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Okay, I posted a recent entry about some questions and said I would take time to properly introduce myself. I will try to keep this brief but am sure I will fail. I love telling stories.

I am originally from US (Old Dominion state of Virginia) and rode many different bikes growing up and then cutting my teeth on some Japanese street models through college. I then got married, had kids, and moved some in the US and gave up riding for several years. I had started traveling internationally with my job and then the opportunity presented itself 3 years ago to move with my job to Europe so we went for it. For 2.5 years, we lived in Florence, Italy for the international school but my office was in Bologna. To ease my commuting around the Italian roads, I starting riding a scooter and the 2 wheel mode of transportation got back in my blood (though my wife says mid-life crisis played a part but I deny it). I started looking at options and of course heading down the path of Ducati (especially since their factory is in Bologna and I went by it many times). 06182008(002).jpg 06182008.jpg

I have a French friend in Italy who bought the Ducati Monstor 1000S (white with red stripe). It is a beauty and I rode it several times. What a blast of a bike but I wanted something for longer rides than a naked. I started looking at the Multistrada (I know, you either love it or hate it). It is a nice bike and liked the riding position, engine power, etc. and starting reading on multistrada.net. Another good forum. The problem was that I was never completely registered with the Italian government so they couldn't sell me the bike. I even went in with cash and they still said it was impossible. For a variety of reasons, my employer and I agreed that I needed to move to one of our other offices in The Netherlands so I started looking at importing options.

At the same time, I starting looking at other Sport Touring options and found the Sprint and this forum. As the saying goes, from that point I never looked back. The Sprint offered everything I wanted....torque but yet good high end, a comfortable yet sporty riding position, wind protection but not a military tank, (sorry, hint at some of the BMW's), and European "flair". As you can probably conclude, I am not a Harley fan nor did I want any rice burners (no offense to anyone). With my new move planned for July of this year, I worked out a purchase with a US dealer (picture of the beauty the day I took delivery) and started the import process. Blue cruiser.JPG I took this approach because the purchase price was almost half of the Europe price. Then I needed to add about 15% for other costs but still came out way ahead when exchange rates were running at 1.5 $ to €.

I even had a business trip near Hinckley, UK so even took time out of my schedule to go by the Triumph factory. 05102008.jpg Little disappointing as they would let me get very close but you should still be able to see the Triumph logo on the factory even with my phone camera. It all led to great expectation of finally getting the bike in Holland which took 3 months. She arrived in early September when I discovered that the majority of what I had been told for importing was wrong or had changed. I have been trying to get the bike registered ever since and only had 2 days or so of riding to the inspection facilities to enjoy it. I have come very close to cutting my loses and shipping back to US to sell it but my wife is the one that actually keeps convincing me to see it through (what a great lady!).

As it stands now, I am will be traveling to US for 2 weeks for holidays and have a schedule for another inspection on January 13, 2009. If everything goes as planned (and hoped), that will be the last step (and the last $&*^# tax payment) and the bike will be legal. I plan to buy some more riding gear as a Christmas gift to myself as I don't plan on waiting for the weather to clear in Holland because I want to ride NOW.

So there you have it. I appreciate all the information on this forum and hope to be a worthy participant. Please wish me luck with the inspection. I will be sure to take my camera and post it on the "you and your sickle" thread when I am successful.

Have a happy and safe Holiday Season!!!!
 

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Welcome to the mob gobbler86.
DaveM gets a little depressed when you new ones beat him to the intro:D. Now I'll have to set through interminable PM's about "Why did he do that?" Why couldn't I have had MY say? It's MY right and thing to do.....

Don
 

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Welcome to the group! Great intro and yes, you are a dedicated man to go through all that to get your Trumpy overseas. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry DaveM. I have been a very good student for almost 1 year and saw the wrath:D. I thought I was making your life simpler, not stealing your thunder. You should view it as a compliment.:eek:

Well, I have gone through the documents, checked out the bike, verified light colors, and rode it (shh, not suppose to do that) to see if the Tridents seemed too loud. Well, actually that was just for my own personal enjoyment as I do love the sound. I put them on myself.....quite a job but once again found lots of help here. I also put on grip warmers and bought a GPS kit that I installed so I wouldn't get lost.

Now she is locked away in a local garage (I live in a Dutch rowhouse so nowhere to keep it) for the next 2.5 weeks until we give it another go. And yes, I have asked the question to myself many times....why does it have to be so difficult?
 

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Sorry DaveM. I have been a very good student for almost 1 year and saw the wrath:D. I thought I was making your life simpler, not stealing your thunder. You should view it as a compliment.:eek:

I see I have been out humoured by everybody today..........all the usual culprits STC & Don, only OND missed a shot at me!:HappyRoll:

Anybody would think I go on about introductions or something!!

gobbler86,
I can see you are a good keen man and I don't blame you for your sneak ride, I have done a similar thing on occasion.

