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Traversing Oz as a foreigner

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Quattro, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Hello all. I'm trying to form a plan for a small spot of touring. I was hoping to pick your collective brainhole!

    What I'm loosely thinking about, at this stage, is to maybe pick up a used bike in Perth. Hop on and travel south and cross over the east coast to Brisbane over a period of time but ultimately finish up in NZ on a working holiday visa. I'm told it should be the trip of a lifetime.... which would be nice!

    I've been trying to make sense of the requirements and it seems relatively straight forward. Where it gets tricky is that I'm not of unlimited means. I'm worried about ending up on the East Coast having to scuttle the bike before heading to NZ. The idea I've been toying with is flying out and shipping and importing the bike over to NZ.

    Any ideas of what would be required to do that?

    I was hoping someone could suggest some of the better bike sales sites?

    Any suggestions on a bike that would be suitable for such a trip (bearing in mind that I'm 6'4"/ 193cm and not too skinny either).

    Thanks for reading...
  2. Hey, welcome to NR!

    Sounds like a fantastic trip you have in mind! There's plenty of fantastic roads and places to see throughout Aus!

    If you're looking for a bike sales site, probably the most popular is www.bikepoint.com.au

    I'll give you extra credit if you do it like that English bloke that did Aus --> England on a postie bike ;) (See here: http://www.thepostman.org.uk/)
  3. well having a euro full euro license (i assume) you should be fine with driving around legally.

    Buy a bike that has a registration left on it for like up to 12 months depending, get it transferred to someone you know out here and then ride away and say its your mates bike and you borrowed it.

    as for bikes, you need something that can handle dirt well, you will run into often it if you take the scenic route.
  4. Nothing to stop you registering it in your own name, you don't need a local driver's license...
  5. The transfer to NZ could be more cost and hassle than it is worth. It's not like Europe where vehicle move from country to country all the time. Basically out here you would only do it if you were moving permanently and had a classic vehicle you wanted to keep.

    If you really are insistent on doing that shipping it by plain may be the easiest thing. You will however need to sort out rego etc once you get there and unless there is a temporary way of doing it, you may need to get the bike complied.

    Seriously look at selling in Aus and re-buying in NZ would be my suggestion. Your'e going to loose a few hundred dollars doing that, but you are only going to loose a few hundred dollars doing that.

    Also the trip from Noseman in WA to Whyalla, whilst commonly traveled is not one to be taken lightly on a bike.

    btw, where are you from?
  6. This.

    That section is going to drastically change your requirements fro the trip.
    A ride up the east coast can be done with just a credit card and a toothbush
    if that's your style.
    Crossing the Nullarbor will need a decent fuel tank and carrying capacity for spare fuel, water, camping gear etc.

    If that's what you're looking for in a trip. I know people who have done and loved it. But it's not a 'Just jump on the bike and go' kind of ride.
    It's a long way through very sparsely populated wilderness.

    By all means do it - but research that part thoroughly. A map won't tell you what you need to know.

    Or.. to put it another way... I swiped this from elsewhere on here:
  7. Whats your budget? I would say the BMW GS's are probably a good bet.

    You should also start thinking about your route and time of the year remembering that it the northern part of Oz has their wet season in our summer but you wouldn't want to travel across the deserts in summer as well. Remember it is a big place with a lot of nothing in between.
  8. The nullabor is not that bad anymore. Its just shy of 200km between the longest fuel stop, and there is plenty of cars and trucks run the route now. However you do want to be carring you gold diners card if you plan to eat and sleep your way accross, cause its dear as poison. You also dont want to do it if you are feeling tired or run down, as its pretty straight and boring in places. Like anywhere outside the capital cities, watch out for kangaroos and emu's.

    I have done it about 3 times in a car now, but never on bike. I can highly recommend it. I plan to do it on the bike in a few years time.
  9. Go for it mate it will be the trip of your life. I crossed the Nullabor twice late last year and loved it. The road is in excellent condition, maximum distance between roadhouses is about 200k. It is well signed so you know how far to the next one. Prices are pretty steep. Give some thought to joining an auto association in case you breakdown or get a flat.
  10. A couple of years ago in Singelton (NSW Hunter valley) I met a couple in their sixties who had ridden from Perth to Brisbane for their son's wedding and were on their way home. They had an ST model Honda, intercoms, CB radio and all, and had had the time of their lives.

