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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry If I am a rube here. The H-D dealership I took the "Riders Edge" course from wanted a $2,000.00 cash deposit to let me test drive a bike. I walked. I found a used bike shop here in Salisbury, NC that let me test ride my slightly used VTX and I walked away with it. Same with the g/f's bike we bought there as well. Well she wants to trade for a cruiser and my normal shop is out of them and we ended up in a new and used dealership in Concord, NC. The place is Extremely huge and sells everything: Victorys and every Japanese bike known to man and she finds the slightly used bike of her dreams. Salesman's reply? "No, we don't do test rides, not even on used bikes" "It's against corporate policy." I asked, "You mean everyone that comes here spending from six to nearly thirty grand on some bikes, does so without having even taken it around the lot?" These boys inferred I was a rube and that bike dealerships "just don't do that anymore". So here's the question. Tell me if I am a rube. What have you guys experienced?
 

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Dragon Slayer
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If I can't ride it first, I ain't buyin'....guess that makes me a rube too! I have never bought any type of bike,car or truck without riding or driving it first. Corporate policy = b/s!
 

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To me it is just like a car. If I can't test drive it I am not buying it. Back in '73 I wanted to buy my first bike. Not my first bike but the first bike I bought myself. A motorcycle and I had been riding mini bikes and trail 90s and 125 to 250 dirt bikes. I was between high school and college and me and my buddy went ot teh HD dealer to buy HDs. We went in wanting Sportsters but I saw the new LowRider and I man did it fit. we asked if we bought 2 bikes today would he give us a better deal and I asked if I could ride one beause I didn't know what model would fit me best. The ASSHOLE dealer ( he really was a true A-hole) just blew us off with "NO TEST RIDES" and "you can't afford one anyway". Well, I went to the Honda dealer and they wanted me to ride anything I wanted so I bought the one I wanted. Well, I did, I bought my first Honda. My buddy went down to LA and found a H-D dealer there that would deal, still no test rides, and he bought a Sportster. Our first out of town ride to the beach I ended up towing his Sportster on the freeway after it died in the middle of the grapevine (I-5).

Today, our HD dealer will let you ride just about anything. When I look at all the HD ads in the paper that say "serious buyers only" and "no test rides" I just have to laugh. No way would they spend $15K + on anything and not give it a test.
 

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What is rube? I've never heard that b4.
 

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Alot has to do with insurance... My stealer did not do test rides either but it was just bought out and under new ownership. I had done my research and shopped around but I knew what I was getting when I signed the papers. I know it's BS but it all boils down to the cost of doing buisness. They can't afford "Newbies" coming in for joy rides, dropping bikes and running up their premiums.
 

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citement
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I must admit, I didn't test drive mine first but I really can't blame the stealer for that one. I didn't have my mc exemption on my license yet, so it would have been a bit difficult to convince them to let me test it out.

Now to their credit, they did let me jump on a used one they had there and take it around the parking lot for a few minutes just to get a feel.

So I purchased mine on reputation alone, but buying it new does make that a bit easier than buying a used one.

I didn't go to an H-D dealership, I went straight to Honda and stayed with Honda. Honda is all I wanted.
 

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They told me that when I was buying my bike. The bike was still in the crate. I had to put a deposit down (refundable) and after they assembled it, they let me ride it.
 

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WTF, Over!
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shock factor unrated
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there's a bike shop in rockingham nc that i do business with www.sportcyclesrockingham.com they still have the test ride available. never met anyone that went there and didn't get to test ride (except those with M endorsements on their license).
 

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Not as old as I feel...
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My local dealer says he makes an individual judgment call on test rides. Most of his "no test ride" decisions are geared toward younger customers looking for sport bikes. He said he has had several kids take a sport bike for a test ride who tried right off the bat to show off - right out of the parking lot - and have ended up in an ambulance ride. He showed me the marks on the building across the street where they jumped the curb and hit the building. If someone shows up on a bike he generally doesn't have a problem. No problem, again, for most cruisers unless something about the customer says "I have no idea what I'm doing and am going to wreck the bike and hurt myself."

I respect that plan. Reduces his liability and may stop some idiot from getting hurt.

