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Old 03.06.2021, 16:41
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Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Hello everyone,

I recently moved to Switzerland and I would like to buy a motorcycle, I have my resident B permit and a valid driving license.

I live in the canton of Vaud and found a bike that I would like to buy in the canton of Glarus, the owner of the bike doesn’t speak good English and I don’t speak German...I’m trying to understand what documents I need in order to buy the bike privately as this is not sold via a dealership.

I would like to take a train there and ride it back home but I’m not sure what I need to do in order to be able to ride it legally, is the mfk that he has valid for me cross cantons and come back to Vaud?
Do I need to get the title/registration from him before I go and pick it up? Does the mfk stays with the bike (like in the USA there is an inspection sticker on the forks)?

Alternatively I could source a company to deliver the bike to me?


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03.06.2021, 18:30
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

The MFK stays with the bike. It doesn't expire, you wait until they invite you to do it.

You cannot drive it without insurance and plates, so you will need to insure and register it ahead of time.

Titles don't exist here.

Tom
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Old 03.06.2021, 19:50
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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The MFK stays with the bike. It doesn't expire, you wait until they invite you to do it.

You cannot drive it without insurance and plates, so you will need to insure and register it ahead of time.

Titles don't exist here.

Tom
Isn't the grey form (Fahrzeugausweis) the Swiss equivalent of a US title?
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Old 03.06.2021, 21:27
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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Isn't the grey form (Fahrzeugausweis) the Swiss equivalent of a US title?
No, as it is unrelated to the actual owner.

We have several vehicles owned by my wife, with the grey card in my name.

Grey card is the Swiss equivalent of a US registration.

Tom
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Old 04.06.2021, 14:29
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Hi Tom,


Thank you very much for getting back to me, I really appreciate it.

So if I understand correctly I will have to get the insurance first, have the owner send me the gray card so that I can switch it to my name / get the plates and I will be ready to pick it up and ride it home? Where can I see if the bike is still under MFK?

There is no bill of sale of something similar to fill up to protect the sale, prove the change of ownership, purchase price for taxes etc?


Thank you again for your help!
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Old 04.06.2021, 14:37
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

The process is really simple, it was already discussed in other topics, maybe search for it. Buying my bike here I was also somehow confused by the simplicty of it:

- the old owner needs to cancel his registration, and gives you the grey card. You go with that and the insurance policy to the StVA and you get your plates. You don't need to be there with a bike.

They call you when you need to do a MFK, so if the motorbike has plates it has valid MFK.
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Old 04.06.2021, 14:38
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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Where can I see if the bike is still under MFK?
You don't, as it doesn't expire.

Tom
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Old 04.06.2021, 15:31
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Perhaps I’m pointing out the obvious: to get the grey card/vehicle details from the owner in your scenario (arrive with new plates/insurance coverage to drive home), you intend to conclude the sale sight unseen.
PS: most of the bikes I ever bought, included a rainy ride home – yours does seem longer than usual
Anyway (just interested), which special GL-bike are you (VD) buying?
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Old 07.06.2021, 16:46
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Got it, pretty straight forward and simple I guess. Thank you.

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The process is really simple, it was already discussed in other topics, maybe search for it. Buying my bike here I was also somehow confused by the simplicty of it:

- the old owner needs to cancel his registration, and gives you the grey card. You go with that and the insurance policy to the StVA and you get your plates. You don't need to be there with a bike.

They call you when you need to do a MFK, so if the motorbike has plates it has valid MFK.
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Old 07.06.2021, 16:48
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Perfect, thank you. I was a little confused as when I looked at deanship vehicles they seemed to all come with "fresh" MFK.

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You don't, as it doesn't expire.

Tom
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Old 07.06.2021, 16:51
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

IIRC a cross-Kanton vehicle registration transfer of a certain age will likely trigger an MFK ask if the MFK is not "new". Therefore if you can get this bike with a new MFK when sold, your life and any surprises connected with the bike will be easier....
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Old 07.06.2021, 17:01
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

It's a BMW R1150GS, I've been looking for this specific model and there is very little inventory here in Switzerland. I will conclude the sale sight unseen but this is a nicely kept original 1 owner with "low enough km", I'm pretty familiar with the bike and it checks most of the boxes in my list.

I've been researching for shipping companies to pick it up for me but I can't really find anyone, one quote came in at 1,200CHF witch seems outrageous. Does anyone have any recommendations for motorcycle transport? I could go with the train and ride it back but I don't really have an entire day to do that at the moment....