    And one of our own Netriders, Patb, from Perth, flew to Brisbane and rode back on a brand-new Ural outfit :shock:..
  11. I'm doing it now !

    Be prepared and all is well.

    Yes it's a Long way for help in someplaces.

    I started in Melbourne. And I'm in northern territory now.

    Check out stu-h.Tumblr.com

    if you have q just ask.
  12. Prepare yourselves for the most tedious post on NR EVER!!! Really, if you can keep your eyes open, I could do with some remedial help on the nitty gritty how things work. Sincerely, thanks for taking the time...

    @Set: Good suggestion mate but I forgot to say that I'm a practising coward!

    @Ibast: I'm a Paddy, for my sins. From rainy Cork, on the south coast. When you say 'compliance', is that the mandatory govt mechanical test? I take your point though. I'm just a bit afraid of having to sell the bike on for half nothing so I can continue on my journey. I'll keep looking, mate. It's probably not as bad as I think it will be.

    I think I'd start to bawk at around $6000-$7000. I shouldn't think I could get a GS for that, right? A GS would be perfect though. I take your point about the rainy season. I think I'll stay away from the North alright. I'm definitely too warm blooded to stick that kind of heat. That's the main reason the final destination is NZ.

    Dumb question time: Gold Diner's Card? How long did it take you to cross the Nullabour by car, mate? Is camping an option on your own or is there a risk of critters and/ or banditos (of the non- Suzuki variety)?

    Thanks mate. I'm not feeling so bad about being a twenty something now!!

    Good stuff, mate! I may pick your brains a little later into the process. I checked out your page. Reading your page was really putting a fire in my belly!!

    @Unconnected & Miraz & everyone: I do have a full, clean EU license, thankfully < just! >.

    I'm a little confused as to the other requirements and terminology and would appreciate some help with this... errrr.. short list:-s

    -However, I'm wondering whether I'll need to obtain some kind of international license, as a tourist?

    Becoming the registered owner
    -What is the term that refers to the permanent regstered owner of the bike?
    -What is required to become the registered owner of a bike normally?
    -Is it done locally or is it a centralised mail thing?
    -Is there a delay in changing ownership? (I'm worried about proving ownership to law enforcement, later). You only need a name and address here- I'm worried I need a TFN or something like that as I'll be on a tourist visa.
    -Do you think I could use a "C/O" address of a friend to become the registered owner?
    -Are there charges for changing ownership?
    -Could it be difficult for me to transfer ownership on later?

    -Is Registration not the same as Rego?
    -Am I wrong in thinking rego is simply a motoring tax (we have 'motor tax' here that is paid quarterly, bi-annually or annually). It's an offense to not have it.
    -What does Rego cost? Is it a standard figure or is it different figure for different vehicles?
    -Does it simply belong to the bike and is non-transferrable?
    -If I buy a bike without rego, do I really have to do a swindle to rego it again?

    -I understand there is a basic level of insurance cover provided by the state?
    -I think a lot of people put their own insurance on a vehicle for peace of mind?
    -Is there a discount for having proof of no claims?
    -Can it be difficult to get comprehensive insurance for particular individuals or is it like a standard-ish figure?
    -Can you get comprehensive insurance for shorter periods of time or is it annual, only?
    -Is it difficult to obtain insurance quotes quickly?
    -Is it an option to drive without privately purchased insurance as an ill-advised last resort?

    The bike itself;
    -Service history- should all bikes have proof of mileage or servicing?
    -Are there a lot of 'clocked' bikes? How diligent should I be- will I need to get every bike I look at professionally inspected?
    -What is the culture on haggling? If someone is asking $6000, will they be expecting me to start offering them $4500 or do people generally ask roughly what they want?
    -Are there any brands that might be sale-proof later on?
    -I was thinking about an older Blackbird because I had one. Would that be a bad idea?
    -I see there are bikes with high mileage- what would be considered high mileage on, say, a 10 year old bike?
    -What am I likely to pay for new tyres, chains, oil, brakes etc etc?
    -What does fuel usually cost?
  13. It's not a bad idea to get an international license. It may help confuse cops enough to leave you alone.

    You'll be picking the bike up in WA so I'll let someone from there answer the rego (=registration) questions. Rego is a state thing but allows you to travel throughout the country.

    The insurance you get with the rego will cover a third party in an an accident for injury if you are at fault. That is all

    Most people buy Third Party Property and Damage insurance at least. This covers the material costs of other vehicles, train, telegraph poles etc.

    At the other end of the scale is Comprehensive Insurance. This covers yours and their costs, regardless who is at fault. It's uslaully about 3 times that of third party property

    Some companies in some states offer things like Fire, Theft and third party. I've never bothered with this personally.

    If I am riding an old dunger I get Third party Property and if it's a bike I couldn't afford to replace quickly with cash I get comprehensive.

    Service history is always wise and milage is recorded in some states at the time of registration, though it's not enforced. You have to use your judgement here. If the bike is ratty with low ks, be suspicious.

    Clocked bikes are unusual, though in the west they do rack up more ks. You should be able to get something with reasonable ks without too much shopping around.

    Haggling: some is expected, but the starting point would be 20% at most. In fact some will tell you to bugger off at that.

    Can't see anything wrong with the Blackbird. Speed limits are quite low however (110 at most) and the HWY cops can be pricks, so a Blackbird might be too tempting. Personally I think it would be a bit boring as a result.

    Mileage per year does vary a lot in Aus. Some people only ride once a month whilst other commute big distances daily. Bike prices do tend to drop off markedly in Aus after 30,000 km, so something like a blackbird would be just worn in and a good buy at say 35.

    Tyres: $300 each, Chain and front sprocket $250 (on a bigger bike), rest is $20 roughly each. Fuel is sitting around $1.30-1.50/litre in the city but you will pay more in more remote areas.
  14. A few Answers:
    Rego = registration.
    Registered owner is the term for who it's registered to.
    It's done locally. usually you need an inspection certificate which can be done in most bike mechanics and then fill out some paperwork at a dept of transport office. But this varies from state to state.
    Change of ownership is immediate once you hand in the paperwork.
    You also sign paperwork on purchase that covers you both in case of law enforcement.
    Name and address and licence number is about all you need from memory.

    Rego Cost varies from state to state. About $500 for 12 months. But it stays with the bike so when you buy one it comes with whatever rego is left on it already.
    It's better to buy one that's already registered since it's less hoops to jump through to get it on the road in your name. Again the exact process varies from state to state.

    The rego cost includes a compulsary 3rd party liability insurance which covers medical costs to anyone you injure in a crash. It does not cover damage to your bike or the other vehicle. So you need separate insurance to cover that.

    Comprehensive insurance costs vary wildly according to bike type, your age and driving history, where you're keeping the bike. and how many Km you travel a year

    Most companies will quote online so it's pretty easy. But you'll probably need to provide an australian address for where you're 'keeping the bike' feel free to just pick one.
    Keep in mind that costs and companies vary from state to state. probably easiest to cost insurance for the state you're plannign on buying it in.

    There's no requirement to have anything other than the insurance already included in rego. You can ride without any additional insurance if you're happy to take the risk.
  15. By Gold Diners I mean you need to be rich to eat your way accross the nullabor plain because everything is over priced.

    We crossed it in a day, each time. But its a very long day and you really need 2 drivers. Unless you are an ironbut rider you would need 2 days to do it safely on a bike I reckon. Best part about splitting into several days is you can stop to take photos of the 90mile signs and the blow holes etc. Enjoy the journey and take it all in.

    Camping is not a problem. You get critters everywhere in australia, but most will stay away from you. Definatly nothing to be scared of. Theres not as many as people make out, but they do exist.

    There is tons of info around. Get yourself a good map and start marking out your plans. A comfortable day with plenty or rest and relaxations is around 600km.
  16. That sounds like great advice. Many thanks.

    Any of you good people care to wager an estimate of the time I should allot for such a trip?
  17. If possible get a victorian registered bike. Part of the rego is TAC cover - This covers you medically if you get in an accident (in ANY state), pretty sure it's the only state in Australia that has this level of medical cover (it's better than private medical cover).
  18. KLR650 is the best selling adventure touring bike over here. Fairly cheap new as well.
    Or a v strom or a versys give a bit of flexibility while better on the road. then there's the bmws.