G26
 

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-Reaper
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when i went to buy my bike the guy asked me if i wanted to test drive it and i told him that i didnt have my endorsment and he said thats fine and i could still ride it around, my father owns a harley and when i went to find me a bike he insisted that i either go with a honda or yamaha
 

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I can appreciate they dealer's position, but if they can't find a way to accomodate I would wear the scarlet "R" and go somewhere else. Fortunately, I haven't had that issue with either of my Honda shops.
 

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Grand Poobah
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Doug are you talking about Tilley H-D? I grew up in Rockwell and headed up there after I got my license for my first bike several years back. "We don't do that" (test ride) and "Why don't you get your parents to come in and talk to us" I was 21..TWENTY ONE and he was going to talk to me like I am some little kid. Little did he know that I had 1/2 of the MSRP in my pocket ready to ride. I ended up in RPM in Albemarle and the guys were great. When I asked them to test ride they had one or two quick safety questions for me and then asked me to do a figure 8 on this 250 nighthawk that was beat up to make sure I wouldn't drop it. I had no problem with this. I test rode a used model and ended up buying a new one because I liked the color better. I had never really did a lot of research on Hondas but that day I bought my old Sabre..nearly straight out.

I've heard extreme cycles in Salisbury is pretty decent...I know they carry Iron Horse stuff too. Which dealership in Concord? Sounds like I need to pay a visit.
 

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shock factor unrated
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that should have been "except those without the M endorsment on their license". sorry about that typo
 

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Dragon Slayer
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My local dealer says he makes an individual judgment call on test rides. Most of his "no test ride" decisions are geared toward younger customers looking for sport bikes. He said he has had several kids take a sport bike for a test ride who tried right off the bat to show off - right out of the parking lot - and have ended up in an ambulance ride. He showed me the marks on the building across the street where they jumped the curb and hit the building. If someone shows up on a bike he generally doesn't have a problem. No problem, again, for most cruisers unless something about the customer says "I have no idea what I'm doing and am going to wreck the bike and hurt myself."

I respect that plan. Reduces his liability and may stop some idiot from getting hurt.

G26
:patriot:
I agree Ghost, from the dealer's point of view, you don't want liability to come back and bite your a$$. Usually you can tell who belongs on a bike and who doesn't
 

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My local dealer says he makes an individual judgment call on test rides. Most of his "no test ride" decisions are geared toward younger customers looking for sport bikes. He said he has had several kids take a sport bike for a test ride who tried right off the bat to show off - right out of the parking lot - and have ended up in an ambulance ride. He showed me the marks on the building across the street where they jumped the curb and hit the building. If someone shows up on a bike he generally doesn't have a problem. No problem, again, for most cruisers unless something about the customer says "I have no idea what I'm doing and am going to wreck the bike and hurt myself."

I respect that plan. Reduces his liability and may stop some idiot from getting hurt.

G26
This I can understand. But there really is nt difference in liability between test driving a car and a motorcycle. The car dealers I have gone to all make copies of your drivers license and a copy of your Proof of Insurance card. For a motorcycle dealer all they have to do is make sure you have motorcycle license and proof of insurance. Now I can see a dealer not letting a person with no motorcycle riding experience and no MC endorsement or license not take a test ride but anyone that rides in a motorcycle be able to take a test ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The shop in Concord that would not let us test ride was "Ride Now". The name should be "Buy Now, Ride Later" The H-D Dealer that wanted a $2,000.00 damage deposit was Charlotte H-D. Incidentlly, the gave a great "Rider's Edge" Course. Tilly's H-D was moving while we were looking and took months to line up a "Rider's Edge" course, so that's why were at Charlotte H-D and now I'm "Honda Hooked"; no longer lusting after the bikes of the Motor Company. The folks that allow me to test ride, whom I have bought bikes from, is Salisbury Cycle Center at http://www.salisburycyclecenter.com/ They also fix our bikes right the first time and don't overcharge us. We just go to "Ride Now" to look at the new models now. Rumblebear's definition of "rube" coincides with my intended usage. BTW- me and the g/f arrived on bikes. We both have MC endorsements and insurance. It was a used cruiser with a few dings anyway. She's almost thirty and I am forty-five and I am an attorney and have enough money in my checking account to have bought the bike straight out if I wanted to. I'm gonna have the guys at SCC look for a similar bike for her. The "Buy Now" guys said that if I bought it and did not like it they might could "undo" the purchase. That's when I giggled. I don't giggle much.
 
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