perfectly good bike you cant register.Ive heard of it happening here in oz,or you have to pay massive import duties.
  13. Bringing bikes back to Oz is a lot of hassle - looked into it when moved to Oz and even with the bike being paid for it wasnt worth it... knew someone that did and even they said they wouldnt again :) you could probably get a good deal on a bike in the uk during winter and then sell it for a good amount in the summer if thats the time of year you are over there... as for riding in winter in England - you may notice that as soon as the sun comes out and its over 10-15 degrees the bikes come out... I used to use the bike as my 'main' transport but always had an alternative for those days when there was black ice/snow on the road.
  14. I've just (3 months ago) emigrated to Australia from the UK so hopefully I can help.. I'll start by saying that you will love the UK roads!!!

    We have in the UK lots of roundabouts, better road surfaces, wider lanes (at least compared to what I am used to in Sydney) and the car drivers are (a little bit) more bike aware on the count of there being more bikers. The speed limits are a little less restrictive as well!

    If you get a chance then pop into InfinityMotorcycles ( http://www.infinitymotorcycles.com/ ) and HeinGericke ( http://www.hein-gericke.com/uk/ ) for a good range of gear at affordable prices. They are definitely at improvement over my experiences of MCA.

    There are great bike routes all over the UK, I love southern england although scotland has some great routes to. Plenty of info available on the Internet and check out some of the UK bike magazines when you get to the UK as they will have routes.

    The equivalent of the RTA is the DVLA ( http://www.dvla.gov.uk/ ) they should have the info you need. I would be very surprised if you can swap your RE for a full license or ride unrestricted bikes. In the UK the restrictions are a bit different.

    There are two types of full motorcycle licence:

    * a light motorcycle licence (A1), which restricts riders to any bike up to 125 cc and a power output of 11 kW. The practical test must be taken on a bike of between 75 cc and 125 cc

    * a standard motorcycle licence (A), is obtained if the practical test is taken on a bike of over 120 cc but not more than 125 cc and capable of at least 100 km/h per hour. After passing the standard motorcycle practical test, you will be restricted for two years to riding a bike of up to 25 kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16 kW/kg. After this you may ride any size of bike
    In the UK there are not 250cc bikes in general as you are either limited to 125cc or are unrestricted.

    In terms of using your Oz license:
    Driving licences issued in any other country

    * you can drive any small vehicle eg cars and or motorcycles, shown on your driving licence, for a period of 12 months from the date that you last entered the country, as long as it remains full and valid
    * you can only drive larger vehicles eg lorries and buses, shown on your licence, that have been registered outside of GB which you have driven into the country
    i.e. if you are on a restricted license in Oz then you can only ride a 125cc in the UK or your 250cc if you bring it in with you (I believe)

    Depending on your age, you may find it easier to apply for a UK bike license if you are over 21 as this will allow you to jump straight up to an UNrestricted license by following the "Direct Access" scheme.

    I wouldn't bother about freighting a bike to the UK and back. Would be much cheaper to sell your bike here and buy a 2nd hand one in the UK. 2nd hand bikes in the UK (in my experience) are a lot cheaper than in Oz and we do not have stamp duty etc. Check out http://www.autotrader.co.uk/BIKES/bikes.jsp for bikes for sale.

    Also, there is a lot more rain in the UK and during the winter (November->early April) I wouldn't recommend using a bike as main transport in the UK as it will be much colder and wetter than you are used to, also UK roads are salted and there is a lot of ice around in some areas. I usually garaged my bike during the winter and just went out for the odd short ride on the infrequent day that the sun broke through and things were a little warmer.

    Note: You still get plenty of car/truck drivers who are blind to bikes and plenty of reckless bikers. However in my experience when a car driver sees you they are more willing to move over and let you pass. Lane filtering is allowed.

    Our road regulations are in a publication called "The Highway Code" you can buy this cheaply in bookshops and post offices or look at it here:

    Specifically for bikes:

    Any more questions drop me a PM.

    hope that helps

  15. Hi,
    lots of useful stuff on licensing, ^^^
    Also has been said cars and bikes second hand seem very cheap,
    My brother has lived in London for the last 5 years,
    got himself a nice 1998 Aprilia RS250 for 1750 pounds, (in 2004)
    I helped him add the full Arrows race exhaust and a few other parts he got off ebay, when I was there in 2004. Parts on Ebay UK seem to be quite cheap as well.

  16. Yes second hand cars / bikes are cheap in the UK but I think this is to do with the MOT. You have to do an MOT ( bit like a road worthy here) every year and it seems to get more strict each year and as a result older cars / bikes can start to cost money pass this MOT.

  17. There's also a far larger biking community and so a much, much greater choice than here. This in itself creates more competition which in turn brings the prices down.

    Also, the weather takes it's toll on bikes (especially if they are ridden all year round), so they might not be quite as clean as here (salt roads eat bikes). It's common for bikes to be put into storage between October and April, due to the nasty weather.

    I love riding in the UK, but would be heading for the quieter roads of Wales or Scotland to get the best out of it.
  18. One of the main reason for 2nd hand cars and bikes being cheaper is to do with our numberplate system in the UK. 99% of people go for standard (i.e. not personalised numberplates), and the standard UK numberplate shows the age of the vehicle.. e.g. xx55 xxx would mean second half of 2005 for example...

    This has the effect that people switch vehicles much more regularly for the pose factor thereby meaning you get a lot more 1-3 year old cars swamping the market. It is easy to buy a 1 year old car for 30% less than it was new, this in turn pushes down the 2-5 year old car prices.

    In the past our number plates only changed once a year (now it is twice) and some absurd percentage of cars were sold on that day each year.

    The english MOT isn't particularly strict as things go. brakes, lights etc have to work, you can't have leaking fluids and the emissions need to be within set tolerances.


  19. Oh yes, I forgot about that. :)