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So has anybody imported a bike?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Toecutter, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. I just got this reply discussing an early model bike.....

    So I take the 1986 relates to 20+ years.

    With the internet, we effectively have a global shopping village.

    Whilst I'm sure there is a website with all the requriemetns, who has actually done it, would you do it again, how hard to get complaince plates and what were the costs?

    Thanks in advance
  2. My last bike was personally imported and it was 15yrs old. I have no idea on how they did it, but it sure wasn't 20yrs! And yes, it had the compliance plate.
  3. Actually I was wrong on the 86 thing :oops: - it's actually anything made before January 1st 1989 (just for some reason most of the larger grey imports I've seen have all been 86 models). You do still need to get an import approval though.
    All info on importing vehicles can be found here:
    But yeah would definitely be good to hear from anyone who's had first hand experience with the process. Even more so from someone planning on importing something soon (who has room in the shipping container ;)).
  4. Now that would be :cool:
  5. I heard of a tax-dodge when importing a car: take a wheel off and put it in the boot [leave that corner of the car supported obviously] and import the whole thing as "spare parts" because it can't actually be driven.

    Maybe something similar for bikes?
  6. Actually an official person in the "know" (off duty) recently said to me they're very aware and very hard on this sort of thing and you have to have it very much disassembled and the parts on different ships, not just in different containers.
  7. @ Toecutter... What are you buying????
  8. Have a look at the info in the following Forum Topic


    I enquired about it as I could purchase a C90 from the USA with all the extras and tarnsport it from the seller to my door step (Melb Docks anyway) for $5K less then I can purchase it stock from Australia. (Although now Suzuki has stopped that line of cruiser). When I enquired, I was informed that I could only bring it in on the discretion of the manufacturer and that would only be given if that bike is not available in Australia. (Closed shop)

    I agree with you, we live in a time when we have the ability to purchase from around the globe, therefore why have that artificial restriction placed upon us. I would suggestt that we should be able to import one vehicle per annum for private use provide it is not sold within 12 months of importation and provided that vehicle is comliant with Australian Road requirements.
  9. Just trye kicking :p Pretty much like most naked or bikini faired 70's or early 80's bikes. Favourite would be be a wire wheel, chain drive Katana :cool:

    But always have a soft spot for Cafe Racer's - but already owing a single, don't want to have two.
  10. Take that man out and flog him... never heard such tosh. Don't want to have more than one single. By gingo in my day if a lad didn't have at least 4 singles the boys in the dorm would stuff his pillow full of wet socks. That taught the blighter.... :grin:

    I would love to have at least another 2 singles to go with the 2 I have now. I would love to have a GB500 and a KTM like yours. It would be used for travelling along the camel track that is Parramatta Road. Make that 3. A DEUS Manx 400 SR as well.
  11. As of this year, there is no import duty on imported motorcycles. Still need to pay GST, but no import duty.


    You also need to make the bike roadworthy for Australia. I've hears Harleys imported from the USA need a new headlight as the beam on the USA models points left (Left Hand Drive) and ours needs to point right. Not sure if other brands of bike can adjust this?
  12. Not only that, but the Import Approval will state that the vehicle was imported for the sole purpose of dismantling. And if your Import Approval says that, I can assure you that you will NEVER be able to license it.

    Trust me, I used to work in vehicle licensing :shock: . Poacher turned gamekeeper, gone back to being a better poacher :grin: .

    As far as importing is concerned, stick to pre-89 and, as long as you jump through the hoops (explained much better by the official websites than I can here. Check out DoTaRS and your local RTA as well as Customs) it's fairly hassle free. Try to f*ck with the system though, deliberately or inadvertantly, and it WILL f*ck you back.

    Problem is the costs. I looked at the possibility of privately importing a car from the UK. A quick play with Excel showed that a car purchased for UKP5000 would cost me approximately $18000 (1.44 x UK purchase price) to get into my shed. You'd then have to add the costs of any work necessary to rego it, and inspection/licensing fees.

    A UKP2500 vehicle would be $11000 (1.76 x UK purchase price) to get to the same stage, whereas a UKP10000 vehicle would be $31000 (1.24 x UK purchase price).

    These figures would vary depending on shipping cost and country of origin but they do illustrate that you'd need to be making a fairly substantial saving or be buying something completely unobtainable in Oz to make the whole thing worthwhile.

    I'm not saying don't. Just be sure it's really worth it, then make thorough enquiries with ALL the govt departments both State and Federal who you'll be dealing with and only then plonk down your money.

    And I haven't even mentioned the possibilities for damage and deterioration that three months in a shipping container present :grin: .

  13. Did you read my post in there (last one)?

    The motor vehicle industry is highly regulated to protect the consumer, if one vehicle was allowed per year pp then you would have all sorts of crap running around.

    Also, quite often vehicles built in other countries are not built to meet ADR's, this is why we have a RAWS Scheme, a New Low Volume Scheme & a Full Volume Scheme which ensures these vehicles are built/modified to meet all the relavent national standards.

    With globaliseation & the ADR's being harmonised with ECE regulations we are seeing more of the overseas models come here as the manufacturers only have to certify a vehicle to the ECE regs & it will be 90% ready for the ADR's (all the new dodge & chrysler models come to mind).
  14. PatB

    Importing a vehicle for dismantling purposes is impossible now, cannot be done :wink:
  15. Fair enough. I've not been involved for a little while now, and when I left the whole issue was in a state of flux so it doesn't surprise me that things have changed.

    Doesn't alter the basic fact that trying the sugested "dodge" or, indeed, any other, is likely to leave you with a very expensive paperweight.

    By the way, you don't work for DoTaRS by any chance? If so, there's a good possibility we know (or know of) each other.
  16. Hmm but I think the advantage with bikes (and what keeps importers in business) is the fact you can squeeze quite a few into a shipping container - plus Japan/Asia isn't that far away and used bikes are plentiful there (not sure how common pre-89 stuff would be though).
    Reckon the only way you'd be able to do it viably though would be to share a container with a bunch of other people also bringing in bikes - but that'd introduce a whole heap of other problems.

  17. Might do :wink:

    The other thing is the states seem to be cracking down on individually constructed vehicles especially choppers & the like, they want them to have a compliance plate fitted now I beleive whch means that they need to be certified by a vehicle manufacturer to the ADR's.
  18. Agreed that economies of scale would make it more economic. However, as the only vehicles you've got a hope of importing privately are pre-89, your looking at used bikes that are now nearly 20 years old. I know that Japanese home market machines are renowned for low mileages and such, but two decades is still a hell of a lot of history, particularly on a lot of the stuff designed to be sold into a very fashion conscious market where the latest whizz-bang technobike is an accessory rather than a long-term means of transport.

    It's also worth noting that, during my 6 years in the Department, there was a marked deterioration in the quality of the vehicles coming in from Japan although most of what I saw were cars and trucks. Used vehicles of all sorts may be plentiful and cheap there but it's not a bottomless reservoir. Europe, the US and Australia have been sucking vehicles out of Japan for 15 years or more, and what I saw in my professional capacity suggests to me that what's left is the dregs.

    Anything with any classic status will be as expensive there as anywhere else. Big bikes seem to be rare. All you're left with in the bargain basement are knackered 250s that even Sumoto doesn't want.

    A more promising possibility seems to be sourcing restoration projects from the US, as a few companies seem to be realising, judging by the number of ads in Just Bikes and Just Cars offering early Japs, 60s and 70s Triumphs and BSAs, and various 60s tanko yanko cars.

    But if anyone does decide to go ahead, put me down for a crate of Kwaka H2s. I've always fancied the big Widowmaker since riding a 250 version at an impressionable age :grin: :grin: :grin: .
  19. True, that's because of their licencing system, in fact it'd be very difficult to source anything over 750cc since even the Japanese had to import these back into Japan. Should still be more than a few 400s around though. And even though it's obviously no bottomless pit there are something like 15 million motorcycles sold per year in Japan - so even if only a few percent make it to 20 years it's still a reasonably plentiful supply.
    I don't understand why Yamaha don't bring the current model SR400 to Australia officially - there's a definite niche market plus it'd most likely be LAMs legal too (so there's even more potential buyers).
    Edit: Actually this is the sort of gap in the market that I wouldn't be surprised to see the Chinese take advantage of. After all a simple 4-600cc single or twin in a basic frame sold cheap (ie for less than a GS500) could be a big seller.
  20. I can't speak for the Eastern States but, up until the end of last year, WA regarded the builder of an ICV (bike or car) as the "manufacturer". It creates the interesting situation that you can do stuff with an ICV that you can't with a modified factory vehicle (wheel spacers on cars spring to mind). No change to that appeared to be imminent so, as far as I'm aware, as long as it IS and ICV and you can prove that you (or your consulting engineer) know what you're doing, you can still build a bike from scratch and make it fairly radical.

    You can't build a long forked, high barred traditional "Ogri" chopper (yes, I know Ogri himself wouldn't be seen dead on one) but a one-off bike in general can certainly be done (or could six months ago).

    It's also worth noting that the ADRs as they apply to bikes are surprisingly lenient.

    I suspect that part of the issue was the increasing numbers of "Harleys" that kept turning up, built around production custom frames from the US. Those often caused headaches for any number of reasons.