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Buying From the Eastern States...

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  • Buying From the Eastern States...

    ...haters of long posts look away now.

    I decided to buy a 2nd hand bike from the eastern states. It was quite an exercise - hit a few roadblocks, but in the end I got the 650cc LAMS I wanted. As none have yet come onto the market here in WA I think it was worth the effort, and thought I'd detail my experiences here to help anyone who's thinking about doing similar.

    The process can best be broken down into 3 sections:

    1. Finding & purchasing your bike
    2. Transporting her over here
    3. Obtaining compliance once she arrives

    1. Finding & Purchasing your bike:
    Assuming that you have made up your mind about the make/model and budget - I started my search in 3 areas:


    Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    Bikesales has a great search function that you can sort by any number of filters and a lot of dealers advertise there, if that is your preference.

    Gumtree is great for private sellers, who as a general rule sell their bikes cheaper than the equivalent at a dealers. However the risks of course are greater - no warranty, and if it goes pear shaped on ya it can turn into a nightmare getting it sorted.

    eBay offers some protection for buyers, but often you are in an auction situation against other buyers or at best bidding to exceed the reserve price set by the seller.

    But you knew all this, right?

    I guess the first hurdle I had to overcome was my natural resistance to the whole process. The idea of spending thousands of my hard earned coin on something I could not ride, touch or even see with my own eyes filled me with thoughts of scams, ripoffs and just general dodgy behaviour.

    I overcame this by taking a few simple steps to minimize the risks, I'll get to that...

    So back to the search - I got myself a short list of about half a dozen vehicles that I was willing to take to the next step of negotiating to buy.

    I wanted a 2010 model with under 10,000km. I had about 2 or 3 on Gumtree, a couple on bikesales and about the same on eBay. Of course, they came and went over the 2-3 weeks I was looking, so I just kept updating my list. I preferred to have more than 1 "on the go". That way you won't be back to the beginning if your first choice falls through. There will be a lot of correspondence between you & potential sellers; phone is easiest but take some notes while you're talking turkey and convey what you discussed in an email for them to confirm. You want that trail.

    And don't promise anything you can't keep. Reneging on a agreement to purchase cause something better came along is bad karma maaaan. Lecture over.

    Within a few days of looking I'd found one in Brisbane that was cheap, real cheap...but she was repairable write off that had been repaired by the seller. They had then obtained compliance/rego/plates under the Queensland system.

    This set off a few warning bells so the first thing I did was contact the seller to get the VIN number. I then did an online PPSR check (this replaces the old REVS system). Costs I think $3.50 - just type in the vin # and you will get a report that will tell you 2 important things:
    * Whether there is any finance owing on the vehicle
    * If the vehicle has been classed as a repairable or statuary write off.

    The write off distinction is important.

    A repairable write off is just that - usually insured bikes that have been deemed as uneconomical to repair by insurers and instead put up for sale as is. These bikes can be purchased, repaired, inspected & rego'd for use and sale in the future.

    However a statuary write off is the official term for "your bike's fucked". Can't be repaired and can only be sold for parts.

    Don't forget to print your PPRS report off for future reference - it contains info you'll need to transfer/rego later.

    Ok, so no finance owing and it was repairable not statuary so next step was to organise a motorbike mechanic to go do an inspection. This was a bit of a lottery. I basically just googled and hoped.

    Found a mechanic but ran into timing problems - the sellers job took him away from Brisbane & the mechanic was pretty busy so days turned into a couple of weeks.

    The extra time I had on my hands allowed me to think about the process a bit more. Which was not necessarily a good thing. I started thinking “what if”, post mechanical inspection. What if they swap out good parts for bad? What if they thrash the living daylights out of my bike between me buying and shipping?

    So I emailed the mechanic - mate, can you take the bike back to your workshop and hold her there if I decide to buy? Mate, can you be there when the transporter comes to pick her up? Bad move. Reply - sorry mate, too hard basket...

    By the time I organised a 2nd mechanic to inspect the bike was sold. Sigh. Next on list?

    I'd spotted one on eBay that looked pretty good. Bit cheeky of me but I emailed him whilst auction was in process asking if he had it up for sale anywhere else. Reply was basically "not allowed to discuss". I knew that.

    Then I missed the end of the auction due to time (early Sunday morning) and circumstance (hangover). But fortunately it hadn't made reserve so my next email got me his mobile.

    The eBay listing already had a few photos so I asked him to take a video of all around the bike, startup, rev etc which he did. All good so far and proof that at least he owned and had the bike. Though it might have been better if I'd asked him to video the time/date on his phone when he did it.

