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  1. #1
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    Default Selling Harleys to other countries

    I built a shovelhead chop a couple years ago (which I posted in a thread somewhere on here) and ultimately ended up selling it by posting it on social media and it went to a buyer in Japan. Since then I've sold 2 more bikes out of the country: An 81 shovelhead that went to Japan and just last month a 73 xlch that went to the UK.
    Part of me says whoever digs these old bikes and wants them and wants to transform them and give them new lives and is willing to pay to get them shipped, they deserve to have them no matter who they are or where they are from. Its awesome to think of my old chop cruising the roads of Japan somewhere. Also we have sooooo much stuff from other countries including plenty of Japanese, brittish, etc cars and motorcycles over here as well.

    On the other hand it's sad to think of a day when they were all bought up and shipped overseas and hard to come by in the USA.

    What do y'all think?

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    That has been going on since I can remember. I posted on another thread about bikes going to Rotterdam back in the day. True it will drive up prices here, but it also gives you a much bigger audience to sell to.

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    It doesn't matter to me also......

  4. #4
    tzienlee
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    after a couple of big time rip off sellers from the USA, that have cost some buyers i know here in the UK & in Ireland thousands for shit, I know no one in England or Europe who any longer trusts US sellers,
    people now will fly state side to eyeball the bikes personally, or get very close friends check them out before buying & shipping,
    the bubble has sort of burst a bit with the Europian market, as after import taxes & high shipping costs it is almost cheaper to buy bikes already here, plus with new EU legislation that refuses 'grey imports' to be registered, they now must be country compliant, example is France, unless the bikewas made for the french market they won't even let it through customs, Spain is the same Plus NO hardtails even if from the 30's 40's & 50's, they blanket banned them about 5 years ago less registed in a 3rd country.
    the average shovel, nothing fancy just a good runner will fetch between £7.5k-£9k ($10.000-$12,000)... yea, stateside these are only $4k-$5k bikes, so tRump greed sets in & sellers think they can dump their shit abroard without comeback, those days are gone thank fuck,..
    being from the New York, New Jersey area I dont have these problems as most of my family & friends are still there to help, store & even ship whatever I want as 'gifts' so tax exempt, not everyone is as lucky, but everyone here is pissed with being ripped off
    Last edited by tzienlee; 11-23-2021 at 11:16 AM.

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    I’m a firm believer in keeping everything here related to American sub-culture.

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    Well... Frankly.. To be impulsive, childish and petty about it? It irks me because I can't have a knucklehead rider now.. They're all so fucking expensive, you can't have fun with them.

    But, the intellectually honest and mature side I try to suppress, says it probably doesn't matter.. As that's what Harley was doing with them, themselves.

    At least I had a dealer tell me straight up that they couldn't sell me a shovel trade in.. It went to AUCTION, and probably was gone forever after that. And I believe that. I never see older trade ins for sale at a dealership. It doesn't happen.

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    Doesn't matter. I've been to Japan and seen first hand how much love, respect, and miles those dudes (and ladies!) put down on their machines there. No compromises made, expensive as hell, and a dedication to the machine/culture. Nothing but respect.

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    US boomers will be dead soon and with them a lot of the old fading HD culture will gradually shrink down to the collector market. US buyers are who drove up prices on the older classics and let's remember just how small the original production numbers really were. When they were cheap it was because no one but a few bikers gave a shit and the US had a much smaller population in 1975 than it does today. More Twin Cams were built than all previous big twins.

    Prices on vehicles peak when the men who dreamt of them in childhood retire with fat wallets, then most of them correct downwards when those guys die. I saw that with brass era T Model Fords and Model A Fords. Now no one cares about those because (almost) everyone who drove them as a youth is dead or nearly dead.

    That said, in an era of common $60K pickup trucks, the serious will ride. Want something expensive? Sell shit and hustle money, then buy in the next recession (there will always be one sooner or later). Motorcycles are toys after all and there's still an old HD for every budget though perhaps not a collector machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by james69 View Post
    Doesn't matter. I've been to Japan and seen first hand how much love, respect, and miles those dudes (and ladies!) put down on their machines there. No compromises made, expensive as hell, and a dedication to the machine/culture. Nothing but respect.
    The shovel chopper that I built that went to Japan had less than 2,000 miles on it since a full rebuild. Cases split, crank up to the top. The bike was complete and road ready. The Japanese guy in the US who was communicating with me for the buyer was mostly concerned about the numbers matching motor and title etc. He said they would tear the engine down and build it to their own standards. I'm still trying to get some photos or my old bike over their on the road.

