It’s been a few years since I owned my last motorcycle and I honestly didn’t plan on purchasing another for at least a few more years, but a number of my friends started riding again this year so I was open to the idea. My previous bike was a 2009 Yamaha R1 and I loved her dearly prior to selling her, especially her color scheme (matte black/black/and gold), so I knew if I were going to be purchasing another bike, I’d be hunting high and low for one that was matte black. After owning a couple of sportbikes, I was looking for a bit of a change, but not a change as drastic as a Harley. The Ducati Streetfighter seemed like a perfect fit for me, I loved the “naked” look, how it still could handle like a superbike, and over the years I’ve always appreciated the esthetics of the the Ducati lineup; specifically the 998, 999, 1198, 1199, Hypermotard, Sport Classic 1000, and of course the Streetfighter. Fortunately the Streetfighter made a matte black version in 2013 and 2014, so the hunt was on.
I spotted one at Bentley Motorrad in Kelowna, BC but before I could pull the trigger, it was sold. I was continuously checking Craigslist with no success and then tried my luck on eBay. On eBay I found the bike I was looking for and fortunately the dealership selling the motorcycle (Rosso Corsa Gallery in California) had good feedback. I made the purchase April 29th and that’s when the waiting game began. I wanted the Certificate of Title before the motorcycle arrived so I could organize insurance. The dealer sent the paperwork a few days before having the shipper pick up the bike, but the paperwork never made it to my apartment. USPS’ tracking system provided a note saying “invalid, return to sender” even though the address was confirmed with the sender. Because I wasn’t able to get the certificate of title, I was unable to put any sort of insurance on the motorcycle and had to put it in storage until the paperwork arrived. A new certificate had to be issued from the DMV in California and it finally made it to me June 16th. I set up the insurance and finally took my motorcycle out of storage June 18th to export from the US and import into Canada. I remember riding that day thinking that all the waiting was worth it and I still had the majority of the summer left to ride; unfortunately I was wrong. I set up an appointment with Canadian Tire to inspect the bike (per requirement of Registrar of Imported Vehicles “RIV”). Prior to going to the inspection, I was worried about the speedometer and exhaust as the speedo was set up in MPH and there were Slip-on Exhaust canisters. I changed both and thought I was golden. After looking at the motorcycle, the inspector from Canadian Tire said he couldn’t stamp off the Form 1 document to say that the motorcycle passed the inspection because the stickers on the motorcycle from Ducati had been removed... I didn’t understand because the VIN is clearly stamped on the motorcycle’s frame. Apparently they require the stickers that include the manufacturing date, gross vehicle weight, tire pressure, etc. I asked what my options were and was told to contact RIV. I called RIV immediately and they said I would require a letter from Ducati Canada which confirmed the motorcycles information. I called Vancouver BMW Ducati and was told they are unable to provide that letter and that Ducati will never reproduce those stickers that were removed. The solution provided was to purchase a new frame for $4000. Of course this was not an option to me as the motorcycle was already pricy with the strong American dollar. I then called Ducati North America (located in California) and they said the same thing as Vancouver BMW Ducati. At this point I couldn’t believe what was happening, I had been trying to do everything the right way taking all the right steps, but was unable to register the motorcycle in my name in British Columbia. This was all happening between moving apartments (June 12th) and getting married (July 11th), so needless to say, the extra stress due to the hassle of importing the motorcycle wasn’t ideal. Because of the monumental events happening in my life at the time, figuring out how to deal with the “sticker issue” wasn’t my top priority. My wife and I went on our honeymoon August 1st to 10th and on August 2nd I received a notification from RIV saying that if they did not receive a response to their email within 10 days that a notification to Transport Canada would be sent stating that the vehicle is illegally in Canada. That wasn’t an ideal email to receive on the second day of our honeymoon, but I responded to their email and explained my predicament and asked for any advice or what could be done. No advice was provided, but they did extend the deadline until September 30th.
Now at the end of August, I’m no closer to finding a solution to this predicament, but surely with all of the vehicles that are imported into Canada from the USA, I cannot be the only person experiencing this trouble. Does anybody have any information that could assist me? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Riding season here in Vancouver is already at the tail end and all I care about is passing this inspection for RIV.