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Importing a Motorcycle into Cambodia - part one

By: Murray Heath Posted: July-13-2009 in
Stuart Pinker - Kompong Cham - Photo Murray Heath
Murray Heath

After watching the demise of the Aussie Dollar I decided the time was right to buy a motorcycle from Australia and bring it to Cambodia. The Aussie Dollar had risen to over 98 US cents a few months ago before crashing to around 61 US Cents. The bike I was after was a Harley Davidson Dyna. This was the ideal bike to go with my 2 Softails and 2 Sportsters that make up Harley Tours Cambodia.

A new Dyna, the same as the pictured bike, with a 6 speed gearbox and 1584cc twin cylinder engine whilst ideal, was outside my price range at around 22,000 Aussie dollars. Then there would be the added cost of getting it here, and getting it legally on the road.

I decided a used bike was the way to go and I would find what I wanted on the internet. After googling around for a couple of hours I found a bike that seemed too cheap to be true. It was a 2007 Night Train with low miles on it for under $20000 AUD. This bike was not compliant with Australia and could only be used for parts or to make a trike or some such contraption. It wasn't the bike I was after but it was worth a phone call to Brisbane. I rang John in Brisbane and found he had a few bikes in stock. It seems when the AUD was up he bought a few damaged bikes at auction in the USA and shipped them to Australia where he repaired them for sale in Australia. It turns out he did indeed have a couple of late model Dynas in stock.

The bike I liked was a 2006 Dyna FXD Wide Glide. The price of $15000 Aussie was also to my liking, working out at around $9500US. After looking at a few (before and after) photos that John had sent it was obvious the bike had been in a minor collision and with a bit of work it was now in "as new" condition. Apart from my new bike I also ordered quite a few accessories and spare parts for some of my other bikes. One set of saddle bags, two new shotgun exhaust systems, one fuel tank, air filters, brake pads, oil filters, transmission fluid etc. etc.

For once in my life I got the financial timing just about perfect. I sent the money and ended up with an exchange rate of 62.13US to the AUD. The money arrived in Brisbane a couple of days later, just as the staff at Acleda said it would.

This would be the second Harley I have imported from Australia. I had previously brought over my 1998 Heritage Softail Classic in 2005. That bike I had purchased brand new in the middle of what I have since been told was my first "mid life crisis."

When I moved to Cambodia in 2000 I couldn't bring myself to sell it and realized the roads in Cambodia at that time were more suited to trail bikes. With this bike I organized SDV logistics on Street 240 to handle everything including payment of all duty/tax. The service they provided a couple of years ago had been first class so once again I contacted SDV and am letting them handle everything from Brisbane till the bike is dropped off to Bernard at the Bike Shop on Street 302, Phnom Penh.

I have spent a bit of time answering queries for SDV over the past couple of weeks, but finally, the bike is due to arrive in Cambodia any day soon.

Importing a Motorcycle into Cambodia - part two

Murray Heath owns and operates Big Bike Tours Cambodia - BBTC (Formerly known as Harley Tours Cambodia)

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