Anyone imported a chopper from the US?
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  1. #1
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Kev F's Avatar
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    Anyone imported a chopper from the US?

    Evenin All,

    A good mate of mine has been looking to build a chopper/bobber for a while and is after one of these kit bike bobbers.
    Originally, he wanted to do it his self but has found a company that can build what he wants for a decent price. We have another mate who lives in the US and has travelled to the shop and can verify the build quality etc.

    Main issues are once the bike gets to the UK. Obviously got to go through the SVA but other than having indicators, VIN plate and no lethal spikes etc are there any other pitfalls he needs to be aware of?

    I have mentioned costs for shipping, insurance and then the import duty and VAT....

    Any help would be good.

    Cheers

    Kev

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    Dazed & Confused THE POP SHOP's Avatar
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    I don't know if they can be any help to you, but Weatherleys, in Harleston, import bikes from the US, so could be worth contacting?

    http://www.weatherleysmotorcycles.co.uk/about_us.aspx
    The clue is in the name

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    There are 2 ways to go here
    1-You import a rolling chassis type kit, Use a legal registered UKbike to provide the engine/ gearbox and also the frame number=instant road legal scoot!
    2-Import complete US built bike. Make sure it has a legit. US title, because it gets complicated and expensive and you will have to score a Certificate of Conformity for built from parts bikes, also the sva is strict on newish models,On old stuff no-one seems to know much and there is scope to get away with more.
    I have imported 1 Panhead chopper,a legal US bike and it was all fairly simple, I also bought a '60s Ironhead Sportster chop imported by a UK shop , again no hassle. But I must stress both these were complete US reg bikes with Title and bill of sale notorized and all correct paperwork.

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    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie
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    Seak to Farmer on the NSRA, he imported a Big Bear chopper kit, sva'd it himself. If no joy, Pm me and I'll forward you email on to him.

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    Official RnS Addict tatuu's Avatar
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    Exclamationissues

    hi there,
    minefield alert mate.
    i used to build chops etc proffesionaly for a local (now defunct) independant h/d shop.
    i agree that if you buy with title from the states the process is reasonably smooth with the dvla etc, but only if the title states harley davidson.
    the sva root is not to bad,but you need to have receipts for everything & they have to be new!! (from a dealer not bob next door), this is especialy important for the frame,motor,primaries,box etc.
    the frame must be stamped with i think 13 digits, & the tip is build it for compliance first, no paint or pretty bits so that means ugly standard pipes big indicators etc & they need to be at the correct heights etc they need to be E marked aswell & the headlight needs to be rhd!!
    or alternatively go to a specialist with a traceable history in custom bikes as there are/have been quite a few bandwagon merchants ever since occ came on the air.
    best of luck & good wishes, it sounds worse than it is, but a one off chop is a fantastic buzz to ride.

  8. #6
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Kev F's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Its a Brass Balls retro chopper that is the bike in question. It is planned for Darwin Motorcycles to build it to a finished bike and then get it shipped over.

    I guess it would be easy for them to register it over in the US so the title etc is there....not sure about the E marks on the lights and indicators etc.....


    I know of Weatherleys so might put mate in touch with them...had dealings with PM motorcycles nearby but wouldnt touch them with a barge pole now...


    Cheers again.

    Kev

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    Got salt Briz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebird68 View Post
    There are 2 ways to go here
    1-You import a rolling chassis type kit, Use a legal registered UKbike to provide the engine/ gearbox and also the frame number=instant road legal scoot!
    This is increasingly not an option. VOSA are getting really ****y about this sort of thing and are starting to lean on MOT testers to refuse to test bikes which are not what they say on the V5.
    I'm advising my customers against doing this now. As Tattu says, SVA isn't that big a deal on a bike if you know what you're shooting for.

  10. #8
    Off the Xmas card list kapri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Briz View Post
    This is increasingly not an option. VOSA are getting really ****y about this sort of thing and are starting to lean on MOT testers to refuse to test bikes which are not what they say on the V5.
    I'm advising my customers against doing this now. As Tattu says, SVA isn't that big a deal on a bike if you know what you're shooting for.

    They mention this a lot over on Brit Chopper . Going the same way for cars .

  11. #9
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Kev F's Avatar
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    Briz,

    Thanks for the info mate. Did recommend Steve gave you a call to build him something but Brass Balls can build one of their choppers for $15,995 from all new parts which is what Steve wants.
    However, I am concerned that by the time its built to SVA spec over in the US (if they can?) and then get it shipped to the UK with all the costs involved in that (bloody Government) it would be easier to get one built over here similar but at least be able to go back to the builder if the SVA has issues....

    How do you go about getting one of your frames registered Briz. Is it a case of keeping every receipt from frame, engine, wheels etc..

    Kev

  12. #10
    Got salt Briz's Avatar
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    I issue a 'manufacturers statement of newness' with each frame which is also the bill of sale. This is what they want to see at registration.
    You need a receipt for all the major parts; engine frame forks wheels - they're not interested in brake levers and handlebars.
    Many LVLOs will give a new registration to a project as long as it looks new and the frame is new. But some will give a Q plate for one rusty bolt.
    Tatuu's advice on the MSVA is sound. Do that first in bare metal with the indicators & all the stuff they want and then strip it & finish it how you want. Then register it.
    $15k is a lot of dough for a sportster chop (it was a sporty, right?) they never fetch more than about 7K when sold. You could build one from a donor for a lot less.
    Last edited by Briz; 24-11-2009 at 13:17.

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