In the past decade we have travelled extensively and made a number of extended motorcycle journeys, including rides around Tasmania and New Zealand.
Now, the dream is to motorcycle around the United States, a journey far longer than any we have so far undertaken - a journey we expect to take six months.
Originally we planned to ship our own motorbike to the US and back, because we read it was the best option: hiring a bike for six months was too costly and buying one there was too hard to arrange.
Shipping our own bike over and back was going to cost about AUD$4,000 to $5,000, so even that option wasn't looking too glamorous.
As it turns out, we decided to look at what a suitable bike would cost in the US. We emailed a dealer in Los Angeles, and they assured me there would be no problems buying, registering and insuring a motorbike in the US - as long as one of us has an International Driver's Licence (We have no idea what that has to do with anything - and it's actually only an International Driver's Permit, not a licence). They were prepared to let me use their dealership address to register the bike, and even put me in touch with an insurance broker.
We haven't bought a bike yet, but have our eyes on a low mileage 2002 BMW R1150RS that will cost about AUD$10,000 after taxes. The insurance for this is less than US$300. We figure if we can sell the bike for the equivalent of AUD$6,000 at the end of the trip, we will come out in front financially compared to shipping our own bike.
We am assured there are no catches, but still worry that this all seems too easy...
The one thing we are hoping is that a friend in LA can have a look at the bike for us and test ride it before we buy it.
In the meantime, we have a lot of route planning ahead