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Old 08-17-2014, 09:46 PM   #1
OldF7Guy OP
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Test rides

I know this is probably not the right place to post this but this area has a lot of traffic. Mods, move if you need to.

I am interested in a new Honda motorcycle but no dealer will let me test ride one. I am on old man so I am not going to hot rod it. I just want to test various things like you would do a car/truck ect. Why is that? Im not spending 10-12 grand plus without test riding. Why are motorcyles golden and you can go drive a Ford/Chevy truck that stickers for 40-50K at the drop of a hat? I dont get it.

I am really fed up with Honda stealerships. Having owned a HD previously I will say they are as bad almost. What does a man have to do to get a test ride on a Honda? I am wondering if I can contact corporate to ask if anybody has a connection. Its ridiculous and I would like to ask you guys if you have any suggestions?
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:32 PM   #2
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It's not just Honda. Far as I know, all of the big four Japanese manufacturers don't allow test rides unless it's a demo day. There may be exceptions at certain dealers, but that's pretty much the way it's always been.

Even multi-line dealers will often allow test rides of BMW's and Triumphs, so I suspect it's a corporate policy. HD allows test rides as well. I was able to test ride a Ulysses before I bought and I could have taken out any bike on the floor that day.

I've heard that it's an insurance issue, but I really don't know why this is the case. I've always bought used bikes though, and the owners have always been cool about riding before I bought.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:47 AM   #3
Joined: Jul 2011
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Too many squids out joyriding the big four bikes?

It's funny that even Ducati will let you schedule a test ride online and let you take out one of their bikes, but the big 4 won't.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:35 AM   #4
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It depends entirely on the area/dealers. I couldn't get a test ride on any Hondas locally, but the local Kawi dealer literally down the same street uncrated and put together a '14 N1k just so I could test ride it. There's a multi-line Yamaha/Suzuki dealer near them that has a demo weekend every month and will let you test ride any of those any other time (although not anything that isn't already a demo).
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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That bike are you looking at?
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:29 AM   #6
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I think it is more a dealership policy, than a corporate policy. I'd suggest using the phone to call dealers, talk with the manager/owner. Explain your situation and ask for permission to test ride. Talking with a salesman generally won't get it because they have been told by their bosses that they don't allow test rides. That's to keep the local "professional" test riders from wasting the dealerships time and/or causing damage to the bikes they are trying to sell.

Also...go to the Honda Website and see if there are any corporate demo rides scheduled in your area.

Last, but not least, if there is a bike you are really interested in, see if there is someone local to you that owns one. Ask if you might be able to test ride theirs. You never know.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:16 AM   #7
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One thing that makes sense to me, as a potential customer, I'm going to be pissed and buy somewhere else if the "new" bike the dealer wants to sell me has miles on it. So I can understand why they don't want people putting miles on their inventory. That said, the dealer would be wise to have some tester bikes that they own for this purpose.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:28 AM   #8
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I have test ridden every bike I have ever owned, with one exception. I bought an FZ6 from the local dealership over the phone without even seeing it first. It worked out well.

I vist the local dealers on a fairly regular basis. I am a "tire kicker", I guess. But I never ask for a test ride unless I am very serious about buying the bike, and we have already agreed on a price. Any offer I make is always contingent upon a test ride. Also I don't beat them up too bad over the price. I know they have to make a profit. Just give me a fair deal, and it's on. I have bought 20+ bikes over the years. 5 bikes in just the last 30 months, 3 of them new.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:14 AM   #9
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I had heard that the Japanese dealers won't let you test ride. I went to a dealership to check out some bikes, and wasn't ready to buy that day. I talked to one of the sales reps about the type of bike I was looking for, and asked if I could roll a couple different bikes out of the line on the showroom floor to sit on them. The guy offered me an unescorted test ride without me even asking for one.
I don't know if it was because I was being cautious and respectful with the bikes and not asking for a test ride that made them think I was a good candidate, or if I just happened upon a dealer that offers them. Neither of the bikes I rode really pushed my buttons, so they didn't get my business that day, but I'd certainly consider them in the future and recommend others check them out.
I've heard stories about people buying a new bike and turning down one that has 50 miles on it because they want a "new" one. I think we (collectively) may be part of the cause of test rides not being offered. A car with a few miles from test rides still sells as new. I don't see why it should be an issue with bikes.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:17 AM   #10
Cigar Mike
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As posted earlier, it depends on the dealer and where you live. No problem here doing test rides.
When in doubt, give it Gas!
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:38 AM   #11
Joined: Sep 2010
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I would never have bought some of my most favorite bikes if I got a test ride.
I almost did not buy my sr400 after the test ride I did get, and I only got it because I felt bad about abusing a brand new bike like I did, but I am very glad I did buy it after 4000 miles.
It broke in very nicely, and with a few easy and inexpensive mods, its great!

I put a deposit down so I got the test ride...
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