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Test ride with no experience

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by Syd_Chiro, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone> Just a quick question. what did everyone who had no prior experience do when it came to test riding a new bike? I mean I have done the learners course but dont really want my first on road experience to be test riding a new bike...How do we test it? do i just suck up my testicles and go for it possibly to the horror of the sales staff as i stall and creep my way out with a new bike....would they even allow this to happen? do I just try sitting on it and have a mate who is experienced test ride and go by there judgement....just curious cause its the only thing holding me back from my first bike. Ta

  2. You sign a HUGE excess, if you drop the bike you gotta pay around $2,000 - or usually cheaper to just buy it.

    Or get a mate to pillion you somewhere and you can have a ride around in a quiet street
  3. yeah good idea....might try a mate to take it somewhere for me....of course with my knowledge even a lawnmower will probably feel pretty sweet! but thanks for the tip!
  4. My first two test-rides after getting my Learner Permit, I went to a dealership, signed paperwork that basically said "You break it, you bought it", and off I went, all wobbly-like.

    No way that I could have picked anything subtley wrong with the bikes by riding them, of course, unless it was something obvious like "front wheel is missing". ;) I was more interested in whether or not I liked how they rode and whether I could be comfortable riding them.

    Most dealerships are okay with testriding (with the aforementioned mountain of paperwork). Sumoto refused to let me testride a Hornet 250 (Sumoto was the only way to get one at the time), I told them to get f***ed and took my cold hard cash elsewhere. :p

    Once I knew what bike I wanted to own, I looked through private sales instead (often cheaper). Found one, testrode it (to see if there were any obvious mechanical faults) and bought it.

    Had to replace the fork oil due to them not having been replaced, but the VTR250 was otherwise sweet. :)

    In both cases, I had an experienced motorcycley friend with me... more for moral support than anything else. And to help me pick up scratches and other minor damage that my bikelust and excitement may have caused me to ignore. Buying a bike's an exciting time!
  5. Given that your first ride in the time you're most likely to drop/crash - be prepared for the 2-3 grand excess. But because of this, they usually will let you ride it - even without experience (as long as you have Ls).
  6. I was in the same situation as you Syd_Chiro

    I went out with a mate and sat on a bunch of bikes to see which ones felt comfortable for me. Then I started looking at private sales, first bike I tested was a Spada and we had met at a pertol station (can you say nervous exiting the petrol station after going over a speed hump and then out for the first time on a real road on someone else's bike :shock: )

    Well both bike and I survived and never had a problem from private sellers giving me a test ride, was relaxed after the first test.
  7. I went test riding the day after getting my Ls (which I'm still amazed I passed!). I survived the dealership testride on a 2nd hand bike. I was absolutely appauling and was glad to get it back in one piece. I liked the bike, but I only liked it because it had the right appearance and the seating position felt about right for me. I coudn't have said if it ran well or not. I had no idea about bikes :oops:

    I'd say sit on as many as you can to get a feel for if you feel secure enough on it, then get a friend who knows bikes to ride it for you. Unless you're feeling a little more confident to test them yourself. Some shops won't let you, but most will.
  8. My experience:

    Myfirst test ride was a rather big one :-O ... i think it really depends on how quick the person is able to pick up new skills :S

    After i got my provisional license, I went to testride a bike a few days later. The guy who was selling it (on behalf of his wife because he bought her a R6) told me to follow him on his R1.

    I don't think the bloke ever knew i was a noob because the first thing he did was to take me into the Gold Coast hinterland and then afterwards out onto the Highway that connects Brisbane with the Gold Coast.

    Coming back from the 30 minute ride he told dad
    "Your son seems to be quite competent on the bike"
    but in reality i pretty much shat my pants, the ride took me a tad beyond my comfort zone.

    I reckon the best way is to be prepared to pay up if u do damage it. Also take it niceeee and slowwww :]
  9. Didn't test ride mine before I bought it. I figured that having never ridden another bike (apart from the CB250 on the L's course) I had nothing to compare to anyway!

    What I did do was read a lot of reviews about the bike and I had a good sit on it at the dealer to ensure it felt comfortable. The dealer did offer me the option to test ride it up and down the lane behind the dealership but they did have a $3000 excess! I was tempted but felt there was more risk than benefit to be had.

    This is my first bike and I would only be doing 80km/h max and mainly commuting, so anything would do really. If I really hated it I would sell it after 1 year still with a years warranty left on it and probably get what I paid for it.
  10. Also just to point out - there isn't much point test riding if its to see if the bike is in good nick - as a newbie you won't be able to tell. Best to take it to mechanic or take a motorcycle mechanically minded or at least experienced riding friend with you who can ride it and inspect it better than you can.
  11. I didn't test ride my bike, im getting my L's soon so hopefully it should be alright (after i put the bike back together :) )
  12. I went to a local dealer the day after I got my L's and test rode 3 very different bikes to get an idea of what would suit me - a Yamaha scorpio, GS500 and 250 Intruder Cruiser.
    They let me drive it up a road behind the dealership to a lookout and I did some slow speed stuff up there.
    I thought I'd like the cruiser but in fact hated it so it was worth doing the test rides.
    In the end I bought a second hand bike but I have a better idea of what I'm going for when I go for a newer, bigger bike soon.

    Also I was itching to get on a bike after the course and I had a great time just riding the 3 bikes for a bit more practice!!! :grin:
  13. If you dont have any experience whats the point in test riding it? you arent really going to know if anything is wrong with it, if you want to test how comfortable it is, you can just sit on it while its parked. If you want to check to see if theres anything wrong with it, you are better off bringing an experienced rider with you and they can let you know how the bike goes.

    I didnt test ride my bike but i sat on it and it felt comfortable enough. I brought my dad with me whos been riding for over 30 years to test ride it for me.
  14. I was looking at bikes in the city for my first bike, so there was no way I was going to test ride them.
    I asked the sales guy to take me for a ride (me as the pillion) which worked out well. We came back and told me a few things that needed sorting and said that their garage would fix it up for me before I took it home. Great service (Ray Quincey's -Melb)
  15. I agree but disagree on that.

    Some of the ergonomic 'decisions' I've encountered on bikes suddenly make sense while you're in motion, actually riding, and make no sense at all when the bike's propped up on a centrestand or you're propping up the bike with one foot in the shop.

    ... Unless you can convince your mate to hold the ducktail of the bike steady for half an hour while you make "VROOOM!" noises in the shop with both feet on the pegs as you work the gear and brake levers. :)
  16. My first test ride was at a dealership, 1 week after I got my L's. they wheeled the bike out for me, and I get on and just look it over, and the salesman comes out and says "anything wrong".
    And I go "nah just getting used to the controls"
    they said "just ride it to do that"
    so I did
    It was going really really well (ie no drops it handled well and was pretty comfy) until I got back to the dealership and stalled it in their driveway :roll:
  17. I bought my hornet privately ... when test riding, the understanding was .. I dump the bike..I own it. Fair enuff I thought. :p
  18. I rekon you'd be too green to know what the bike should feel like anyway.

    Take someone whose been riding a while IMO.