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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks. I've been away from the forum for a long time - this being an indication of my plans to move to Spain having been shelved for the past few years, and only dusted off again of late. The death of a family member and a variety of other unforeseen, life-altering events are behind it, but we're now starting to replan and with a bit of luck may be able to get underway within the next 18 months if the obstacles can be overcome.

Having begun to read stuff online again though, and with Brexit on the horizon, the whole starting a new life bit is feeling like an uphill (read 'up mountain') struggle. Please tell me my intuition is wrong here! I need a simpler, off-grid life with some sunshine more than ever....

Motorcycle
I just read the useful thread on importing motorcycles to Spain from the UK http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...-spain/93222-bringing-my-motorcycle-uk-2.html. And I wondered whether any of this process had changed since it was written? To complicate matters further, my beloved Triumph Bonneville is not factory standard and has been modified since I bought it in 2007 (air intake and exhaust) so it would be good to have a discussion with anyone in the know who has had hands-on experience of tackling the import process, particularly with a modded bike.

Caravan
The 'caravan' would essentially be my home and I just learned that, unlike the UK, caravans have to be imported and registered as a vehicle would be. This is not good news for me. The plan was to use it as a static on a land plot and only move it again if I decide to uproot. It wouldn't necessarily be used for touring or anything as it's so big and heavy (9m and 2750Kg). If anyone can share some information on options, and the process and costs involved I'd be grateful.

Thanks for your input
 

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Can't help with the caravan I'm afraid, but the bike may be easier, but we will need more details:

Exhaust: Is the replacement CE marked and specific to the bike? If so, get the paperwork that proves this. Then when you go to get the first ITV they will simply make a comment on the "Ficha Técnica" stating that the exhaust has been changed to a homologated replacement.

Air filter: This (on its own, see below) does not mean anything as long as it is a straight replacement (like a K&N filter in the standard airbox), but if it is an open filter (with removal of the airbox) that may need an engineer's report and certificate of installation (the details requested are necessary to see what category of modification it is and the exact procedure to follow).

Reading between the lines, it would seem likely that you also have had the ECU remapped? (little point getting more air in and more gas out of the engine if you don't adjust the fuel injection to match). In the future, ITVs in Spain will also check for modification to electronic ECUs, but this is not in place yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi. Thanks for your reply.

The bike is carburetted and has been rejetted to suit the mods. The airbox taken out and individual K and N's fitted. British Customs Predator exhausts fitted (no markings or legal disclaimers stamped on). It's all legal in the UK and covered by insurance. But Spain doesn't sound quite so permissive!

Any ideas of how the Spanish MoT test treats such modifications on Spanish registered bikes? Buying locally might be an option but I'd prefer to hang on to the bike I've worked on and ridden all these years if at all possible.
 

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Hi. Thanks for your reply.

The bike is carburetted and has been rejetted to suit the mods. The airbox taken out and individual K and N's fitted. British Customs Predator exhausts fitted (no markings or legal disclaimers stamped on). It's all legal in the UK and covered by insurance. But Spain doesn't sound quite so permissive!

Any ideas of how the Spanish MoT test treats such modifications on Spanish registered bikes? Buying locally might be an option but I'd prefer to hang on to the bike I've worked on and ridden all these years if at all possible.
OK, sorry, I assumed a 2007 bike would be FI!

Your exhaust will not get through an ITV without a LOT of hassle. No CE marks and no homologation paperwork means that it is effectively treated as a "home made" part which will need an engineer's report on the design and fitting, demonstrating compliance with EU norms, a mechanic's report to state that it is correctly fitted, and it will need to meet the original noise restricions of the bike. This will probably cost more than finding a standard exhaust to put on it.

Others may get round this by registering the bike with the standard exhaust and then changing back during the year, but it will mean changing again for every yearly ITV, and of course it would mean you are effectively using an illegal bike, and as forum rules state that we are not allowed to promote illegal activities I couldn't possibly recommend that you do this....

The carb jets, although technically a performance modification and subject to regulations, would never be detected unless the richer fuelling makes it fail the emissions test.

The air filters (in theory) are a regulated change and will need a certificate of a registered mechanic and an angineer's report (from an engineer registered with the Ministry of Industry). BUT it is a grey area and it may just be worth trying without all this, especially if the K&Ns have a CE mark on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
2007 was the last year Triumph produced the carb'd bike, so I was lucky...or unlucky, depending upon whether you prefer carbs to EFI!

