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Old 11-19-2004, 02:57 AM   #1
VR1000racer
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

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Old 11-19-2004, 03:01 AM   #2
busa99999
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

Gray market bikes are cool The problem of getting the bike in is not impossible. Law vary state to state on reg. The biggest headache I had with the gray mkts is spare parts even filters pads etc .
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Old 11-19-2004, 03:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

You should look for an importer. Usually, importers will bring in Euro/Canadian HD products but if you do the hard work: Find the bike and dealer- they will (for a fee) bring the bike through customs, convert the speedo (if necessary) and exchange headlight bulb to US spec. If you live in CA you will have to talk to dmvs to find out the correct exhaust for their emmissions standards (remember to re-jet/update EFI). If all goes smoothly it will usually take 4 to 6 weeks from the point of purchase. Talk to your insurance company, though. Some companies will not insure Euro bikes (even with the Statement of Conformity).

Good luck. There are some pretty sweet bikes out there that we lowly Americans don't ever get to see.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

I'd love to be the first kid on the block with a Yamaha MT-01 or a GSX1400 Suzuki. would think you could get around the parts issue by buying online from an overseas shop or cross referencing part numbers.

Most manufacturers use the same oil filters and brake pads in a number of different models. You'd just have to figure out what matches, for example my Triumph uses the same cartridge oil filter as a number of Honda's and the Honda shop is right down the road, instead of an hours drive each way.

I'd do all the work I could myself though, I don't think you'd have a warranty, and even if you did I don't know if any dealer would put a claim through for you.
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

Here is the experience of another guy importing an SV650S back in the days that the Canadians had them and the US didn't.



I heard many such tales in those days. Sounds like more are to come.



http://userdata.acd.net/stratten/sv_import.html
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

I wouldn't recommend a gray market bike in Kalifornia at all. Besides the aforementioned exhaust ( possibly at catalytic converter ) you will need the charcoal canister for the fuel tank emissions, and possibly different camshafts as well. VWW
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Old 11-19-2004, 08:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

I'm curious about the part where you have to prove the speedometer has been converted to MPH. Couldn't you just put stickers on the gauge with 10, 20, 30, etc MPH stuck to the appropriate spots? I wonder what threshold they use for a conversion.



Good thing I don't have money, I'd be tempted to buy a Z750.
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Old 11-19-2004, 09:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

I have owned 3 gray market bikes, and found that nearly all the consumable parts were interchangeable with other models. My experience was that all the mainstream dealers weren't interested in the hassle of helping to find parts etc. to the point that I concluded that nobody who worked there was an enthusiast of any sort. I did find a little independant shop who was as enthusiastic as I, and helped to cross reference oil filters etc.

If you can't find parts that fit domestic market bikes, be prepared to pay dearly for them, and shipping.

Finally, if your dream bike is a Japan only model, you might never locate a shop manual in english, so you have to use your experience to do the servicing.

I would definitely do it again, only with a different importer.
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Old 11-19-2004, 12:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

Don't know what state you're in. Some can be a real pain about titling and registration. I live in Maryland and just imported a 404 Unimog, so I know. If your state is uncooperative in this department there are companies in other states with liberal title laws that can help. I'm using Broadway for my truck. They may be of help for your bike. Good luck.



http://www.broadwaytitle.com/index.htm
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Old 11-19-2004, 01:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Buying a ''gray market'' bike

I bought a Canadian KTM Adventure 950 before it was available in the states. I got it here, but I wouldn't do it again. I won't bore you with the story but had i not been a lawyer able to get help from partners while i was cooling my heels in nelson b.c. it woulda been awhile. as it was it took me 5 days. i have pictures of me and the customs people with the partially disassembled bike in the stall at u.s. customs.

My wife has a black market gsxr 400. we were able to get it here and licensed. if you want to know how i will tell you but i won't guarantee it would work twice. the bike is just what she wanted. when it breaks i have to get the shop manual translated. some stuff from a bandit 400 will fit, some won't. my neighbor has a machine shop so sometimes we make parts, but it is an adventure. no grey or black market bike should be your only bike unless you don't mind downtime.

other than that its a cakewalk.
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