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Thread: Importing a bike to Japan

  1. #1

    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Source: http://www.koushins.net/cruiserz_hom...TO%20JAPAN.htm

    What the U.S. Military says:

    The Government of Japan (GOJ) passed a requirement that motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc, and manufactured 1 Apr 01 or later, must pass an emission test. Also, motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc, and manufactured 1 Jul 99 or later, must meet brake standards. The following is a quick recap:

    Emission standards:

    * Motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc, and manufactured 1 Apr 01 or later must meet emission control standards. Owners must obtain a certificate after passing an emission test. We understand cost for the test is very expensive (est. $725.00). If a motorcycle/moped fails to meet the emission standard, cost to bring into compliance depends on the type/model and is very expensive.

    * The only three emission test facilities in Japan are located in the Tokyo area (2) and Osaka (1). These facilities are approximately 400 and 350 miles from Misawa AB and Sasebo/ Iwakuni, respectively. There are no testing facilities on Okinawa.

    * There is no mandatory emission test for motorcycles/mopeds less than 250cc, however the owner is responsible to ensure the vehicle meets emission standards.

    Brake standards:

    * Motorcycles/mopeds over 250cc and manufactured 1 Jul 99 or later must meet brake standards. One of the following must be produced:

    - Manufacturer's certificate that states the vehicle meets the safety standards.

    - A document (such as a label, plate, or casting panel) that certifies a foreign standard that meets the Japanese
    standard has been met.

    - A certificate of brake test result issued by either an official brake test authority or foreign brake test organization designated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

    * If a motorcycle/moped fails to meet the brake standard, cost to bring into compliance depends on the type/ model and is, again, very expensive (est. $2,000 - $4,000). The only brake testing facility is located in the Tokyo area.

    Motorcycles/mopeds cannot be driven to a testing facility unless they have a temporary registration (tag); prior to getting a tag, they must be insured. As you can surmise, considerable costs and inconvenience to the member will occur if motorcycles/mopeds described above are imported into mainland Japan. As stated above, there are no facilities (emission or brake) in Okinawa.

    USFJ is currently coordinating with GOJ on confirmation or clarification to questions we sent them. We're also consulting with MTMC, and they will be contacting service components for comments. One option being considered is placing an embargo on importation into Japan (similar to POVs). An embargo would have to be staffed through OSD before being approved and posted in the PPCIG.

    In the meantime, we do not recommend members import the above motorcycles/mopeds. Recommend TMOs/ITOs inform their personnel offices, sponsors to newcomers, etc. We're working this issue as a priority and will keep you advised of progress. Please contact me if you have questions.
    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Al Ouellette
    HQ USFJ/J40
    DSN: 225-4714

    More Information from a rider with this experience:

    The emissions test requires a 380EJ customs form from TMO that is signed from the Tokyo (area) address that TMO has you send it to. One of the longest waits is for it to be returned stamped with approval.

    Once they get it back they need the title, specifications from the owner’s manual (and even then mine didn't have what they needed and another friend of mine found what I needed).

    Then, if they are doing it on their own, they have to set up an appointment at the (emissions) testing place and I believe pre-pay for the test (and that is about $950).

    Once the testing dates are set up they have to get the bike down and back. I don't know if you have ever driven to Yokota, but the gas and tolls cost me between $450-550 in my van last August. Now if someone is pulling a trailer, that could be more. The trailer is supposed to be JCI’ed too.

    If they attempt to get temporary tags and drive it down, well... 8-12 hrs on a bike and would you really want to do that knowing it had to go for the test?

    OK, with that said, the bike has to go through at least a 2 day test. One for a hot check and one for a colder check. If it passes, great. If not, you get one more chance at it before you have to pay another $950... Like
    mine needed the fuel leaned out to pass and the mechanic adjusted it and passed the next time around.

    Also, someone would have to find a place to stay down there and that would cost some money too. I was figuring that it would have cost me around $1500-1800 anyway by the time I paid for expenses so the $2800 I paid to have someone do all the above for me was well worth it. I gave him the paperwork and the bike and about a month later I got the bike back (the test date could be a few weeks away--you're at the mercy of the testing place). He is a local mechanic here in Misawa and will come pick up and drop off the bike on a trailer. I don't know about a price difference for different size bikes, but you can ask him that question. I have an 800cc, so that is a good size bike to be tested.

    So if you decide to bring your bike over here remember to keep it stock!


