Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
imported post

I did a search to see what kind of info we have on the forum regarding importation of American bikes/trikes into Canada. Not much. So let me offer a few tips/steps that might help someone avoid the pitfalls;

1. Make very sure that the bike you want to import is admissible. The place to start is at this website:

http://www.riv.ca/ImportingAVehicle.aspx

Generally, all Hondas are admissible. A word of warning; Conversion Trikes are NOT admissible! The only trike that is allowable is a 2009 or newer Pit Boss. This may change in the future but unlikely that modified trikes will be accepted anytime soon.

2. If you plan to insure and ride the bike in Canada make sure the owner has a CLEAR Title in hand. Bikes with Salvage Titles are only good for parts, even if they have been rebuilt. Bike will also have to have Compliance label or documentation saying it complies with U.S. standards at the time of manufacturing.

3. If the bike is more than 15 years old you won't need a Recall Clearance Letter, a document from the manufacturer or authorized dealer, indicating the bike has had all recalls addressed. All bikes newer than 15 years require the documentation. Best to get it before you import it to avoid a nasty surprise later that may have you trying to get a Canadian dealer to do some work they're not interested in.

4. Know the costs;
i) exchange rate - fluctuates, as we well know
ii) $195 + GST for RIV inspection for bikes newer than 15 years
iii) taxes - PST, GST, HST
There is no duty on American made bikes.

5. Transportation costs for getting it home. You may get a transport company to deliver it to your door, to an address close to the border and you go get it, drive down and trailer it home or you can do as I love to do, fly/bus down and drive it home. I've found that going to get it usually amounts to about the same as transporting it and I get to meet nice people and have a nice drive home. A word of warning: check with your insurance company about temporary transit coverage. In Manitoba the bike needs transit coverage even if it's being trailered. If it falls off the trailer and causes damage to another vehicle and it's not insured you're responsible for damages. Check your jurisdiction.

6. Provide the US Customs crossing that you intend to import the bike at with proper documentation at least 72 hours prior to crossing. You can find the contact info here:

http://www.riv.ca/USCustoms.aspx

Fax the documents required to them and then follow up with a phone all a few hours later to confirm it has been received and is legible. If its not they don't contact you and you'll have problems getting it over the border when you arrive. They need the VIN so they can check to make sure the bike isn't stolen or wanted for some reason. I always put the VIN number in big font on the cover sheet to make sure they get it.

Be aware, you will need to stop at the US Customs office AND the Canadian Customs office when you get the bike to the border. U.S. Customs will verify the bike and the documents you faxed them correspond.

7. You will need to fill out a "Form 1" at Canada Customs to be able to license it in Canada but it's not difficult and the Canadian Customs officers are very helpful in making sure it's done right.

8. Once you have the bike in Canada you'll have to wait for the RIV documentation to be sent to you, get the bike inspected by an authorized inspection station (all Canadian Tires are authorized in Canada) for possible modifications required to meet licensing requirements, though I've never had to modify a Honda. Big things are daytime lights and KM speedo, which most Hondas have.

9. Prior to licensing you'll also have to meet your province's Safety Inspection standards. This varies from province to province but is no different than for a bike bought locally.

10. I'm putting this last so it will stick in your mind: DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU COMPLETE A TRANSACTION! Find a way to make sure the deal is legit. There are numerous ways of doing this.
i) You may ask the seller to take the bike to a dealer to have the bike and documentation checked and then contact the dealer directly. This may be at your cost but you may be able to get the seller to do it at his cost if the bike has been for sale for a while and he's eager to sell.
ii) Have a friend or third party go check it for you. Only works if you have a friend nearby. The alternative is to ask someone from the forum who lives nearby to check it for you. I've done this several times and appreciated the willingness of people to help.
iii) If i & ii aren't an option ask for lots of pictures and even ask them to post a Youtube video of the thing running. Bought my GL500I this way.
iv) do a search of the VIN to make sure you're buying what's advertised.


