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Registering a Honda VFR-800 V-Tech 2009


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Been down to the Prefecture at Saint Brieuc, Brittany this afternoon armed with all documents needed to register my UK motorcycle.  Unfortunately, 'computer says no' ... as the Type/Variant/Version comes up with a choice of 2 different numbers and NOT the one on my UK CofC.  So where do I go from here?  The woman at the prefecture says I'm to contact Honda UK for the 'correct' number.  I somehow think that this isn't going to be a smooth ride!

Any advice please?

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I registered my pre-VTEC VFR at Niort with little effort. I didn't have a CoC initially and had to send to Honda France for mine (100€). Having received that, the rest was easy.

I don't understand the type numbers problem; does the VIN on the CoC match the number stamped on the frame?


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  • 2 weeks later...
Think before you start down this long road. 

It can be done.  I registered my UK origin 2007 VFR vtec abs in Haute Savoie, thanks to dogged determination and a lot of help and advice from my local Honda Dealer in Thonon-Les-Bains.  Basically it ended up being a slow 11 months long, multi-stage process which was pricey, but still ended up being a lot cheaper than buying equivalent French registered VFRs.  I was very thankful I started off with a full year MOT and tax on the bike in the UK as it saved return trips.

Basically you write to the Service Homologation at Honda Motor Europe (South) S.A.S in Paris asking for their assistance to register your UK bike in France - if you enclose a copy of your UK V5 it will save one round of paperwork and delays.  NB - Stuff seems to routinely go astray for months within Honda Europe so always send letters by recorded delivery and make copies of everything and never send them original papers.  They seem to have just one person authorised to do this work who is hopelessly overloaded and always on holiday so numerous phone calls will get you nowhere!

Ages later, they will write back, helpfully explaining what you already know - the bike is too powerful to register in France and politely suggesting you may be better off buying a new one from them - but if you really want to proceed, they will also attach a heap of forms and guidance explaining in French what you would need to register the bike in France.   Lurking in that heap is the bad news - you will need to change not just the headlights but also the whole PGM-FI fuel injection module (and HISS coded keys) to the equivalent French version which produces just 100 HP (but I have discovered it returns a lot better fuel consumption than the UK unit).  If you decide to buy the parts new, they will cost a bit over 2,000 euro, and the work must be certified as done by an accredited Honda Dealership.

If you get on well with the local dealer they may help you source suitable second hand units at lower cost - but they still have to sign an attestation to confirm they have made the required modifications - so they must remove the old bits and check and fit suitable replacements before they will be willing to sign and stamp the "attestation de transformation" form, which once complete you will need to send back to Honda with a copy of the dealers invoice for the work and a cheque to Honda Europe (3 years ago was  for 120 euro).  Ages later they will stamp that form and post it back to you with a certificate of Partial Compliance.  

This is where I went wrong, as I assumed I had everything necessary and went to the prefecture got a tax clearance certificate, and then sat for ages in the prefecture queue only to find - no I needed more forms.  Basically you actually need to arrange for a vehicle inspection by the local branch of DEKRA (the French equivalent of DVLA) - ring them first they will tell you where to send the Partial Compliance certificate and copies of all the other forms you have so far rounded up (V5, attestation, tax form, Vehicle registration request form etc.  A few days later you will receive by post a date/location for the inspection which physically takes less than 10 minutes but will cost another 60? Euro.  DEKRA basically check the chassis and engine numbers tally with the UK VIN form and the various papers from Honda Europe.  They also check the modifications have been made and the French Anti tamper seal has been fitted to the PGM-FI unit.  They do not ride it - just check the forms tie up!

However a few days later you will receive a temporary French registration certificate and a few days later the new style carte gris will arrive.  You then have a week to fit new number plates, arrange French insurance and send DVLA the exported vehicle bit of the V5 together with your old tax disc and a completed tax refund request (available online) with a copy of the French vehicle registration paperwork to show the date on which it was accepted onto the French registration system and the date on which any tax disc refund would be assessed.  Finally notify your UK insurer - asking for a statement of NCB entitlement.

Other points you will find it very difficult if not impossible to get French insurance cover on a VFR if you have not held a full motorcycle licence for at least 5 years and are over 25.  I spent ages looking for good quotes and eventually arranged cover via AXA club 14 - a very well spec'd mutual insurance policy with discounts for FFMC members.  Your HISS immobiliser and pretty much any UK sourced security equipment is not recognised by the French equivalent of Thatcham so you will be buying a U lock with the FFMC approval.

If you need help PM me.


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I am astonished. [:-))]

I have looked at the specifications of my VFR, 1998 and of the later VTEC model, and both appear on the web as having a power output of 110hp, so I don't understand the problem. Certainly for the Prefecture at Niort [79] there was no problem at all, and the lengthiest time was waiting for Honda in Paris (as it was back in 2004 when I registered mine) to send me my paperwork.

What was the headlamp change? From what to what? My bike, UK spec, has a E13 mark on it and has a flat beam cutoff; it wasn't a requirement that I must change it.

Mind you, we hear tales of other vehicle registration difficulties, caravans for example, where some owners give up because of the obstacles that some departmental officials put in their way, and we know that different départements interpret the rules differently. I registered a 20-year-old caravan with just a little more effort for than the bike.

I'm really sorry to hear about this as it is depriving you of some excellent riding on these roads, and I would definitely prefer to stick with the bike I know already.

Insurance too has never been an issue here. Maybe because I'm in the favoured age group now! [blink]

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  • 3 months later...
Thank you all very much for your input especially alpinejohn for his thorough response.

I received the letter from Honda this week (it only took 3 months), and as alpinejohn had predicted, it says that the bike is too powerful and I should either not bring it to France or if it is here then re export it back to Britain; no heap of forms no practical suggestions.

Out of interest, does anyone know if it is possible to circumvent Honda and to get the bike to French spec without their immediate involvement.  If there are forms then these might be available elsewhere, and (I am guessing here) if the work is carried out by an approved Honda dealer then the boxes should be properly ticked.  It seems that the time is wasted waiting for Honda to get back.

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I had the same problems as alpinejohn, although my bike is a ST1300 Pan European.

I tried to get Honda UK to send me the correct COC but when they checked the one they had sent me they said that that was the correct one.

I was also told by Honda France that my bike was too powerful for France and should not bring it here....

My local dealer contacted Honda France by phone and the relevant paperwork was sent to me. It was four pages where you had to list the part numbers (e number) of things like exhausts, tyres, spark plugs/caps, mirrors, chassis, engine and all lights including rear reflecters. (IIRC).

Dealer changed the ECU/PGMFI and keys and signed/stamped all documentation. Visit to DREAL/DRIRE to confirm that E numbers tallied, as alpinejohn states 10 min job.

Eventually got Carte Gris 10 months after initial contact with Honda France.

So you have got to persevere.

Good luck.
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  • 8 months later...

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