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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting ready to list a 2007 900 Custom for sale and I have never sold a used bike before. Both of my bikes were purchased new, so I have no experience buying a used bike either. How do I handle test rides? If I were buying a used bike I'd want to ride it but I'm a bit uncomfortable letting the bike out of my sight. I'd appreciate any advice and thanks in advance.
 

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If they have an envelop of cash they can entrust to me, they can knock themselves out. Otherwise I'll ride it around for them. Some people mightn't realise how heavy some bikes are, so better that way really.
 

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This will be a good one.

For me it's no ride I'll take them for a ride but that's it. Wouldn't be the first bike to vanish on a test ride. If they crash or drop it and had your permission to ride it your stuck with the repair, sure you can sue them and maybe find out the don't have squat or win and never collect. worse yet they get hurt and come after your insurance or you for injury. No thanks
Good luck
 

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Man, this will be fun. Good question for debate.

For me, this would be very difficult to allow a test ride. Now, if the potential buyer were referred by a mutual friend or acquaintence, then maybe. Much tougher choice if it was a stranger. In this latter case it would have to be someone licensed and insured already. They would need very good credentials. Can they supply insurance that matches their license and vehicle information. That sort of stuff would be critical.

I think you just have to trust the circumstances at the time and your instincts. If I were buying a bike from someone unknown, I would certainly want it checked out.

I might have a good compromise for tho0se iffy situations. Offer to take the bike to a local dealer and have it inspected in their presence by a mechanic at their expense. Now, that would sift through the serious from lookers, and it would give a fair opportunity for them to check the bike out.
 

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Normally, I agree with the "no test ride" option, but here's one option I would consider.

A seller must assume a potential buyer is obviously serious about purchasing. Therefore, they most likely have the funds available within reach. If they want to test ride, accept full asking price in cash and provide a signed purchase receipt. Both parties walk around the bike and view any mars, nicks, damage, etc and take pictures if you must. Then, upon the return of the test ride, once over it again with the potential buyer. If all appears well and they don't like it, return the money, or obviously, if they like, you have money in hand then provide title. Otherwise, it's no test ride.

Another option could be to offer the potential buyer the option for you to ride the bike to a mechanic of his/her choice and have them look it over. It's not a ride, but it's closer to confirming no problems for them after purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the post so far. I posted this on a HD forum I am a member of as well; they fall into the same line of thinking; which is "no rides". There is just too much potential down side; not just the bike but being liable for all sorts of things like injury, property damage... I'm going with the "buy it and you can ride it all you want" method.
 

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Normally, I agree with the "no test ride" option, but here's one option I would consider.

A seller must assume a potential buyer is obviously serious about purchasing. Therefore, they most likely have the funds available within reach. If they want to test ride, accept full asking price in cash and provide a signed purchase receipt. Both parties walk around the bike and view any mars, nicks, damage, etc and take pictures if you must. Then, upon the return of the test ride, once over it again with the potential buyer. If all appears well and they don't like it, return the money, or obviously, if they like, you have money in hand then provide title. Otherwise, it's no test ride.

Another option could be to offer the potential buyer the option for you to ride the bike to a mechanic of his/her choice and have them look it over. It's not a ride, but it's closer to confirming no problems for them after purchase.
I think that this is the best option........................or leave your girlfriend as collateral.
 

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I'm never selling my bike :) But if I did, no test rides. I would fully disclose any issues and you can either buy it or not. But then I hold stuff till it is FLAT WORE OUT and not worth anything anyway. Like next week I am giving away a '84 E150 conversion van free for the hauling. No test drive there... CAN'T be test drove :)

Brian
 

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ive never bought a bike without a test ride. you dont want me to ride it , i wont buy it. i move on, plenty of bikes out there for sale. when i sell a bike, i make sure i have their valid motorcycle license in hand as they ride up and down my block in front of me , or i take them to a local store with a big parking lot. i always make sure i have there car keys . i also wont let a hooligan go for a test ride or some really green newbie, unless they have the cash in hand.
 

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In the end - It was down to two bikes within my budget. The 1600 with a little cash for extras or a GREAT price for a '00 Road King.

I was at the bank taking out the money talking with my wife on my cell until the last minute - bought the Kaw because I rode it. Couldn't ride the Harley.
 

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Play it by ear and trust your gut. With a newer bike, there's nothing wrong with offering a money back period, like 1/2 an hour. They buy it, but if they hate it after riding it they can bring it back.

An older bike with lots of miles, you've got to ride it to really get an idea whether the trans is shot, or the brakes don't stop the bike, or it won't pull past 2000rpms, so I would be more likely to expect a ride and to offer one in order to effect a sale.

I once had a doofus disappear on my bike for 1/2 hour, finally came back and says "Wow she really goes!!!". I say, so you like it? "You bet!!". I say great, let's make a deal. "Oh, we're just looking right now. I probably won't be buying one this year but I wanted to see what's out there". I explained very briefly that he had no business riding a bike he wasn't ready to buy, and to get off the bike and off my property, and waste someone else's time. Some folks think of bike/boat/car/RV shopping as a fun way to spend an afternoon even if they're not buying. I won't even bother a seller to see a bike I wasn't seriously interested in.
 

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I've been riding 44 years so I have bought and sold a lot of bikes over the years. I have been lucky so far on letting people test ride my bikes, and I doubt I could have sold many bikes without allowing test rides. I may have also been lucky in judging who is and who is not a serious buyer since I have had few people ride my bikes and not buy on the spot or at least commit on the spot and buy after making a deposit. It has become a new world of liability though so this issue must be looked at closely with each potential buyer. I agree with tandt that you should "trust your gut;" mostly you can smell BS when it is close enough to you to be asking to test ride your bike.
 
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