Importing from France etc.
Thinking of importing a bike from europe ? cons, im sure you have all looked on leboncoin etc and thought thats cheap sometimes. Seems like every man and his dog are at it these days. To be honest unless you bring atleast 7 per trip back and split the cost between the 7 bikes its not worth going.
Downfall number 1, the French ! They are so hard to deal with its unbelievable more so if you dont speak French, try messaging a few bikes on leboncoin and see how many replies you get. Better still try ringing and see how many just put the phone down on you. Seriously they think its a scam, how many people from France contact you wanting to buy your bike from another country ? Think about it.
Downfall number 2, France is huge and very rural, all the nice stuff is down south were the climate is nice. That means lots of fuel and 90% of French motorways have tolls. The main Alpine route is extortionate, you need hotels because it normally takes a while because of the distances. Bikes from the north are no better than uk bikes.
Inprespective, to go to the south of France in a van to collect just one nice French bike costs around 350 to 380 Eurotunnel train, 3 full tanks of fuel say no more, French motorway tolls . 3 hotels plus your little expenses food etc. It soon becomes very expensive and not such a bargain.
If you want to try get a friend in France and one in Switzerland to hand pick the best low mileage low owner bikes and make the arrangements for you then go for 7 no less. Keep some for yourself and your mates then sell the rest to cover your expenses, you might make a little not much. Them days are gone now, but if your an enthusiast your still ok but hurry up all nice stuff is getting more expensive and harder to find.
I'm an importer and had to sign up to add my two penneth.
I think the Polish will eventually bring them all back from France and the bottom will fall out of the market before these bikes run out. There were 1000's sold, likely 10k plus, many just sitting there in nice dry garages. Crime wasn't that bad over there and very low in the south.
I originally used to import cars into Australia then moved back to Europe with a French girlfriend. I have a stash of various European DTs to sell eventually among other bikes. I'm in Japan at the moment filling a containter with older rare Japanese stuff and a modern hybrid car underneath to sell to the Taxi drivers in the UK.
You do see dealers here buying 125s but most were treated like the UK bikes and all seem to have surface rust as a minimum. You've all seen the nice Jap imports with dealers and their out of reach asking prices. Fair enough if the bike is rare or unique which DTR 125s arn't.
When in France I buy 2-3 two-strokes every time I visit her as we're in a part-time relationship now. I make the most of visiting France and really enjoy it otherwise I'd get sick to the back teeth of the driving.
The French are generally nicer to deal with than people in the UK. They often don't describe their bike that well though. This works both ways as you can get one that will pass as 'mint', sometimes with 20k on the clock, described as average. Loads of these get clocked mind when they arrive in the UK. In the UK everyone is trying to make money out of each other, it's difficult for it to be enjoyable and life goes by too fast.
My advice is to get on Facebook and offer the Polish importers £1500 for a good clean DTR that needs no more than a service. The UK is notorious for mugs paying stupid money and dealers adjust their prices up accordingly. High prices eventually put people off and they'll move onto something else. Like the Ford scene will be left with just boring rich people and their 50+ grand Cossies. 20 Grand RS Turbos. 10 grand XR2s and 3s.
Definitely don't pay more than £1750 for a good one unless it's a one off condition bike. There's just too many about and or ready to be imported.
Sellers taking the mick with high prices on UK ebay doesn't help as there's always plenty of drivers on the roads ready to pick stuff up as the prices rise. They are like hawks. Also you can see Germans are watching the UK market and adjusing their prices upwards accordingly just like they did with the RDs. If everyone stuck to their guns and refused to pay the high prices then these bikes could remain good value. The DTLC YPVS are still good value and so are the TDR 125s and very underated for being so similar to the DTR.
One thing I don't get is 'scrimsmustang' surely the same ebayer asking towards £3k for a French import then seemingly trying to put people off buying them in France even going as far as claiming us importers were "buying for peanuts" and "making a killing" on 'imports' on the auction description trying to promote a "genuine UK bike"
The only way of making a 'killing' is to use shipping containers and fill with genuinely rare vehicles.
@dtr-andy Any one who knows Scrim would understand what they are getting. Scrim is that exception to paying more than £1750 for a DTR. If it's a bike he has restored, you know it's all genuine parts and completelty original. If it's a bike he's selling, it's balanced between making a profit and for the condition of the vehicle.
Nice to hear about your story though.
Anyone serious about doing this as I have a lwb trafic that could carry 3 bikes?
Can't do it for a few months as am off to France shortly with GF on Multistrada so cash tight for a while.
I want a WR200 for a toy / SM so always up for a jolly.
Van is pop-top so i have a bed! For me that is....
Always wondered why Planet 5 / Frankie etc never register their bikes in the UK - any clues?
I agree with pretty much everything being said, I had my own reasons to buying DTs in France though and it is quite simply because it is cheaper for me. The bikes are in better condition and cost far less, I also don't have the hassle of explaining to the seller I'll be exporting the bike out of France since I am partly french, I speak fluent french and have a french passport aswell as a french phone for when I am on holiday. On top of that, I drive down to France and back up at least twice a year for other business, since I'm going down anyway might as well pick up some stuff. And this is from Scotland! Not Portsmouth! Personally for me it is a lot easier, it's why I imported my DTs when I did.