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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I ended up getting my passport this year because of going to the Dominican Republic, and being that I live about 20 minutes from the US canadian border I figure I'll be riding over there at least once this summer.

So my question is, are the motorcycle laws pretty strict over there? My biggest concern will be my pipes. I will be riding with a helmet (looks like every province has a helmet law) and I have turn signals etc.

Also anyone ever cross a border on a motorcycle? Is it any different than a car?
 

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I would be very interested in hearing also of Canadian riders crossing over into the U.S. I'm considering getting a passport too and am just wondering how hard it is to get across even just for day-trips or short stays of a couple days or so.
 

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Its not hard to cross at all, if your passport is good. Laws not much different than the US, except for the helmut law all across Canada. Same things that will get you into trouble in the US will get you into trouble in Canada.

Loud pipes are more likely to get you into trouble in Quebec than Ontario, one of the western provinces has stricter laws on decibels to but I don't remember which one.
 

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Leave the handguns, pepper spray, any dope etc. and the like at home. CBSA takes a dim view on all of the above. If you have a criminal record this can prevent you from entering Canada depending on what the conviction was for. Also, don't lie. Canada and the States share information - i.e. if you have a criminal record and and deny it they can and will likely deny entry.

As has been mentioned, helmets are mandatory and as far as loud pipes it all depends on the individual law enforcment officer. If she/he has a problem with it you may be stopped.

As far as Canadian riders crossing into the States: I have done it a lot and the process is the same. "Do I have any wepons?" "Do I have any booze?" "Have I ever been arrested?" "What is the purpose of my trip?" On one occassion I was asked to open my saddlebags so they could check for booze or weapons. When I opened the T-Bag I was using at the time the Officer asked what was in it. When I said my dirty underware and asked if he wanted to check he declined and off I road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LOL!

Well I dont have a criminal record so that's no biggie, and I can buy booze in canada.

I heard that Quebec has some pretty strict motorcycle laws because of biker gang violence (did some googling). Maybe shoulda mentioned Ill be crossing in detroit and riding mostly in Ontario, don't think I'll make it much further than that.
 

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It can be a pain entering by plane I know that! Explain why you are only there 2 days for business. No answer is right and they argue everything you say.
Best bet, be honest, plan on it taking twice as long as you think and when you get through faster, be happy:) remember, they are working and YOU are playing, just relax and enjoy!
Canada has a lot of beauty to take in, plan a few days at least so you can take it slow. Canadian side of Niagara Falls is amazing, but I guess it's cause the best view is from there.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It can be a pain entering by plane I know that! Explain why you are only there 2 days for business. No answer is right and they argue everything you say.
Best bet, be honest, plan on it taking twice as long as you think and when you get through faster, be happy:) remember, they are working and YOU are playing, just relax and enjoy!
Canada has a lot of beauty to take in, plan a few days at least so you can take it slow. Canadian side of Niagara Falls is amazing, but I guess it's cause the best view is from there.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App

I dont have enough vacation days to take a multi day trip this year unfortunately, but I do hope to get some riding in a new area done.

Been to both sides of niagara when I was 12 or so, was a lot of fun.
 

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It's easier to get out of the US than it is to get back into it.

Plan on taking off glasses/full face helmet. They need to see and photograph your face coming back. Going out...nobody much cares. Canada wants to know the same things, car or bike. Where/how long/why/weapons? Welcome to Canada, Eh....

If you're heading east from Michigan, forget the bridge or tunnel. You can catch a ferry from Algonac or Marine City. This is THE best way to go. Costs like $4. Is cool as hell. No long lines. The Border Guards are more relaxed and WAY easier to deal with.

We did a week long cruise thru Canada last summer. The people were fantastic, and we felt welcome everywhere we went. I can't speak to your illegal pipes. I don't run that way...





Getting back in to the country was an hour long ordeal at the Soo. Oh and one word of caution...Pay attention when riding off the ferry. The deck of the boat is still moving around some, when they start you riding off.
 

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Interesting you bring up the getting back into your own coundtry Glen. I too have experienced the same thing. Crossing into the States fairly simple process. Coming back into Canada talk about the third degree. Had one CBSA agent arguing with me that the stock pipes on the 1100 Spirit I owned at the time were after market, "Because they are too shiney and new looking not to be aftermarket." Not until I pointed out the Honda motorcyle corporation stamp on the pipes did he finally let it go. He looked like a fat kid that dropped his lollipop in the sand that he had to let me go without having me pay any duty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's easier to get out of the US than it is to get back into it.

Plan on taking off glasses/full face helmet. They need to see and photograph your face coming back. Going out...nobody much cares. Canada wants to know the same things, car or bike. Where/how long/why/weapons? Welcome to Canada, Eh....

If you're heading east from Michigan, forget the bridge or tunnel. You can catch a ferry from Algonac or Marine City. This is THE best way to go. Costs like $4. Is cool as hell. No long lines. The Border Guards are more relaxed and WAY easier to deal with.

We did a week long cruise thru Canada last summer. The people were fantastic, and we felt welcome everywhere we went. I can't speak to your illegal pipes. I don't run that way...





