If the bike is "pre" emmisions it should be no big deal. Do they perform emision testing in your area?-with a sniffer up the tailpipe? If not you should be ok. I had a Canada model Suzuki Katana that was lacking some of the US emissions and it proved to have more power than the US model by about 4-6 hp. My state does not perform emission testing, so after an inspection at the highway patrol office I was off to get my tags. It was no big deal at all.
You have to go through Customs then DOT conformity. You'd be better of finding the bike locally. It'll be a real pain in the a$$ going through the conformity faze. Warranties don't transfer from Canadian bikes to comformed US bikes, too.
i've done it twice with new bikes from nelson bc. even traded a us triumph. It ain't fun, but its not life changing or anything. use the dealer and make sure you discuss it with the border chief of where you plan to enter the us. then expect some small hassles, fees and duty.
I've done it, it's not bad. Bought in Montreal, drove to the border, showed the customs guy the receipt. He issued me an import form (the fee was $35 or thereabouts). Took the import form, the canadian title and plates to the VA dmv. There was a slight delay while the gophers there ran around to make sure it was the right form. Then I was issued a title and plates, and told I needed to have it inspected within 30 days (just the regular safety inspection that any dealer or service station does for $5).
It's sad, really. The emmissions regulations in the US and Canada are so stringent that there's no reason to make a big deal about importing from one or the other. Maybe a couple of decades ago it made sense when the US more stringent. Not today.
I take that back. There is a reason. Jobs for bureaucrats. Just think of all the paper work. The added bonus for the bureaucrat is that he gets to make your life miserable. Like the bureaucrats that shut down the 9 year old girl's lemonade stand. Petty, nasty and vicious..... while pretending to be acting for the public good.
To move a motorcycle from Canada into the US that you are purchasing, you will have to hire a customs broker. They do the customs paperwork and collect the taxes on behalf of the US customs officials. I have worked with A & A Contract Customs Brokers on deals like this (aacbusa.com), and they are good. If you want your bike transported to you, you will have to work with a motorcycle mover that goes into Canada, like the one I work at - MoverQuest. Also, check your state DMV requirements for licensing a used motorcycle. In California for example, if it has less than 7500 miles on it, and no CA Emissions Stickers, you can't register it. A motorcycle won't have the CA stickers unless it was originally sold in CA. No sense in buying a motorcycle that you can't register. Hope this helps.
I purchased a new KLR 650 in Calgary AB and the the only things you have to do are ,you need a letter from Kawasaki stating that the bike meets US emissions standards and the speedometer has to read in mph.The letter from Kawasaki is easy to get they do it all the time . I made a phone call to US Kawasaki and they faxed the letter to me in about 20 min.I used a digital speedo from aerostich and installed it on the bike at the dealership.Some of the bikes speedometers read in MPH and KPH in which case nothing needs to be done.It took about 15 min at the border crossing with the two bikes we purchased and that was all there was to it. the down side is if you are worried about warranty work most US dealers will not do warranty work on Canadian bikes ,you will have to take it back to Canada for warranty work.
I've done it a couple of times with no real hassles. Contacting the border chief at the border crossing you intend to use is helpful, but I encountered no problems (Just a fee for import). You could also take the US plates off one of your other bikes, throw it on the new one, and ride accross the border without problems, but that would be illegal. No problems at all registering the bike in OR.