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USA Bike holiday tips

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by meatpie, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. G'day all,

    I am posting to see if anyone can offer any tips on taking a 4 - 6 month holiday in the US, touring the nation on a bike? I would really like to start in California, ride down through texas, over to Florida then up to NYC or similar.

    My idea is to buy a bike when I arrive and just go from there. Has anyone done this before? Got any tips from previous experiences? How do I go about purchasing, registering and getting third party insurance for a bike?


  2. Search on advrider.com there are some tips and some users who say they will help buy a bike.

    It is harder than Oz, but possible.
  3. This is something I've wanted to do for years (well, originally a USA roadtrip, but now I've started riding, it's going to have to be on a bike).

    I haven't done this in the US, but I have bought a car in England (and drove it out of the country permanently). The main difficulty for that was to provide an address in Britain "where the car was usually garaged"; fortunately I had a friend over there so could put down his address. To get insurance - a legal requirement for driving in most countries - I had to claim I was a resident, but they didn't do any kind of checks to verify that. I'm sure you'll be able to find someone over there who's willing to help you out. Make sure that you get all of the paperwork sorted out for selling the bike before you leave. I had the UK Ministry of Transport chasing me for the rego renewal after I'd left the country, whoops.

    How are you going to stay there for six months? Last time I looked, the visa waiver only allows you to stay for three months, and they sounded pretty strict on not allowing "visa runs" to Canada, Mexico, etc... :(
  4. I'm thinking of doing this too!

    Luckily I'm an US citizen :) Unlimited time!
  5. Thanks guys,

    Cheers for that link Vertical C, thats a great site.

    I havnt looked into the whole visa part but its good that you mentioned it, I guess thats why you use forums like this one! I suppose I could still do what I plan to in three months. So far my main concerns are: third party insurance, rego, visa, accomodation. What else will catch me with my pants down?
  6. I looked briefly into this a couple of years ago because I fancied doing the Stampede. I came to the conclusion that, without good contacts in the US, buying and legally riding a bike over there would be considerably harder than the main event of thrashing a rigid chop from coast to coast in 48 hours.

    It would actually be legally easier (though considerably more expensive) to ship your own bike over from here and ride it over there on a carnet.
  7. Your other choice is to buy a bike over there and ship it back, a lot of companies are doing that with Harley Davidson which will ameliorate your costs if you buy there and sell when you get home and they do ride fly trips (usually for shorter times but am sure they will work something out). I guess only worth it if you want to spend $15K or above.

    The Aussie HD forums had some threads about this, you probably could get other bikes as well, Harley is good because they are cheap there and dear here (though the gap seems to be closing because of these imports I think).

    The advrider site is good but, lots of good information about travelling in America, where to go, where to camp cheap and lots of Americans on that site. I went in 09 but I only rented for four weeks but that site was good for finding roads, met a couple of people as well from the site and got some accomodation which is nicer than camping or motels.
  8. What kind of bike and what kind of roads, Meatpie?

    Asking because there are a lot of long straight highways in the US. You can find some corners if you look for them, but there's also a lot of good dirt to be had.
  9. If you buy with the intention of shipping back does that make a difference? ie can you ride it while over there?
  10. You will need some form of Visa, in your case probably a B1.

    You also need an address and you're (supposed) to have a social security number but I got by without one (this was in Massachusetts though). The address is important as the RMV will send the deed of your motorcycle in your name to the address, which you WILL need come time to sell.

    If you have a visa/address and have purchased a bike, you will need some details from where you bought it (I recommend a dealer over a private sale) and you MUST get the vehicle insured at the basic level required by the state in which you are registering, and have the form with you (your insurance company will email it to you) BEFORE going to the RMV to register and get plates for your vehicle.

    Insurance can be tricky if they think you are just signing up for a short time and leaving the country, so don't let on that that is your plan say you might be staying etc. I think that is all you need to know...

    Don't forget your international drivers/rider permit, as our license just looks like bunch of letters to the cops in the states.
  11. Hope that helped?