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paulv 06-28-2001 01:31 AM

Test Rides
I'm interested in how this works in other places outside of the US. Over here in Australia test rides are not an issues at all. I'm in the market for a new bike at the moment, and so far I've taken four bikes for test rides of at least half an hour each after walking in off the street.

Surely this is just a matter of proper insurance and excess (you sign your life away when you take it but that's the same as test driving a car).

Heard some great stories from a Ducati dealer though... like the guy who took a 996 for a test ride and flipped it doing a mono... *sigh*

sanchin 06-28-2001 04:11 AM

Re: Test Rides
I think the process may vary regionally around the U.S. Here in New Hampshire, Buell dealers allow demos any time. The Japanese dealers have never let me demo ride anything. The Triumph company seems to have a Demo truck that has samples of all their bikes, but it was only here one weekend and I was away. There is one dealer that sells only used bikes that will let you demo with a deposit. At the Laconia/Loudon Rally (375,000 attendees) Harley Davidson, Buell, and many others had demo bikes but other than Buell they were all cruisers. Maybe I'm not going to the right dealers, or maybe they don't think I'm serious, but I specifically asked my local Yamaha/Suzuki dealer if I could ride an SV650, but they said no. I am a middle aged guy who has been riding for many years with no points on my license, no accidents, and I usually ride in on a bike, so they ought to know I have at least minimal skills.

I too would be interested in how the demo situation is other places.

CBR1000F 06-28-2001 08:06 AM

Re: Words from an Industry Insider
Dude... That was uncalled for, LOL. You shouldn't go randomly inflicting bad puns on everybody like that!

CBR1000F 06-28-2001 08:17 AM

Re: TV brainwashes
Yeah... my parents got by with a station wagon... and then for a while, people got by with minivans... Of what USE is a gas-guzzling, bad handling, limited seating (and it IS, compared to a minivan) SUV that'll NEVER see a fire trail, let alone actually go off-road? Not to mention that SUV's have the highest profit margin of all 4 wheeled passenger vehicles... I don't have an objection to SUV's, I just have an objection to people that buy them to be big station wagons.

sanchin 06-28-2001 09:02 AM

Loud pipes
I agree that this is a great post. If a police officer were to drive down the roads I ride everyday in a vehicle like a mini-van they would see dozens of very seriously dangerous maneuvers by drivers.

On the loud pipes issue, here in NH it carries over into watercraft. Apparrently the sound made be 2-stroke pwc's is more offensive to some than the roar of an unmuffled v-8 inboard. (the rich elite also don't like the fact that the peasants can afford pwc's, and thus enjoy their once exclusive playground). My 2-cents is that any vehicle or device that is excessively load violates everyone else's right to peace and quiet. This includes bikes, boats, cars, car stereos, tractors, atv's and such. I don't care what is being loud, only that if a (car,bike, or whatever) goes by my house and I suddenly can't hear my tv, or listen to my kids talking, it is too loud. It is only a matter of time before big-brother steps in, and I'm sure that whatever they do will not be good for any of us.

If you like loud vehicles, go to a track. If you like loud music, get headphones, but keep it down otherwise.

mercybeat 06-28-2001 10:34 AM

Thats why I bought my BMW.
I had been looking for years. My main reason for waiting so long was my wife ( enough said ). I went to 4 dealers in St. Louis. The first one was a Harley dealer. The Harley salesman treated me like I was a Hell's angel's wanna be with out a wallet. He left me to go spend a ton more time with two other guys that were in their forties and drove expensive SUV's. He convenced me that I did not fall into the NEO Harley sub-culture. ( 40+ guys with too much money that need something to park on thier driveways ) So I left. On to the Honda Dealership. The Honda sales man was a bit nicer to me. However..... He also did not seem to have much faith in my ability to raise capital for a motorcycle. He was nice... but kept pointing me to the VFR800 and the CBR600. ( I was interested in the NightHawk or maybe a Shadow ). This sales man just plain dropped me all together as soon as a SUV driver pulled up and shouted that he wanted to look at a Goldwing. I left never to return. On to the Suziki dealer. Where I was looking at the SV650, GS500. These bikes did not really grab me. I looked over at a Kaw Concours and started to drool. It was very close to what I was looking for. Solid engine. Solid suspension and it could traverse the country if needed. How ever the sales man was even more of a prick then the two other dealers. First he wanted to steer me over to the crusiers and talked to me like i did not know a chain from a brake line. Then he started trying to get me to do the dealer's financeing. ( Biggest ripoff I have ever seen ). He was convenced that I could not afford a go cart much less a motorcycle unless I got the loan from him. So now I'm livid. He thinks he can sell a Cheese burger to a Jew. Then... Guess what happened... Yep.. Another 40+ guy walks in and I'm dropped while looking at the concours. I wait for 20 mins... with my checkbook in my hand for the deposit. Then the worst... I hear the other customer ask the salesman if he wants to go back to helping me... the salesman says ( no s#!t ) "He's just looking around."

