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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading a lot of posts about young riders wanting to go in and get a "test ride" on a 600 this or that. The only dealer test rides I've ever heard of is "I have the money right here to put in your hand, if I like it I'll buy it and if I wreck it I buy it".

So, has anyone been to a motorcycle dealership that just lets someone take off on a bike like a test drive in a car? :eek:

Or have I been patronizing cynical dealers? :eek:
 

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I have never ever ever been in a dealer that would let you test ride anything brand new in a sport bike, which sucks. Can't say I blame them for that one. Maybe they would if you were on REAL good terms with them. I never asked about new cruisers so that might be different. I've been in a few that will let you test ride used stuff if you have a licence. Our local dealer that just sells used stuff will let a guy test ride also. Almost all of them will let you try out a 4 wheeler before you buy.
 

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I think all motorcycle dealers should have at least one demo model of all the bikes they sell, or at least the most popular.
This way the customer can test ride a bike the same or similar they are interested in, but not necessarily be test riding a brand new bike. The customer should have a MC license, of course.
If an accident or damage happens to a demo model, it won't cost the dealer as much as replacing or reparing a new bike and it also won't put any miles on any new bikes.
IMHO, I think getting a customer to test ride a bike will increase the chances of a sale and make up for any possible costs or damages to have a few demo models.
 

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***So, has anyone been to a motorcycle dealership that just lets someone take off on a bike like a test drive in a car? ***

I have. I rode up to a Victory dealer last year,(70 miles) just to see what it was all about. The dealer found out I kinda liked the Kingpin so he said, "Here, lemme get you the key, take it for a ride, take it home for the weekend, check it out, see whatcha think" I was like,...uh,..OK. ( it was a 3 yr. old 100ci Kingpin.) (Beautiful ride)
Ofcorse, I did ride up on my own bike, which I had to leave there, and he made a copy of my drivers license and insurance card. He also let me ride a "Vegas" Now, THAT was cool.
The Harley dealer here has special "Tent" sales a couple times a year, and they let you test ride stuff. but I think they make you sit thru a little siminar or something first.
 
G

I think all motorcycle dealers should have at least one demo model of all the bikes they sell, or at least the most popular.
This way the customer can test ride a bike the same or similar they are interested in, but not necessarily be test riding a brand new bike. The customer should have a MC license, of course.
If an accident or damage happens to a demo model, it won't cost the dealer as much as replacing or reparing a new bike and it also won't put any miles on any new bikes.
IMHO, I think getting a customer to test ride a bike will increase the chances of a sale and make up for any possible costs or damages to have a few demo models.
I COMPLETELY agree.
This just makes so much sense and it would be VERY nice.
The only reason I could think of regarding why dealers don't do this is that their libability insurance premium would sky rocket. Today's consumers are too quick to file a lawsuit when something goes wrong...even AFTER signing a liability waiver.

Harley does demo-days/demo-rides, Victory will let you set-up an appointment to go in for a test-ride on one of their models, and some local dealers may let you take a USED bike for sale on a ride around the parking lot. Other than that, I don't think there's much test-riding allowed.
 

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The dealer I bought from didn't allow test rides -- said insurance doesn't allow it. But the salesman said sometimes they have an open house where they allow test rides. I just wanted to know the friction point on the bike I was interested in and the salesman got real nervous when I turned on the bike and had it in gear (but didn't let the clutch out).

It's a shame. I bought my bike based mostly on reviews on the Internet. I scoped out the bike I wanted and then went to my car and surfed the web for reviews, issues, prices, etc. and then bought after having the salesman drive the bike around the parking lot so I could hear the exhaust. Luckily, the model I wanted was popular so there was lots of information to go on.

Dennis
 

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test ride

Well our Harley dealer let me take the bike for a half day before I paid for it
it was a used 2006 flhtcui so he had my bike there to and a copy of my
Ins. paperers but I told him if he wanted to sell the bike to me I needed to test drive it. so his manager said OK .Bob H D
 

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Being an old retail accountant, I think of dollars. It would probably be cost prohibitive for a dealer to stock demos for his major sellers. Most manufacturers have a 90 day free floor plan, which means the dealer can have the unit for 90 days without paying for it. Hopefully, within that time, it will be sold. If they keep it past that time, depending on their contract with the manufacturer, they must either pay for the unit or pay interest on it. It doesn't take long for the interest on a unit not selling to build up and eat up any profit from its sale. For a small dealer, that could very easily put him out of business. So, you have to look at it from the dealer's perspective, too.
 

