• Flight
    Booked my flight with Air Canada.
  • Motorbike transport
    Air Canada offers a Fly-your-bike-program this year again. Shortly I will book the bike transport via Air Canada. I will report about the formalities. I already go an offer. I will take the connections Frankfurt-Calgary and Vancouver-Frankfurt.
  • Entry to Canada
    Since I enter Canada with the plane first, I made the eTA application and got it immediately. Here you can apply for eTA.
  • Entry to USA/Alaska
    About the entry by land the German Foreign Office says currently: "The entry by land (from Canada or Mexico) is possible without ESTA.", See also here.
    Just to be on the safe side, I did a bit of research on the subject of "entering the US by land". Most Germans who drove with a vehicle overland from Canada to Alaska (or US) report that they had an ESTA and that it would be easier/more convenient to cross the border with an ESTA. Without ESTA you have to fill in the form I-94, which can be obtained in paper form from the border guards or online (at earliest 7 days before border crossing). The form (online or paper) costs US $ 6.
  • Import of the bike to USA???
    Somewhere I've read something about an EPA Exemption for USA. So far, I could not find out if you really need that. Recently I chatted with an Italian guy who went to Alaska last year, who did not know about it and didn't need it.
    Information about this also here.
  • Liability insurance for Canada/USA
    I'll probably insure my bike through Tourinsure. The offer looks quite ok compared to other providers that I could research.
  • SIM card for Canada/USA
    I have not researched about a SIM card yet. Sure, you only have a limited reception in Canada and Alaska, but it's actually very convenient when you can go online for a short time if you're in a town or somewhere else where internet is in the air without first having to look for WIFI access.

Today I have arranged the motorcycle transport with the cargo department of Air Canada. Very easy going. The contact person (Uwe Siebenborn) is very friendly and has responded to my mail from yesterday by phone. At the phone we then clarified the procedure. The cargo people are not angry at all if the motorcycle is brought to them jiust the day before the flight. So I'm expected to bring my bike a day before my flight in Frankfurt and also from Vancouver back it's probably ok to do it the same way.

Mister Siebenborn will make the booking of my bike transport June 20th, because the motorcycle can only be booked into the system 30 days previous to the flight. So hopefully about June 20, I'll probably get a notification that the booking is done. In Canada / USA, I will then have to arrange the return flight 30 days in advance too.

The payment of the motorcycle transport can only made locally by credit card.

Now I still have to get the security statements (for the motorcycle) and insurance for Canada / USA and Esta for the US. And finally, I have to make a list of what I will transport on the bike when I deliver it at cargo. The inclusion of spare tires does not seem to be a problem. Hopefully the customs in Canada will see it that way too.

Well, let's hope that everything works out as planned!

Today I wrote to Imports(at)epa.gov to find out if I need an EPA exemption when traveling to the US from Canada by land.

The answer came quite fast, already 1.5 hours later. I need to apply for a "nonresident exemption". Attached I got a PDF sheet, which information has to be included on the signed application.

So I put together everything, printed out the application letter, signed it, scanned it and immediately sent it back to the above mentioned e-mail address.

Within minutes, I received a notice that my application has arrived. The processing will take about 14-21 working days (!). So that means that I should get the exemption within a month.

One more letter today to a company called Deufol (phone +49-69-63809412, frankfurt.flughafen(at)deufol.com), which is familiar with the issueing of "Shippers Declarations" for dangerous goods and was referred to me by Mr. Siebenborn of Air Canada Cargo

Und da ich gerade so schön im Schwung bin, habe ich gleich auch noch den deutschen Zoll unter info.privat(at)zoll.de angeschrieben, um zu erfahren, welche Dokumente zum Export und Import meines Motorrads benötigt werden. Das hatte Air Canada Cargo irgendwo empfohlen.

Since I have decided to apply for an ESTA application for entry into the USA/Alaska, I make my online application today, too.

For some fields you spontaneusly do not really know what you should fill in, but fortunately there are many answers on the internet.

But with the research in between and the tripping over some small inconsistencies of the form check you need some time.

In contrast to the eTA application for Canada, no confirmation mail is sent but you will have to print the confirmation, which was granted to me immediately.

On the ESTA page you can check the status of your application.

When packing, the rules are restricted to restricted or take into account prohibited articles from Air Canada.

The powerbank RAVPower 26800mAh Type-C is allowed. The calculation for the WH value is as follows: 26800mAh / 1000 * 3.7V = 99.16 Wh. This can also be found in the Blog by RAVPower.

In recent days, I have also done some research on liability insurance & did sent some inquiries.

First of all, I had a closer look at the forms and costs at tourinsure.de and motorcycleexpress.com. In doing so, I have found that the forms are partly identical. Seems that tourinsure.de only forwards requests via motorcycleexpress.com. In addition, tourinsure.de only offers the minimum liability without the option to increase it as at motorcycleexpress.com . Then I took a closer look at the offers and calculated.

