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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got on to the UK ebay site and was doing some searches on Honda's. I discovered that there are some CB modules that are not sold here in the US. Mainly the CB1300 Honda. I saw one with a fairing painted red/white and blue that looked similar to a 1983 CB1100F. I'm sure if I went on the Japan ebay there would be similar Honda's that we here in the US would love to import.

I'm wondering how tough and costly it would be to import something from the UK?
 

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I have a frend who grew up in England. He told me that he could, by their laws, ride any bike up to 250cc without passing the motorcycle formal test,also you had to be 18 before you could ride anything over a 50cc. Thats probably why you see so many RD250's over there, It was the big deal then, and the manufacturers targeted those bikes to that market. They also got to sell 2strokes a lot longer,Posibly the 1300 Honda was targeted at the sidecar market? just a guess. I wouldn't want anything that wasen't sold here, it would probably be a bitch to get parts.
 

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I'm from UK, here's something of a history lesson
Laws originally changed in mid 60's.
AC Cobra was car that led to 70mph blanket speed limit (they used to road test them at 160mph on public roads )
Prior to 1964 or 65 you could ride anything, but accident rates led to 250cc limit (most 250's were around 14~20hp)
The Royal Enfield in my avatar is from 1965 and Ariel had 250 'smoker', BSA C15 was only good for 70mph until it got a few mods then it would do 100mph (sorry, wrong site, no avatar [?])
Heres a pic from 1980

New generation imports (mostly Japanese twostrokes) were capable of 100mph, or at least close which led to further restrictions in early 1970's
From 1972 you could only ride a 50cc moped at 16, had to be 17 to get a motorcycle.(I just missed out so waited until 17 to get street bike)
Because we found out how to make 50's do 60mph or more, the laws changed again limiting them to 35mph.
Since I've lived in US the laws changed again.
I believe the 50cc law for 16yr old is still in place but you can't ride anything with more than 40bhp until after you pass your test (you have 2 yrs to pass or you stop riding [xx(])
Insurance is real expensive for bikes which is why 250's are so popular.
Bikes are seen as a viable form of transport in Europe, unlike here where they are just 'toys'
When gas got to $4~$5.00 a gallon in USA sales of mopeds and scooters rocketed.
Its no wonder bikes are more popular when gas is $5.00~$11.00 a gallon as in Britain/Europe.
'Big bike' over there is something of a status symbol, not just gas price but insurance and running costs are roughly double/triple US prices (its all relative though, everything here is taxed, just at lower level, so, I'm about as broke as I would be 'over there' ;))

PJ
 

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im also a brit,,
at 16 we could ride a 50cc moped ..
at 17 we could ride any motorcycle not exceeding 250cc..
you could take your bike test at 17 tho, once passed you could ride any cc bike..
aged 17 i rode a sluggish 250 honda, after passing my test aged 17 and 3 months i was let loose on an RD400 yam .. crazy!
 

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Tony, thanks cous. I knew one of you fellers from across the pond, would fill in the blanks. Brits seem to have a little history with bikes. You also seem to be an officenado(speling?) on the RD's. I also noted a lot of other bikes in your pictures that we don't see over here. Don't you'all sidecar and cyclecar alot too?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's all interesting about the laws in England but I was wondering how hard it would be to buy a bike in England and have it shipped here to the US. I've seen some cool bikes I wouldn't mind buying. I'm thinking buying from a dealer and shipping the bike on a container ship to the east coast. I figure buying from a dealer (mc shop) would be safer than buying from a private individual.

I've noticed that many adds made reference to some sort of road tax that had / had not been paid. Just buying the bike for export - what kind of taxes would be involved... I'm in the thinking stage on this one and just trying to determine if it would be cost effective. In the long run - this will more than likely be a stupid idea on my part.
 

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Friend in work has a few bikes he bought in Britain then shipped over. I still don't know what to do about my 1952 BSA, leave it there or ship it here? (cos I still have a house there and I'm British citizen)
Personal import isn't too bad as far as I know, (although things have changed since 9-11)
Import duty in US may add significantly to cost?
Thought about taking a vacation in Britain?
Buy bike there, get it registered in your name then ship it back as personal import, I think that's 'mostly legal' :D


PJ
 

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One of the bars to bringing a bike into the US is emissions. If you are talking about bikes prior to 1978, I believe you can pretty much bring in anything you want. 1979 and later you can only bring in models that are EPA certified to US standards (why you can't import a used voxan). There are ways to slip bikes in, fudged paperwork, etc, but if you get caught the fines are stiff.

In the case of something like the cb1300 I doubt you could get one in because there is no comparable us model that has passed emissions spec. In the case of a newish cb750, those bikes used the old nighthawk 750 motor so as long as you buy one 2003 or older you should be able to convince a smart custom inspector that it is comparable bike to one imported to the US (you may have to fit nighthawk stock exhaust to it though to prove compliance).
 

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Wonder if there's an age cutoff for emissions or if it varies by state. I followed an auction for an RG500 that the owner was a British national living in Texas. The description stated that he had brought the bike over with him and that it was titled in Texas. There's another one for sale right now in Ohio that they say is titled. I dunno...

My worry would be insuring it. You can shit your way through the DMV, but if you're in an accident and the insurance company decides you got your policy under false pretenses I afraid you'd be screwed. There has to be a way the guys w/exotics are handling that part of it.

Right now I have a plate for my KTM. Told a buddy who lives in a different county that and he had a fit. The county he lives in took the time to go through their records and find the bikes that had been issued plates that shouldn't have. I think it was Oregon that they cracked down of mx-based supermotos and pulled their plates. The KTM I don't really care, but it'd sure be a CYA thing if ever did an import.
 
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