Importation and the Devalued Dollar - Same Same?

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by NDSinBKK, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. NDSinBKK

    NDSinBKK Ol'Timer

    Thanks up front to those who have been shedding light on the importation/registration questions, a couple of which I had posed myself, much earlier in my bike search. Based on that information, I had basically concluded that importation was out of the question on the basis of complexity, cost, time and general frustration. With apologies for adding further clutter on this topic, I'd like to revisit the issue in more specific terms. My question is based on the very limited availability of bikes in the niche market (mid-sized dual sports) I'm shopping in, and very high prices (partially accounted for by the dramatic drop in the value of the US dollar, the currency of my income).

    Here's the scenario:

    Bike A is a 7 year old DS in good condition, sensibly accessorized, with relatively low stated mileage and fully legitimate green book and clean pedigree from original date of purchase in Thailand. Price is, let us say, $12,000 US.

    Bike B is the same make, model, and year, with much lower mileage though fewer accessories. It is located, however, in the US. It can be purchased for $4,000 and accessorized to my taste for another $1,000, bringing the total pre-importation investment to $5,000 US.

    Bike C is a brand new bike that, unlike A or B, is exactly what I am looking for. It can be purchased in the US and accessorized for $7,000.

    My question is this: Assuming that I'm willing to put up with the shipping and processing delay, hassle, and cost, isn't it possible that I could import/legally register either Option B at lower total cost (value proposition = same bike @ lower total cost) or Option C (value proposition = newer and better-suited bike @ similar or marginally greater cost)? Option B gives me $7K to work with after buying the bike, Option C gives me $5K. Is that really not enough margin to make the import/legal registration process worthwhile?

    I appreciate your responses. I know the topic is tedious to those of you that have been through it many times, but the sliding dollar changes (IMHO) some of the financial elements of this decision, at least if one's income is dollar based. A bike purchased a couple of years ago at 41 to 1 becomes a different proposition at 31 to 1. Unfortunately the same is true of real estate, but that's another story...

    Cheers and regards,

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  3. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    By the time you get your USA based bike here and legally registered it will be 6-12months of hassle and worry and will cost you $5000+.

  4. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    After all the Talk of Suspect Plates/Books i am a bit Wary but i have been offered a Brand New Plate/ Book for any Bike i want for 60.000 Baht with Correct Numbers etc. Still theoretically Illegal but the Higher you go up the Ladder the more it Costs. The Difference being this Book would Stand up anywhere as everything Matches!!! Bearing this in Mind your B & C Options would be good Value. Send the Bike in Parts reassemble it and pay the 60.000 and away you go completely Legal. Again depends on the original Purchase cost and the Hassle but at least you have the Bike you want?
  5. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    Could be alright Ian as fully legal BANGKOK inspection is 20,000 paperwork 5000, and registration tax is on engine size and homologation rules so a bigger engine and rarity always means about another 50-60,000 .But is it done in Bangkok ?
  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Yes the Guy who offered it is in BKK and the Plate / Book is registered in BKK.
    All up to if you can afford it i believe. Many Guys say to me Bloody Ridiculous Paying so Much for Big Bikes here Blah Blah, yet when i compare them to other Countries there is not such a big difference. New Bikes are more Expensive but in most cases you can get a Second Hand Bike Cheaper here than at Home! Almost everything else in Thailand is Cheaper so it all Balances out and as some of the Guys Posting say you can still Buy a New Thai Bike Cheap and use that. What ever makes you happy.
  7. NDSinBKK

    NDSinBKK Ol'Timer

    I know it is bad form to reply to one's own question, but I stumbled across some empirical information to add to the anecdotal mix.

    It is from this web site: ... ersonalPer

    If I apply my understanding of the information from this site to my question...

    1. Option B, the 7 year old bike purchased for $4K (exclusive of accessories). Import duty cannot be greater than 77.04%, and is likely to be less, depending on how the discount factors are interpreted. Even at the max of 77%, it is $3.1K on top of the purchase price.

    2. The duty on Option C, brand new and unregistered bike, purchase price without accessories of $6K, is 77.04%, or $4.6K.

    So, exclusive of shipping, homologation/emissions testing, and tabiyan, the options stand as:

    A: 7 year old bike, in Thailand with tabiyan: $12K
    B: 7 year old bike, with calculated duty: $7.1K
    C: New bike, with calculated duty: $10.6K

    So far, advantage Options B and C.

    If anyone can provide factual references to the cost of shipping (200kg New York to Bangkok, sea or air), emission inspection, including where it is done and for how much, and to the cost (if any) of registration of a legally imported bike, I'll be appreciative. We can continue to work the numbers together, and anecdotal additions to the "contextual" variables are also appreciated.

    Of course one could throw caution to the wind and spend B570K ($17K at current rates) on a brand new plain vanilla BMW F650GS, or an equivalent amount on a brand new plain vanilla Triumph, both of which have warranty support, or so I'm told.

    Ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances.

  8. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I reckon that you should have a crack & importing one on the cheap, & then keep us informed how ya go, otherwise this whole thread is just a fantasy. Just make sure you get the right bike rego...

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