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Featured What makes a great test ride?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by GeorgeO, May 14, 2015.

  1. So there you are, trundling along at 20 km/h too scared to filter during peak hour Sydney traffic and damage the shiny new bike you are taking for a test ride. At least you get first hand experience of the riding position.

    What makes a great test ride? The dealership location? (think Worthington Motorcycles location close to old pac vs Procycles St Peters). The length of test ride?

    Is there a 'strategy' to this thing? Or does it not matter that much and you choose the one that moves you at first sight?
  2. Ride it like you stole it and actually steal it. No I don't condone this behaviour. Test rides would be great if there was miraculously no traffic or if they had a track
  3. It's just one small thing but I think choosing your time wisely. Not peak hour morning or night for example. When I took the Street Triple for a ride it was Saturday morning. The dealership was in the CBD (Adelaide) therefore much quieter than weekdays. I picked a route that had a bit of start stop then some roads that had long stretches with no lights or stop signs and even a few curves.
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  4. When I test rode my CBR300r, that was probably the third time I've ridden a motorcycle but the second time I've taken a test ride.

    It was in a side street near melbourne central and it was not a good test ride.
    never had any issues with clutch use in my learner permit course, but when I test rode I stalled it 6 times. the nerves were intense, at the time the bike felt so powerful. the ride lasted 5 minutes and I travelled a hundred meters, a busy city street isn't Ideal. If it was a quiet suburb/neighbourhood I'm sure with just a couple of minutes to get a feel for the clutch and break of the bike before I took off on a ride would just be superb.

    I brought the bike and fun times were to be had all around.

    not a great test ride by any means, but sadly I think my experiences must be common for learners who haven't previously ridden motorcycles. How do we get practice after the permit without owning a bike? buy one, how do we test ride a bike when we aren't confident riders? very awkwardly.

    when it comes to my second bike I reckon a healthy mix of town and a bit of highway would be good. low traffic on the middle of the day on a week day or weekend. I think just the simple act of sitting on it is quite important, just a bit of time to see if this is comfortable, if conditions permit then I would probably test to see if it runs well
  5. Not sure if they still do it, but Victory has a good test ride policy. They give you the keys for the weekend and 1 nights accomadation.

    As for learners. Well, honestly what are you comparing it too? I've yet to see a learner here actually test a multitude of bikes before purchasing. They usually buy the first bike they ride. And I don't blame dealers from not letting them of a leash. Even guys coming of their restrictions bin bikes in test rides.

    I didn't do much test riding before I bought my strom. Hell I didn't even test ride it. I figured if I didn't like it, I'd sell it and try something else. That's half the fun isn't it? Buying a bike and getting to really know it.
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  6. They still do it apparently, but you are obligated to buy a bike. Sounds good but I reckon if I was buying a bike, I'd have a few bikes up for consideration and I wouldn't know which one until I've ridden it, if you're obligated to buy it afterwards it would be a shame if you came back and didn't love it.

    As a learner, any shiny bike I sat on was awesome.

    I reckon the jump from LAMS bike to unrestricted bike (at least when it comes to supersports) would be pretty significant, and I wouldn't be surprised if a fair few new full license holders lay down their bikes shortly after getting off P's
  7. I test rode about 15 bikes across 4 different dealers when I was hunting for my first.
    I made it obvious at each stop that I was prepared to buy a bike pretty well immediately.
    1 bike had a decent stretch of suburbia that opened up into some nice easy winding roads and a couple opportunities to give the brakes a decent work out.
    5 more from another dealer had a highway right next door, and some more technical roads about 5 minutes away.
    4 had Adelaides busiest road right next door, nothing really technical around, but some good flowing roads to get a feel on.
    And the last 5 were in the city. I picked my time reasonably well, but it was still a weekday, before the lunch rush, some nice flowing roads nearby, lots of low speed (obviously), and a couple decent opportunities for testing the brakes.

    I think the best test ride is the test ride you just make the most of, nothing is going to be ideal, and best case, you'll have about an hour to get a feel for the bike, which isn't nearly enough time.
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  8. My "test ride" involved me sitting down on it at the front of the shop. It was sitting in between a jet ski and a MX bike (being a Kawasaki dealership). I unfortunately didn't have a learners at the time, so riding was a no go for me.

    I got the sales guy to ride it up and down the street a few times so i could hear it (listening for any pops, bangs etc) and see it riding.. After that i got Mad Biker to do a full mechanical / road check on it.

    I was going on the impression that the bike felt great sitting on it, so if it was mechanically sound then that's all i needed...

    My first test ride was 100kmh down the Melton highway heading back to Werribee at lunch time on a Saturday. I had the pleasure of not only cars, but trucks and a bus to contend with on my very first ride home.

    I couldn't stop grinning.. i was nervous but it was that weird almost insane feeling you get when you're sh!tting yourself but you love it (i'd imagine its like bungee jumping).

    Once i'm off my P's though, i expect to go through a variety of bikes i have included on my list for my unrestricted bike.

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  9. Worthingtons, and other bike shops on the western outskirts of Gosford are good....at least for me, 'cos I know where I am and what bits of road I want to try out.

    Procycles, at Hornsby, can be good, you can get a bit of freeway, a wee bit of twisties, up the hill from the Hawksbury River on the Old Road, and then some suburban pottering.

    Last week, when I was looking at R1200Rs at BikeBiz, I was offered a test ride, but, from where they are, at the top end of Parrammatta Road, and with their business of tester rides following one of the shop's people, I just wasn't interested.

    Too much traffic, I don't know the roads in the area, and I don't like following some complete stranger.