    Paper work and fees:

    • <LI style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in" class=MsoNormal>The price of Emission Testing is 94,500 yen <LI style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in" class=MsoNormal>Title of Bike or registration from the States <LI style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in" class=MsoNormal>Manufacturer’s Brake Certificate <LI style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in" class=MsoNormal>USFJ Fm 380E (Both Side Copy) (380EJ available from your TMO Office) with stamp of approval <LI style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in" class=MsoNormal>VIN Number for Brake Certificate <LI style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; tab-stops: list .5in" class=MsoNormal>Owners Manual
    • Horse Power rating and Torque

    The Phone number for making the appointment is 042-544-1004 and the inspection center is 5~10 minutes from Yokota Air Base

    If you wish to contact someone who deals with the testing center on a regular base please contact Mr. Suzuki at DSN 225-8915, fax 225-5196 at Yokota Air Base.

    A close friend of mine, paid to have it done for her, you can pay a gentleman named Dante to do it for you. He just did a Kawasaki 800 classic 2004 for 280,000 yen, that included shipping the bike down to Tokyo & back, paying for his train fair, hotel, testing fee and his time. Remember this bike was stock and it passed with out trouble.

    You can contact Mr. Dante at 0176-53-8221 if you wish to have him do the emission testing for you. He is located in Misawa, Japan.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  2. #2
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    Anyone know the exact specifications of the emissions test? What their procedure is and what the standards are? (particularly for an 07 Buell XB12Scg).

    If I can get the specs, I'd like to get an emissions test done here in the U.S. to confirm I can get it to meet the specs without too much difficulty before I decide whether or not to take it with me.

    Also, how would I get the brake certificate for my Buell? Is this some sort of form that needs to be signed by a Buell dealer over there, or is there a test the bike has to pass, or what?

  3. #3

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    When you say "later" in the context of "and manufactured 1 Apr 01 or later, must pass an emission test" does that mean april 2001-present? This seems like a pain in the ass. I am going to be stationed there next year and I was planning on bringing my 07' KTM SD 990 with me. So after the emission test do people put back their aftermarket exhaust and airboxes? Do they pull you over for loud exhausts there?

  4. #4

    Default

    Thread Revival: no one answered mrblue's question about the exact specifications for the emissions tests and that's what I've been looking for for a while now. Also, if anyone knows what the braking standards are and if they're easy/difficult to pass, please post! If possible I'd like to make sure my bike (Triumph Thruxton) is going to meet the standards before I get there.

  5. #5
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    warHorn- I did my 2006 KTM 625 SMC and the most difficult thing about the whole process was getting the brake cetificate from the factory. I had to do some on sight tuning for the emissions but besides that it passed no problem, I was completely stock though except for the Jet kit to remove the throttle stop. After the inspect I just retuned the carb and was good to go. Definately do all you can to get that brake cert from the factory ASAP.

  6. #6
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    I'm back. I never learned what the exact standards are, but given the emphasis they place on knowing the bike's weight and engine displacement, it might be a sliding scale rather than one set standard for emissions. The braking standards I think are the same as something set in Europe...the manufacturer will definitely have the certificate info on this and I'd think just about any halfway modern bike will pass.
    I recently just completed this process and it was a PITA. If I could do it all over again, I really would've worked a lot hard to convince my parents or another relative to let me leave my Buell with them. FWIW, contact the manufacturer for the brake certificate. This is a fairly painless process for Buell/Harleys as you can go to their website, print out a form that will allow you to request the certification letter, and fax it in. The emissions test is expensive and the running around for the paperwork is a PITA. I admit I "cheated" and hired Mr. Sato of Motofoot in Sagami Ono to do all the running around for me. With him doing the legwork, I got it all done in about 3-4 weeks (I already had the brake certificate before I got to Japan). He charged me about 150,000 yen (at 88 yen = $1, that's about $1700).

    I live in Tokyo and rarely get out of 2nd gear on my Buell in the city. As there are so many other cool motorcycles here that you can't get in the U.S. that are also relatively cheap, I really wish I had left mine back and got something, smaller, lighter, narrower, and more maneuverable while I'm here. I highly suggest anyone considering importing a bike reconsider their options.

  7. #7
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    Hi mrblue,

    I just sent you a private message. Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by mrblue View Post
    I'm back. I never learned what the exact standards are, but given the emphasis they place on knowing the bike's weight and engine displacement, it might be a sliding scale rather than one set standard for emissions. The braking standards I think are the same as something set in Europe...the manufacturer will definitely have the certificate info on this and I'd think just about any halfway modern bike will pass.
    I recently just completed this process and it was a PITA. If I could do it all over again, I really would've worked a lot hard to convince my parents or another relative to let me leave my Buell with them. FWIW, contact the manufacturer for the brake certificate. This is a fairly painless process for Buell/Harleys as you can go to their website, print out a form that will allow you to request the certification letter, and fax it in. The emissions test is expensive and the running around for the paperwork is a PITA. I admit I "cheated" and hired Mr. Sato of Motofoot in Sagami Ono to do all the running around for me. With him doing the legwork, I got it all done in about 3-4 weeks (I already had the brake certificate before I got to Japan). He charged me about 150,000 yen (at 88 yen = $1, that's about $1700).

