GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am contemplating shipping my 2018 Goldwing DCT to Europe, tour several Western European countries for a month and then ship the bike back. I am having a hard time finding a freight forwarding company or a air/sea shipping that would do that.
Does anyone have such experience?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
I am contemplating shipping my 2018 Goldwing DCT to Europe, tour several Western European countries for a month and then ship the bike back. I am having a hard time finding a freight forwarding company or a air/sea shipping that would do that.
Does anyone have such experience?
Pray it doesn't rain. I took an Edelweiss European Tour about 15 years ago. I think it was 9 days. No rain at all. It was a trip of a lifetime for me. Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Austria. Would LOVE to do it again.

Shipping your bike there and back. What a hassle. Rent one over there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
If you do it, you have GOT TO do Norway. IMO, it is THE BEST RIDING AVAILABLE IN WESTERN EUROPE!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I’m going to second the rent a bike in Europe. Two things to consider, in addition to the expense of shipping your bike: insurance coverage while riding and GPS. I’m not aware of any US companies that will provide you with coverage in Europe, so you’ll need to source local coverage. Your GPS doesn’t have maps for Europe, so add the Spenser of a stand-alone GPS or a data plan for your phone.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,374 Posts
IF you ship, find a broker to handle all paperwork to ensure i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Just type overseas motorcycle broker and shop shop shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,025 Posts
I don't have any details, but have heard of options to ride on a freighter or cruise ship as a passenger and bring the bike as cargo.

If you don't go the "just rent" easy out, perhaps look into that for one or both legs. Particularly the getting there leg, so you minimize worries about shipping going sideways and you flying in to no bike.

I think the advice on getting some pro help on customs, insurance, etc. is still super relevant.

My wife has looked at various sea travel options for some bizarre wanderings in retirement. There are some deals on cruise ships when they do their seasonal moves, trans-Atlantic, etc. I knew a guy who moved his bike on a cruise ship from Baltimore to South America (can't remember which line) as palletized freight. Freight lines sell a few cabins to passengers. Some of it a little weird, but maybe something lines up with your plan and works out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
I don't have any details, but have heard of options to ride on a freighter or cruise ship as a passenger and bring the bike as cargo.

If you don't go the "just rent" easy out, perhaps look into that for one or both legs. Particularly the getting there leg, so you minimize worries about shipping going sideways and you flying in to no bike.

I think the advice on getting some pro help on customs, insurance, etc. is still super relevant.

My wife has looked at various sea travel options for some bizarre wanderings in retirement. There are some deals on cruise ships when they do their seasonal moves, trans-Atlantic, etc. I knew a guy who moved his bike on a cruise ship from Baltimore to South America (can't remember which line) as palletized freight. Freight lines sell a few cabins to passengers. Some of it a little weird, but maybe something lines up with your plan and works out.
Regarding transporting your bike by ship, should you decide you MUST HAVE your own motorcycle, I once attended a motorcycle rally organized by Grant Johnson, owner of Horizons Unlimited, a website dedicated to Round The World motorcycle travel. I respect Johnson's opinions (he and his wife spent some 10 years traveling the world by motorcycle, IIRC.). He advised NEVER, NEVER, NEVER transporting a motorcycle by ship, because cargo ships often get re-routed to pick up cargo and their scheduled arrival dates are highly unpredictable, and because marine shipping companies have CENTURIES of experience on how to make money in the form of storage charges, charges for moving the item once on land, admin fees, etc.

Johnson advised IF you really want to ship your bike, use air cargo. It may SEEM more expensive than cargo ship at first glance, but with air cargo you will be GUARANTEED an arrival date and you won't have all those additional on land fees the company will charge once your bike is unloaded.

Having said that, I agree with what others have previously stated; you'd be better off renting a bike in Europe.

Good luck.

Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,025 Posts
^ I'm sure there are plenty of pitfalls and value the voice of experience.

But air cargo GUARANTEED and no games? :laugh::22yikes::banghead: All shades of grey.

There are many nooks and crannies. Some of them dark. But some good.

Here's a quick google leading to a discussion about some cruise / bike things. Unlikely to matter, but spitballing ideas.
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/1453576-taking-your-motorcycle/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Point taken. Nothing is 100-percent guaranteed, but I think Johnson's point was that sure, you might get an air flight delayed due to weather, mechnical issues, etc., but an air cargo plane almost certainly won't get diverted mid flight to another destination to pick up stuff as cargo ships apparently are.

But I'm sure you understand that.

Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
Look into shipping via Air Canada
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,915 Posts
Dont forget to change out your headlight/reflectors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
Look into shipping via Air Canada
Quote above spot on. Air Canada runs a sale every late spring through early fall. You have to take your bike to a Canadian port of entry such as Toronto (there are others). Air Canada puts out a how too every year with step by step instructions. It is recommended that you ship your bike the day before you fly but you can fly the same plane as your bike is on; just be prepared for a 4 to 5 hour wait for the bike to clear customs if you take the same plane. As others have said, shipping your bike over for a month is just not cost effective but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I can can point at my wing and produce pictures of it in the Caribbean, Newfoundland, Key West and Cabo and I am just a local traveler compared to some of the guy and gals previously mentioned on Avid Rider & Horizons Unlimited. Edelweiss Tours & especially Motodiscovery offer guided tours that are really good. They can get you exposure safely that you would not be able to arrange on your on easily if at all. If someone was looking for a real bucket list trip, the Motodiscovery Colonial Mexico is not to be missed but that is off subject. ******* update - I forgot to mention - GWRRA is active in Europe - here we have rallys, there they have Treffens - the are not anything like you may have experienced in the states. http://www.lpmcc.net/rallies/rally_rallylisting.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Dont forget to change out your headlight/reflectors.
Absolutely no need (or requirement) to do that. The bike is NOT being imported into a European country. It would be going in temporarily, just like he would be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,915 Posts
Ah OK. I guessed it would have to have a MOT, just like every other vehicle has to have to be used on a road in the UK. ....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Nope. No MOT required. Nor would he have to change anything out if he were to ship it to NZ for holiday. His number plate stays US-based as does his driver's license and everything else. About the only additional thing he would need is insurance unless his US-based insurance company would cover him while abroad, which I do not believe is possible. Getting an international driver's license would be smart. I don't remember if it is a requirement within the EU.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,675 Posts
I shipped my 2004 Goldwing to Europe in the spring of 2018. I have been over three times since then to ride around Europe. I usually ride for a month and return home. Not sure where you live but you do have a couple good options. Shipping usually does involve a little preparation, such as leaving the gas tank very empty (but not completely) and disconnecting the battery.

I used Stefan Knopf Tours located in Heidelberg. In fact my '04 is still there. I paid $1,400 to ship it over. I rode from Conroe Texas to Orlando Florida about mid-March. The bike was in Heidelberg by the end of April. So, if you are wanting to ride some here, drop it off and have it be in Europe the next week, this isn't a good option. I have other bikes, including an '18 DCT Tour so sending my '04 over and leaving it, wasn't a big deal. Stefan also picks up in Huntington Beach California. Absolutely NO hassle. I dropped it off, handed Stefan a check and a little paperwork (including the Title) and I was done in about 15 minutes. I got to Frankfurt in June, rode the van to Heidelberg that Stefan arranged, the Wing was waiting for me at Stefan's place. So, here is breakdown of my costs in USD.

Pickup and Drop off: Huntington Beach,CA or Orlando, FL to Heidelberg, Germany
Shipping: $1,400 USD one way. So obviously $2,800 both ways.
Storage: first months through about June is free, after that it's about $440 a year
Insurance: about $220 a month, but you only need it when riding
Health Insurance (optional): $100 / month
Breakdown towing (optional): $120 / month

As others have mentioned Air Canada is also a good shipping option. It may be cheaper than Stefan, but they usually don't publish their shipping rates until April of the year you want to ship. And I understand that it isn't much of a hassle either. Although I have been told that you have to fly on the same flight as your bike. Your personal air fare will likely be more expensive than what you can get on other airlines. From other riders at Stefans B&B, I heard there are four places in Canada that they pick up. Like Victoria, Calgary, Toronto and may be someplace further east. And I believe they just go to Frankfurt. You will still need all the insurance and choose any other coverage options I mentioned above.

I found that shipping isn't as big a hassle as everyone says, but you do risk your own bike and damage in shipping and storage. Rental is also a choice although it will be more expensive if you stay longer than a couple weeks. I don't like riding in an organized tour, because you can't really ride your ride. Also, you will be limited on the bikes to rent and setting it up the way you like would be unlikely. But, it does eliminate all the guesswork. Buying a bike over there and selling it when your done is also an option, that is what my buddy did. But there are several issues you have to be comfortable with that option. You will be required to give a European address (obviously someone who is willing to let you use their address), unless you buy a US title bike. Plus, finding the RIGHT bike, then getting it set up the way you like it. But, buying then selling may be the cheapest option of all.

Someone mentioned maps. I use Garmin GPS's; a Zumo 595, two Zumo 665's, a 376c and a 378. I only take the two 665's to Europe. I had to do a little work but now have a complete map of Europe using OpenSourceMaps.NL, which is free. This works as well as any of the Garmin maps and also works with Basecamp and Mapsource. Setting it up is a little complicated, but not insurmountable with a little patience. I can help with this, but explaining it here would be too much.

Really, the hardest part to all this is making a decision. If you are of the persuasion that a couple thousand dollars one way or the other isn't a big deal, then any of these options are available.

There is some other stuff, but I tend to drag on with my explanations. And right now it is cutting into going for a ride. :) I am taking my K1600 north, to get out of the hassle known as the Lone Star State Motorcycle Rally!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,907 Posts
i am contemplating shipping my 2018 goldwing dct to europe, tour several western european countries for a month and then ship the bike back. I am having a hard time finding a freight forwarding company or a air/sea shipping that would do that.
Does anyone have such experience?
have you seen all the beautiful places here in are great country . No freight
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I would check with Motorcycle Express. I got a quote of $2300 round trip from SF to Dublin last year. The trip fell through because of medical expenses so I didn't use them. They are recommended by the BMW owners of America.

https://www.motorcycleexpress.com/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Crash13
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top