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Coming to America – Riding solo 90-days around the USA Motorcycle Tour

When I told my sister I was going to ride a motorbike around the United States she cried.

“It will be dangerous”, she said. But I couldn’t resist. The allure of travelling a another country on two-wheels was too strong. I’d camp under the stars and go where I wanted. It’d be the first time truly on my own. I’d meet people and experience things I’d never seen or felt before. It was the ultimate freedom and there was no better place to do it than the USA.

It would cost around $35,000 AUD. I finished university and got a well paying job to fund it. I worked weekends as a gardener to supplement my income. I was on track to make it when I met my partner while on holiday in Malaysia. Immigration laws forced our hand and I had to push my travel plans back.

I moved to Malaysia for 3-months to satisfy them. We planned to take turns living in Australia and Malaysia for a year to gain ‘defacto’ status. This is a requirement to obtain a partner visa in Australia. When she applied for her visa she was rejected.

I had to return to Australia alone. My trip would be further delayed. We considered a plan for the next 6-months. I was already on a break from work and figured I could get my trip out of the way while we weren’t together. It would be winter in the USA soon – a death sentence by motorcycle – if I didn’t go now I’d have to wait until it passed. By then my Work & Holiday visa to Malaysia would have processed. I messaged work and extended my break.

I had a month and a half to get to America. I found a route that would take me around it. Hitting all major landmarks. It was 12,000 miles long. I’d require all 90-days to do it effectively at around 200 miles per day. I needed a bike so I researched rental costs. One company quoted an astronomical $10,000 USD. Another kindly suggested to buy my own.

I looked up second-hand bikes and the registration process. The title for a motorbike in the USA requires an address in California. I had a friend in San Francisco who agreed to supply his. I considered the time it would take to source, inspect, buy and register a motorbike in a foreign country to be too lengthy. The title would be posted with 3 weeks of it being processed and cut too deeply into my 90-day visa.

I stumbled across a forum called ADVRider and found a thread by another foreigner considering the same route around the USA as me. I read it in interest his story of shipping a bike to the USA before being convinced by the forum member (or ‘inmate’) to buy a bike through ‘Tuckers’, a forum inmate, who purchased a bike for him, got it prepped and met him at the airport to help him complete his dream ride.

I created a thread just like his. I was immediately suggested to use the services of ‘Tuckers’. I found overwhelming support for him from other riders across the forum. I started a conversation and got the ball rolling. He sent me a list of his services and a large list of references from fellow travelers. He was someone you could trust.

I find it unbelievable to send $7000 AUD to a person you’ve never met in a country that you’ve never been to buy you a motorcycle that you’ll never ride until the day you land. Not to mention questionable work at the DMV to get the bike registered and insured on your behalf.

But when you have just over a month to prepare, 90-days to ride and the cost is a quarter of anything else.

You do and I did.


This will be part of my 90-day blogging series on my trip to America.

Category Motorcycle

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