Getting back in to the country was an hour long ordeal at the Soo. Oh and one word of caution...Pay attention when riding off the ferry. The deck of the boat is still moving around some, when they start you riding off.
I knew about the ferry from Marine City (grandma loved that place) but that's about an hours ride outta my way to get there, which isn't much of a big deal, could go visit her grave while im up there.

If you look like me or CD with long hair you have to be a terrorist or drug dealer so figure on having your vehicle searched.
Well Im bearded, pierced, and tattooed on a bike so I'll probably get one of them "random" search selections
 

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cross the border into BC Canada from Eastern Washington offend, usually don't have problems crossing into Canada, pull up crossing, some agents want you to pull just past window so can see your license plate, then roll bike back, show passport, or enhanced license , answer there questions and away you go, make sure you have proof of Canadian excepted insurance. I have had more problems getting back across into USA, being questioned and searched, guess don't have that clean cut look. In Canada follow the rules and have a fun ride, find most of the places I been in BC Canada friendly, and some great riding
 

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Never had a hint of a problem or hassle in many crossing both ways, both on motorcycle and car. But then the border officials can tell at a glance that I'm honest, clean-cut, clean-living, healthy, handsome and probably quite distinguished.

The rest of you....well, you are on your own.:mrgreen:

But seriously, if you are asked if you have any weapons with you the answer better be no; and then if they ask if you have any weapons left at home the answer would best be no again unless you want to be searched.

Somebody mentioned a criminal record; I could be wrong here, but I think a DUI conviction is also grounds for exclusion. I don't know if that is considered a criminal matter or not -- as noted above I'm clean as a whistle myself and know nothing of the judicial system.:roll:
 

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I've crossed the border a few times into Manitoba, Alberta and ferried to Vancouver island. The ferry is best, the airports are the worst. Got thrown up against the wall driving
Into Alberta by tuff kid border guard, then was released with an apology. I've had two stressful experiences out of about a half dozen. Rode in by ferry to vc island with cobra straights as well as all over bc and much of Alberta.. Raised eyebrow on a mounty once but no prob. Should wear a real helmet and good insurance. Be nice. I found it harder going into Canada than coming home.

Ps a DUI or any felony will get you turned back. Also be prepared to prove financial solvency with provable income and sufficient traveling funds.
 

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my understanding is bikes are not allowed in the tunnel (Detroit). So it's the bridge. I second to ferry suggestion. it's the same price, and very quick. Going over the bridge you may get stuck in a long (15 minute - 60 minute) backup...

Whatever you do, don't lie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've crossed the border a few times into Manitoba, Alberta and ferried to Vancouver island. The ferry is best, the airports are the worst. Got thrown up against the wall driving
Into Alberta by tuff kid border guard, then was released with an apology. I've had two stressful experiences out of about a half dozen. Rode in by ferry to vc island with cobra straights as well as all over bc and much of Alberta.. Raised eyebrow on a mounty once but no prob. Should wear a real helmet and good insurance. Be nice. I found it harder going into Canada than coming home.

Ps a DUI or any felony will get you turned back. Also be prepared to prove financial solvency with provable income and sufficient traveling funds.

So I gotta carry a copy of a pay stub or something?
 

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Canadian Border Security wants to make sure you are a visitor rather than a burden or planning to take a job or engage in an unlawful act. A burden would include someone not medically fit or someone who has no funds.

You will be rejected for any criminal convictions or outstanding warrants for a crime that would be considered a crime in Canada. Usually you are OK if the penalty of the crime ended 10 years ago. DUI is included. You may be rejected if you have not enough funds or have no job in the US.

Tips:
Passport.
No weapons including any spring-loaded knife, pepper spray, bat, handgun.
Have some cash (not necessarily Canadian) but must declare anything over $10,000.
No drugs. Even if legal in Canada it is not legal to cross the border and you will be arrested for smuggling. No pipes/syringes etc. Make sure prescriptions bottles have your name.
Have an itinerary showing where you are staying or print out your travel route. Have specific sites you are seeing or things you are doing in Canada
Have a specific return to US date.
Canada has some rules against certain fruits and meats entering the country so bring no food. Alcohol and tobacco can be brought but sometimes that's a hassle so don't.
Don't be intoxicated as Border Security are law officers and will arrest you.

Normally crossing the border is about 5 minutes (excluding lineups). There is a random selection for closer inspection and it is fairly random and not based on appearances. Most smugglers are well dressed and well groomed.

I live in Vancouver and cross the border a few hundred times and usually not a bad experience but periodically I get checked due to random sampling.

For details: bsf5082: Visitors to Canada and other Temporary Residents

G.
 

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Gdb069 is spot on!

Have fun enjoying our country! :) if you can go anywhere head to the Peterborough / Muskoka area. Anywhere north of there you're in the heart of cottage country. You be riding around crystal clear lakes, up and down hills through massive forests and Canadian Shield which always makes for some pretty enjoyable scenery. Just don't ride at dawn/dusk/night. Bugs are bad haha
 
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