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Test ride duration - how long is enough to know?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by GoTeam, May 26, 2009.

  1. < 1 hour is enough to know

  2. 1-2 hours is enough to know

    0 vote(s)
  3. 2-4 hours is enough to know

    0 vote(s)
  4. 4+ hours to less than 1 day is enough

    0 vote(s)
  5. Its never long enough

    0 vote(s)
  1. After reading Jellikit's thread that had me thinking that maybe he/she didn't go for a long enough test ride of the TL prior to deciding to buy it. I'm sure that any bike bigger than a 250 seems awesome in comparison so the extra power and most likely better handling would probably skew an overall assessment of a bike if you only rode it for a short time.

    I've heard of some getting a bike to test for the day. I'd guess you'd know by then whether or not you want that particular bike. I know with my previous car, a 20 minute test drive didn't highlight how uncomfortable it is after 5 continuous hours behind the wheel. Thankfully, my current cage is a lot better (body parts don't start complaining until I've done 7-8 non-stop hours). Anyway, how long has it taken (minimum) for you in the past to sort out whether or not a bike is good for you? Your answers would be a useful guide to us newcomers as to how long we should be going for test rides.
  2. if it hasn't hooked me within the first 5 mins (once you get out and way from the traffic lights) it never will
  3. Spot on. My 400 had me cackling like a loony within about a minute of climbing on board. Not that that means a real lot. I've been guilty of purchasing a couple of bikes just 'cause they sound cool. For the life of me I can't figure out why people need to get on an internet forum and ask for public approval before they make a purchase. Personally, I think they secretly sit down to p!ss. But that's just me :LOL: :LOL:
  4. In the first 5 mins a bike that simply doesn’t suit you will be very apparent, but even after a few weeks of riding you will still be getting used to a new bike (At least if it is a big change).
    So if you liked it during the test ride, but are finding it a little hard to live with you have to start thinking of why, and how to match up with it.
    The R6 I am now on, I clicked with right off the mark, but then the first couple of weeks were agony on my clutch hand, and the back was all scittery… After that I had worked out the riding position so the hand didn’t hurt, and got the suspension dialled in a little better.
    Now I am just starting to really get some fun out of the bike.
    So 5 minutes is enough, but a week is still to short
  5. Really its not so much how long, but what sort of riding you do. If you do everything, commute every day, fast hills weekends, normal touring holidays, you need to do at least a bit of all of that to find out what its like. You might be able to handle its not the best tourer, cause its tops in traffic. But if it sucks at traffic you just won't put up with it.

    If you just do hills on weekends, and get there through light traffic, then you need to ride that. In this case, you'll put up with it being usless in traffic as that isn't what you are on the bike for. But at least you know and you won't use it as you every day transport.

    If you have a huge list whittle it down with small rides until you have something managable. Then do it properly. Familar roads, etc so you can compare reasonably acurately. If it takes 4 hours for each bike, then so be it.

    I guess the way I think is, if you are buying new its at least $15k, and you'll be keeping it for probably 2-3 years minium (or at least that would be the plan). So thats a big investment to only go for a 5min ride. You want to be sure, not just pretty sure. I'm very fussy tho.
  6. I reckon a good hour is probably enough but to be on the safe side would say 1-2 hours just in case you wanted the extra time. Part of this would possibly relate to the purpose of the bike. If you're only looking to commute or cruise down the local cafe for a pose then it doesn't seem necessary to spend more time test riding than you'd spend on the bike in total anyway. If you're looking for a long distance tourer then you might want to spend more time to see how the fatigue factor stacks up.

    A few years back I test road a CBR600 and the first 15 mins were frickin awesome, you couldn't get the grin off my face with a crowbar. Give me another 15 minutes though and the forward leaning seating position was starting to niggle an old wrist injury and after 45 minutes it was clear this bike was not for me. Grin gone :(

    My most recent purchase I had for about an hour test riding which was enough to try it out on tight local roads, in traffic, some twisty roads, as well as some open highway. Effectively I got to put it through everything I was intending to use it for and I'm confident that any major issues about comfort or handling would have presented themselves within an hour of riding.
  7. Having just done the whole test ride thing in the last 2 weeks, I would vote for sub 1 hr (though we shall see if what I ended up with was indeed right for me, all good so far).

