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Is it normal to offer a test ride on new bikes?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Gobbledegeek, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. I wouldn't dream of buying a new car unless I could take it out for a spin. I mentioned this to a local dealer and they said I could if there was a second-hand one in stock. He said that the new models weren't ready to ride and needed the battery connected etc. My uninformed theory is that they don't have demo models and adding kms to a new bike will obviously affect value.

    I was just wondering whether when buying a new bike from a dealer, it was normal practice to take it for a short test ride?

  2. Sounds as if that dealer didn't have a demo of the bike you wanted to test at the time. It can be pot luck as to what a dealer has in their test range. They'll take a loss if they offer a new bike as a test ride whereas there is much less depreciation for them on a second hand bike.
    Ducati for instance used to have a rolling test ride fleet carried around Aust in their big red truck. Nowadays this only comes out at the Turismo. I read in the magazines that Buell and Harley have a dealer test schedule. FWIW Honda Aust, used to have a range of test bikes at Tullamarine that could be booked via a dealer.
  3. I was at a major Kwaka dealer recently and asked to test ride one of the 2nd hand bikes... the salesman said "we don't allow that, unless we've agreed on a price and you're progressing with the purchase".

    I could start it up, look it over top to bottom, bounce it up and down, rev it... but unless I had negotiated a price, there was no test ride on offer.

    From a consumer's point of view, that sucks.

    I said, "well if I negotiated a sale subject to the test ride, how would that fly?". Answer was, that it would fly.

    That's a lot of effort and ink to go through to get a ride.
  4. To me it's not just 'normal practice' but an 'essential practice' - no way am I just making any major financial outlay on a bike just off ride reports in mags and a look around the thing. Having said that, I can see it from a dealer and safety/depreciation point POV (I've ridden newies with the speedo cable detached and then reattached when I got back), they also get heaps of tyre-kickers and thrillseekers sniffing around who don't go thru to a sale. Luckily I've purchased from dealers who've allowed the test option, or I've tagged onto a dealer's 'come and ride 'em' days and grabbed a free BBQ feed to boot :)
  5. You should try being a learner looking for a new bike. Absolutely no chance of ever getting a test ride.......
  6. It may not help you in your situation, but I think there is a degree to which if the dealer knows you they may be more likely to allow a test ride.
    I've been offered quite a few Ducati test rides and I rarely knock them back.
  7. Can't test ride second hand bikes - no way, that is ludicrous.

    I always ring up when I see a bike I want to test ride and most of the sales people ask "So you ready to buy" and I tell them "Always ready" when all I want is to see how the bike goes. But some persist on and say that if I make an offer and it is accepted they will "hold the bike for me" - "aw gee thanks"

    I can see the point in new bikes not being able to be ridden. And it is hard for dealers to have every single model available for demo but in the big cities (and as you are in Bendigo, I don't know how many bike shops are there) you can normally find a close to new second hand model somewhere else to check out, and you might even be amazed at the savings and buy it.
  8. Try harder.

    If you can make it/like Yammys, go to http://www.frankstonyamaha.com.au/ and book yourself in.
  9. I also got to test ride a Honda CBF250 at redwing. Was offered a test ride of second hand Yamaha Virago at Clipstone in Ringwood. Also a VTR250 at Metro Honda. You just have to ask.
  10. Many thanks for your replies , gentlefolk. I seemed to have omitted the fact that I'm a learner looking to purchase my first bike, sorry.
  11. I test rode a DR650SE at Action Motorcycles Parramatta. A $15k custom SR400 cafe racer at Deus Ex Machina in Annandale. A Royal Enfield Bullet at motocyclio at St Peters, A TW200 at Action in the city. No problems at any of these places. Be polite, don't ask to ride the 'effin fastest bike they have and they'll help you as much as any other customer.
  12. Don't know about that, 2 of the places I went to said go for it.
  13. I've only really had experience test riding 250's, but every single dealer here in Perth that i went to was happy for me to test ride them. I think its got a lot to do with how you present yourself. I mean, the salesman makes a judgement as to how "genuine" you look and if you look dodgy as well. Cause i know that some people have been refused test rides at the same dealers who were happy for me to.
  14. A1 in Ringwood lets learners test ride their bikes.

    Personally, I think it's ridiculous that dealers won't let seriously-interested parties take a new bike for a test ride.

    What's the difference between a new bike and a new car? Okay, you can throw a bike down the road, but car dealers will happily let anyone take their brand new vehicles away for an hour or so and do God knows what with them.

    If the dealer isn't confident handing over the bike, then the sales rep can get onto a second bike and follow the customer during the test ride to make sure they're (a) able to ride and (b) not being stupid.

    If that's too much effort, then tough. The bikes are insured, the customer signs an indemnity, none of this stuff is rocket science for Pete's sake.

    Thing is, dealers will get away with this nonsense just as long as there are people who actually WILL hand over 15 large for a new bike they haven't ridden...
  15. Almost everywhere I looked (this was back in November) offered me a test-ride... is this one of those things that is different depending on your gender? Are dealers more trusting of females?
  16. I thought that was bleeding obvious :p

    I reckon you should call a few dealers organise a few in a day around the city, and just hit the town with your gear in tow. kinda sucks test riding in the city if you don't know any backroads and such a lot of the cbd is now 40kph. I suggest you try some suburban dealers
  17. That was posted in response to Cambo's post:

    I just wanted to clarify that I was indeed a learner looking for a new bike :)

    Good idea, thanks.
  18. Just out of interest, whats involved in the indemnity that you sign?
    I pressume that you just pay the insurance excess and for your own injuries? is it ever the case that the test bikes are not insured and a test rider may have to pay the replacement cost?
  19. Clipstone gave you a test ride? :shock: :shock: :shock:

    On all occasions that they've had something I was interested in (used bikes each time) they've given me the ridiculous 'buy' before you test ride spiel.

    I've never had any problems anywhere else...

    FWIW, Online Motorcycles in Albury traditionally have a pretty good test fleet and are usually more than happy for you to take an extended (ie. half day or more) test ride. Last year, when I was last in there, they even had a Multistrada demonstrator.
  20. i know that when i do go for another bike, i won't have a problem getting a test coz a few of them know i am coming off my p's and will shortly be looking to upgrade.

    walk around the shop, having a look asking questions first dont just walk in and ask can i take x bike for a test ride get to know the sales reps and it will make it all that much easier, maybe walk in a couple of times and look around before asking this will show you are genuinly looking to make a purchase not just taking what ever you can get for a spin