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Old 20.06.2012, 05:18
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Buying a motorcycle or Vespa

We are just settling in Switzerland. We thought about buying a motorcycle, or possibly two Vespa scooters (from Italy or Switzerland). We would then take them back to the US in our Expat shipment. Does anyone have experience buying a scooter in italy, while living in Switzerland? Does anyone have experience shipping the vehicle back to the US upon repatriation? What challenges, costs, barriers, etc, can I expect?
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Old 20.06.2012, 06:27
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Re: Buying a motorcycle or Vespa

I can't answer all your questions, but one thing to keep in mind with your plan is cost for a scooter/motorcycle in the US versus here. You will pay much MUCH more here. If someone else pays to send it with you to the US, great, but otherwise you could buy the same bike there for a fraction of the price (generally speaking) without the hassles of shipping and importing it.
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Old 20.06.2012, 07:57
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Re: Buying a motorcycle or Vespa

I don't know about other states, but if you come from California you may have problems getting the scooter registered due to the emissions requirements. California has some requirements to fight air pollution that may require replacing the exhaust system on the bike. I would make sure that you can get the bike registered in the states before buying.

When we brought our car from the US to Germany, we had to replace the headlights and an essentially new set of tires (because they had DOT markings, but no DIN registration numbers). Even after that, we had to import parts (brake pads, etc.) from the US because they were different sizes than the EU models of the same car. I would imagine that, due to different laws, the case would be similar for motorcycles and scooters going in the other direction.
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Old 20.06.2012, 08:07
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Re: Buying a motorcycle or Vespa

Generally speaking, you will not be able to import a foreign spec bike to the US unless it is very old. (30+ years).

And, as was pointed out, it would be cheaper to sell it here and buy another there.

Tom
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Old 20.06.2012, 16:15
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Re: Buying a motorcycle or Vespa

Thanks guys, good info. Sounds like I better buy and enjoy a used bike in Switzerland, and sell it before I return later in life.
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