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I think its crappy that they dont allow for test rides... i mean what happens if you buy the bike... and the next day you return it because its unconfortable...i doubt they take the bike back and refund all the money.
 

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I think its crappy that they dont allow for test rides... i mean what happens if you buy the bike... and the next day you return it because its unconfortable...i doubt they take the bike back and refund all the money.
A few years ago I bought a used 750 Honda from the dealer. I did the normal look, set on it and listen to it and asked to ride it. No way. They did say that if I bought it they would hold the papers and let me try it out and could return it if I didn't like it. I did buy it and took it for a spin around town and it was fine. Going home, about 40 miles my back and tail bone were in pain. I hated the seat and didn't like the forward controls. I put up with them and eventually sold it to my son in law. He is about 5' 9" and loves it. I got the same story at the local Harley shops a year or so ago. It does suck.
 
G

Most HD dealers will rent you a bike, which does cost you money, but you can give it a much more thorough workout than a simple test drive.

I took out a Buell Ulysses recently, the owner had it as his company car. He commuted on it and then let people test ride it.
 

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Most HD dealers will rent you a bike, which does cost you money, but you can give it a much more thorough workout than a simple test drive.

I took out a Buell Ulysses recently, the owner had it as his company car. He commuted on it and then let people test ride it.
How did you like the Ulysses? I rode a friends for 15 minutes, thought the seat was very high up, fast and different. I am looking at the Lightning 60cubic inch model myself.
 
G

How did you like the Ulysses? I rode a friends for 15 minutes, thought the seat was very high up, fast and different. I am looking at the Lightning 60cubic inch model myself.
I actually didn't like it, and I was surprised. I started out on a street/trail, and like the looks, but I wasn't comfortable on the bike. I can't even put my finger on what was wrong, it was just a feeling.

I did like the engine, I was at 70 before I even thought I was doing 40, and the brakes are incredible.

It had the tall windshield, which kept blowing my face shield open.
 

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Yes, I've test ridden several new bikes...at a BMW dealership. I can't say they have every model available, in fact I'm fairly certain that they don't, but they do keep several demo models around. I just had to show MCDL & Ins., they made a copy of both, and off I went. Oh, they also insisted that you have safety gear. I'm not sure precisely what they required, as I normally wear helmet, gloves, jacket, pants & boots...I believe they required at least some kind of helmet.
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the responses

I know when I was shopping for my bike I went to several dealers; in 2 states. It became comical to me. It was almost a game to see if any salesman would offer me a test ride. I never asked for a test ride - the body language was just such an obvious, "Oh, hell no, don't even ask!"

When I go car shopping a salesman will quickly try to get me going for a test drive.

While it makes a lot of sense to me, especially if I was the owner, about the saftey concerns. I can just picture this Monday happening: Standing in the showroom I see my salesman Bob put an 18 year-old newly licensed MC operator on a new Kaw 14, a smoking takeoff and crash into the side of another customer's new Lexus. That's how my Monday's go. :eek:

But I was 45 years old when I was shopping for my last bike. When they asked about financing I explained that my banker told me, "When you find what you want just write a check." I looked at Yamaha 600 (nekkid - it damn near followed me home!), HD line up, Honda cruisers, Kaw 1000, and a Bandit that was painted tan (factory - the poor thing! Tan!). I even considered riding the bus out to Kentucky to pick up a Triumph Speed Triple to ride home.

When I walked in another dealer and saw a teal Bandit - that was it. The Speed 3 came in 2nd and the Kaw 1k came in 3rd. I bought it without even hearing it run! Consolation was that it still had a considerable factory warranty remaining. So either I was easy to please or I just got lucky. I had done a lot of research on the Internet.

It is interesting that so many of you have had different experiences - that dealers are allowing test/demo rides and "take home for the weekend".
 

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Hey gumby, if you think that tan bike was ugly, you should see the paint jobs on some of the new Harleys. They're a two-tone with brown as one color, and I think blue was the other. They were lined up at a motorcycle rally last summer here at the lake, and even my Harley Fan friend turned to me and said, "What in the h--- are they doing? Why did they paint them that color?" Great bikes, except for the color.
 

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Hey gumby, if you think that tan bike was ugly, you should see the paint jobs on some of the new Harleys. They're a two-tone with brown as one color, and I think blue was the other. They were lined up at a motorcycle rally last summer here at the lake, and even my Harley Fan friend turned to me and said, "What in the h--- are they doing? Why did they paint them that color?" Great bikes, except for the color.
I agree on the Harley color thing. What are they thinking?
 
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