    Anyways, got the VIN number and did another PPRS check - no problems there.

    Next up I took a punt and rang the only Suzuki dealer in the smallish Victorian town the seller lived. Bingo - he had sold and serviced it and said it was a good buy. I asked him to do an inspection and he was willing to then hold onto her and of course would be there when the transporter turned up.

    So, all good - talked turkey with seller, and sold. He dropped bike into dealer for inspection and I then sent coins. The dealer knew not to release bike back to the seller without my permission once I had told him I'd paid the seller. Having a 3rd party really helped me feel a lot more at ease with the whole purchase process. So cool, I had a bike!

    2. Transporting her over here:
    So, while the search was going on I was concurrently looking around at bike transport companies.
    Did a bit of a thread search on here, googled etc. Though I think take the results with some cynicism. Some disgruntled punter somewhere has posted up their bad experience with all the bike transport companies, whereas most who have a trouble free experience don't post at all. Remember that this is their business, if they kept screwing it up they wouldn't last long.

    I got it down to three:

    Bike Nut
    Bike's Only

    Rang them all and got quotes to Perth. Bike Nut and Bike's Only were around $1,000 and Fergusson's were around $1,100. The reason being that Fergusson's were the only company to include comprehensive insurance in their price. The other two only had limited insurance to cover damage as a result of the truck crashing & bike theft from within the trailer. No cover for damage loading/unloading the bike.

    However, both did have a pre-load inspection report (similar to when hiring a car) where any existing marks on the bike are noted etc, one copy is left in the hands of the seller (or in my case dealer) and the other comes across with the driver.

    Good enough for me but if you really want peace of mind I recommend Fergusson's.

    Generally, if you buy from one of the state capitals the transport cost will be cheaper - eg I was getting quotes of $850 ish for the same bike from Brisbane, despite the distance being considerably longer than country Victoria.

    Naively, I thought that once the transporter picks up my bike it's across the Nullabor and here. Na. They traipse around the country picking up and dropping off. So, in the end I went with Bikes Only just because they were going to arrive 2 weeks after pick up instead of 3 and 1/2. She arrived exactly as described, in perfect nick, a light coating of road dust only. Although I wanted desperately to leave Canning Vale and head straight for the hills I instead headed to Spearwood - taking a slightly more circular route.

    3. Obtaining compliance once she arrives:
    Because my bike was arriving without a number plate first thing I had to do prior to the bike rocking up get was go to the DoT website for a temporary movement permit ($21).

    Temporary movement permit

    This allows you to ride the bike away from the bike transport depot without displaying a number plate. A couple of points to note. First, the permit only provides 3rd party personal injury insurance (same as your rego) and second, you are only allowed to use the permit to ride straight from the pick up point to the inspection, and from there to the licensing centre. You have to describe exactly the journey you will be taking whilst riding under the permit. If you get caught deviating from that you will be pinged.

    The permit is only valid for two days, so try to organise everything you need to do beforehand. I took a day off work and got everything done over one weekday.

    A quick note on full insurance - I called my insurance company and tried to get cover for the period after I picked up my bike and before she was roadworthied/registered. At first they flat out refused to insure a non registered bike; it was only when I said I was going to change to another insurer that they agreed to cover me based on the bikes VIN number.

    Back to roadworthy - on the DoT website there is a list of companies permitted to carry out inspections - I've pasted it here having deleted those inspectors that only do dealer or heavy vehicles.

    Metropolitan vehicle examination locations

    Typical opening hours: 7:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday (unless otherwise stated, subject to change). Opening times exclude public holidays.

    Bibra Lake
    Zed's Mechanical & Maintenance Unit 1, No 4 Geelong Court
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9418 1266
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass) No motorcycles

    Compliant Vehicle Inspections Unit 4, 11 Comserv Loop
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9297 3224
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass) Can also inspect motorcycles.

    Hamilton Hill
    Pebco Automotive Services Lot 4 Marryat Court
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9434 1361
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    Auto Power WA 5 Winton Road
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9300 0190
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    T & C Carcare Lakeside 2/44 Winton Road
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9300 9796
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    Department of Transport 34 Gillam Drive
    Vehicle Examination Centre Pre-book only: 1300 782 713 Pre-pay option available
    All vehicle types

    Automotive Inspection Services Unit 2, No 3 Rouse Road
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9583 3133
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    Mandurah Diesel & Marine Repairs 27 Thornborough Road
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9581 6572

    Department of Transport 11 Victoria Street
    Vehicle Examination Centre Pre-book only: 1300 782 713 Pre-pay option available
    Limited - No used vehicles over 2.8 metres high; no heavy vehicles (except new trucks and prime movers)

    ANG Automotives 1/10 Malland Street
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9317 3025
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass) No motorcycles over 250cc

    Osborne Park
    Department of Transport 34 Howe Street
    Vehicle Examination Centre Pre-book only: 1300 782 713 Pre-pay option available
    Limited – Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass) No caravans or trailers over 3,000 kg aggregate trailer mass No buses over 15 seats No vehicle with a wheelbase greater than 4.5 metres long.

