|Somebody's dream, now for sale, cheap.|
Here is the latest advice about importing classic or antique vehicles into the U.S., from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The advice sounds encouraging, if the motorcycle can be proven to be 25 years old or older.
So, probably, you can get and old motorcycle into the country. This does not resolve additional questions: will your state license it for use on the road? Can you get a state title?
Americans who ride Royal Enfield motorcycles in India naturally fall in love with them and want to bring them home to the United States. Few questions come up more often than this one: "How can I ship my Royal Enfield motorcycle from India to the U.S.?"
It's not a question I try to answer. I've never done it and, although there are people who have and people who say they can do it for you easily, there is some evidence that it is not so easy or so wise.
Royal Enfield advises against it, for many reasons. But, of course, cynics would say, Royal Enfield would advise against it, since it makes its money importing them through official channels and selling them through dealers. The temptation is always there to try beat the system.
But who gets beaten? The system? Or you?
There's a pretty 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet for sale on CraigsList in Lomita, Calif. for the shockingly low asking price of $950. Why so low? Here's what the seller says (I've edited it down to emphasize the important points):
"Bike rebuilt with original parts in 2005. Personally supervised full restoration in India, both cosmetic and mechanical. Engine takes unleaded fuel. Has new tires. Imported to U.S. 2006. I put 50 miles on it when it got here and then it has been in storage since then.
"I have wanted one of these for the last 20 years. Finally I got to realize my dream, but...
"I haven't registered this bike with the DMV, so that needs to be done. I had intended to fix it up to get a good price but I am now about to move from Lomita back to the San Francisco Bay Area and so want a quick exit..."
There will be those who say Americans are foolish to pay more for a Royal Enfield imported officially. I'm not so sure.