  • Tourinsure.com:
    2 months for Canada/US, liability only (Bodily injury US$ 50000 per person, Bodily injury US$ 50000 per accident, Property damage US$ 10000), for motorcycles from 1051cc and above: 310 Euro + additional charge of 45 Euro + 3.5 % charge for payment with credit card => 367.78 Euro total
  • Motorcycle Express:
    60 days for Canada/US, Bodily Injury / Property Damage Liability (Bodily injury) US$ 50000 per person, Bodily injury US$ 50000 per accident, property damage US$ 10000; additional to Tourinsure: Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury 25,000 PER PERSON / 50,000 PER ACCIDENT), US$ 66 per month * 2 = US$ 132 + agency fee US$ 60 + 5% credit card fee => US$ 201.6 => 165.32 Euro at current exchange rate

Just to be on the safe side, I asked Motorcycle Express via e-mail if I had calculated correctly, which was confirmed promptly.

From another vendor, Lionsgroup Insurance, that I found on a travel website, I also requested a rate by mail and even received a German-language answer. They asked me to fill their request form, which I did immediately.

I also found the reference to Thum Insurance on the travel website. I also filled in their application form.

In addition, I've submitted an inquiry to Geico via an internet form, but they only offer 12-month contracts. Apparently one can cancel these prematurely and gets the contributions back (so you can read on HUBB), but that seems too complicated and uncertain.

Relatively soon I got the offer from Lionsgroup Insurance. This is a full year policy for US$ 106. The insurance is for US$ 500,000 per accident. This offer is absolutely unbeatable compared to the above mentioned ones!

My request to the customs office (at info.privat(at)zoll.de) has, after some inquiries, revealed that the export is probably completely unproblematic. If there are problems, then only when returning, as the German customs then v evidence that the vehicle was not more than 3 years abroad, since you then would have to pay import tax for this case.

Proof must be provided by the vehicle registration form (TüV entry) and the corresponding documents about the flight or freight documents.

The customs officer has really worked hard to answer my questions. Great!

Today I got the EPA Nonresident exemption letter.

When entering the US you have to fill out the form at the border EPA form 3520-1 which you can either download or get at the border. The EPA Nonresident exemption letter must be attached to this form.

Once you have left, you - if I understand it correctly - have to email the proof of export (which can only be documents of air cargo freight back home because you will not get stamps at the border) with the EPA Nonresident exemption letter to the EPA official to complete the process.

Since the company Deufol (phone +49-69-63809412, frankfurt.flughafen(at)deufol.com) did not respond to my mail request, I called them today and talked to a Mr. Nestorovic.

For issuing the "Shippers Declaration" for hazardous goods, he needs the addresses in Canada and my home address. In addition he needs the weight of the motorcycle (loaded) and an emergency telephone number (can be my mobile number).

He then will send the "Shippers Declaration" directly to Air Canada Cargo, where I also will be charged (45 euros plus VAT for a "Shippers Declaration"; you will need two of them, one for each transport).

Today I did sent the data for the security declaration (see above) to Deufol by e-mail. The next day I got the message that the safety declarations will be forwarded to Air Canada Cargo.

Today I also did sent the signed version of the insurance application to Jens Haselhuhn from the Lionsgroup.

In fact, I pay US $ 98.00 for the insurance over the 12-month period, which is approximately € 87. Although there are doubts on the internet as to whether these insurances, which have been taken out by Progressive, are valid at all. As long as the insurer does not inform me that the insurance is invalid, I assume that it is valid, especially since the information provided is all correct.

I am glad that I have taken out my insurance early, as it appears that there are problems with new contracts because of the new European Data Protection Regulation. The American insurers are probably no longer offering insurance and some people are desperately looking for alternatives. While it has also been stated in some postings that Progressive's insurance is unreliable, I will trust them, hoping I will not have to use it.

Today the booking of the motorcycle transport by Air Canada for the 18.07.2018 has been made. Cargo can only be booked 30 days before departure.

There must be no dangerous goods left on the motorcycle. This includes adhesives. Batteries must not be in the panniers. This means that they all have to be in hand luggage. If I want to leave the helment in the top case for transport, I have to remove the helmet communication system.

I'm curious, which other problems/surprises at motorcycle check-in will appear.

My bike is with Thomas again. The starter and timing chains will be changed. The starter is making inappropriate noise since the Pamir Mountains and the left timing chain rattles for quite a while.

I hope that my bike is well prepared this way and the journey is going well! Strange! I'm a bit more concerned about the bike's condition than last year.

Motorcycle is back from workshop. Starter and timing chains no longer make noise.

I already had mounted a new TKC 80 on the rear. The workshop has now mounted a new front tire too (also TKC 80). I still ordered an additional rear tire. Since I do not know which route I will actually ride, I have decided to take a spare tire with me. At least before I meet with Brigitte, I will change the tire then. The front tire should last the entire journey.

Today, I called Air Canada's telephone hotline and asked if it is possible to carry the motorcycle helmet as carry-on in addition to a piece of hand luggage. The answer was positive.

Well, hopefully that's true.