Author Topic: Buy A New Himalyan In India, Then Ship It Home?  (Read 198 times)

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hadujorganic

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on: March 26, 2020, 05:53:10 pm
Hey Everyone - I'm a happy Interceptor 650 owner from the USA who has a crazy idea of arranging the purchase of a new Himalyan and flying to India to get it. Once there, my ladyfriend and I will tour India (she would buy her own Himalayan the same way) and then either sell them there or arrange to have them shipped back to the US.

Has anyone done this or know of any Indian RE dealer that could facilitate this?

Any suggestions, info, and words of advice would be most welcome, thanks!
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Richard230

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Reply #1 on: March 27, 2020, 12:16:42 am
I really doubt that you could get the bike past customs in the U.S. as it will not have the required emission and DOT parts to meet U.S. requirements.
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #2 on: March 27, 2020, 02:06:44 am
Some European vehicle companies used to (and may still) have programs whereby one could purchase a vehicle over there, drive it around for a time and then (typically) return it to the factory, where it would then be modified as necessary to meet US DOT and EPA regulations, certified as such, and then shipped to the States. I recall for certain that BMW motorcycles, Saab autos, and I think Porsche/VW offered such programs, and may still do so. Other manufacturers may have had or have similar programs. It was a great way to get in a little fine European travel and have a big rolling souvenir of it later.

Somehow I doubt Royal Enfield has a similar program. For one thing, I am led to understand that foreign citizens may be barred for some reason from purchasing new vehicles in India, which explains why Noraly's first Himalayan, "Basanti", was, officially at least, owned by some Indian fellow from whom she "borrowed" it.

Still, yours seems like a fine idea. Were I to ponder such an adventure, I believe I might start by reaching out to the good folks at Royal Enfield of North America in Milwaukee to ask what they might suggest towards getting it done. At least the folks in Chennai might answer an email from RENA, whereas my own personal experience leads me to believe they'd never respond to yours.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 02:15:15 am by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


GSS

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Reply #3 on: March 27, 2020, 03:13:51 am
Best to rent in India and to buy a new one when you get home.
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axman88

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Reply #4 on: March 27, 2020, 04:41:33 am
I recall reading warnings against this idea on the premise that only vehicles that have USA assigned VIN numbers could be imported, and that only importers who had registered with the US authorities could obtain these VIN numbers.  I think this was discussed right here in the forum.

I heard about somebody who did purchase a bike in India and ship it back, but they said that this was only possible because it was an older bike which qualified for "collectible status", and was able to be assigned a VIN number by a cooperative state DMV.  New vehicles need not apply.  I didn't see any first hand information, but this was what I read other people had said about the idea of self-importing.  The price differential between the apparent same bike in India vs the US does make the idea attractive.

On a related note, I was told by an India aquaintance that the used market in India is different than in the US, and that bikes hold their value better, so it might be a reasonable plan to purchase new there, then resell before you leave.  An even better plan might be to form a partnership, where your India partner shares ownership, and breaks the bike in before you arrive.  The correct break-in period on the Royal Enfields involves quite a long, slow number of kilometers.  I don't know about you, but I don't  have enough vacation time to ride that far, that slow.  At some point, this excercise is no different than rental.


hadujorganic

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Reply #5 on: March 27, 2020, 11:52:31 am
Some European vehicle companies used to (and may still) have programs whereby one could purchase a vehicle over there, drive it around for a time and then (typically) return it to the factory, where it would then be modified as necessary to meet US DOT and EPA regulations, certified as such, and then shipped to the States. I recall for certain that BMW motorcycles, Saab autos, and I think Porsche/VW offered such programs, and may still do so. Other manufacturers may have had or have similar programs. It was a great way to get in a little fine European travel and have a big rolling souvenir of it later.

Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking of. But I didn't think about the US emissions and other DOT requirements. I bet there aren't nearly enough people who want to buy and ride over there and then ship back to the US for RE to manage a program for that.

I appreciate the sober reality (and good ideas) all your responses have shown me. The more I look into this, the more respect I have for what Noraly has been doing.

