Test rides when selling - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Test rides when selling

As the title suggests: What is your policy regarding test rides when selling a motorcycle privately?

A search of this site returned plenty of posts on demo rides (which is a separate and distinct subject) and selling bikes in general. However, the latter threads were largely comprised of folks complaining about how current economic conditions are making it difficult to sell their bikes.

To date, I've sold one motorcyle and one scooter privately. The motorcycle was sold to a teenager through his father. I had already disclosed to the buyers that I didn't allow test rides, but that I would accommodate them in any other way that I could. Things went swimmingly during their examination of the bike. I sold it for $100.00 over Blue Book. I sold the scooter to a fellow that owned a motorcycle and scooter rental business. His bearing, etc. was really squared away, so I voluteered the scooter for a test ride. He paid my asking price in cash, so again, things worked out.

At this time, I've got my DR650 listed for sale. My ad copy includes the statement, "Test rides OK with cash deposit." Perhaps I should amend the copy to something like, "Test rides contingent upon cash deposit and perceived fitness of buyer (e.g., m/c endorsement on DL and proper riding gear)". How does that sound?


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post #2 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 09:42 AM
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Test rides are a tough call. I have sold many bikes. Before the buyer comes to view the bike, what I usually request, if they want a test ride, is a check for the total asking price. I then have the buyer sign a statement that if the bike is damaged in any way they are responsible for any and all costs involved. What my experience with this approach has been that it weeds out the lookers and brings in the serious buyers.
When the buyer arrives at my house I then make a judgement call as to the buyers appearance. Did they arrive on a bike? Are they dressed properly? I'd rather lose a sale then be stuck dealing with some squid crashing.
Really though most of my bikes have sold without a test ride. Most riders haven't even asked.
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post #3 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 10:03 AM
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I think if I ever sell my bike I may require a deposit in the amount of my deductible. That could easily be adjusted by the looks of the buyer. For some guys, I may require full purchase price. If I really trust them I may waive the fee and hand them the keys.

I would not advertise anything about a test ride. Any buyer should know that they are not guaranteed and you can work that out with them individually. If they ask you should have a plan but IMO it should be able to adjust depending on the buyer. Not putting it in the ad gives you more freedom to adjust.

Not giving any test rides is an option but I alway wonder if the seller is hiding something. You may lose out on a sale if you just say no.

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post #4 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Tall Man View Post
As the title suggests: What is your policy regarding test rides when selling a motorcycle privately?
I won't buy a used bike without a test ride... so I don't expect to sell one without it. In the 10-12 bikes I've sold over the past 10 years, I've never had an issue with giving a test ride.

I too ask to see the money up front and let them know that if they break it, they bought it. No questions asked.

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post #5 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 10:34 AM
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+1 on the cash in hand.

having just recently been the victim of someone accidentally crashing my bike, my "rules" on letting others ride my bikes have changed.

no one rides my bike, with VERY few exceptions. I have one riding buddy I'd trust with anything I own, because he is as careful and meticulous with his belongings as I am with mine. secondly, if he wrecked it, he's the type who would offer to buy the bike from me for what it would cost me to replace it.

I've been looking around craigslist lately for a few different used bikes, and many of the ads state in no uncertain terms, "No test rides without cash in hand, and valid M class license. You drop it, you bought it."

yes, I would imagine that it's difficult to sell a bike without offering a test ride, but the dealerships around here don't offer them either. I'm inclined to agree with a couple of the other replies; I'd have to make a judgment call, but then again, last time I did that, it bit me in the behind, and I still don't have my bike back from the shop -- the rider who crashed my bike has ridden for 22 years and is a fairly conservative dude.
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post #6 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 10:37 AM
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In the 15 bikes i have had, I have never bought one without a test ride and I have never been denied a test ride. The last BMW I bought the owner wanted cash in hand for a test ride. The test ride to me should be the last thing to sum up a deal so I had no problem with that. After some bad stories of test rides gone wrong, I now make it a policy to get cash in hand before a test ride. If it comes back fine and they dont want it then they get their money back. IF they do then we fill out paper work. Of the last 10 bikes I have sold, only 3 have asked for a test ride. I have been amazed at the number of people that will buy a bike without riding it...

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post #7 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 10:50 AM
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"Test rides contingent upon cash deposit and perceived fitness of buyer (e.g., m/c endorsement on DL and proper riding gear)"
At a minimum.

Or, say nothing about a test ride in the ad. If the buyer asks for one, and they look OK to you, then tell your requirements, including holding their vehicle keys that they came in with. And, of course, you drop it; you bought it.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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post #8 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 11:20 AM
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I've sold my bikes with test rides to serious buyers only (my judgment) with a MC endorsement on their license and with a drop-it-you-bought-it understanding. Of course you don't get a lot of newbies buying BMW bikes generally. I don't care what gear they are wearing, I'm not their mom.

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post #9 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 11:48 AM
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Test ride with 100% cash deposit. You dump it you just bought it.
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post #10 of 41 Old 09-17-2010, 12:10 PM
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Like others have stated, I've never and will never purchase a used bike without a test ride. With that being said, I've sold several bikes and would gladly offer a test ride to someone with a MC endorsement and proper gear. I think you can tell a lot about somebody when discussing the bike with them. And if for any reason you feel hesitant about the "buyer" riding YOUR bike, then cash in hand or forget it. Best to trust your gut in this situation.

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