Looking forward to your future posts, you may now consider yourself forgiven for giving such a nice introduction.:D

DaveM
 

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Hey G86, welcome to the EU! Sounds like it's been a bit of a difficult situation, thus far, but you're prevailing, and that's a good thing! It sounds like your wife is like mine, very supportive in too many ways, which includes the whole motorcycle thing. You're a lucky man! Looking forward to hearing a good wrap up to this entire situation. Good luck with it all, and happy holidays! :cool:
 

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Importing a bike to EU

Hi G86, good luck with your import process.

In 1987 I was living in Austria and I imported a used Honda 500 Interceptor (VF500F). What a pain that was but bikes were so expensive there and bringing in a new bike was not permitted at all. The bike had to be at least 2 years old. I was lucky I had a friend who had a friend who worked for customs. This person just happened to have a side business appraising used motorcycles (conflict of interest?). The bike was 3 years old and in excellent condition, just normal wear with only 2,000 miles on it. I paid $1,800 in NY and when this guy came for the appraisal he wrote down every microscopic scratch and gave me a document saying it was only worth $900. The same bike would have cost me over 4 grand in Austria. Then came the fun. First they taxed the $900. Then they taxed the $900 plus what I paid for shipping. Then they added something else onto that. When all was said and done the total import duties came to about 46% of the $900. Then I had to get a document from a Honda dealer stating that the bike did not have asbestos brake pads. Of course the dealer wouldn't simply do that even though they knew there was no asbestos. I had to pay for new pads AND I had to pay for THEM to install them or they wouldn't give me the document. Then on to the police inspection station (much more strict than a typical garage).
It was a big pain in the butt but I was sure happy when it was done. I rode all over Austria with my fiance riding pillion. Great bike.

Once again, good luck!

Dan Larson
'08 Sprint ST
'98 M900
'77 CB400F
 

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Welcome! Not sure I would have had your will power being that close to Balonga :) As a purchasing manager I have indeed learned the value of having a good import broker as they have saved my bacon on several occasions from the customs lock-down.

Take heart - your bike will be out soon and you will love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, after 2 weeks in the US for holidays, it took me some time to find this thread as it had obviously became old news. Let's see if I can rejuvenate.

Yesterday was the day. After bundling up for cold (3C, 36F), wet ride to the inspection facility in Lelystad, Netherlands, I departed at 0630 for 0830 appointment (yes, 2 hour ride in the dark as sunrise wasn't until 0846).

I will get to the conclusion of this event soon but first, the story.

So, after the ride, I had a brief meeting to review my paperwork but then waited 3 hours for the test. During that time, I talked to the other bikers in waiting.

Interestingly, all were importing from the US. A couple were dealing with this frustration as independents like me, but most were doing this as part of their business. Seems it is quite a business to import Harleys, mostly repos, from US to sell into Europe. They had the system nailed while the others of us were at their mercy.

The independents were just wanting to get this over and most felt that if they didn't get past this step they were going to push their bike into the canal and claim the insurance. Meanwhile, the business guys were all riding the quietest Harleys I have ever heard in my life. Seems they put the same quiet exhaust on each bike they take there weekly. Oh, if only I had known.

So, I am like 5th in line. The inspector had already told me that my bike was the first Triumph he had seen for importation in the year he had been doing this. I see the inspector take the Harleys for a simple slalom course, brake test, and then to a shed for sound testing. I thought, okay, this is simple. Then he cranks my Sprint with Tridents and immediately says "I don't believe this will pass but I will test it first". He pulls out, goes past the slalom course without stopping, and immediately takes it out on the speed course. I am talking a banked, 3 km (whatever, say 1 mile) track at full speed. It was hilarious. He was buzzing around small course on the Harleys and then takes my Sprint out and opens it up. He went flying by on the straight away for the 2 laps he turned. I couldn't see the smile on his face but I thought I had a chance to pass on fun factor alone. Unfortunately, he then quickly darted into the shed and then came back and said I falled because of the exhaust.


Yep, the Tridents. I couldn't believe it. So I had to tuck my tail, so to speak, and take the 2 hour ride home as a failure. Can't you tell from my smile in the attached picture after I arrived home that I was totally depressed? It is amazing what a nice ride even in bad weather can do for you spirits when you have been waiting so long to get out.

So, here I am. Still not legal. Fortunately I have the stock mufflers so now my weekend project is to change back (ugggghhhh) plus I am getting the well past due oil change. Then, I travel back in 2 weeks for a "recall" inspection to verify the exhaust. I am sure that the inspector just wants to do a few more laps on his now favorite bike:D

The saga continues. I will not post a picture on "sickle and you" thread until I have a legal bike in Holland.:Wave:
 

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