BMWSportTouring BMWST DB
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 3 of 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
#980058 - 02/12/17 06:34 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
farmerboy Offline
Member
farmerboy  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
Warrington, UK
Hi all,
I now have dates for the trip and will be arriving in Houston on the 30th June - it will take about a week to find a bike to buy and then I shall ride up to Truckee (nr Lake Tahoe), meet my pal and ride north......

Still confused about a few bits of USA, bike related, admin....
I have found a company that will provide bike insurance for non residents (Fernet) and they also include breakdown cover (for a modest sum!) My son (who lives in Houston) seems to think it will be simpler for him to buy the bike (with my money!)and that he can insure it for any rider...is this advisable?

I can get specific "biker tourist" medical insurance reasonably cheaply so no problems there.

Do I pay sales tax on new and used bikes in Texas? Probably cannot afford a new one but the advertised prices for F800's seem cheap - maybe I need to add various taxes and fees to the sticker price?
Do all bikes need an annual test? We have an annual MOT test in the UK to check brakes, lights etc..

We have something called an HPI check in the UK to check if a vehicle has been in an accident/written off - do you have the same in USA for bikes?

Route planning...
The "google" route to Truckee seems to favour via Las Vegas and then in the general direction of Death Valley. I am assuming it will be VERY hot in July and was wondering if there is a more sensible route and what you guys that live in hot climates wear when riding. I have heard tales of "cool vests"? Maybe just get up early in the morning? Is there a problem with animals leaping out in front of me or is this just an urban myth?

Does 400 miles a day seem reasonable? I have done a lot of long distance riding in the UK but not in hot weather.... we can only dream of hot weather!

Sorry if some of the questions are stooopid - I just want to try and "be prepared".

Thanks in advance.

John
UK


R1200RT 2006 in UK
Versys 650 LT (2015) in Texas
#980065 - 02/12/17 07:55 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 490
mickeym3 Offline
Member
mickeym3  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 490
Savannah, GA and Port Ludlow, ...
Why not just rent a F700GS (or 800) from MotoQuest in Anchorage? Seems to me that would address several questions. BC, Alberta, the Yukon are all pretty spectacular (with the Icefields Parkway particularly) but be prepared for lots of gravel in the many road construction areas and a RT type might not be your best choice, especially if you do the "real" Alaska and do the Dalton, Denali, Top of the World, etc. As a Brit you'll be amazed how wide open and BIG!! everything is up there. Definitely worth the effort any way you go...just my humble opinion.


Jim Carter
2013 WR250R
#980068 - 02/12/17 08:51 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: mickeym3]  
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
farmerboy Offline
Member
farmerboy  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
Warrington, UK
Thanks Jim, I did consider renting and even shipping my bike across but I have decided that I like the idea of riding in the southern USA (warm weather!) so I intend to buy a bike and keep it rather than sell. It will be left with my son in Houston and I can fly over and ride whenever I can.
We are not planning on much "off road" in the "real" Alaska and will actively avoid the loose stuff where possible. I am told the ride up to Alaska is epic and it will not really matter if we only get as far as British Columbia.
I have driven a car from Canada to Houston, last year and loved it. USA is indeed a big place!

I would usually stay in Motels when with my wife but I am considering the camping option this time. Any thoughts?


R1200RT 2006 in UK
Versys 650 LT (2015) in Texas
#980094 - 02/13/17 12:49 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 378
aggieengineer Offline
Member
aggieengineer  Offline
Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 378
North Texas
I took a look at the route that Google suggests, going through Phoenix, Las Vegas, and along the southern Nevada border. I would caution you to not underestimate the heat. I've seen temperatures over 46C both in Vegas and Phoenix. You will be looking at many miles of empty desert. Personally, I would avoid Interstate 95 in Nevada, and detour either north through the Albuquerque area, and perhaps southern Utah, or enter southern California and head north. Might be a good chance to see the Pacific Coast Highway. 400 mile days are easy to accomplish.

I'm located about 70 miles northwest of the Dallas area, and have pretty much anything required to maintain the R1200RT. We'd be happy to be of assistance, and my wife can fix you up with a cuppa tea and a Mint Imperial! PM me if need contact information.

#980103 - 02/13/17 02:15 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,730
realshelby Online
Member
realshelby  Online
Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,730
Houston, Tx
I think having your Son buy the bike here in Houston, in his name, would fix a LOT of problems! You could have the bike well before you arrive, allows you to take time to find the right one. Insurance on you should be easy to confirm, and you should be able to get a copy of that binder showing you are covered. This method simplifies keeping the bike after the ride, it can be inspected yearly here, licensed yearly, and so forth. Most importantly, it could be sold by your Son with no problems should you choose to do that.

The bike and how it is set up will make all the difference. With stock seat and windshield 400 mile days are about all I would hope for. If you had a bike with good aftermarket seat and windshield, that figure will be much easier to average and can go up easily. While some can do a lot of miles in one or two days, extended days in the saddle are where ALL the weak spots show up!
Heat! I would recommend a more northerly route making your way toward I-40 in New Mexico. Higher elevations and latitude will make a lot of difference. More scenic route too. If you run I-10 west you will be in upper 90's to low 100's. HOT temps, high speed running, and for the most part not all that scenic. At a minimum get one of the cooling vests. You can also leave very early to beat the heat somewhat. Riding from 1pm on is really hot. Death Valley will be hot, but you can leave early and beat some of the heat there. It is a beautiful ride through there!