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    American culture is young when compared to those we are selling ours off to. When we first started selling vintage cars to our Milwaukee middle man Nico, more affectionately refered to as Frenchy, it didnít bug me much. We made more money, a 64-1/2-70 mustang couple that would at the time do 12k stateside would easily do 18k without getting into fastbacks, convertibles, or special packages. Frenchy buys them, loads up cargo, and ships them to Europe, giving our cross the pond buddies the confidence in buying from one of their own.

    I draw a line at old Harleyís. Lots of reasons, the production numbers werenít huge to begin with compared to muscle cars for one thing. Secondly, I just donít like wringing out what I consider to be an imperative piece of American culture to the highest foreign bidder. Maybe itís because I know itís going to some rich foreign asshole, because letís face it, not a cheap venture to embark on. Maybe itís just false hope. I guess part of me hopes these bikes will stay on the road forever in the land they were built to roam.

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    I've seen how guys with knuckles operate, they're oxpeckers on a stash--24/7 day night, they'll call, shoot the shit or leave a voicemail to remind them the offer. And I still don't think it's unobtainable, there was a complete knuckle for $8500 on FB that had the original vin carried over to repro cases--the bellies were moved. I'd say that's a good place to start.
    Japan and Europe bouy the market stateside just enough that I can make parts and sell them on the market--I can't make any money off Japan's big four, I KNOW I can buy any HD, part it out and make some cash. That's pretty sweet.

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    I say keep ‘‘em here we’ll never get them back.

  13. #13

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    In the mid to late 80s there were some groups from Germany and Sweden that swept the US for a decade buying up sleads, mostly Pans and older Shovels

    I remember I was at a huge swap meet in Cherokee, NC, I guess 1985 or so. There was a local guy there that had, no shit, about 20-30 Pan and Knuckle engines, all in dif stages of abuse. There they were, just sitting in rows and rows. And the prices were like $200 to $500 or so. Manyt were rusty, likley seized, some in decent condition. Didnt have the bones, so next year I went with bucks and a PU truck. The guy was there, but no pans/knuckles: He said a team from GE bought them all. Understand, allot of biker folks really didnt go for the knuckles or pans back then, except for those that were really into them

    My opinion, I really dont care where they went. I am sure they went to builders that want a part of the US born biker and Harley Dream: Mo power to them. And frankly, it was us folks in the US that sold them.

  14. #14

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    There used to be a man here in los angeles by the name of JUNGLE JIM. he had a HUGE warehouse full of old harley parts,motors, frames,trannys, rare moldins. Basically had anything you needed for old harleys. He did not advertise and if you didnt know about his location you would never know what was inside the building. This was back in th early 80’s that i was there. When i went back a couple years later for some needed parts, the entire warehouse was empty and he was gone. It turned out that someone from germany bought the whole warehouse full of parts and shipped it all to germany. Huge loss for those of us that dealt with him. What pisses me off most is that NOS PARTS in the NETHERLANDS will not sell to to anyone in the USA. i cant verify but suspect that is where jungle jims parts enede up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmel View Post
    In the mid to late 80s there were some groups from Germany and Sweden that swept the US for a decade buying up sleads, mostly Pans and older Shovels

    I remember I was at a huge swap meet in Cherokee, NC, I guess 1985 or so. There was a local guy there that had, no shit, about 20-30 Pan and Knuckle engines, all in dif stages of abuse. There they were, just sitting in rows and rows. And the prices were like $200 to $500 or so. Manyt were rusty, likley seized, some in decent condition. Didnt have the bones, so next year I went with bucks and a PU truck. The guy was there, but no pans/knuckles: He said a team from GE bought them all. Understand, allot of biker folks really didnt go for the knuckles or pans back then, except for those that were really into them