On another note - Moto Guzzi has organized tours of varying durations all over Italy. You get to pick the Guzzi model you like, too - Scrambler, V7 III.... (RE - are you listening? Maybe someday....)
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Richard230

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Reply #6 on: March 27, 2020, 01:59:49 pm
I recall a story a few years ago that I read in a motorcycle magazine about a fellow who wanted to import into the U.S. a BMW motorcycle that he owned and was purchased in Canada. It met all U.S. DOT and emission regulations.  Unfortunately, he discovered that it couldn't be done because he would have to provide a written statement by BMWNA that they certified the bike to be imported into the U.S.and and that it met U.S. regulations.  They were unwilling to do that.  Not surprisingly, their response was if you want a BMW motorcycle, buy it from a U.S. dealer.

My daughters 1981 German-purchased BMW R65LS was imported from Germany to the U.S. in 1982. However, even back then it had to have its ignition switch changed to make sure that the headlight and tail lights were on at all times, along with some other random DOT required changes. The work had to be performed at a dealer and a form given to some government agency to verify the changes.
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #7 on: March 27, 2020, 03:09:44 pm
For what it's worth, here's a link to BMW's "European Delivery" program for their cars: https://www.bmwusa.com/european-delivery.html .

Basically, you get the car in Munich, can drive it around Europe for up to 5 months (insurance for first 2 weeks is complimentary), then drop it off at  one of several locations throughout Europe, and it'll be shipped to wherever you are in the States.

Whether they currently offer the same or similar program for their bikes I cannot say.
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


Arizoni

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Reply #8 on: March 28, 2020, 03:52:37 am
Noraly, of Itchy Boots fame tried to buy a Himalyan in India to use on her adventure thru SE Asia, back thru Europe and ending up in Holland.

The first thing she found is that as a non-Indian, she could not buy or register it in India.  Faced with this, she bought it in the name of an Indian friend and took off with a bill of sale and papers signed by the "owner" that she was intitled to ride it.

When she got to Holland, she found that she couldn't register it because it didn't meet Holland's import rules and they refused to recognize that she owned it.

Bottom line is..... It's a neat idea but forget it.
Jim
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Bilgemaster

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Reply #9 on: March 28, 2020, 04:24:36 am
Arizoni and GSS both offer sound advice. While dealing with German and US vehicle bureaucracies can be tedious in the extreme (I know this first-hand, having shipped not one, but two pre-1968 vehicles exempt from DOT and EPA regs to the States), even I would shy away from going toe-to-toe with the Indian bureaucracy. I imagine it might be like lolling around in the tank of a well-used porta potty week after week (if you're lucky) whilst an endless procession of random dudes with glazed eyes and open palms yawn disinterestedly overhead.

I seem to recall reading of some outfit over there (headquartered in Goa perhaps? a lovely Western seaside town with beach side bungalows, formerly a Portuguese colony, so kind of quirky in a good way one hears) that specifically rents Himalayans for that very popular run up to Leh Ladakh. A little googling might easily turn them or some similar outfit up.

Until RE might offer some sanctioned program similar to BMW's, rental's how I'd go. The DIY path is just too fraught with frustrations at every turn and stage.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 07:15:23 am by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.


Ove

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Reply #10 on: March 28, 2020, 12:46:14 pm
Agree. Theres an outfit that do tracks near the Himalayas too. Rent one, take lots of photos, get home, buy an identical one and claim it's the same bike. Who's to know!


Bilgemaster

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Reply #11 on: March 28, 2020, 01:24:45 pm
Oh, just in case anyone from the home office in Chennai DOES lurk on this Forum from time to time instead of answering anyone's goddamned emails, the Indian government's Ministry of Tourism offers grants of up to 50 crore Rupees (about 17 million US Dollars) for "Product/Infrastructure Development for Destinations and Circuits"  towards developing rural tourism. More information and a form can be found at http://tourism.gov.in/productinfrastructure-development-destinations-and-circuits . I imagine other ministries, like Commerce and Industry, must offer similar enticements. So, it might actually be well worth their while to look into cobbling together some kind of "Enjoy Your Royal Enfield in India First" program. Sounds like a real "career-maker" proposal for some eager beaver self-starter lower-middle management type fresh out of IIT Madras, if you ask me. Send that memo to Sid's office directly so your walleyed boss "Fat Ramesh" doesn't steal all the credit, OK? You can hire me as a consultant later on "Royal Enfield Ownership and Travel Expectations in the USA" or something. I'll do you up a lovely PowerPoint presentation with graphs and cowboys and everything.


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« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 03:33:19 pm by Bilgemaster »
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.