Hi, just finished reading the article on importing a motorcycle and thought I’d pass along my experience with the issue.
I was planning on buying a Triumph Speedmaster from my local dealer
when I decided to check the price south of the border. The price at the
dealer here was $2,800 more than the same bike just 2hrs down the road! This price difference does not include the $1,500 in accessories that
Triumph in the US will throw in to sweeten the deal.
Being like most
people, cheap – I mean looking for the best value – I investigated what
was required to bring it across the border.
(1) The first stop was
RIV.ca to see if it was allowed in. All Triumphs since 2000 are and you have to pay just
the $195 fee.
(2) Then a call to the border guards to find how much duty
was payable – none on street bikes, just the standard pst/gst.
3) Then I
discovered the Letter of Recall Compliance – to show the vehicle is
safe. This comes from the OEM (in this case Triumph USA) but for
Triumphs, RIV uses the VIN website and so doesn’t require one.
Armed with this info I went back to my local dealer to see if I could
get some flex in his price (since I really wanted to buy local). His
initial response was that I wouldn’t be allowed to bring it in, see (1)
above. Following my comments he told me that Triumph would not issue a
Letter of Compliance, see (3) above. Lastly, he stated that the warranty on
the bike would not cross the border. I asked him whether it was
reasonable to expect the new version of Triumph to undergo effectively
$4,300 worth of warranty work in 2yrs and he admitted no.
In your article you stated that Triumph has an international warranty,
where did you find this or was it just quoted by the Triumph guy? If
this is the case then there is even less reason to buy from my local
dealer, especially since he seems to have no qualms over trying to snow
people (at least he’s seasonable).
The prices have just come out for the ’08 Speedmaster $10,800 here and
$8,200 in New York State (no comment on the accessory bonus). Come
the spring it looks like I’ll have to drive south to get a bike unless
something major changes.
(in the process of replacing a 1978 CX500 with 101,000 Km on it)
Wow, interesting letter. Based on your comments, your dealer is either
seriously misinformed, or desperate and is simply lying to you.
know about the border stuff already, and I used to work for a shop that
sold Triumph, and can confirm that Triumph’s warranty is a world-wide
one … unless that policy has changed in the last few months.
As for buying south … your money, your choice. Canadian vs U.S. The Canadian dollar
has dropped back to about par in the last week or so and is likely to
drop further in my opinion (please don’t quote or sue me on that one).
Clearly, if you’re just replacing a ’78 CX500 you’re in no desperate hurry anyway, lol.
What Larry said – your money, your choice. The dealer didn’t go out of
his way to help himself, but a lot of the blame doesn’t rest on his
shoulders. The OEMs set the dealer cost (many months in
advance) and if he were to sell you that bike for that price he would
very likely lose money in the process.
The price changes must happen
further up the food chain – witness Suzuki Canada’s recent reaction BUT
bear in mind what that does to resale values. I guess if you got
almost 20 years out of your last ride that’s not an issue …
My only concern would be if the option to get that deal will still be there in the Spring. This massive difference in pricing can’t go on for too much longer and I doubt that Canadian prices will come down much to close the gap.
Of course, there could be a whole host of incentives that come in to help bridge the gap (which might help to persuade you to go local), but I suspect that US pricing will have to rise.
Question is, when?