Test Rides before you buy.


I’m planning on buying a used bike in April (once I’ve saved some cash), I have several bikes that I am thinking about and a lot of people on the forums suggest that in order to whittle down the numbers I should do some test rides to see what I like the feel of.

Problem is,

a) how do I go about getting a test ride? Surely going into a dealer, test riding a couple of their bikes and then buggering off without buying anything is something that they’ll tire of?

b) I’m only insured to ride a 125, can you up your insurance cover without owning a bike of that size. i.e. a 600+

To get around the insurance I could hire a bike as insurance come in the price but rental prices seem a little steep, £70 a day is the cheapest I can find.

Thanks guys.

a) if they didnt allow test rides how would they sell bikes.

obviously it helps if you phone in advance and say that you are interested in one bike - the one they have and would like to come test ride it.

b) I also had a 125 at the time i was about to buy the CBF and didnt think about insurance… neither did they :wink:

I have just test ridden and number of bikes. Your credibility is higher if you phone and arange a test beforehand and if you arrive on a bike.

The dealer’s insurance covers you for Third party and most make you sign a declaration saying you will be responsblee for the excess or damage to their vehicle - in one instance this was limited to £1000 in another instance unlimited.

Definitely phone and arrange your test rides and, as already stated, their insurance will cover you but you have to pay the excess which ranges (in my experience) from £200 to £1,000. If you write it off completely the maximum on this amount will be owed by you, if you do minor damage then you can agree an amount within this limit.

Every dealer I’ve gone to will have a story about someone who has written off their demo bikes, usually in some spectacular fashion – ride any new bike very carefully and don’t add to their catalogue of tragic stories!!

I know this might sound a bit daft but how can you test ride a 600cc unless your saying you’ve passed DAS Test? , what type of licence do you have ? , I’m sure if your restricted to 33bhp then you aint allowed to test ride from a dealer a 600cc because it’s de-restricted, thats what i’ve been told , so is that true??

Hi thanks for your replies,

this makes it all much clearer, I’ll call the dealers up prior to turning up and will take my current bike along too. (Never knw, might offer me a deal on the part x).

Sorry, I should have pointed out that I passed my DAS a month ago, I’ve just not increased my insurance cover as I’m still pootling about on the 125 I am reluctanty holding onto until I have more money saved.

Thanks again.

Can’t buy a bike without test riding it - I was all set to put money down on an SV the other day but luckily I took it out for a spin first… and hated it. Wouldn’t buy a bike without testing it out now no matter how great it looked…

whmm I would probably pass my DAS first then buy the bike??? If you are confident in your riding skill and you rode 600s before by all means arrange a test ride, make sure you have the cash with you. Anyone that would give you their bike without the full sum up front is an idiot, I don’t mean to you… but we all know what happened to the other user, how his R1 went walkies off in the distance. When I took it for a test the bloke wanted to say NO, I pulled out the cash and I left my GF as deposit also:):):slight_smile: so he had plenty for the bike if I decided to run away.

When I went to see the bike I had everything with me, my driving license, gear and the cash. I can’t remember if I had the insurance or not… but in theory you need to. I think I got the insurance the next day…

Went to J&S in New Malden who were trying to sell me a pre reg Fazer but without a test ride…I just walked out.

The big, multi manufacturer dealers like P&H / Pegasus / George White should allow you to ride a range of bikes. (MCN has them all)

I tried a Suzuki and hated the riding position - very glad I tried it first. Love my Kwaka to bits. But that’s the thing - we are all different!

Poor guy- not wanting to speak for him but oh well-

He has said he’s got his DAS pass already.

Also, although I think he is looking at buying a secondhand bike he wants to try out the new model at dealers first. This seems like a good plan to me. He’s much more likely to get test rides on dealers new demonstrator bikes (on their insurance) than on a private sale bike. Good luck to him. :slight_smile:

When I had my R6 stolen I went and had loads of test rides. You need to convince the dealer you are serious about buying a bike, hopefully one of theirs! Evn if you don’t buy from them most dealers realise that if they treat you well then you will go back to them for spares, gear and servicing even if you don’t buy their bike.

Keep an eye open for manufacturers opendays, they have a range of bike to try, but are usually busy.

P & H in Crawley have loads of bikes, they charge you £20 for 30 mins ride, which is redeemed if you buy a bike. They used to let you ride a range of bikes if you paid the £20 so you might be able to haggle.