*Warning, no pics here*
So the whole purpose of this blog (other than delusional self-aggrandizement) is to document my move to France, disguised as a trip.
Leaving many great things in Montreal, but taking the bike with me to Toulouse first, then wherever I will find a job. In southern France. Fuck Paris.
What’s the thought process?
#1. Location. Toulouse and Carcassonne. Why? I have friends and family there. That simple. And if that isn’t enough, Andorra and the Pyrenees are an hour away, perhaps less. Barcelona? 2h away.
#2 Shipping myself. Easy. I racked up enough credit card points to cover the trip.
#3 Shipping the bike. Air France Cargo. Damn right, the bike is flying with me. Well, not with me, but in a plane, in the air and such. It’s more affordable than anticipated, takes a couple of days, it lands in Toulouse and I don’t have to crate the bike. This sounds almost too good to be true.
#4 Insuring the bike. Now that’s the tricky one. Grab a seat.
Called my Canadian insurer “we can’t insure out of our little Canada/US world, besides you can’t ship the bike, and even if you could just import it once in France”. Yikes. That’s more misinformation than infamous ex Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf could even handle.
Called a euro insurer … “but your canadian insurance covers you if you’re staying for less than 90 days, we can’t do anything unless your bike is plated in France”. I facepalmed.
Great. I’ll mention now that you must have an insurance green card (sticker proving you have minimum legal insurance coverage) when picking up your bike. You can’t really improvise.
After a bit of fumbling around on ADVRider.com, I was directed to Knopf Tours and Motorcycle Express. They specialize in helping fools like myself who like to go off the beaten path a bit.
Eventually went with Gail @ Motorcycle Express, as they offer comprehensive coverage. I really wanted theft … I don’t really trust the French or Italian with a red bike. It’s pricey @ 340$/month (for 2 months), but it’ll save me from the creeping panic of seeing my bike gone.
That’s where things are now. Everything is lined up, I just need to pick a date.
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Cheers pal. I do appericate the writing.
Fred Gilbert said:
Very informative and inspirational too!
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of borrowing an ST2 for a day to bomb around the Pyrenees Oriental. Superlatives are left wanting!
So this year I’m planning to bring my own S4 Monster from New York and enter the “Moto Tour” AKA Dark Dog Rallye. It starts the first week in October. The logistics and price variations are somewhat bewildering. I was curious about the details of your air shipment. What did you end up spending for the cargo. Where you able to ride out of the airport the same day as your (human) arrival?
I’m looking into sea cargo but since you have to ship way ahead of time to be sure of receiving it on time your then open to massive storage charges if it gets there early!
Any thoughts or advice are greatly needed and appreciated
Al the best,
I did not have the bike shipped to the same airport as myself, but it is definitely something you can do. I hear that by air freight being a day late is a big deal … pretty far from the sea travel. Have it arrive a couple days early and you’ll be good. Unlike ship, by air requires no box or dismantling … you just sign some papers and ride out the warehouse. If you insist a little, you can even leave the battery plugged in and some gas in the tank ;). Cost was 1000-1500$ depending which way it was going.