    My opinion, I really dont care where they went. I am sure they went to builders that want a part of the US born biker and Harley Dream: Mo power to them. And frankly, it was us folks in the US that sold them.
    Truth. I went to Cherokee often (1986-up) and that was part of the usual deal where buyers with trucks and trailers swooped through the Southeast scooping deals from bike shops and swap meets. In that era bikers bought most HDs to ride because we were young and into doing instead of collecting (and often only had enough cash for say one runner and a project or two). Today's tiny useless bar bike gas tanks were much less common and five gallon fatbobs were popular for range. The emphasis was on going to runs so we did. A few dedicated bros had Pans or a Knuck but those weren't common on runs even then. Cone Shovels dominated by a much greater volume.

    Cherokee was good to me. I won the 1992 Sportster charity raffle after my bro ahead of me in line to buy tickets got bored and walked off. I got his ticket, won the Sporty and instantly sold it to a fellow Airmen since I already had an FXR then bought tools. (Tools before toys gets you many more toys in the end!) Good times.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fivebucksworth.jpg  

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    Precision Bob... Yeah, that's been a while.
    Last edited by rockman96; 11-24-2021 at 7:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloudSalvage View Post
    The shovel chopper that I built that went to Japan had less than 2,000 miles on it since a full rebuild. Cases split, crank up to the top. The bike was complete and road ready. The Japanese guy in the US who was communicating with me for the buyer was mostly concerned about the numbers matching motor and title etc. He said they would tear the engine down and build it to their own standards. I'm still trying to get some photos or my old bike over their on the road.
    Yep, 100% they will rebuild any motor, the numbers matching and title doesn't surprise me at all. Their vehicle laws are pretty strict, but aside from that having the PRIDE to own an original- OEM factory machine is of the highest value to them down to INTERNALS of the motor.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoremonger View Post
    There used to be a man here in los angeles by the name of JUNGLE JIM. he had a HUGE warehouse full of old harley parts,motors, frames,trannys, rare moldins. Basically had anything you needed for old harleys. He did not advertise and if you didnt know about his location you would never know what was inside the building. This was back in th early 80ís that i was there. When i went back a couple years later for some needed parts, the entire warehouse was empty and he was gone. It turned out that someone from germany bought the whole warehouse full of parts and shipped it all to germany. Huge loss for those of us that dealt with him. What pisses me off most is that NOS PARTS in the NETHERLANDS will not sell to to anyone in the USA. i cant verify but suspect that is where jungle jims parts enede up.
    That Jan Boon guy in the Netherlands has got EVERYTHING and he won't sell to anyone outside of Europe. I'm in Taiwan and I did order from him once some years ago. When I went to make another order last year, he refused to take my order. What a fucking cunt!
    Last edited by alfajuj; 11-25-2021 at 7:53 AM.

  19. #19
    tzienlee
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    I dont blame him for not sending kit State Side,
    theres a shit load of US sellers who refuse to ship to Europe even if its an APO address,
    I know as have tried,
    I usually end up getting my family in NJ or NY to act as my shipping agents, if I cant avoid having to buy from non shipping bigots,
    Jan Boon is a great fella,
    he's very helpfull and knowledable, who made his business in military surplus shit, cleaning up OUR SHIT that was literally dumped in Europe,...from 45's, jeeps & even tanks in his early days, all dumped by the US military as too expensive to return stateside, & by buying out stock from Harley dealers all over Europe who have closed over the last 50 yars or so,......
    blame the cunts in Washington for dumping shit overseas, not those who simply take advantage of what they buy at government auctions...
    ffs, YOU could do it if ya had balls as big as ya mouth sounds.
    & Yes, I'm from New York, Freeport right next to what was Idlewild airport when born, & am fed up with the bigoted views that seem to be coming out of the states as of late like not shipping parts unless ya a card carrying redneck with a white hood !, 'It USED to be a Great Country, wtf happened ??

  20. #20
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    Some years ago I sold a printer to a buyer in Puerto Rico, the fucking import taxes cost me more than my profit on the sale, that was a kick in the nuts.

    Then I had some kid in Japan buy a set of relay timers from me, he claimed on was bad and sent it back, but claimed a total refund from eBay, then when I pointed it out, he refused to make it right. Just not worth the risk anymore.

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