Test riding question

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by peripateo, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. peripateo

    peripateo Adventurer

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    I am in the exploratory phase of purchasing a bike and trying to warm my wife up to the idea about me trading my bike in for a new one I have a KLR and am looking at either an F800 or a Tiger 800XC. I have ridden neither one and was wondering about test riding at the dealer. Are test rides on motorcycles encouraged as freely as car test drives? How far along in the buying/shopping process should I be before test riding? I would appreciate any stories from your shopping process especially in regards to test riding at a dealership. Thanks guys!
    #1
  2. fosters2

    fosters2 It is what it is

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    BMW dealerships are required to have demo bikes and should allow you to freely demo any bike of your choice. Some will limit the time/distance of the demo, but if you tell them what you're looking to do, it shouldn't be a problem.

    As for Triumph, I planned on demoing the 800XC but the local Philadelphia dealership decided to close on Tuesday July 3rd. I arrived at the dealership to find it locked and dark. So.... went to the BMW dealership, demo'd the F800GS and bought it that day. I've owned multiple retail businesses; if you don't want to be open the day before a holiday, that's your choice but I also have a choice to purchase elsewhere.
    #2
  3. h2only

    h2only Adventurer

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    I rode both a few months ago trying to make the decision, going back and forth between the 2 dealerships, both were fine with me trying them out over and over. The BMW dealership even was happy to keep switching between various seats for me try out making sure the bike felt right for me. I ended up getting the F800GS.

    My wife however was a different story......she was tired of going back and forth and it was nearing lunch time and she was cranky. When I pulled into the BMW dealership that morning for the 3rd time, she looked at me and said..."dont come back without a new bike"

    For me it was how it felt standing on the pegs doing slow maneuvers as compared to the 800XC. Both were good bikes, but the BMW just felt better all around. Plus the warning from the wife helped out a little : )
    Wrote them a check and loaded it in the truck.
    #3
  4. peripateo

    peripateo Adventurer

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    "don't come back without a new bike.". What we all long to hear from our wives.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    #4
  5. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

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    You might want to send a PM to Leslie & Cheryl (soph9) here on adv , they took two new 8000xc to Alaska & both own BMW's so they could give you a good comparison of both of them good & bad
    #5
  6. iJabberwocky

    iJabberwocky Been here awhile

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    That is what my wife said to me the day I drove my truck 5 hours to pick my bike up. The shop only 20 minutes away wouldn't deal and I saved almost $1800 on taxes and asking price. I spent a year test riding and contemplating which bike I would buy. I ended up with the F800GS this last April. No regrets and my wife just got her endorsement a few weeks ago. Not sure she is ready for the 800 though, she needs more time on my smaller bike first.
    #6
  7. hillbillypolack

    hillbillypolack Grumpy Old Goat

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    Had a similar question a few years ago, and thought I'd just ask the dealers local to me. I was serious about getting a bike, so I just let them know my intent.

    As some have said, certain dealers limit the time or distance or possibly terrain but all in my area were accommodating.

    That year, I test rode the 2009 GS, 2010 camhead, Multistrada, Triumph Tiger, GS800 and Hypermotard. When I got back from the Hyper demo, the dealer asked me if I wanted to take a spin on an MV Agusta Brutale.

    Point is, I was up front with my intent and it's (kind of) their job to let you make an educated decision from a demo ride. BTW, I loved the GS800 and would have gotten it if it weren't for wanting to go two up more frequently.
    #7
  8. redbastard

    redbastard Long timer

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    I demo'ed an F800gs and then drove strait to the Triumph dealer and told them I wanted to buy either the Tiger XC or the F800 and would like to tank one for a demo. They wanted to make sure I had motorcycle insurance, then led me on a ride for about 15 minutes or so. I liked both bikes, but the tiger had a more compact peg to seat distance, and I felt the F800 had a flatter seat that was easier to move back and forth on. Combine that with the closer wider taller handlebar on the BMW and it was a clear winner for me. The Tiger was smoother and a little more powerfull and a very good looking bike, but it seemed to ride like more of a street bike.
    I got written quotes from both and before tax it was $14,000 for the F800 and $12,800 for the Tiger. The BMW dealer sold there last F800 the following day, the last one within 300 miles I think. The Triumph dealers had lots of stock. Good luck , both great bikes.

    I ended up picking up a low millage used BMW, with nice accesseries for a great deal!
    #8
  9. Yeahoo Whoyah

    Yeahoo Whoyah Duct Tape Advocate

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    #9
  10. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    That's the way I went with my F800GS from 2010. It got the panniers and a nice seat and only 7000kms (in 2 years :huh) - didn't need more to buy it. two month later it has 12000kms :lol3

    anyway. before buying it I went to my local BMW dealer and told them that I was looking foward in buying a new bike. they immediatly (before I could ask!) showed me their demo bike and told me if I wanted to test ride it I only needed to wait for 15min so that they can put the battery in it. When I asked when I should be back with it, they told me before lunch... it was 10 o clock. I did some miles on it, test rode it on pavement and on "dirt" (old farmers road with mud and gravel). It felt good enough for me.
    When I came back with the bike they asked about my opinion and didn't even check the bike (said goodbye and see you soon :lol3)

    The next day I went to triumph dealer, they told me they had some in stock but that I have to make a reservation for the test ride. I took one for the day after that (still following me?) and I had 30min.
    It felt slightly heavier to me but nothing I couldn't get used to. at the end the f800gs felt more fun to me and the thing that broke the deal for triumph was the thirst of the beast (came from a F650GS single - I'm not used to a thirsty motorcycle :lol3)

    so for an advice just go to the dealer and have fun. they know anyway that 50% of the testriders just are there for fun but you can always tell them what they want to hear. I bought my 8GS from another BMW dealer 500km further away because my local dealer hadn't got the color I wanted (Yellow... now I have an orange one...but whatever :lol3)
    #10
  11. LMrider

    LMrider n00b

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    I am leaning toward the F8GS due to smooth operation and factory warranty for peace of mind, and also considering the 990 yet it's a bit tall, so I have yet to ride the GS.
    #11
  12. Chacifer

    Chacifer sui generis

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    I test road the F800GS yesterday at MaxBMW while I was waiting for my R12GS in service. It was fun and I want one!:clap Very nimble and spirited on the back roads; didn't try on the highway though.
    #12