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test rides: should you or shouldn't you...

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by twainharte, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. what's your thoughts on letting prospective buyers test ride a bike that you have for sale?

    i've noticed some ads specify a cash deposit if one wants to test ride, some others mention NO TEST RIDES.

    when i've inspected bikes privately the sellers have offered to let me test ride. in some instances, for example when i was learning i had to decline cus i was on my L's and did not want to risk it.

    should some sort of deposit be put in hand, perhaps the full amount or maybe have the potential buyer sign some liabilty form before they start up the bike?


  2. A deposit is fair, make sure its enough to cover the insurance excess - enough so that your potential buyer realises that he has something to lose if he damages your bike.

    Not unreasonable at all - imagine buying a 30 or 40k harley privately, big risk to just let some one ride it...
  3. If they want test rides they can always go to a dealer.
  4. Test riding at a dealer doesn't mean the particular bike you're looking to purchase doesn't have problems.... I'd want to test ride a bike before I bought it for sure!!
  5. There's no way I'd buy without a test ride. If someone totally refuses a test then that bike is immediately suspect. It doesn't need to be a long ride but it needs to at least be long enough to make me feel confident that there's nothing really nasty there.

    But - it's reasonable to expect if you crash it - you pay for it, so an agreement of some kind is in order. Also the seller needs to make sure I am who I say I am and that I don't ride off into the sunset never to be seen again. :LOL:
  6. something to consider is also that most insurance policies do not cover you if you have let someone test ride your bike when your selling it.

    I know for sure that Swann specifically excludes claims arising from test rides.
  7. Would NEVER buy a bike without a test ride.
  8. I test rode my bike 2 years before I bought it.
  9. Me too woodsy,never buy without a try first.
  10. Typical noob without a clue response.
    99% of pre-purchase inspection tests can be done before a test ride is required. If all of those tests check out then the person should be prepared to put down a large deposit. Only then would it be reasonable to let them test ride it.
    Besides the only thing a test ride really tells you, which you wouldn't find out from normal inspection, is if the bike is reasonably straight.
    Add the fact that most riders don't know their arseholes from their elbows when it comes to mechanicals and you really do away with any reason to ride the bike.
    If the person wished for a 3rd party inspector to test the bike, then that is fine as they are usually covered by their own insurance.
    But if some knob rocks up, looks at the bike for a few minutes and says "can I test ride it", straight up I know that person doesn't have a clue and only wants to test ride to see if they 'like' the bike.
    And like I said in my previous post, if they're just window shopping to see what they like, they can fcuk off to a dealer.

    A serious buyer will check it over, haggle on price, arrange for an inspection, put a deposit and only then ask for a test ride.
  11. the 2 bikes i have bought i test rode, the first bike was my 250 the owner said yeah np go for it, the second guy was a bit more unsure, i simply said if i damage it i will pay for it, left, my license, with the guy, and he was fine with that, me personally that was what i considered fair, and would consider if i ever sell i bike i would do the same. Btw, most policies state they cover any rider/driver so long as they don't ride it more then 1 a month/regular ride (it's been noted on every policy i have ever had, but funny enough, it's very fine print).
  12. Jeez you're a grumpy ol' fart aren't ya? Touched a nerve there?

    You don't wanna give out test rides, great, that's your prerogative. I'm sure you've got your reasons.

    Me, I don't buy if I can't ride. Lots of people are the same. Good luck next time you're selling.
  13. I awlays clear this shit up on the phone - i sel a few cars and always check that A) they have driven a car the same as the one i am selling and 8) they already ahve the finance organised - if those 2 dont checkout i dont arange an inspection. Its not worth the effort.
  14. When I sold my gpx I let the guys brother take it for a test ride. They'd come near 300kms to check it out so I was on a pretty sure thing and it was obvious they were serious.

    I had no issues letting him take it for a run. The guy who the bike was for stayed with me as did his girlfriend.

    Came back from the ride and the deal was done.

    Also sent me a text about 4 weeks later telling me it was going great, which was damn nice of him.

    Glad he was happy had already used the money on the next bike.

    All that said it's the ony bike I've sold and I guess things could have gone arse up quite easily.

    If I was wanting a test ride I would be more than willing to drop a deposit before hand and think anyone who is fair dinkum would do likewise.
  15. They can go jump.

    That's very observant of you.

    Very nice of them.

    Ye of little faith.


    If you're selling some piece of sh't for less than 5 grand that's already had 25 learners own and thrash before you then who cares if another test pilot has a turn?

    If you got a bike that's still under warranty and is worth a tidy sum then you're gonna be wanting a bit more security and not let any nuffy who turns up to look have a test burn.
  16. If I can't test ride, I won't buy.
  17. Same deal when selling a car, I hated letting people test drive my GTiR cos I knew that would thrash it - but at least I could go along with them.

    Not sure what I'd think about a bike test ride....
  18. It comes down to how much of a risk you are willing to take.

    With the Spada, I was unfussed. I let learners take her for a spin.

    The the Monster and GSA, no test rides unless full purchase price is in my hands. This has lead to some heated arguments so far, which I'll mention in a minute.

    Firstly, my insurance only covers me. It's named rider for both bikes. If the bloke rides off, stuffs up and hits a Merc, I'm stuffed. Why?

    Firstly the insurance guys go after him. Say he's got no money, then they come after the owner of the vehicle. Yep they don't really have much of a legal leg to stand on, but it happened to a mate of mine when his sister crashed his car. He got out of it, after paying some legal bills.

    Now what happens if he steals it? My insurance only covers me if I have kept a legal version of his drivers license. What happens if he left me a fake license?

    What I'm doing with my sale is simple. Come check it out, we agree on a price, I sell it to you with a guaranteed buy-back period of 1 hour. Bring it back in that time in, same condition with no accidents, and it's not for you, money back.

    I'm happy to sell both bikes to the dealer at a loss, as I'm not prepared to take the risk on each vehicle to get a potential sale.

    Now I've had a couple of abusive potential buyers, who started ranting on about the lack of test rides.

    First bloke I asked, have you ridden a GSA before?
    Have you ridden a GS before?
    Have you riddent a litre bike?
    How about a dual sport?

    Why am I going to risk my bike with you then?

    And another one who complained I wasn't treating potential sellers right with the no test ride policy. I said, test rides welcome, for serious buyers. i.e. give me the money while you take the risk.

    The "no test rides without full purchase price" has removed a lot of the tyre kickers though.

    And yep, going to be harder to sell, but I wasn't willing to take the financial risk on the test ride myself. I'm happy to take the loss for a sale to the dealer, just for peace of mind.
  19. And, I would never buy a bike without a test ride.

    While at the same time I would never test ride a bike without giving it a good going over first.

    I didn't test ride a 250VTR for a mate last weekend, as after giving it the going over, it was far from safe.

    Test rides normally confirm your suspicions on what's going wrong/right.
  20. There seems to be some fair arguments from both sides here. But in all honesty, I'd like to ride a bike before I bought it. Theres a lot of people wanting to buy a bike that you cant find at a dealer. I can understand a cash deposit, although ive never been asked for one. I just throw em my car keys as garantee that im not gonna nick off. But everyone to their own, I could see how it could be a little more difficult (not impossible) to sell a bike without allowing test rides, but hey if time is on your side why not. As for tyre kickers, ive never understood that mentality.

    Kaer, I think youve summed it up nicely and have some good advice in your post.