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To Import or To Sell Current Bike/Buy New in Canada

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Hi, all -- as the subject says, there is a possibility that I may be relocating to Canada. I've done a search on importing, but everything is from 2010 or earlier, so I'm not sure how much of it still applies. I've since found more info on how to do so, but I thought I'd throw the question out to the collective mind anyway -- would it be better to import my bike (2012 DL650A, US spec) or sell it here and then buy a new bike after moving to Canada? Does anyone have any relevant experience or know what, if any, changes would need to be made to make it Canada-compliant? Thanks in advance!
 

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Not sure of all the costs associated with importing, but to buy a 2012 here you are looking at around $6kCAD and they are fairly easy to come by.
 

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Not sure of all the costs associated with importing, but to buy a 2012 here you are looking at around $6kCAD and they are fairly easy to come by.
The problem is that if I know me, and I think I do, I'm not going to buy a 2012... :LOL:
 

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Hi, all -- as the subject says, there is a possibility that I may be relocating to Canada. I've done a search on importing, but everything is from 2010 or earlier, so I'm not sure how much of it still applies. I've since found more info on how to do so, but I thought I'd throw the question out to the collective mind anyway -- would it be better to import my bike (2012 DL650A, US spec) or sell it here and then buy a new bike after moving to Canada? Does anyone have any relevant experience or know what, if any, changes would need to be made to make it Canada-compliant? Thanks in advance!
I imported my 1999 Trophy from the USA in 2008 or 2009. I had previously imported a car. The bike was a piece of cake. It didn't even require the Federal Inspection that cars require. The Customs guys will check the VIN plate at the border. You need to give the VIN to the US Border guys 2 days prior to bringing it in so they can confirm it isn't stolen.

Once here you'll need to get a dealer in your Province to do a safety inspection. It is mandatory that your speedometer reads in both miles and kilometers OR kilometers only. Miles only won't pass.

Here is a priceless link Registrar of Imported Vehicles - Welcome to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles .

Cheers,
Glenn
 
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Canada? Never heard of it....

Anyhow, it's a big place and regs will differ by province, but I think that nation-wide, if you are moving here you can bring your vehicle without any problems. Likely no tax either, as it is one of your current possessions.

A friend has a 2012 BMW 1200 GS, which he imported from the states a few years ago. He reported that it was easy, with not much paper work and that was for a true 'import': a Canadian buying a US bike and importing it to Canada.

Here in BC, current era (2017 - 2020) 650 'Stroms are round about $10 -$11K out the door. Taxes here are 12%. 5% in Alberta and other oddball variations in other Provinces.

My other thought is that you will probably get a bit better price in the US, as some persons here would rather not have an imported bike, esp. if the odd is the analogue type and reads in miles rather than kms. I have no facts to back that up, just a general impression from years spent on Craigslist.
 

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One thing that is required when importing a Suzuki bike to Canada, is a letter from a Suzuki dealer saying that there are no outstanding recalls. When I imported my BMW motorcycle, Mother BMW charged me $300 for a print out saying there were no outstanding recalls. Harley Davidson just prints one off for free. Not sure about Suzuki... Back to your question... I think you'd be better off selling your bike in the USA, converting that money to CAD, and buying as new as you can get with that money in Canada. $5000 USD = $6300 CAD
 

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One thing that is required when importing a Suzuki bike to Canada, is a letter from a Suzuki dealer saying that there are no outstanding recalls. When I imported my BMW motorcycle, Mother BMW charged me $300 for a print out saying there were no outstanding recalls. Harley Davidson just prints one off for free. Not sure about Suzuki... Back to your question... I think you'd be better off selling your bike in the USA, converting that money to CAD, and buying as new as you can get with that money in Canada. $5000 USD = $6300 CAD
Yes, I forgot about the Recall Clearance Letter. Triumph USA sent mine gratis. As mentioned here and a little further up, imports are almost always harder to sell and bring less money. I got a NOS KM speedometer for my Trophy and installed it 1000 kms before the MPH one turned 62,100 miles. I didn't want to wait because I had an Iron Butt trip to do which ended up being 6000 kms.

Yeah, sell it there and buy one up here. Maybe take the farkles off if you like them and know you buy the same gen 650 here. They'll be considered part of your personal belongings and be tax free when you come as mentioned before, too. They're used so should be no question about that. Don't try that with new stuff, though.
 

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Do you like your current bike? If yes, just keep it. If no, or not enthusiastically yes, then by all means use this opportunity to get the newer one.

We did it the other way. Lived in Ontario, bought a toyota in Ontario, moved to Indiana. It was surprisingly easy that way too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the input. It sounds like bringing it with me may not be such a big deal after all, and my preference would be to keep my bike, since it's paid off and set up the way I want it. Fortunately, it has the digital dash/analog tacho, so it can be changed to read km instead of miles. I'll contact my local Suzuki dealer to see if I can get the no recall letter.

