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Thread: UK based biker relocating to Singapore.

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    locustlocust
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    Default UK based biker relocating to Singapore.



    Hello folks,

    I'm looking at relocating to Singapore this year and have a couple of questions.

    I'm an experienced rider and currently own couple of bikes here that I guess I cannot easily bring in.
    How easily is it to switch my UK license over?

    I've got Beemers here in the UK and would be looking at getting a GS, if prices aren't too exorbitant.
    How is dealer support in Singapore, or would I be better off getting something made in Asia?

    Cheers.

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    reize
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    Hi! I'll try to answer you as best I can.

    First of, converting a UK license over to the local one is extremely easy. We have 3 tiers, 2B (<=200cc), 2A (201cc-400cc) and 2 (>=401). In order to get the full license here converted from your UK one, you will require at least your full British A license, as well as ownership documents of motorcycles above 401cc to prove you have owned and ridden them for at least 3 years. Anything less, and you are likely only to be awarded the minimum 2B license.

    Second, do consider leaving your bikes in the UK. Importing them requires you to pay import taxes, subject them to a local registration system that costs several thousand dollars, and also means you have to keep paying these taxes every 10 years in order to keep it within Singapore's borders. You should absolutely not bring your own bike unless you have no intention of ever ending residence in Singapore, and have deep emotional attachment to that particular bike.

    Prices of motorcycles in general are somewhere between triple to 1.5x what you would get back in the UK. BMWs will definitely cost a lot more than what you are used to paying in the UK. However dealer support for GS's are good as they are pretty popular machines among the middle-aged male crowd here, but they are also extremely pricey as parts have to be imported from Europe, beware. If you are not picky about having a BMW, choosing a Honda or Yamaha manufactured in Japan, India, Indonesia or Thailand is going to be a far more affordable choice with a wide range of parts and workshops capable of servicing them.
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    locustlocust
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    Thanks for the response.
    Right that is as I expected.

    What sort of proof do they need to know I've owned the bigger bikes for more than 3 years?
    Do they want to see old insurance certificates, or MOT's, or pictures of 'younger me' riding the bikes with the wind in my ever receding hair?

    If BMW are expensive then I assume that Ducati/Triumph are the same?

    Honda Africa Twin might be in my future then.
    Thanks again.

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    reize
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    The proof they require can be anything to establish ownership of the bike for a period. So insurance papers (to show ownership during the period) together with the bike's registration (to show it is a big bike) will usually suffice.

    Triumph is relatively affordable along the line of BMW standards in Singapore, depending on the model. Ducatis are just plain expensive with the exception of the Monster and mini 400cc Scrambler.

    A Honda Africa Twin is actually a pretty decent choice.

    Take note I am referring to prices of entirely new bikes. If you do choose to get into buying used machines, they can be cheap enough to buy a Ducati.
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    locustlocust
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    Thanks, that is very helpful to know.
    All my bikes for the last 10 years have been over 1000cc so shouldn't be a problem.

    Yes I'd be buying new.

    Am I correct in thinking that performance mods- race exhausts, ECU mods etc are out in Singapore?
    I have an S1000 here in the UK that is heavily modded (basically a road legal track bike) - I don't want a stock sports bike so if I can't mod one then better off sticking to something more touring oriented.

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    reize
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    It depends on the mods, some mods have a clear cut allowed/not allowed label, others are a bit more grey. So I'll list down a few.

    1. Exhaust systems : Aftermarket slip-ons and full systems are allowed, subject to approval. You just have to send the bike with the exhaust fitted to an inspection center to get it certified. If it's an exhaust for a bike of a particular model year that has never been paired before, there is a chance the inspection will fail, depending on the results and you cannot use the exhaust on public roads. If it's a setup that has been used before, it's more likely to pass. If you don't really care that much, you can just use the stock exhaust on the roads, swap it out for an aftermarket for track days and tow the bike there.

    2. ECU mods: Totally allowed to reflash, or you can slap a Power Commander as you see fit. Or both.

    3. Suspension: Allowed

    4. Brake system: Only the stock rotors and calipers can be used. Pads however, can be whatever you see fit. Master cylinder, levers and hoses can be changed as you see fit. If the bike comes with ABS, its stock engagement settings beyond what the manufacturer allows cannot be tampered with.

    5. Wheels and rims : Allowed

    6. Tires : No motocross or racing slicks. Sport and touring tires for road use only, dual sport tires are also allowed.

    7. Air Filter : Allowed (duh)

    8. Clutch, shifter : Swapping a cabled clutch for a hydraulic one and vice versa are not allowed. A quickshifter is allowed. Changing to a GP shift pattern is in a grey area.

    9. Gearing : Swapping both front and rear sprockets are allowed.

    10. Steering damper : Allowed

    11. Aesthetics : Aftermarket headlights on faired bikes not allowed, unfaired motorcycles are A-ok as long as they are roughly the same size, bulbs used must match the stock ones. Fairings cannot be removed from a faired bike, and aftermarket options must share the same shape and silhouette as the stock ones. Rearsets, levers, handlebars/clipons, grips, seats, instrument clusters are all allowed.
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    locustlocust
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    Thanks reize, that is much less stringent that what I first thought.

    If you cannot remove fairings, can you swap the existing ones for carbon fibre, or is that not allowed either?

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    reize
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    Yes you can use carbon fibre fairings as long as they maintain the same silhouette, it's tied to the headlight rules since using a race fairing will require you to cover or dismantle your stock headlights.
    Check out my Website! : www.reizeprimus.tk

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    locustlocust
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    Ok, understood.
    Cheers.

    I've ridden in an European summer quite a bit but never done it in constantly over 30 degree heat with 100% humidity.
    Should be interesting.

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    Shanghai
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    If you are looking to get a class 2A or Class 2 license you will require more than "In order to get the full license here converted from your UK one, you will require at least your full British A license, as well as ownership documents of motorcycles above 401cc to prove you have owned and ridden them for at least 3 years.".
    Believe me I know I have been through the experience. I supplied them with my unlimited Australian license and documentations showing ownership of a 1,000cc bike and I only got a class 2B license.
    To get a higher capacity license you also need documented proof of formal training on high capacity bikes (e.g. >200cc for a Class 2A & >400cc for a Class2). Does your UK license specifically state what capacity you are allowed to ride or what capacity bike you did your training on?
    Only other alternative is after one year on the Class 2B (which you will get) go for the training and test for the class 2A. Then after another year do the training & test for the Class 2.
    In the end I had to go the route of training & tests ( & was successful) as I had no documentation to prove I had previously received training.

    Let me know how you go.
    Last edited by Shanghai; 27-04-2018 at 03:00 PM.

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