    As others have said, once you have done what you are buying it for (commute, boy racer, poser, twisties, touring, etc.) , you should have a pretty good idea if it's for you or not. While the touring thing would take more than an hour, if you are already sore before that, it's not for you.
  8. Its all a bit moot as it depends on how long the dealer will let you have it for, if they are sending someone with you then you aren't likely to be gone for an hour or more. Ideally i guess you'd like at least an hour, the first 5-10mins are still finding everything on the bike and how the power and handling work so i don't think they are useful for getting a good idea unless the bike is horribly uncomfortable. If you were serious it would be nice to have it for half a day to go about your normal business and see how it goes. When i was looking at the car and had narrowed it down to two, part of the selling of the one i bought was the dealer let me have it for 24hrs to drive to work, do the shopping, go for a spin in the hills etc and that sold me. Not expecting a bike dealer to do the same though.
  9. pls note...
    DO NOT contact private sellers asking for a test ride just so you can check out if the bike is for you - thats what dealers are for.
  10. For my first bike I bought, I did not test ride, it was an ebay buy, but I had sat on one before.

    For the Speed Triple, it was about a 20 min test ride following someone from the stealer. It was enough for me to decide that I liked the seating position, sound, brakes, weight, how it handled in traffic. One thing I noticed the day after I bought it that was after about 2 hours in the saddle, the seat is a bit uncomfy. That is fine as I am planning on getting a different seat, and the bike is primarily for work and town.

    For my new R1, I knew it was the sort of bike I wanted, as I am getting it just for weekend hills work, so all I wanted from the ride was to make sure it ran okay, and that I did not find the riding position too harsh.
  11. What you may have found if you had have been on it for a few weeks is that you would have changed your riding position to match what was needed and the bike would have become comfortable even with the gimpy wrist.
  12. It's a relative thing.

    I went with a street tripe R without bothering to ride it. Why? ... I'd been riding a scooter - even my friend's old hornet felt good in comparison.

    If you test ride a lot of bikes within your bracket, you need to keep a practical measure of the aspects you are comparing ... then you've got to deal with the issues with variables such as traffic, weather, etc.

    It's hard.

    Bike reviews are a great source of information ... but read lots of them. As are owners opinions.

    So for me ... a quick sit in the show room was enough for the current bike. Plus every bike has character ... what's not to like?!?

  13. In less than 10 miniutes all you are going to notice is the differences between your current ride and the test bike.

    You are not going to be able to assess whether the differences and the simularities amount to a better or worse bike or by how much.

    mind any more than an hour you are not going to gain much unless you've got it for the whole weekend or similar.

    So try and get 15 minutes.

    Of course if it's a private sale you are pushing it a bit at that.
  14. For all 3 of my bikes I've test ridden the bike a maximum of 10-15 minutes.

    When buying my zzr250 I didn't have my license so couldn't test ride it, got someone else to check it out for me before picking it up.

    I checked out sv650s in sydney before eventually buying one later, but that I didn't ride I was just pilion on back as didn't have my fulls at the time. When actually buying an SV I went down to canberra, rode it for the first time around ANU for about 15 minutes then bought it and got it back to sydney.

    The 929.. rode jake's cbr954 and it blew my mind and knew I wanted a piece of that insane power. After a month or so of ebaying I won a 929, after checking out to confirm it was as advertised - followed the owner in his s2000 for a bit I realised how deceptively it picks up speed :S.

    So in reality, if you research a bike enough you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect, so when it comes to test ride time its simply checking the bike is in order.

    If you're buying from a dealership though, if they get that you're serious about getting a bike they'll usually let you ride everything you want.
  15. I had some 'tard do that to me when I was trying to sell my old Spada. He even had the cheek to come back afterwards and tell me my bike sucked compared to a Bandit or whatever...

    If you're going to ask a private seller, at least be upfront about and say that's the only reason you want to test ride his bike lol.
  16. If it was the bike for him.....he might have bought it though :grin:

    Where are people going to test ride a spada at a dealer these days?.....sumoto? :LOL:

    If he liked a bandit over a Spada then you never had a chance anyway, it's like comparing a stool to a recaro :)
  17. I agree the first 5 minutes you will either like the generally feel of a bike. That's all a test ride is good for but if it feels good you probably can't go to wrong.

    After a couple of months of riding around you will know if it's a long termer or not. When you have owned a few bikes you will start to know what you need to look for in a bike. That helps make you a better judge during a test ride.
  18. no one even asked to test ride the 2 bikes i have sold. with the zx6 the guy got a mechanic to do a check over, the zzr the guy got his mate to check it over then gave me the cash, then his made rode it up the street 100m to check if the steering was straight then we signed the papers... simple.
  19. It sounds like an hour is plenty to work it out.

    After half an hour in a new rex today, that was enough for it to sell itself to me (the MY07 couldn't sell itself to me two years ago). Time to upgrade the MY07 Liberty soon methinks. :)