    Port Kennedy/Rockingham
    I.D Automotive Repairs Unit 3, No 21 Paxton Way
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9524 6202
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    Lone Pine Mechanical 55 Dixon Road
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9527 2774
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    L&D Marino Mechanics 23 Cort Way
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9528 1918
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    Favazzo's Engine Reconditioning and Service 1 Favazzo Place
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9418 1763
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    Down Under Auto Services Pty Ltd Unit 7, 10 Prestige Parade
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9303 4881
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    S and J Automotive Repairs Unit 4, 9 Prindiville Drive
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9309 1855
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass) Can inspect motorcycles

    Shane Eather's Automotive Action U3/39 Dellamarta Road
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9408 1774
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass) Can inspect motorcycles

    Department of Transport 37 Eddington Road
    Vehicle Examination Centre Pre-book only: 1300 782 713 Pre-pay option available
    Limited - No vehicles or combinations over 12.5 metres long, nor vehicles with air brake systems.

    Department of Transport 21 Murray Road South
    Vehicle Examination Centre First-come, first-served
    Limited - No written-off vehicles, No annual examinations for taxis.

    The Flying Spanner & Yanchep Discount Tyres 8 Stevenage Street
    Approved Inspection Station Pre-book only: 9561 1111
    Limited - Light vehicles only (under 4,500kg gross vehicle mass)

    So I picked one close to my place that was also recommended in another thread here. They can often be booked out a week or two in advance so ring them early - as soon as you know the arrival time of the bike transporter.

    So, I picked up my bike and took her to the inspection place an hour later; yep, pretty circular . Waited around for an hour and got the roadworthy certificate, which you pay for there ($65).

    In order to get your roadworthy you'll need to present the bike unmodified. No aftermarket exhaust, no fender eliminator - nothing. Otherwise you’ll be asking on here to borrow some OEM bit’s ‘n’ pieces heheh.

    Then rode straight to the nearest Department of Transport Licensing centre to get the number plate and pay stamp duty, transfer fees and rego (cost varies; mine was a bit over $300). Insert tax whinge here.

    Because I'd given myself 1 day to sort compliance, I decided to go into DoT before my bike shipped to ask them exactly what there requirements are re paperwork. I found out I needed to present the original purchase receipt from the old owner. I had a printout that he emailed me that wouldn't have cut it. So I made sure the seller included it with all the rest of the paperwork that was coming over with the bike (get him to put it in a ziplock bag along with spare key, and store it under the seat).

    Once I’d been issued my shiny new plate the last thing I did was call my local Suzuki dealer and get them to record me as a new owner – because I still had about 5 months of the new bike warranty left to run.

    So for me the total cost of bringing the bike across and getting her fit to ride in WA was purchase price plus about $1,400, and a fair amount of time/effort. I was hoping for 3 weeks; ended up being 2 months.

    Would I do it again? Yep, but only if I spot a real bargain to offset the extra costs.

    Ok that's about it. Please post anything I've missed; I'm off to collect my kickbacks from all those bike transport companies
    Last edited by truewheel; 25-03-2013, 09:46 PM.
    It didn't look that far on the map...

  • #2
    GSX650? Nice
    Originally posted by Skut
    ...the problem is that no-one wants to listen to an expert, just to have their own position/circumstance supported or be acknowledged.


    • #3
      GSX650FU nice bike! I've got an '07 GSX650F and it's a pleasure to ride. Post up some pics soon

      You only live once, but live right and once is enough......


      • #4
        I'd never even thought of going through a third party like that. That would definitely provide some peace of mind with a sight unseen buy. Nice write up mate.


        • #5
          I vote we sticky this thread....pleeeeaaase, will stop another 10,000 threads being made..

          Very useful write up mate, exactly what anyone would want to know
          Our Father, Who art at Phillip Island, Hallowed be thy name
          Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
          In the backroads as it is on the freeway
          Give us this day our high-octane premium fuel
          And forgive us our lanesplitting
          As we forgive the four wheel drives, the volvos and the taxis
          And lead us not into gravel corners
          But deliver us from hand-held radars
          For thine is thy leather, thy denim, thy Gore-Tex and thy Kevlar


          • #6
            Congrats on sticking with it for 3 months! Never bought interstate before so surprised the sellers were happy to oblige.