Yes, it sounds like a lot of hassle and potential expense. Dilemma: to emigrate or just stay here in the rain and keep my bike! Come to think of it I've also installed aftermarket lights, mirrors etc but nothing else mechanical as far as I remember. They don't do emissions tests on UK bikes, but I suspect the emissions would be higher now with the mods and wouldn't match the factory specs unless I converted it all back to its original (should have kept those stock silencers!).

For the record I would just like to register my unhappiness with all authorities everywhere for making our lives harder than they need to be. Thank you.
 

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For the record I would just like to register my unhappiness with all authorities everywhere for making our lives harder than they need to be. Thank you.
Unfortunately the irresponsible minority spoil things for the responsible majority, making legislation "necessary to protect against stupidity"....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately the irresponsible minority spoil things for the responsible majority, making legislation "necessary to protect against stupidity"....
And we all end up paying them money so that they can tell us what we can and cannot do :moony:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Had another read through the excellent, detailed thread on importing a motorcycle. Perhaps people can comment to confirm the info is still valid in 2017:

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...-spain/93222-bringing-my-motorcycle-uk-2.html

I've just been comparing the process with that reported by folks in Portugal and the Spanish process seems incredibly convoluted by comparison. Also, no MoT for bikes in Portugal!

If anyone has any recommendations for good, cheap bike insurance in Spain I'd also be grateful.
 

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Had another read through the excellent, detailed thread on importing a motorcycle. Perhaps people can comment to confirm the info is still valid in 2017:

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...-spain/93222-bringing-my-motorcycle-uk-2.html

I've just been comparing the process with that reported by folks in Portugal and the Spanish process seems incredibly convoluted by comparison. Also, no MoT for bikes in Portugal!

If anyone has any recommendations for good, cheap bike insurance in Spain I'd also be grateful.
This has a few details from my importing experience
http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...y-mad-importing-classic-car-spain-help-2.html

I use "Nuez" for insurance, it's a budget arm of Linea Directa
 

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Not quite, although that wasn't my thread - I posted my experiences from 2015. AFAIK, it's still the same process.
 

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Had another read through the excellent, detailed thread on importing a motorcycle. Perhaps people can comment to confirm the info is still valid in 2017:

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/sp...-spain/93222-bringing-my-motorcycle-uk-2.html

I've just been comparing the process with that reported by folks in Portugal and the Spanish process seems incredibly convoluted by comparison. Also, no MoT for bikes in Portugal!

If anyone has any recommendations for good, cheap bike insurance in Spain I'd also be grateful.
The thread linked to is from 2011 and doesn't really deal with your particular issue which is the modifications to the bike, but the process and tax considerations are still the same.

The "rules" on the modifications I posted about yesterday come from Royal Decree 866/2010, which came into force early 2011 (but was not really implemented in the ITV stations until late 2011 / early 2012.

It is probable that the posters in that thread completed their processes before these rules were in force, or at least before the guys on the floor knew anything about it, but we can't really be sure.

If you download the RD866/2010, you will see that it is a very "legally drafted" law, and as such is pretty tough reading, so you will understand that very few (none?) of the people who inspect vehicles have ever read it. They rely on crib sheets isued by their bosses and as ITVs are private licenced operators, like MOT stations in the UK, each will have their own interpretation and took their own time in applying the rules.

Even the police struggle to understand it. While doing a bit of reading about the open filters issue I found a forum post about a guy who had been fined for having a K&N open filter on his car instead of the standard airbox, but the "offence" he was charged with was "fitting a refrigeration system to the air intake".

Clearly the law, when this modification was written was intended to regulate the use of intercoolers, but does the average policeman know the difference between an intercooler and an open filter?

Honestly, it is my opinion that this issue should not be a decisive factor to you moving to Spain or not, come here, take the bike to the first ITV and see what happens.

I still think that you will be made to change or legalise the exhaust, and the headlight and believe that the carb jetting will not be an issue. The filters are anyones's guess, but the says what the law says and technically you "should" have to legalise them.

Sadly, there may be a lot to be gained by going through an agency /gestor that does this kind of thing for a living as they will have "friends" in the ITV who may well do them a "favour", whereas a foreign guy turning up on his own will possibly be subject to the full knowledge / ignorance of the tester (both being bad news). Spain still works like this to a large extent.