    If I do end up testing the R1200R, it will be from Hornsby Procycles or Worthingtons.

    Having done the "follow the leader" bit a couple of times, I am no longer the least interested in a test ride like that.

    The best test ride deal I have heard of recently was done by Procycles and/or BMW, when they rented Eastern Creek, and, for a price, let folk test ride various BMWs, on, effectively, a track day.

    The price was knocked off the price of a bike if the rider did buy one.

    Probably not a great idea for LAMS or commuter bikes, but for the likes of the Thousand RR..... makes sense.
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  10. The difficulty I found as was a distinct lack of dealers willing to let an L plater test ride the bike. A lot of them trod the line of "our insurance doesn't allow it" Even though I am well over 30 and a cash buyer didnt make a bit of difference. Dont know if this is any different anywhere else or weather they just wernt interested in my business. Anyone else found this problem? In the end I cant thank Ron and the guys at Blacklocks in Lavington enough, very helpful and a top bloke to boot.
  11. I just missed the RR experience at Eastern Creek by one week. No P plates where allowed and I graduated one week later.

    I happened to pass by TeamMoto Yamaha / Triumph in Blacktown a few months ago and they had a test ride day event - you could pitch up and ride an assortment of bikes (they had a mini 'ride' that left each hour). I suppose they cannot publicise these events too much for fear of thousands turning up!

    On another note - I'm quite shocked at the lack of follow up from some of the dealers out there. I have been leaving my details at quite a few and not one has called me to follow up a potential lead.

    I bought the Duke 390 based on looks alone and that feeling you get when your innards shout "Precious, my precious......". Was sold the moment I saw it at the Sydney Bike show.

    Was planning on testing the S1000r and Superduke 1290 at Procycles Hornsby / Worthington's due to location. Only one option really for the Ducati Streetfighter 848 - Frasers Parramatta (location not ideal but some freeway near). Have to try the Brutale 675/800/800rr as well to whittle down the long shortlist.
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  12. Dunno if they still do it, but Frasers certainly used to send you out for a test ride following one of their folk on another bike.
  13. As a learner, all bike shops I've test ridden at, claim there's no cover at all during the test ride.

    That makes for a very focused ride, worrying more about traffic than evaluating the bike's merits.
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  14. Frasers still send you off in a little group following one of their staff. they take you through Olympic Park, so at least its not just a stop start traffic ride.
    Like some of the previous posters mentioned, i think that Procycles at Hornsby has a great location. I got up there at opening time on a Sat morning when i test rode a Daytona 675r
  15. Location of the dealership. I'm going to test ride a bike on Saturday and have chosen to ride 100k's to a country dealership, as opposed to 30-40k's to a city dealership purely because I can then play with settings on the bike and enjoy country roads that I know. Much better than creeping around traffic in the city on unfamiliar roads, surrounded by traffic..

  16. Err Umm. I did a virtual test ride for my bike. While waiting for the Learners test to come up, did on-line research of reviews of LAMS bikes, read the occasional magazine, lurked on Net Rider. Came down to how high I could go I $ for features I'd like. Would be mainly for commuting so wasn't ruling out scooters. Ninja 300 had just come out and it was the raved about bike. Ninja 300 with ABS was $7,000, I got a Yamaha R15150 for $3,500 on the road (which most reviews thought was a good bike). Put a deposit down on the Friday before the L's test - it was to be a full refund if I failed. Salesman asked if I wanted to take it for a test ride. I said "No. I've only ridden bikes for a total of about 5 minutes in my life and I'm going for my L's this weekend, what would I learn about it?" He agreed there wasn't much point. Now that I think about that, he was about to offer me a test ride when he knew I didn't have even my Ls o_O. Maybe I have trustworthy face. Perhaps we wouldn't have got very far in the paper work. Elizabeth St Melbourne on a Friday Lunch time too. Luckily it turned out it's a great learner's bike. But will have to confront test rides when I upgrade, hopefully soon. Something Italian from Frasers would be nice.
  17. I went to ride the Street Triple 660 at Peter Stevens in Adelaide while my brother was test riding the Yamaha MT-09. When the salesman realised I was on my L's he said that only that week they had stopped allowing L platers to test ride bikes. They had a couple of bikes written off in the last month and others damaged. To his credit he said you are obviously a returning rider and not a true L plater so I will ask the boss. The boss came over and he was quite direct and said are you riding just because your brother is? I told him that I had every intention of buying a bike and was basically trying to decide between the MT-07 and The Street Triple. I told him a bit about dads Bonneville's and just before his ear fell off he said no worries you are good to ride. We signed our lives away regarding the $1,500 excess in the case of any damage then away we went. They didn't have a MT-07 in so we will go back to ride that soon :) I was very impressed that they used common sense and their discretion. It will get them the sale.

    I can completely understand their position but I wonder how much it will impact sales to have no test ride? Maybe as described above they might have test days out at a track or something?
  18. Nope, they lose nothing in sales, bikes sell themselves and Peter stevens has the new bike market cornered.
  19. When did they tell you that, Q3ArenaQ3Arena? I went in early last month and didn't hear a word about no tests on L's, and I'm quite obviously a new rider.

    (The MT07 is fantastic, by the way).
  20. 9th March 2015. (Last Weekend).

    Thanks for the reccomendation scandyflickscandyflick , it seems it is universally loved. I have not read a single bad comment about it. As much as I loved the Triumph, I reckon I will end up on the MT-07 and then get the Street Triple 675 RX (If they are still around) as my next bike. I can see I am going to in all likelihood end up with a few bikes :)