If you buy a bike here in your name, there will be 6.25% sales tax along with probably $200-$250 in other fees for registration. You will have to have insurance in hand to actually sign papers and buy the bike. Dealer will handle inspection if needed. There are "salvage" titles in the US for bikes that have been considered a total loss and then brought back. Most dealers will not sell salvage title bikes.

I live in Houston, at least a suburb. Starting in June and going through September, we have temps usually in the 90's. Can be 80 degrees at 6am, so not much relief from the heat. I will watch for your questions and help where I can.

#980199 - 02/14/17 07:06 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: realshelby]  
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
farmerboy Offline
Member
farmerboy  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
Warrington, UK
Thanks guys for the very helpful information and kind offers - very much appreciated. smile I am very good with spanners but I will not be able to bring them all with me!
Some progress has been made and I have decided that a new bike may be my best option. I have spotted a few on Cycle trader which are old models (2015-2016)that must have been sat in dealers unsold for a while? They seem to be priced very competitively and I have been in touch with a couple of the sales people and discovered all about sales tax and registration. frown
It looks like my son will have to "buy" the bike and be the registered owner/keeper and that all seem ok but I am struggling to get my head around how to get it (or me) insured to ride it. In the UK the individual rider is insured for a specific bike but it appears that in the US the bike is insured and the insurance "follows" the bike? Is that correct?
I can get "tourist" motorbike insurance for 60 days but it appears to be very expensive and I would really like the bike to be insured even when stored (when I return to UK)
My son has a car license so I assume he cannot get motorcycle insurance with me as an additional driver?
When I apply online for insurance all is well until it asks for my US driving license number - which I do not have - I have a full UK motorcycle license... so no joy there!
Anyone have any ideas how I can get an annual policy at a reasonable cost in my circumstance?
Sorry to be a pain - I hate admin!
Regards
John


R1200RT 2006 in UK
Versys 650 LT (2015) in Texas
#980200 - 02/14/17 07:15 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,730
realshelby Online
Member
realshelby  Online
Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,730
Houston, Tx
Be wary of online prices of new motorcycles. Many will add "dealer prep" fees that are completely unrealistic. These are over and above the taxes and fees I mentioned earlier and you will pay tax on these added fees.

Not sure if your Son not having a motorcycle endorsement ( that is what a motorcycle license typically is in the States, an added designation to a motor vehicle license showing approval for motorcycle privelidges ) will keep him from buying insurance. I think I know of owners that have bought bikes and then took the training courses to get a license. Your Son needs to call a couple insurance agencies and tell them what he needs. Assuming he buys the bike, and can list himself AND YOU as drivers on the policy, I think it will work. I would make SURE the insurance agency knows you do not have a US driver license but do have driving privileges ( I assume you have checked on that-your UK license honored here for a period of time? ). The motorcycle is insured here, the drivers are added. My Son is added as a permissible rider on my bikes for instance. If there is a lien ( bike is financed ) on the title you will be required to purchase insurance with liability, theft, and collision coverage along with medical coverage for other parties if accident is your fault.

#980201 - 02/14/17 07:33 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: realshelby]  
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
farmerboy Offline
Member
farmerboy  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 147
Warrington, UK
Realshelby - thanks again. smile I have contacted my son and asked him to ring his car insurers ref myself being added to a new US motorcycle policy but having a UK license. Hopefully they will give a positive response! I can always fall back on the "tourist" policy if I have to! frown
Online prices- yes, I was a bit shocked when the final "drive out" price was revealed! In the UK the sticker price is pretty much what you pay... no tax to add but they are more expensive anyway!

My current ride is a 1200 RT and I love it but I am looking at something a bit lighter (and cheaper!) and have searched and searched for F700 - F800's but cannot find one I like and can afford. I rang a dealer in Texas about an F800 and he suggested a cheaper alternative - a Kawasaki Versys LT 650 (2015)- it is brand new zero mileage, hard luggage and much more affordable than the BMW's I have been looking at.
I have studied reviews and it seems like it may be suitable? I also thought it would be easier to sell at the end if I don't get on with it? I like the idea of a new bike - never had one before!
Anyone have any views/experience of this bike?


R1200RT 2006 in UK
Versys 650 LT (2015) in Texas
#980210 - 02/14/17 09:41 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,730
realshelby Online
Member
realshelby  Online
Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,730
Houston, Tx
I would highly recommend looking at Suzuki V Strom DL 650's. New or used. Fairly common to find used ones with aftermarket seats and windshields as well as luggage in the $4500-$5500 range. Pretty hard to beat and considered a notch better on gravel roads than the Kawasaki. Quite reliable and capable of the riding you are going to do.

#980216 - 02/14/17 10:52 PM Re: Brit planning to ride from Houston to Anchorage.... advice please. [Re: farmerboy]  
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 31
Ghost60 Offline
Newer Member
Ghost60  Offline
Newer Member

Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 31
Jacksonville, FL
Is a new bike really a good idea?
Putting the trip on hold to deal with break in schedules would suck. Buy used and let someone else deal with the devaluation.

Page 3 of 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.012s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 2.8193 MB (Peak: 3.0061 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2017-12-15 17:36:48 UTC