If I were to sell it, I would definitely do so before moving up there, since I'd have to go through all the paperwork anyway if I were to want to sell it in Canada, in which case I'd just keep it. I have to admit that I would be tempted to sell it and get a 2WD Ural hack, but that's probably a discussion for another day/time.
 
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As has been alluded to, there is a bit of a stigma attached to imported vehicles when it comes time to sell them. ie. used market for them is less than for identical domestic units. No basis for it, just what it is. If it were me, I would sell current bike in the US and buy when you got to Canada. I don't think it would cost you anything significant and it would just be easier. You will have enough on your plate with the move without having to deal with importation, inspections, etc. The importation process is relatively easy, but it is a process.
 

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I'm an American living in Canada. Moved here 2 years ago. You aren't required to import until you become a Permanent Resident. Bike is titled and insured in the US. You will lose out financially selling and buying again. Happy to talk you through my experiences.
 
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As has been alluded to, there is a bit of a stigma attached to imported vehicles when it comes time to sell them.
This. Once imported it becomes a “gray market” bike.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Pretty sure Canada is the cheapest place in the world to buy a motorcycle, especially in November. I only paid US$5300 for my brand new 650 two years ago, and that was without haggling. Our currency has gone through some pretty big swings over the last 20 years. I bought when the Canadian dollar was at .72 US dollars. Many cars are now priced less in Canada as well. They’ll get you with the taxes though
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I'm an American living in Canada. Moved here 2 years ago. You aren't required to import until you become a Permanent Resident. Bike is titled and insured in the US. You will lose out financially selling and buying again. Happy to talk you through my experiences.
If things start to solidify in that direction, I may take you up on your offer. It occurs to me that whatever I do to get my motorcycle up there, I'll need to do the same for our cars.
 

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If things start to solidify in that direction, I may take you up on your offer.
You might check on the provincial laws. You may find that you are offside if you reside there for more than x months. ie. without proof of the vehicle leaving the province, you are required to license and register it after x months. I think BC is 6 months, but I stand to be corrected. Common practice in BC to have an expensive vehicle (eg. motorhome, high end car, etc) registered in Alberta which does not have a provincial sales tax and less expensive insurance. Big costs in fines, etc if you get caught, not to mention the liability if insurance is invalid. Not sure if it is still going on, but in the past, BC has employed people to peruse RV storage lots looking for out of province plates.
 

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FWIW, I'm going through the same process, and my vote is import if you can get it there and swap the instrument cluster yourself. If you need a shop to do that work, I'd get a quote before deciding.

I'm moving from California to Alberta, so the weather is wrong to drive across and I already have too much stuff in my UHaul to try hauling it with my household. So I'm trying to sell.

Thoughts:
Plenty of bikes can be found in Canada, but comparing Alberta and California there are far more deals to be had with a larger population of bikers. That's one reason I still have a bike in storage in AB; it's worth more there (and I have room to store it there.)

I'm having a hard time selling my bike (09 wee, 80k miles) in California. Maybe if it were newer of flashier, but everyone who calls is turned off by the age/miles or actually looking for either an SV/naked street bike or a DR/thumper. So I'll wind up selling for around half the blue book value.
 

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I'm an American living in Canada. Moved here 2 years ago. You aren't required to import until you become a Permanent Resident. Bike is titled and insured in the US. You will lose out financially selling and buying again. Happy to talk you through my experiences.
That may work for your state of registry but most provinces require vehicles to be registered after 3 months when residing in the province. Permanent residents cannot temporarily import a vehicle. If you are on a work permit then you should be ok. The vehicle could not be sold in Canada if temporarily imported.
 
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If things start to solidify in that direction, I may take you up on your offer. It occurs to me that whatever I do to get my motorcycle up there, I'll need to do the same for our cars.
You should check the RIV site for each vehicle you own. I was looking at the site yesterday for the Suzuki and I am sure it says all required mods have to be done by an authorized Suziki dealer. Suzuki's call, not Canada's. I think there is a threshold of $10,000 value on imported vehicles that do not attract sales taxes. Not sure if that is per vehicle or total vehicles. Knowing everything will help you decide which, if any, that you import. Keeping in mind that sales tax will apply on anything you buy in Canada, maxing out the $10k might be wise.
 

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You should check the RIV site for each vehicle you own. I was looking at the site yesterday for the Suzuki and I am sure it says all required mods have to be done by an authorized Suziki dealer. Suzuki's call, not Canada's.
That's just for recall work, right? It makes sense that Suzuki wouldn't give you the all-clear on recall status if you replaced parts yourself, and it also makes sense to let them do the work.
Otherwise, the mods just have to pass the provincial safety inspection, right?
(I sold my Wee yesterday, but I'll have to swap the instrument cluster on my minivan, and I've read that it's a straightforward swap to do yourself.)
 
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