    I live in Tokyo and rarely get out of 2nd gear on my Buell in the city. As there are so many other cool motorcycles here that you can't get in the U.S. that are also relatively cheap, I really wish I had left mine back and got something, smaller, lighter, narrower, and more maneuverable while I'm here. I highly suggest anyone considering importing a bike reconsider their options.

  8. #8
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    i really dont know why they charge us so much to register the motorcycle ,when we bring superbikes poduced here in japan anyway . I have a cbr 1000 repsol edition and i am getting ready to get it registered and i am dreading paying that much .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael joyner View Post
    i really dont know why they charge us so much to register the motorcycle ,when we bring superbikes poduced here in japan anyway . I have a cbr 1000 repsol edition and i am getting ready to get it registered and i am dreading paying that much .
    If you're SOFA status and PCS'd here and you are authorized MEA (miscellaneous expenses), don't take the lump sum and itemize your expenses listing the cost of getting the motorcycle registered instead. It will likely cover a good chunk of the cost.

  10. #10
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    I brought a machine from Italy. I am still trying to register it here in Japan. They didn’t like the rear fender it came with, I changed it; they didn’t like the termignoni exhaust pipes, I changed them; they said a customs clearance certificate was missing, I paid more import duties; and now they are making me get a certificate of technical standards of the brake system from the manufacturer…!!! I am sick and tired.

    Quote Originally Posted by michael joyner View Post
    i really dont know why they charge us so much to register the motorcycle ,when we bring superbikes poduced here in japan anyway . I have a cbr 1000 repsol edition and i am getting ready to get it registered and i am dreading paying that much .
    Last edited by henri; 05-03-12 at 05:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by henri View Post
    I brought a Ducati 748R from Italy. I am still trying to register it here in Japan. They didn&rsquo;t like the rear fender it came with, I changed it; they didn&rsquo;t like the termignoni exhaust pipes, I changed it; they said a customs clearance certificate was missing, I paid special import duties; and now they are making me get a certificate of technical standards of the brake system from the manufacturer&hellip;!!! I am sick and tired.
    Is this that yellow one?

    Why not sell it as a track bike?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by Loco
    If you find a message from myself offensive, inappropriate or disruptive, please ignore it. If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to me and I will demonstrate.

  12. #12
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    Private Message sent. Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by Loco View Post
    Is this that yellow one?

    Why not sell it as a track bike?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13

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    Can you really do this? Didn't realize it was a deductible. This is good news!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblue View Post
    If you're SOFA status and PCS'd here and you are authorized MEA (miscellaneous expenses), don't take the lump sum and itemize your expenses listing the cost of getting the motorcycle registered instead. It will likely cover a good chunk of the cost.

  14. #14
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Reviving this old thread with a related question:
    If I buy a bike here in Tokyo from a US military person on a US base; can I simply transfer it to an ordinary plate?
    If so, would I do this at Shinagawa? or at my local Council office (as for a normal transfer when buying an out-of-Tokyo bike)?
    If there is a lot of mucking about involved, is there someone who can do this for me for a reasonable fee?
    Thanks.
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  15. #15
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Nankai will handle it for you for a fee. I forget exactly how much. Around 4 or 5k, I think.

  16. #16
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    I seem to remember from past posts that bikes with military plates need to be deregistered and brought through shaken to get an ordinary plate.

  17. #17

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    I will try to find out tomorrow. What i understand, is that the bike would have the be de-registered on base,
    then re registered under the Shaken (車検) system.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  18. #18
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    Thanks for the helpful info. I will go and see the bike tonight. I think the seller said that it has a Shaken, and is on an "A" plate (rather than a Kanji plate).
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

  19. #19
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    If the buyer was also Sofa-status like the seller, the present shaken would be usable. But in your case it counts for nothing.

  20. #20
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    Default Importing a bike to Japan

    So, seems he has to de-register it, I have to get a temporary plate, then get Shaken, then register it with Shinagawa plate.
    Hassle, and a bit of risk that it might fail Shaken.
    But might still be worth it.
    RedSquare
    Some pithy saying about biking, or a quote from a self-styled guru. Take your pick.

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