I always shop in Canada !!! You can save on a euro bike or a jap bike but not on a Harley !! The real issue is how they feel at the IRS when you'll go back sometime duty fee is low ,sometime it's prohibitive ...don't ask me why .....That's what some friend in the USA told me ,maybe somebody here have more experience with that.
Motorcycles are DUTY FREE! There is no hassle to bring a bike into the USA from Canada. I own a car dealership and we ship a lot of vehicles to the USA every week so I have some experience in this sort of thing. It is real easy, go to Canada, buy a bike and go home with it in the back of your truck. Be prepared to sit at the border for a couple of hours though as they do the paperwork. With the exchange rate right now it is very advantageous for an American to buy a bike or car in Canada.
What I mean is, I have a dealer in Canada sitting on quite a lot of my money. Deal agreed to. Price agreed to. Now that my money is in his hands, all of a sudden I hear "I'm losing money on the deal" "I only did it because I had trade ins coming in and I needed to make room", etc, etc, etc. I have waited MONTHS for this dealer to prep and ship my bike, and now he's still missing my deadlines. I had all sorts of plans dependent on delivery dates, and they don't seem to mean a hill of beans to him.
Luckily I have family -- lots of it -- up in his region. Because I think this could go on forever if he didn't have somebody in his shop putting a real face to this deal (or worse yet, checking on whether he even HAS the bike). Otherwise, I'm convinced that it's "out of sight (country), out of mind." I am beginning to get really steamed. :o
Longtime, sounds like you got a dud of a dealer. Where/who is this guy? I am in the car business and motorcycle dealers are bound by the same laws as car dealers. Maybe I could steer you in the right direction and maybe the appropriate authorities could get this problem solved for you. In Ontario, we have a special govt bureau who enforces the laws in the auto industry and they tend not to condone that sort of behaviour. Email me off list if you want to. firstname.lastname@example.org
I bought a new 520EXC and a new TTR 125L and a new Polaris Pro-X (hey, we get snow up here) in Canada and brought them all back to the States this year. There is no duty on a bike if it is under 700cc.
Depending on the dealer, you may have to pay the GST and PST taxes, 15% total up front and then mail Revenue Canada for a full refund. Or, the dealer has some deal where he notes "For Export Only" on the receipt and you will not have to pay the Canadian taxes. I have not had any problems at the border, just bring the bike back, declare it, they will check the VIN and your receipt and send you on your way. You will have to pay state sales tax, 6% in Michigan, when you register the bike. I have had VERY good luck and saved a lot of money....about $800 on the KTM.
Warning...KTM USA and KTM Canada are two different entities. Warranties must be worked thru KTM Canada, which presents some risk when you buy your bike hundreds of miles away. Also KTM Canada told me that I had only 30 days warranty on my 520 EXC.
I have had VERY good luck buying in Canada, and I live 30 minutes from the border, so I handle my transactions personally.