I was wondering what types of motorcycles are available in the USVI, especially, St Croix. I'm debating bringing one with me but would love to get one on island. I'm hoping to get a small duel-sport. I don't want, nor need a car as weather does not bother me. Scooters are ok but don't want to be a "target" as some posters have stated. I've lived on Marthas Vineyard in MA for a while and I know for a fact that the scooters were hit often there.
1. What is the availablity of motorcycles in St Croix?
2. What kind of motorcycles are common.
3. What is the dirt/bad pavement/good pavement ratio on St Croix/St Thomas
4. Would a scooter be OK for island commuting?
a LOT of the people who post about scooters have never had one. I had a Yamaha Vino 125 on ST. Croix for a year and loved it. Had no problems with autos or anything else other then everyone wanting to know where I got it. Could park in downtown anytime without circleing for an hour and filled the tank once a week for a $1.75.
I would suggest getting something bigger then a 50cc, the size most scooters come in, as the island has many steep hills that a smaller scooter will have trouble with. I rode it to work everyday and I can't tell you how much fun it was heading to the beach for the afternoon!
There are no dealers on either St. Croix or St Thomas. The "stock" of used bikesis limited as well. Your idea of a "dual sport" (what wecalledan "enduro" years ago is a good one. I think you might be best served by buying it on the mainland and bringing it here with you. Remember you will get hit with fairly hefty excise tax when you bring it here because vehicle will not have been made in the USA. A final note....be careful, drivers are not used to sharing the roads with motorcycles like they are in the states.
Are there any special laws there for scooters over 50cc? Do you have to register them? Special Licence? etc?
I wrote a while back about potentially bringing a 650 enduro over but I've decided that all I need on the island is 250cc max. I'm leaning towards the Kawasaki KLR250. My wife on the other hand wants to get a scooter. She wants one of those retro looking hondas or a vespa. Neither one of us have any scooter experience, and my motorcycle experience will be limited to about 1000mi. Do you need a MC license for a scooter?
I will probably be buying the KLR over here in the states and having them ship it to me once I get settled.
I appreciate the info so far
Dude, I've seen lots of pot holes on STX that are big enough to swallow a small hybrid car! So, I'd be a little freaked out riding a motorcycle here. But, that's just my two cents... Perhaps other 2-Wheelers can weigh in on this aspect of island living....
As a motorcyclist wiith 40 years of riding experiance on all kinds of bikes, I'd say that STX is the best of the USVI for motorcycles. But you don't need a big one, duel sport/enduro would be the most practcal. My choise would be a Honda CRF 450 enduro model or equivalent. I have seen some bikes down there, both sport bikes and enduros.
Been riding since I was eight years old, and been riding on STT for over eight years (no special license required). I currently have a '99 Honda Rebel 250 and a '76 Harley Sportster Ironhead 1000. Riding in the islands is a bit different than in the States, but, given time, practice and patience, you should be fine. Just be VERY cautious of other drivers, as they are VERY unaware of YOU. Here on STT and on STJ you may come around a corner to find someone stopped in the middle of the road to pick up/drop off a passenger, take a picture, look at a map, etc. Or you may find a cow or goat in the middle of the road. Also, the roads become VERY slippery after it rains, so drive slower and take less risks when they're wet. Keep a wary eye out for tourists, as they aren't familiar with the roads, don't quite know where they are headed, may have been drinking, and might possibly be on the wrong side of the road (happens waaay too often! Ugh!).
The bike you choose (street, cafe, enduro, scooter, etc.) should be chosen based on your riding experience. I wouldn't recommend thinking to yourself "Ah, I'll get used to it." and getting something out of yourleague. Better to get something you are COMPLETELY comfortable with and hone your island skills on that before you upgrade. If driving on the left in a car makes you nervous, start with a scooter. Even if you only have it for a month and decide then that you need something bigger, at least you became familiar with the island's roads and drivers and you will be better prepared for your next bike and then you can upgrade when you are comfortable. Better safe than sorry, right?
Oh, and get a real helmet. Since we DO have a helmet law here, we must wear something, but that 'something' could be any kind of helmet. I've seen people wearing skateboard helemts on their bikes. Even polo helmets! My last brain bucket was one of those little beanie cap styles, with a little sticker on the inside that said, "Novelty helmet - Not to be used on any motorized vehicle, highway or off-raod use." Great for keeping the police from pulling meover...not so great for keeping the police from hitting me. Caused some seriouse damage to my head and cost over $20,000 at the Schneider Medical Center. I was always one of those guys that rode without, when I could. I wear a DOT approved helmet now.
And, some bennies of 2 wheels: great mileage, no traffic (we can ride down the middle here), no parking problems, easy maintenance, get a good tan, extra protein (from the bugs in your teeth-haha!).
Just my 2 pennies.
Do you go about registering a scooter the same way as you do a car there? This sounds like a descent idea to me. I am rather leary of driving on the left side in a car any ways. What about insurance?
Yep, just like a car with the registration, plate, inspection, insurance, laws, etc. I mean, technically it is illegal to ride down the middle of the road to bypass traffic, but it accepted here to the degree that I pass police cars that are stuck in traffic and they don't even bat an eye. I've even met a motorcycle cop coming the other way down the middle doing the same thing as me! haha! That was hard for us to get around each other,in between the cars stuck there and all! haha!
While I was in Stx I didn't see that many bikes being ridden or for sale. Me and my wife moved there and I was having a 125cc scooter shipped to me. While I was waiting I tried to buy a helmet on the island and couldn't find one. I even checked with the store in Cstd that sells Harley shirts etc.. Personaly I think a 125cc or larger bike/scooter would be fine but as others have pointed out be careful of other drivers.
Scott also in ME
Yep,no place to buy a real helmet on STT, either. Got mine from eBay. Gotta love these computers!
Just a quick question regaurding shops on the islands.I am a factory trained Harley, Honda,Yamaha, and Polaris tech w/ several years of experiance. I have many connections here stateside for used parts and bikes. Would it be a lucrative venture to setup a used bike shop with full maint facilities? I plan on PMV in Aug or Sept.
While on your PMV, stop in at Caribbean Battery and talk to Art. He will be able to give you the lowdown on why he closed that part of his business. Also stop in at Moto Gnassi and they can fill you in on how their scooter biz is doing. Both on STT, that is.
Thanks for the heads up. I might have to hit up STT also but am leaning towards STX.
Of course, there's always the phone! www.viphonebook.com