Is it worth it? It all depends on your tolerance level for red tape, the value of the dollar, bike prices in your area and the time you have to invest in doing the research. I've bought and imported bikes through ebay, Craigslist and GWRRA and have yet to feel I was ripped off. I try to avoid ebay unless the deal is too good to turn down. But the savings can be substantial. I'm flying down to Georgia to pick up a '97SE on Saturday that I paid approximately 50% of what the local dealer wants for a similar bike he has in the showroom. Savings - about $5000, after all costs are included.

I haven't said anything about new bikes because, quite simply, U.S. Honda frowns on selling new bikes to Canadians. If you do get one to sell to you you'll most likely have no warranty when you cross the border, which might not be an issue if you're in Niagara Falls and you can cross the bridge and have an American dealer do your warranty work. I do know of someone who had an American friend buy a new one for him and immediately sell it to him. Now it's used, but still no warranty. But who cares when you can buy a brand new 2009 Goldwing with Audio/Comfort/Nav/XM package for under $20,000 US ($21600 C) on Ebay when the same bike sells for over $30,600 US ($33,000 C) here. $10,000 covers a lot of warranty work.

So happy hunting. It may look intimidating but it just takes time and patience and you'll be riding a nice bike and probably have made a bunch of new friends doing it. Personally, I'm looking forward to riding the BRP with a bunch of you on Sunday afternoon on my new American-made '97 Goldwing. Rain, rain, stay away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
imported post

Thanks for listing those. They didn't come up in the search I did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,509 Posts
imported post

Well. give me a hollar when you come up through SC for coffee at least. PM'ing my cell number.

Also you may want to post in the event forum about riding the BRP on Sunday as there are lots of us in the area and not going to Montrose for the rally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
imported post

Just waiting for a PM from SB in SC as to when and where we might meet. Then I'll post an update.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,408 Posts
imported post

wpgfire wrote:
I haven't said anything about new bikes because, quite simply, U.S. Honda frowns on selling new bikes to Canadians. If you do get one to sell to you you'll most likely have no warranty when you cross the border, which might not be an issue if you're in Niagara Falls and you can cross the bridge and have an American dealer do your warranty work. I do know of someone who had an American friend buy a new one for him and immediately sell it to him. Now it's used, but still no warranty. But who cares when you can buy a brand new 2009 Goldwing with Audio/Comfort/Nav/XM package for under $20,000 US ($21600 C) on Ebay when the same bike sells for over $30,600 US ($33,000 C) here. $10,000 covers a lot of warranty work.
If it's a US bike with Canadian plates it won't have a warrantee either side of the border as I understand it. US registered and plated bikes would have courtesy warrantee in Canada.

I brought my 98 SE in from the USA and had no problems.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27 Posts
imported post

I have an 06 goldwing that I bought 1 year old and imported to Canada. It's plated to Alberta, and I just had warranty work completed at a Montana dealer last week. Had no problems at all getting coverage there. Local dealer here refused to look at it first, stating my warranty was void.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6 Posts
imported post

:applause:Great info, many thanks. I'm wondering, if a trike is RIV exempt (more than 15 years old), is it still not importable?

Caribou
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
imported post

caribou wrote:
:applause:Great info, many thanks. I'm wondering, if a trike is RIV exempt (more than 15 years old), is it still not importable?

Caribou
Not eligible for import.


Caribou, if you're looking for a trike and would be happy with one that's more than 15 years old (pre-1500) why not get in touch with Angela (fysty-1)? She's looking to sell her '85 LTD with a Voyager Deluxe kit installed. You can see some pics of the bike here:

Fysty-1's '85 LTD Trike

Lots of miles but still looks good and the price is right.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,334 Posts
imported post

I've imported 3 Wings myself and had no issues other thanthe first time. Honda was dis-owning me for doing this.
Lesson learned?

YES!!

Don't tell them you exported a WING! and everyone is happy.

warranty work is performed in the USA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
imported post

caribou wrote:
I'm wondering, if a trike is RIV exempt (more than 15 years old), is it still not importable?

Caribou
Seems I was too quick to jump to conclusions on this question. :?

