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  #21  
Old 04.04.2014, 22:20
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

First of all, welcome!

I moved here just over a year ago and transferred my license. It went well, once I could convince the MFK that the "M" on my license didn't stand for "Moped". I easily traded in my US license for a fully equal (no limits) Swiss license.

The bike, on the other hand, was a different ball o' wax. I had a BMW GS1150, no real mods. I visited the local BMW shop on a pre-move visit and had a lengthy discussion about importing the bike. The guy even called BMW Switzerland to verify information. The end result: highly discouraged me from bringing my BMW (and my husband's BMW, FWIW) because of the difficulty of harmonization and getting the bike registered. We decided to just sell the bikes in the US and have since bought Swiss bikes, without any trouble.


Also, there is a Swiss FB group linked from this site (invitation only). If you're interested you might be able to snag an invite It's a great resource for both bikes and people
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  #22  
Old 15.02.2016, 17:19
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

Does anyone know how much it costs and who are the best people to import a bike from the US? I have a BMW K100 that I'd love to bring with me.
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  #23  
Old 15.02.2016, 17:31
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

What year?

Is it stock?

Tom
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  #24  
Old 15.02.2016, 17:47
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

Well, I paid about 1700 USD to ship it off US (from Ohio to NY port to Port of entry in Netherlands) including insurance and such, the handler here in Switzerland took another 800 CHF to deliver from Netherlands to door in Zurich. In terms of insurance, you are looking at CHF 500 to 700 for the year.

For the first year, you can ride with the insurance papers and US plates, US license. Make sure you declare the bike as a free allowance as long as it is atleast 6 month old in US to save the 8% import tariff.

Second year on, you need to clear the road certification by looking at three minimum requirements - Lights (US blinkers work differently, headlight also differ per EU norms), exhaust noise (dB levels for BMW should not be a problem if stock), Speedometer (will not be a problem if you have dual readings MPH/KPH). I spent 2800 CHF in the second year with all these changes. Any local dealer can help you do the changes and take the hassle of getting the bike certified. Note labor is twice as expensive as in US.

You can do the math and look at the used market here as well to see what makes sense for you. In my case, I sold off my Harley after using for the second year. With the price I got here on the sale, I broke even plus got to use the ride for two years
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Old 15.02.2016, 17:52
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

I paid USD 500 to have it air-freighted from the dealer I had originally bought it from in CT, to my office in Zurich, and anoth CHF 1000 to get it inspected and registered here, but that was in 1986.

Tom
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  #26  
Old 15.02.2016, 18:10
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

wow, sounds like I'm better off selling it here and buying something once I get there. It's a 1991 K100RS with over 1000,000 miles on it.
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  #27  
Old 15.02.2016, 19:04
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

On this site by searching you will find many many threads on insurance and importing a bike. There is one thread where the guy gives you a complete step by step guide on importation.

Anyway my wife and I imported 2 bikes from UK when I moved here.

Now in reflection I probably would have sold them and started again, however if I did it again I would also know what I did wrong which was nearly everything.

Clearly on this thread people know what their talking about more than me but for me I had these problems -

1. Get the importation process correct and correct papers stamped right at the beginning or the fun will start (from UK I paid 500 both bikes to ship over and they didnt do it properly at the border ).
2. For the test you need - Certificate of conformity - more fun finding them all (modified parts) more costs.
3. Also for the test I came from UK wrong lights total bill 1800Chf for both bikes (I though I would at least try and failed test). Plus costs from Yamaha on other bits needing doing.
4. Insurance! what a pain my UK one run out while I was here. Then having to get temporary plates while I carried on with process of import.
5. Unless your German or whatever canton your in is good don't expect them to speak English. On my many visits some did and some didnt for the test it was easier to bring somebody along who spoke the lingo.

The only light at the end was I sold the bikes after 18 months, got a top price for it as after all this my wifes decides she wanted a faster more shinier model
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Old 15.02.2016, 19:15
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

Thanks. Looks I have a bike for sale.
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  #29  
Old 15.02.2016, 19:51
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Re: Need help - Motorcycle rider from US

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Thanks. Looks I have a bike for sale.
I feel your pain. We sold 5 motorcycles when we moved here, because we were informed that it would be tedious and expensive to have them registered in Switzerland. And one of them was even a fairly new BMW in stock condition.

So yeah, prepare to sell your bike there but know that you have the joy of hunting down a new ride once you get here!


If you're anywhere near Oberentfelden, check out MotoMader. Good people and a really nice store/selection.
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