Becoming a London biker (and bringing the bike) from Italy...

Hello guys,

I’m Dario, I’m 32 and at the moment I own a Kawasaki ER-6F and ride around Italy in Venice area.

Well, I’ll move to London within the end of March and I would really like to bring the bike with me and start a brand new london biker experience! But…

  • I know little about London
  • I know NOTHING about “London by bike” (parking, taxes, insurance, restricted areas bla bla bla)
  • Same as above regarding the transport of the bike from Italy to London and, what I need to do to use my motorcycle in UK.

About the last point, what I understood (I checked site) is that I must register the bike in UK, to do this I need a certificate of conformity (that I should request to Kawasaki, I think) then VCA will provide me with a certificate, I go to DVLA with this certificate and insurance and then if I’m lucky I’m ok.

Any info is really appreciated… especially about having a bike in London and relevant costs (insurance, taxes, parking etc…)

As soon as I’m in London, free italian spaghetti for the most helpful ones :smiley:

Thanks, bye!


Welcome Dario…:slight_smile:

I don’t eat pasta but you can have this info on the house as they say… :stuck_out_tongue:

The one issue with biking and cars generally in the UK is insurance, mots and tax. I know that in Greece for example these used to be non considerable issues but in the UK they heavily burden the wallet. You are right, you will need to register the bike over and get is on UK plates as soon as possible as there are limitations on how long you can ride it here for - I believe if you have a permanent address (like you will), you cannot ride it at all and HAVE to register it but someone more clued up will fill you in as to how this is done.

Insurance is expensive in London especially if you have no garage (I used to pay as a new driver £1000 fully comprehensive for a Suzuki GSR600 which is similar, now with a garage in Surrey I pay £800 for two bikes), mots are every year and cost around £30 and tax for a 600 is £50ish pounds a year… Of course with regards to insurance it also depends on where exactly you live in London. With regards to parking, you are supposed to park it in bays or appropriate areas (none of this parking of the pavement Souther Europe nonsense please :P)… Some do get away with it so it all depends (I know I managed to park it in the forecourt of the estate I lived on for 1 year with no issues even though it was not allowed). Parking in these bays is free pretty much everywhere APART from the borough of Westminster (it’s a very very big borough and covers a lot of central London) where you have to register and pay £1 per day (or is it £1.50, I forget…)

Bike theft is rife in London and even a 30 min shopping trip can result in no bike being there when you’re back - again a lot depends on area but do not assume that a ‘bad’ area is worse than a ‘rich’ area… If you are planning to park it on the street, make sure you have a proper chain (i.e. Almax) and something to tie it to… Having said that I did used to park my bike with just a disc lock outside for about 8 month when I went to work!

Other than that, you have the famous Ace Cafe where in the summer especially a Friday night= many many bikes and quite a popular starting point for many of the rideouts on LB… :slight_smile:

That’s about it from me but I’m sure more helpful people will come on to answer your questions about importing a bike…

I think Serrisan covered it all.

If you want to save a bit of money on insurance, rent, etc its better to move to the Surrey, Kent or Essex area.

Finally, welcome to LB and hope you like London. I’m sure you’ll fit in just fine.

Thank you guys you’re very helpful! Insurance seems quite a big deal… and also the procedure to bring the bike there (I’m gathering info) is not exactly a walk in the park… but well, biking has never been for lazy people :smiley:

See you, bye

Would it be easier cheaper, to sell the bike in Italy and then buy another over here? I know the euro and pound get on a lot better than they used too.

Welcome to LB, I have been in London for 8months and I love it here ,hopefully you will:D

I’m considering it… the thing is that the company I’ll work with in UK will pay for the transportation of my bike from Italy, and of course I’m attached to my bike :smiley: I’ll see how difficult it is and decide.

By the way another question about insurance and parking: I understood that insurance cost is pretty lower if you keep the bike in a garage… is this right? And, would it be difficult/expensive to find a garage (I’m thinking to rent a - very small - flat in Clapham area)? Sharing it other people would be fine…

Why not drive it here? It is doable and would be quite a nice trip :slight_smile: Though might want to check that that’s ok because of your insurance/ registration queries are fully answered…

Garages in London are quite sought after so finding one might be difficult… I remember trying to find one in Angel and either could not find one or the cost of renting it negated the extra on the insurance with the additional issue of not being close by… But yes as a general rule you can assume that your insurance bill will go down quite a bit. But by garage what they mean is standalone garages that only you have access to. Secure car parks could play a role in reducing the cost but not as much and not for all insurance companies/ bikes…

Space is at a premium in london, so finding and renting a garage is usually a little expensive.

But yes, generally if you have a garage, then your insurance premuim will be cheaper.

And welcome to LB :slight_smile: