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I would like to get opinions and legalities of people test driving your motorcycle when buying. I have bought 4 motorcycles in the past and never test drove them. I just listened to the bikes and looked them over real good. I never really thought about it much until a friend of mine was selling his bike and a potential buyer took it for a ride and wrecked it. Now the guy is sueing my friend for medical bills.
 

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A lot of people really get upset when they are denied a test ride and have their arguments. My stand is "No test rides"

You state a good case andhere are a few more.

If the test rider causes an accident he may get a ticket but you get the hit on the insurance for a good number of years up here. The surcharges could easily add up to more than the price of the bike. You also will not likely get paid for the damages.

If the buyer wants to see if they like it it is an indication that they are not familiar with the bike and therefore more likely to have a mishap.

Unless you have police connections you can not verify if the buyer has a valid licence. It may havebeen suspended in absentia.

How do you know the bike is coming back?

To many people a test ride is to see if they can breaksomething so they push it to the limit or beyond. Even if they don't bust something I would be suspicious of a bike that had been trashed out while for sale.

If the person is listening for noises and looking for mechanical issues while riding they aren't giving full consideration to the traffic and are more likely to have an accident.

Two common excuses for a test ride are: (A) I want to know if I will like it. (B) It may not be comfortable.
(A) If you aren't sure then do more research. It's not my job to risk my financial future because you can't decide what you want. Bike shops have legal departments and fleet insurance to minimize their risks. I would have to hire a lawyer to write up a claim and then fight any issues in court regardless. The buyers widow and children might stillbe able to go after me because they didn't sign any waiver.

(B) A ten or fifteen minute test ride will not likely induce cramps on any bike and a four hour test ride is unrealistic IMO.


If protecting the financial future of my family makes me a SOB then so be it.

I have never test ridden a motorcycle before buying.
 

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What I did was let the buyer do the normal tire kicking and starting the motor and such, and when he ask me to do a test ride:shock: , I said jump on the back and hold on, I gave him a ride around my area and the bike was sold. less liability that way.

I hope that helps.
 

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I only speak for myself here, I would let a potential buyer ride my bike, but there are conditions, meaning my judgement on the whole situation, I would like to ride the bike I'm buying, as I did with my wing, I gave credentials, and the seller saw that he could trust me, as I would expect If I were the seller, but then again, I live in MAYBERRY, USA where lawsuits are few and judges side with sensibility.
 

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I suppose I can understand the liability issue, but in near 40 years of riding, I have never purchased a bike without a test drive. I already knew I wanted a bike of that model, or I wouldn't have been looking, but I do want to check the mechanicals that can't be done by a visual inspection. I show the owner that I have the $, a valid license... I have never been turned down.

By the same token, I recently sold my VT-1100. The guy that bought it had the cash, license, and even brought his own helmet. He was serious about buying, and we transfered the title after his test ride.

You can tell the tire kickers from the serious folks, at least I have been able to. But, we all have our reasons. ;)
 

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knute wrote:
....but then again, I live in MAYBERRY, USA where lawsuits are few and judges side with sensibility.
are there any lots / homes for sale there ? :D I thought I lived in Mayberry as well till I learned differently from a batch of lawyers :(





As for a test ride , mmmm nah , neither my scooter or wife .
 

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A lot depends on who the buyer is as well. You may not let a total stranger test ride but a friend may be another story.
 

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Always test drive and let buyers test drive but, I hold the full amount in cash while they're gone. If you're paranoid, print the following form.


I just sold two bikes, sight unseen, to out of state buyers. Both PayPaled me the full amount plus fees. (BMW and Gold Wing) Of course I sent detailed pictures with copies of title/registration. Can't say I would buy like this though.


EDIT:
The above link (broken now) referenced this form:

[align=center]MOTORCYCLE RIDE RELEASE FORM

[/align]The undersigned (on my own behalf and on behalf of my heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns), for and in consideration of the opportunity to participate in a dealership sponsored ride hereby releases Los Angeles Harley-Davidson, Inc., its owners and employees, and other participants on this motorcycle ride from any and all claims and demands, rights and causes of action of any kind whatsoever which I now have or later may have resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with my participation in this ride.

This Release extends to any and all claims I have or may have against the Released Parties whether such claims result from negligence (except willful neglect) on the part of any or all Released Parties with respect to this event or with respect to the conditions, qualifications, instructions or procedures under which this event is conducted or from any other cause. I understand that this means that I agree not to sue any or all of the Released Parties for any injuries resulting to myself or my property during or in connection with this event.

I am experienced in and familiar with the operation of motorcycles and fully understand the risks and dangers inherent in motorcycling. I am voluntarily participating in the event and I expressly agree to assume the entire risk of any accident or personal injury, including death, which I might suffer as a result of my participation in the event whether such risk result from negligence (except willful neglect) on the part of any or all of the Released Parties.

For the purpose of implementing this Release, I expressly acknowledge that this Release is intended to include all claims which the parties do not know or suspect exist in their favor at the time of the executions hereof, including specifically, without limitation, those described in Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which section reads as follows:

"A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know
or suspect exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known
by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor."

The undersigned acknowledges that there may be alcoholic beverages served at the ride destination and understands that the Released Parties will not provide or pay for such beverages. Any consumption of alcoholic beverages will be at the will of the undersigned.

The Released Parties further advise the undersigned that if he/she is to voluntarily consume alcoholic beverages that this activity be moderate and within all laws governing the driving of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and that under no circumstances should the undersigned either ride or participate as a passenger if the undersigned feels either he/she or his/her passenger or rider is the slightest bit impaired. The undersigned acknowledges the Released Parties have expressly informed me of the dangers of drinking and riding.

[align=center]THIS IS A RELEASE-- READ BEFORE SIGNING
[/align]
By signing this Release, I certify that I have read this Release and fully understand it and that I am not relying on any statements or representations of anyone released thereby and do claim that I have auto insurance and a valid CA driver license.

[align=center]RIDER PASSENGER/2nd Rider
[/align]
Signature:___________________________ Signature:________________________
Print Name:_________________________ Print Name:_________________________
Address:____________________________ Address:____________________________
City:_______________________________ City:_______________________________
Zip:___________ Day ph ( ___)_________ Zip:___________ Day ph ( ___)_________

Insurance Company:__________________ Eve ph(___)___________ Date:_________
CA license No.______________________
Eve ph(___)___________ Date:_________
E-Mail: ___________________________

Payment Method: Check Visa M/C Amex Discover
Card #___________________________ Exp:_____

[align=center]PLEASE RETURN THIS ENTIRE FORM. Thank you!
[/align]
 

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OnaWingandaPrayer wrote:
knute wrote:
....but then again, I live in MAYBERRY, USA where lawsuits are few and judges side with sensibility.
are there any lots / homes for sale there ? :D



Plenty of places to buy here, cheap too compared to what the going rate down there is,great place to live here, my uncle from sacramento that visits me rants how life up here is unbelievably simple & serenecompared to what he is used to, but there is a glich, WINTERS!!!! not to mentionplenty of spring flooding we have been having, lost my house in the 96/97' flood.
 

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I've purchased lots of bikes, and only one person let me / encouraged me to test-ride it prior to purchase. If the buyer is "real" and knows what he's buying, a test-ride is unnecessary.

For an uninformed buyer - I guess they'd want one. But do you really want them on your bike?? :p
 

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I would never buy without a test ride! When looking for a bike for my son a couple of months ago, I tested 3 different motorcycles and they were all junk, unsafe to be on the rode. I guess people are out there driving junk on the road all the time, but I would never put my hard earned money down on a motorcycle on the seller's word, "Caveat Emptor".

Where the problem is for the seller, does this person wanting to buy your bike know how to operate one and does your insurance cover him. Most motorcycle insurance only covers the operators listed on the policy.

Who knows what the right thing to do is.
 

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I fully understand the reasons for not allowing a test drive but you can't fully determine the condition of the bike just by looking at it while at idle. I wouldn't buy a car without test driving it either.

However, I respect your property and understand there are idiots out there who do not. In which case I'll say thank you for your time and move on, no hard feelings.
 

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I just sold my Goldwing one hour ago. On the phone I asked him if he had a "motorcycle license". Since he didn't have one, I told him he could NOT drive the Goldwing but I would take him for a ride on the back of it.

He showed up, listened to the engine run , handed me the cash and loaded it on his trailer.

I personally would not buy a motorcycle without riding it but this guy had owned 2 goldwings before and was comfortable with it.
 

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When I bought my Goldwing, I had never ridden one before. We saw it sitting on the side of the road with a for sale sign on it, and pulled over. While we were looking at it, the guy came out, we asked him a couple questions (why you're selling it, condition it's in), and he said "here," and handed over the keys. I happened to have my helmet & gear in the trunk of our car, so while my wife stayed and talked to him, I took it around for a couple of miles.

As well as I know Goldwings now (at least 1100's), I might be comfortable enough buying one with only a good inspection first, if I had to. I'd still rather have a test ride though - there's some things you just won't find out otherwise. Syncro is worn between 3rd and 4th? Splines howl at 35 mph? Bad front end wobble at 40 mph? How can you find out about that kind of stuff by looking at it and listening to the engine run on the driveway?
 

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Mike Toon wrote:
Always test drive and let buyers test drive but, I hold the full amount in cash while they're gone. If you're paranoid, print the following form.


I just sold two bikes, sight unseen, to out of state buyers. Both PayPaled me the full amount plus fees. (BMW and Gold Wing) Of course I sent detailed pictures with copies of title/registration. Can't say I would buy like this though.


EDIT:
The above link (broken now) referenced this form:




[align=center]MOTORCYCLE RIDE RELEASE FORM

[/align]The undersigned (on my own behalf and on behalf of my heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns), for and in consideration of the opportunity to participate in a dealership sponsored ride hereby releases Los Angeles Harley-Davidson, Inc., its owners and employees, and other participants on this motorcycle ride from any and all claims and demands, rights and causes of action of any kind whatsoever which I now have or later may have resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with my participation in this ride.

This Release extends to any and all claims I have or may have against the Released Parties whether such claims result from negligence (except willful neglect) on the part of any or all Released Parties with respect to this event or with respect to the conditions, qualifications, instructions or procedures under which this event is conducted or from any other cause. I understand that this means that I agree not to sue any or all of the Released Parties for any injuries resulting to myself or my property during or in connection with this event.

I am experienced in and familiar with the operation of motorcycles and fully understand the risks and dangers inherent in motorcycling. I am voluntarily participating in the event and I expressly agree to assume the entire risk of any accident or personal injury, including death, which I might suffer as a result of my participation in the event whether such risk result from negligence (except willful neglect) on the part of any or all of the Released Parties.

For the purpose of implementing this Release, I expressly acknowledge that this Release is intended to include all claims which the parties do not know or suspect exist in their favor at the time of the executions hereof, including specifically, without limitation, those described in Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which section reads as follows:

"A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know
or suspect exist in his favor at the time of executing the release, which if known
by him must have materially affected his settlement with the debtor."

The undersigned acknowledges that there may be alcoholic beverages served at the ride destination and understands that the Released Parties will not provide or pay for such beverages. Any consumption of alcoholic beverages will be at the will of the undersigned.

The Released Parties further advise the undersigned that if he/she is to voluntarily consume alcoholic beverages that this activity be moderate and within all laws governing the driving of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and that under no circumstances should the undersigned either ride or participate as a passenger if the undersigned feels either he/she or his/her passenger or rider is the slightest bit impaired. The undersigned acknowledges the Released Parties have expressly informed me of the dangers of drinking and riding.




[align=center]THIS IS A RELEASE-- READ BEFORE SIGNING
[/align]
By signing this Release, I certify that I have read this Release and fully understand it and that I am not relying on any statements or representations of anyone released thereby and do claim that I have auto insurance and a valid CA driver license.




[align=center]RIDER PASSENGER/2nd Rider
[/align]
Signature:___________________________ Signature:________________________
Print Name:_________________________ Print Name:_________________________
Address:____________________________ Address:____________________________
City:_______________________________ City:_______________________________
Zip:___________ Day ph ( ___)_________ Zip:___________ Day ph ( ___)_________

Insurance Company:__________________ Eve ph(___)___________ Date:_________
CA license No.______________________
Eve ph(___)___________ Date:_________
E-Mail: ___________________________

Payment Method: Check Visa M/C Amex Discover
Card #___________________________ Exp:_____




[align=center]PLEASE RETURN THIS ENTIRE FORM. Thank you!
[/align]
While I'm sure H-D had their lawyers go over the form with a fine toothed comb a liberal judge somewhere will allow a relative to sue for loss of companionship etc.

I'd have to check the legalities but someone suggested that if the test ride was performed by a licenced mechanic with fleet insurance the bike would be covered for the duration of the test.

This would take care of the liabilities but the buyer still has to make his own decision as to the comfort of the bike etc.
 

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I think I would either have the buyer jump on the bike behind me or follow me in their car if they wanted to see it moving, unless the person could convince me that they were well versed in GW's and had a motorcycle permit. Too many risks for everyone.

Chuck
 
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