            • #7
              Thanks for the feedback everyone.

              Originally posted by G2420hd View Post
              ...Never bought interstate before so surprised the sellers were happy to oblige.
              My experience was that there seemed to be a lot of sellers who live outside the state capitals who really have to sell interstate in order to get anything decent for their bike. If they live in a one bike dealer town it will be small enough that selling it locally is difficult, and the only dealer will offer them FA for their bike, assuming they are willing to buy at all.

              When I was looking I found the best offers were coming from country owners I think for this reason, especially if they needed to cash up in a hurry.
              It didn't look that far on the map...


              • #8
                I bough my bike from Vic and shipped it to Perth with a Removalist, JRAC removals. The guy was great to deal with and from depot to depot it only cost me $450. It didn't come with insurance but I rang my insurance company and they said it was covered under my policy for the trip over

                I was annoyed with the proper bike transport company's as I had my car shipped over a few years back and it only cost me $1000 so I don't get how a vehicle a third of the size and a quarter of the weight Warrants an $800-$1000 price tag as well?

                Just my $0.02
                “Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"


                • #9
                  Thanks Truewheel

                  Many thanks for the write up.

                  I purchased a bike from a Sydney dealership three weeks ago and only just received an advice this morning that the bike won't be here until the 22nd of April. I guess that ties in with what you said about the transporters "traipsing around the country picking up and dropping off".

                  My situation is slightly different to you in that the purchase included free delivery (so I didn't get to pick the transporter).

                  I am impatient to get the new toy, but (in part due to your write up) I am resolved to the fact that I will just have to wait till it gets here. I really expected (hoped) it would be here for riding on the Easter Long Weekend - soooo glad I did nothing yet about selling my current bike!

                  Thanks also for the lisencing info. Once again I am in a slightly different boat in that the bike is licenced, but all the general info is greatly appreciated.


                  • #10
                    Excellent write up


                    • #11
                      I just had my bike transported back to Perth from Brisbane with Fergussons.
                      They provided excellent service at both ends, I did drop off (while transiting back from NZ) and collection.
                      It was $1050 from my Triumph Tiger 1050, with panniers, top box and a duffel bag of riding gear at no extra charge. The other two quotes I got were $1050 and $1100.
                      To protect the bike it was wrapped in bubble wrap as well as being freighted in a steel crate, so no dust/gravel/flying stones issues whilst driving across the country. It arrived in exactly the same condition, not even a layer of dust.
                      It took 12 days to get from Brisbane to Perth and be available for collection. Truewheel noted above he didn't choose Fergussons because of the extra time they were going to take. Maybe they've changed now, or maybe he just had bad timing that coincided with them being really busy, and they had a number of pick ups scheduled. They said 2 weeks to me when they quoted, and they came in under that. I would definitely recommend using them if you are transporting bikes from over east.


                      • #12
                        Nice thread.....brings back the nightmares I've had doing the same.

                        Don't forget that if you bought the same bike here in the west you'd be up for some stamp duty on the purchase so you can deduct that from the total. Probably a couple other small costs too so not completely $$ free if you buy local. Just comparing.

                        I recommend spending more on freight to get better service. I've bought two bikes over and two cars over. One bike sustained a small dent in the tank that thankfully is barely noticeable. One car received frontal damage. A neighbour bought a Ducati over and it sustained scuffs on the side of bike. That one was repaired by the transporter. Something else to consider.

                        all I can say is goodluck....there are some absolute bargains out there now that the government have hiked up the rego, sold our jobs to the world market and flittered our taxes away. Hate to be a bike shop at the mo.


                        • #13
                          I'm buying a Geelong bike this weekend.. 1967 Yamaha.
                          I can't replace this bike... so...

                          ...any strong/first-hand recommendations to get it here with ZERO damage?

                          Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Indian.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sprint View Post
                            I'm buying a Geelong bike this weekend.. 1967 Yamaha.
                            I can't replace this bike... so...

                            ...any strong/first-hand recommendations to get it here with ZERO damage?

                            I used these guys to bring the Ducati (69 scrambler) across from QLD to WA.


                            Door to door. No issues whatsoever. Bike unscathed.

                            Not the cheapest, but as others have said, you get what you pay for.



                            • #15
                              Thank you for the comprehensive write up! Definitely good to know about the differences in bike transport. Not sure if I have the patience to wait so long for a bike, but like you say if it's a bargain it's worth it.