With regards to insurance, some big companies require several years experience on “large” bikes before they will even quote you, and experience in the UK doesn’t count. When I arrived in 2004 with my GSXR I could only find one company willing to give me coverage, they are called AMV and I was with them for years. They did insist that I exchanged my UK licence for a Spanish one before coverage would start though. I think the companies have become a bit more tolerant since then though.
 

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Re The Caravan.

Is the answer to tow it down with UK plated vehicle, put on your land and then never move it off?
I think plating is required simply for use on the road and not possesion.
However there may be planning issues with using it for residential accommodation for more than x days a year. But you may be able to get a pitch on a caravan site which allows you to leave the van in situ so that you can come and go almost as you please providing you aren't personally there permanently. You could get mail through a rented post office box. Other amenities would be paid for by the campsite I think.
Happy to be corrected if I am barking up the wrong trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Overandout: very useful and clear info - thank you. The problem and possible solutions have certainly become a lot clearer since I started this thread. It wouldn't be a decisive factor in whether I moved to Spain. But I do need to look at it amongst a lot of other factors and obstacles (car, caravan, feasibility of making enough money, logistics of getting there from the UK, emergency or periodic healthcare, and other bits of bureaucracy I may well be ignorant of). I've yet to read enough on all of these other areas to be sufficiently informed to make the final leap, although I'm aware enough of them broadly speaking, especially regarding income [loads of threads I can read on that one].

I emailed a company called 'replatematecostablanca' to see what they charge for this kind of work. My inclination is to save the money (it won't be cheap) and do it myself though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ccm47: thanks. The information I've gathered so far is that my plot is big enough to apply to build on it and that I am permitted to site a caravan on it whether I build or not. I'll be double-checking that in light of your post. I take it the situation in France makes it difficult or impossible to live in a caravan on your own bit of land?

But yes, the initial solution to the registration question would be tow it and park it. If I need to move it back to the UK or anywhere else, use a UK plated vehicle. I'd still like to know the costs and ins and outs of registration (even though it goes against my tendency to avoid the stiff shirts of bureaucracy wherever possible)
 

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I gave up trying to import mine, the estimated cost would be around €750, plus making changes so everything follows DOT4 even though the bike was built to DOT3 spec.

It's on sale now, but i am having problems finding a buyer because of the shipping back to the UK.

Good luck if you continue, it's very worthwhile paying an expert to do this for you once the process starts it's time limited and paperwork here takes forever (I had to start over the first attempt because i ran out of time).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That sounds painful Mark. And at a quick glance online it looks like used bikes are a good bit more expensive in Spain. I had considered the equally painful idea of selling my bikes here and maybe buying one there. But I wouldn't pay the kind of money they're asking for the same year and spec bike I already have.

You would think the EU would have streamlined the whole vehicle registration thing along with the open borders policy. What on earth is the point in having open borders to EU citizens if the same people need to take their cars, bikes or whatever through specific vehicle registration systems in each country? Oh, I know what the point is - revenue collection from the enslaved masses. They're too busy spending tax payers' money on unaccountable suits who come up with policies that seek to standardise a banana. :boxing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Folks, I know this is a long shot, but in the interests of looking at all possibilities, is there any legal way to be a resident in Spain and drive a UK vehicle? I mean, assuming a trip back to the UK once a year for the MoT, insurance etc.
 

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There should be plenty of "Stock" Bonneville mufflers on ebay UK, for not much money. It's a very simple operation to switch them once a year for MOT or ITV

I have an '98 Thunderbird in the UK, which I'm planning to bring over eventually. I'm going to have the same problem although stock mufflers are not so readily available. My friendly MOT guy used to turn a blind eye to them.

I'm curious though as to the logistics of bring a caravan and motorcycle over. I have a mental image of a Bonneville towing a caravan down the French autoroute, front wheel pawing the air :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Haha. Yes, if the caravan didn't weigh close to 3 tonnes then I might be tempted...

I knew when I sold that set of stock cans that I should have just hung on to them! But as I've also changed the air intake (i.e. airbox out and re-jetted) then I'll likely need to either put it all back in or just change jets and cans and hope for the best. I'll be on ebay in the foreseeable future. I take it you'll also be hunting for stock silencers for your thunderbird now?

Let us know how it all goes anyway. I may not be far behind you.
 
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