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Perhaps I’m pointing out the obvious: to get the grey card/vehicle details from the owner in your scenario (arrive with new plates/insurance coverage to drive home), you intend to conclude the sale sight unseen.
PS: most of the bikes I ever bought, included a rainy ride home – yours does seem longer than usual
Anyway (just interested), which special GL-bike are you (VD) buying?
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Old 07.06.2021, 17:29
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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IIRC a cross-Kanton vehicle registration transfer of a certain age will likely trigger an MFK ask if the MFK is not "new". Therefore if you can get this bike with a new MFK when sold, your life and any surprises connected with the bike will be easier....
Depending upon the canton and the local MFK the first five years are generally unproblematic. The older a vehicle is, you have to expect tests every two years. So, as always, YMMV but as stated with a fairly recent MFK on the grey card you should be spared official hassles in this respect.
Perhaps you can state the last GL-MFK date and someone VD-savvy can give you a valid idea?
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Old 07.06.2021, 17:48
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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I've been researching for shipping companies to pick it up for me but I can't really find anyone, one quote came in at 1,200CHF witch seems outrageous. Does anyone have any recommendations for motorcycle transport? I could go with the train and ride it back but I don't really have an entire day to do that at the moment....
Services are kind of expenisve in CH, IMHO personal picking it up with your own plates is the best option.
It's summer, days are long. Riding motorbike is nice. At the end of the week it will be dry and hot. Klaussenpass is incredible in the late afternoon.
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Old 10.06.2021, 15:04
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Looks like the last mfk was done 4 years ago so a new request might come soon I guess...anything specific that I need to look for on the bike before getting a mfk?

I was going to make some modifications to the bike but I should probably wait to see if I get a mfk request. In the USA you have to get an inspection every year but they’re done by independent mechanics and as far you have all the lights, indicators, horn, mirrors working and enough rubber on the tires you’ll pass the inspection no problems. Even with heavy modifications, non “approved” lights or open exhaust system you’ll pass.

I believe here in Switzerland is more strict, I was planning on installing different fenders, headlight and indicators but all TUV approved and probably a foot peg lowering kit given that I’m very tall. Are these kind of mods legal here?
I saw also that police makes random stops on motorcycles, not sure what they’re looking for...



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Depending upon the canton and the local MFK the first five years are generally unproblematic. The older a vehicle is, you have to expect tests every two years. So, as always, YMMV but as stated with a fairly recent MFK on the grey card you should be spared official hassles in this respect.
Perhaps you can state the last GL-MFK date and someone VD-savvy can give you a valid idea?
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Old 10.06.2021, 15:10
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

That’s probably what I’m going to do, as soon that I get the plates etc I’m going got ride it back.

The owner planned for me a route trough some passes including the Klaussenpass, looks like a 5h ride. A good way to test ride the bike!

Glarus to Klausenpass to Altdorf, then direction Stans, Ennetmoos, Kerns, Sarnen,
Brünig Pass, Interlaken, Spiez, Diemtigtal, Zweisimmen, Saanen, Aigle, to Lac Leman.

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Services are kind of expenisve in CH, IMHO personal picking it up with your own plates is the best option.
It's summer, days are long. Riding motorbike is nice. At the end of the week it will be dry and hot. Klaussenpass is incredible in the late afternoon.
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Old 10.06.2021, 15:24
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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I was planning on installing different fenders, headlight and indicators but all TUV approved and probably a foot peg lowering kit given that I’m very tall. Are these kind of mods legal here?
4 of my bikes have no idicators any more.

Two have ater market headlgits, three tail lights.

Most have body work, tank, seat, or clutch mods.

They get particular about wheels, brakes, exhaust, and intake mods.

Tom
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Old 10.06.2021, 15:27
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

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The older a vehicle is, you have to expect tests every two years.
Unless you live in Ticino.

My 36 year old get tested for the first time in 5 years last month, though it has twice gone 10 years.

My ST2 got it's 1st MFK at 14 years.

Tom
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Old 10.06.2021, 15:41
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Just don't forget you need Autobahn vignette between Altdorf and Stans, or at least me and the google maps think you cannot drive on the side road there, between Bauen and Seelisberg.
Road between Speiez and Aigle is also a hidden gem.
You can also change Brünning for Sustenpass, but it will add an hour I guess. Good luck with your new bike.


except this page:
https://www.alpen-paesse.ch/en/
says that Susten is still closed, "The Sustenpass is due open on ca. 25.6.2021" A lot of snow this year.
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Old 10.06.2021, 16:00
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Re: Buying a motorcycle in Switzerland

Ignore Tom’s time frames. As he often points out, TI is special
At least in the uncivilized Swiss-German parts, the MFK is pretty much on the case. Since quite a while, BL is as regular as clockwork.

BTW: Enjoy your trip home and don’t get lost! As nejc indicated, the Sustenpass is still closed. Depending upon your date, I would recommend it to cut out part of your seller’s route. A bit shorter, less motorway and much more interesting. Hope my link works, apparently right now the route is possible on a bicycle….
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Gl...46.4312213!3e1
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