We Buy a Motorbike

We’re back in Santiago early morning and we head over to Don Santiago, “have you got any space for us?” We’re in luck, and since we’re staying for a couple of weeks Pato is generous enough to give us a discounted rate. Thanks a lot mate!

We check out the Vitacura and Las Condes districts where the big bike dealers are, asking for prices for new and used bikes. We head to calle Lira, looking at the price for gear and spares. We’re not finding quite the deals that Luke said he’d found but maybe we’ve not looked in the right places.

Decent Helmet: 50-100K Pesos
Biking Slacks and Jacket: 120-200K
Gloves: 16-30K
Tank Bag: 40K plus

And then there’s the question of boots…

Ebru thinks she might have found a more suitable option…

We hook up with Luke and his lady, take a look at his bike and take it for a test drive. He recons he’ll get 2.8mil for it (a kind of “guaranteed buy back” agreed before) from the dealer but sell it to me if I can match the price. It needs some work – it’s only 4 months in service but it has done 18000Km. Luke has inquired and got estimates on the work that needs doing to get the bike in shape for another big journey: 250000Pesos or thereabouts, they recon; for a new transmission, clutch plates and distribution chain tensioner. Aside from that I know this bike can do the journey and it’s got some history.

So what are we looking at?
Bike: 2.8mil
Repairs: 300K
Transfer Paperwork: 100K
TOTAL: 3.2mil (excluding biking gear)

That’s about 4000GBP. Not cheap, but still cheaper than buying new (3.65mil for the same model) or a used equivalent from a dealer, and Luke will chuck in the panniers, top box, spares and tools which will save us a few hundred thousand. I’ve worked out roughly:

Luggage Rack: 50K
Top box: 50K
Panniers: 100K
Spares/Lubicants: 150K
350000 Pesos

I make an eccentric spreadsheet to calculate all the costs: fuel, accommodation, food, etc, and considering the savings we’ll make on transportation and tours, comparison to the same journey by bus… it’s clearly more expensive but the bike idea still fits the budget. Then Luke’s bike dealer, whom I visited in Vitacura, contacts me saying something has become available and will cost about 2.5mil – I wonder what that may be?

The next day I go to get my RUT, a Chilean tax number / identification document. You can’t buy a bike without it. For this I have to go to the Servicio Impuestos Internos (SII) office, a few of which I have located in Google Maps. I leave in the morning, early, and walk to the closest one and find an empty plot of land. Wonderful!

I walk for more than half an hour to get to the next one and eventually find it. It’s five to nine in the morning, they haven’t opened yet and people are queuing in front of the door. Eventually when I get in and consult the guy at the information desk, he looks at my address (of the hostel) and tells me this is not the office for that district. I must go to Santa Maria, which is a few kilometres the other way. Give me a break!

When I finally get to Santa Maria and my number gets called I’m standing in front of a partly bald, grey, chap with glasses, a suit and an air of self praise about him. Seems nice enough though. He processes my paperwork. Asks me whether I am from Austria? Yes. He tells me he spent some time in Vienna doing something or other, really loves that city. How nice, maybe this will all be easier than I thought. Then I tell him my intentions and ask him if the request can be expedited so I can collect the permanent card (not the provisional one which I get immediately) in less than two weeks. Suddenly he goes all distant on me. I ask because I leave the border in less than a month and cannot be here to collect it, and I know from others’ experience that you can get the card quicker if you ask.

To cut a long story short, he refuses to acknowledge my request and just tries to fob me off. So I ask him to have the card posted to my address, I know this is also an option and all it takes is a tick in that little check-box on that form he’s holding. No. Cannot do. Only for Chileans. “Don’t worry, be happy,”  he says. Great. Hope we don’t get screwed at the border!

In the end – in the eleventh hour, when I’ve basically given up on the deal – Luke contacts me and I offer him 2.3mil. He accepts 2.4mil, which I recon is fair and I’m positive the dealer is not offering more. But I actually pay him 2.5mil because I recon Luke’s pretty gutted with his dealer not keeping his word and getting significantly less than expected, and besides, he’s giving me a lot of additional kit for free. (I’m clearly not a good business man!)

We go to the notary and with the assistance of Luke’s the Honda dealer, Colvin & Colvin, we complete the transfer.

The next day Luke departs on his flight and we need to get ready to hit the road!