I went to the Transport Canada site and read what it had to say about trikes, modifications, etc and couldn't find a definitive answer, so I phoned and talked to the people there. Here's what 'Jessica' told me:
If the vehicle has been triked (modified) for more than 15 years it is admissible. Note, its not the age of the motorcycle they are concerned with. Its the amount of time that has passed since the modification was made. If a 1995 GL1500 had been converted in 2005 it would be inadmissible BUT if it had been converted more than 15 years from the date of importation it would be admissible.

So, Caribou, shop to your heart's content.:applause: Just be sure there's documentation proving the date of modification.

And I learned something today! I deserve a treat!:action:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,408 Posts
imported post

wpgfire wrote:
caribou wrote:
I'm wondering, if a trike is RIV exempt (more than 15 years old), is it still not importable?

Caribou
Seems I was too quick to jump to conclusions on this question. :?

I went to the Transport Canada site and read what it had to say about trikes, modifications, etc and couldn't find a definitive answer, so I phoned and talked to the people there. Here's what 'Jessica' told me:
If the vehicle has been triked (modified) for more than 15 years it is admissible. Note, its not the age of the motorcycle they are concerned with. Its the amount of time that has passed since the modification was made. If a 1995 GL1500 had been converted in 2005 it would be inadmissible BUT if it had been converted more than 15 years from the date of importation it would be admissible.

So, Caribou, shop to your heart's content.:applause: Just be sure there's documentation proving the date of modification.

And I learned something today! I deserve a treat!:action:
GET IT IN WRITING. Spell it out in little words that can't be misunderstood. I don't trust them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
imported post

I'm with you on that, Len. The Transport Canada website states: "VERIFY ADMISSIBILITY OF YOUR VEHICLE BEFORE YOU PURCHASE..." I would think that VERIFY means, "have us send it to you in writing once you think you've found one."
 

·
Bruce County Boy/Snowbird
Joined
·
1,708 Posts
imported post

When I last spoke to R.I.V. Registrar of Motor Vehicles while in Florida this past winter...I was told in no uncertain terms..Modified Trikes of any age are not eligible for Import to Canada from the USA. I was somewhat disappointed as I had a dandy for a reasonable price I could buy in Michigan. It was a 1200.

I sure hope we get to the bottom of this and do learn that they are allowed..I will be after that 1200 in Mich. pronto.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,408 Posts
imported post

Also, when crossing the border and doing the RIV paperwork make sure all the numbers are correct as it will be pure hell to get them corrected later. The forms are filled out in longhand and if a S/N has an error it messes up the whole procedure.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
imported post

.


So, can you de-trike a trike, import it and then re-trike it ?

Just thought I would stir the pot a bit.


.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
imported post

Hodgy wrote:
.


So, can you de-trike a trike, import it and then re-trike it ?

Just thought I would stir the pot a bit.


.
Check out this thread:

Making an imported trike legal

Long story short - bought a bike in Canada, had it triked in USA - not allowed across border because of modification - had trike disassembled - brought bike home with trike parts in a box - re-assembled as a trike in Canada - now admissible
 

·
Bruce County Boy/Snowbird
Joined
·
1,708 Posts
imported post

I have fired off an email to Transport Canada. I want it in writing that I can bring a 15 year old Trike into Canada via the Importation Process.

Lets see what they put in writing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,073 Posts
imported post

wpgfire wrote:
Hodgy wrote:
.


So, can you de-trike a trike, import it and then re-trike it ?

Just thought I would stir the pot a bit.


.
Check out this thread:

Making an imported trike legal

Long story short - bought a bike in Canada, had it triked in USA - not allowed across border because of modification - had trike disassembled - brought bike home with trike parts in a box - re-assembled as a trike in Canada - now admissible

.


That shows you how far government agencies have their heads stuck up their a-- ! Only a bureaucratic idiot could ignore common sense and come up with a ruling like that.

Import a bike, OK. Then import a bunch of parts to add to that bike, OK. Then have someone combine all of the aforementioned in Canada, OK.

Somehow in their minds that is better than having the professionals who designed and manufactured the trike kit assemble it and then allow it to be imported and driven on our highways.

Their battle cry is always "We are just looking out for your best interests". Enough said.


.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top