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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased my first bike a year ago and had to buy it with out test riding it. I wasn't extremely happy about that but bought my Vstar 650 Custom anyway. After flipping through the forums on here, is this an abnormal practice? We only have 4 dealers in the metro area, 2 yahmaha/suzuki, 1 honda and 1 HD and none (well I didn't look at HD) would allow a test ride.

Thoughts? I'm looking to trade my 650 in if the dealer will give me a good deal on trade.
 

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Test ride

It may depend if they have bike with miles on it. I did test ride a Liner before I bought one. The ride is probably why I bought it. But, the one I bought had zero miles. If they have a new bike on the floor with zero miles I don't think they will let you ride it.

Dave
 

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Test Drive

I have purchased 2 bikes in the past 23 months. 2007 Majesty 400 and I just bought a new 2009 V-star 950 Tourer. The dealer let me drive both right off the floor. I traded the Majesty for the 950.
I didn't drive them very far, but the sale of both bikes were subject to driving them. There is a Yamaha dealer 12 miles from my house, but I drove almost 80 miles to the dealer I purchased from. They are great to deal with and I feel I got a great price on both the purchase and trade of my first bike. They even send me birthday cards. The local dealers just don't want to deal as much as the dealer I bought from. They also had a better selection. The dealer is Promotor Sports of fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. They havea huge stor and cary Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki.
 

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The local dealer here insisted I test drive the bike before he would sell it to me - no complaints here!
 

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Test ride

Lots of dealers have open house days where you can test ride a new model but that is usually in the spring, my local dealer insists you test ride before you buy whether it be a yami or harley its like buying a car you're not going to purchase until you test drive. My 06 Stratoliner was in for warranty problem and they lent me a 10 Stratoliner Deluxe well they knew what they were doing because the next day I went in and traded for it. Bottom line insist on a test ride if the dealer says no can do then find another dealer that will and you and the dealer will feel better in knowing you purchased the right bike for you.
 

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My wife and I bought our '02 V-Star 1100 Silverado in February of this year. Lots of snow at that time. We saw the bike, fell in love with it, and had to have it. The dealer wrote on the contract "final sale contingent on favorable test ride", since we couldn't exactly test ride it then (no provisions for skis on the bike, not even the Silverado). Anyway, he made sure that we liked the ride a month later before we signed the final paperwork. I don't know what their policy is on new bikes, though, since I haven't been in the market for one. Yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm well next time I'm in the market for a new/used bike. I'm only a year into my first bike (vstar 650 custom) but am already looking/drooling for over the 950 so I've got some time.
 

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I drove my dealers personal Strat before I bought my Roadliner. But, he is a good buddy of mine.

Every time I have sold a bike privately to someone I did not know, I had them bring me a certified cheque for the full amount before they took the bike out with the understanding that if they bring it back with so much as a scratch, they bought it. If it came back the same way it went out, and they did not want it, they get the cheque back. Then I would follow them in my car to make sure they did not abuse the engine or transmission.

If they did not agree to my requirements, they did not get the bike.
 

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I purchased my first bike a year ago and had to buy it with out test riding it. I wasn't extremely happy about that but bought my Vstar 650 Custom anyway. After flipping through the forums on here, is this an abnormal practice? We only have 4 dealers in the metro area, 2 yahmaha/suzuki, 1 honda and 1 HD and none (well I didn't look at HD) would allow a test ride.

Thoughts? I'm looking to trade my 650 in if the dealer will give me a good deal on trade.
BMW and HD usually allow test rides, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki usually do not. But there are exceptions both ways.

If you live anywhere in the South East, Bikeweek in March and Biketoberfest in October at Daytona has factory test rides from most of the manufacturers every year.
 

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Our local Yamaha dealer doesn't allow test rides even on their used models. The HD dealer down the road insists on a test drive. Very different mentality. I now use a different Yamaha dealer about 45 minutes out of town. They're not happy till the customer is happy.
 

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my local yamaha dealer has a june open house, where you can ride just about any bike they have. i rode the roadstar, raider, stratoliner, and 1100. the demand for the 950 required quite a wait, so never got to ride the 950.. also was offered test rides any other time i wanted, so rode the majesty as well. next june i hope to get to ride the styker and maybe the raider again.
 

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My dealer does allow test rides , but only if you have secured financing first. They can't just let people rack up miles on their new bikes just going for a joyride. If they know you are serious then they will let you take it for a ride.
 

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The one here near Syracuse does. Threw me the keys and told me to take my time, so I did. Since it was nice out i put about 50 miles on it, went back and put the down payment on it. They've treated me right for the last 7yrs.
 

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BMW allows test rides. When I bought my last beemer the dealer actaully told me to come back on a Tuesday afternoon when they were not so busy so I could take it for a longer ride.

Victory also encourges test rides, though I have found the dealers to be somewhat inconsistent on allowing them.

Never tried to test ride a Harley.

With the Japanese dealers its hit and miss. My current Star dealer has several bikes that are used for test rides, and since they are dolled up with rims and pipes, paint they usually are a big selling point.

Good luck trying to get any Japanese dealer to let you test ride a sport bike. When I used to be in the market for those, they pretty much told me sign the papers and if you leave the parking lot its yours. If you don't leave the parking lot, I'll let you but something of equal or greater value in the store.

Not sure about Euopean brands like Moto Guzzi, Ducati and Triumph. Seems to depend on the dealer. Our Moto Guzzi and Triumph dealer is also a BMW dealer, so they allow test rides. The Duc dealer is mostly japanese bikes and is the one that told me don't leave the parking lot when I was looking for a Hayabusa years ago,
 

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i can't imagine any dealership letting out test rides on sport bikes without a huge deposit or refundable down payment and insurance waiver.
Maybe its just my experience or my longevity with that dealer, but I know I can walk into the local BMW Dealer and ask to take one of their S1000RR bikes or a K1300S and they will simply ask me for a copy of my license. When I bought my K1200S, this was the dealer who after a short test ride told me to come back on a less busy day so I could take it for longer.

BMW Dealers are all about Service. Something allot of these other dealers have forgotten, or just never knew. I know allot of the sport bike dealers get the hotshots, who are kicking tires and just want to joy ride (this applies to all bike classes really). Frankly I wouldn't let them take one of my new bikes out either. But, when you have a serious customer, buy it and don't let it leave the parking lot and I'll let you buy somthing else in the store does not work. I would venture to guess that if you said "no this is too uncomfortable", or simply "I don't like this" they would tell you too bad.

That is why I drive so much farther to my Star dealer I use now. It is a 30 mile trek to their store, and I have to pass 3 other Star dealers on the way, but these guys take care of their customers and they are concerned about earning your return business. I want to support businesses like this. I have never asked them what they treated as a stupid question, and they listen to what I tell them my concerns are around service or even accessories that I buy. I find these folks to be a rarity, and they are fantastic to deal with.
 

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BMW Dealers are all about Service. Something allot of these other dealers have forgotten, or just never knew.
i don't think it's a question about customer satisfaction and earning your business, but of liability. at least in the case of sport bikes and letting people test ride them.

before i bought my bike, i looked around at some places that rent motorcycles for the day or weekend and they all wanted at least $1,000 deposit on top of the rental fee. understandable. and this was for any motorcycle class you wanted to rent. so i understand dealers' objections on test rides.
 

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I have gone on a test ride with HD and kept my vstar. Make sure you know exactly what you are looking for before you shop up to the dealer. If you are there as a serious buyer, rather than browsing, they let you ride. Even on Hayabusa.
 

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I think they often go by gut instinct.

An experienced rider acts different than a novice.

After years 'downtime' I went into my local HD dealer and asked to try "the smallest lightest model you have"
Salesmen stood on both sides as I leaned the 883low from side to side, then rolled it outside and held my cane while I went for my first ride in several years. It's sitting out back with the old yammies right now.
THAT'S AWESOME. great post
 
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