So now I'm headed home after a day of being dumpped on by every dealer in St. Louis. Except for one. On my way home I decided to stay on the highway and head downtown to Bmw Motorrad. I am met at in the lot by a very nice man that Is the owner.. He asks what kind of bike i'm looking for. I tell him i'm not real sure. And that I have not made up my mind on what bike I want. Just that I want to drive it to work every day and maybe be able to take it on long trips. He Then starts showing me 3 motorcycles. Starts asking how much I was thinking about spending. ( I told him 8 grand like all the other dealers ). He then walked me over to a F650. A used R1100GS used K75 standard. I told him that I liked the K75 and the F650GS. He asked why I liked them. I told him that I liked naked bikes. He then explained that a customer that bought a bike last week was in to pick it up and asked if I would like to wait or talk to another sales man before he left me. I asked for another salesman. He went in and out came a very nice lady. She walked over as said "You like Naked bikes?" I said "Yep". Thats when she showed me a R1100RL. It was just over 9000.00. She then told me about the bike and why she thought it was the best daily commuter made. I told her that I was hoping for something closer to 8,000.00 dollars and she still stayed with me for another 30 mins till I was ready to leave. When I was ready to leave she asked if i would like any info on the motorcycles I was looking at. I said yes thank you and was back the next day with the paper work from my credit union. Then a 16 hour wait and I was pulling out of the dealership on my new R1100RL.

Where am i going with this? It seemed strange that 3 out of four dealers would treat me the exact same way. While at the BMW Dealership many people came in with nicer cars then me. I was in a old white undershirt and jeans driving a saturn. For some unknown reason the BMW dealership saw me as a customer. The others saw me as a lookie-loo and treated me so. Also.. The sales lady had alot more information on her motorcycles then any of the other dealers.
By spending a hour with me talking about my needs. Asking what I would use the bike for. and Generally treating me like I might actually buy a motorcycle they made a sale. The other dealer just made sure that I would never enter there shop again.

This was my first new motorcycle. All my other motorcycles were used. I almost decided on a used motorcycle that day. I'm glad that I gave one more dealer a chance first. The saleswoman even talked me though the process of getting my motorcycle license. (something I had never had before).

The biggest difference I see between the BMW dealer and the others is that BMW seems to train their people on the Motorcycles and also how to treat people when they come in the door. After I signed everything at the dealer and before I rode off I told them my story. They only had one thing to say. "I guess they don't need to sell any bikes."

Damon C. Richardson


Gabe 06-30-2001 09:11 PM

I'll Fix That!
Harleys suck! Suzukis Suck!

Seriously, how come nobody ever talks about Ducatis sucking? If any company deserves a reputation for producing overpriced and unreliable products, Ducati is it!

Please note: I did not say Ducatis suck, nor did I say they are overpriced or unrelaiable, I was just remarking that compared to other companies, they might deserve such a reputation.

CarsSuck 07-04-2001 09:32 PM

For not riding to work.
Lanesplitting is not illegal anywhere, it's just not specifically legal. I lanesplit every day, and I ride in winter every day. I'm not saying everyone should, but it's more than possible (it's not even difficult or unpleasant), but you'd think you could at least take the bike to work. If you don't want to, don't. I'm not your mom. But it sounded like excuses for not riding to work. Just accept your lot as a recreational motorcyclist, not part of the solution.

Reprobate 07-23-2001 04:45 AM

Re: You what?
Uh-oh, someone misread my message. I wrote that I nudged over a BMW that was parked by someone who didn't understand how to park a bike on a slope. I didn't push over this bike, I didn't realise it was parked this way and nudged it over by accident [I walked around my Vespa, bumped my ass lightly against the BMW's panniers and it fell over]. Together with someone from a flower stand nearby I managed to pick up the BMW and put it on the centerstand [which evidently wasn't broken]. Far as I could see there was no damage to the BMW. I didn't see the owner, as I had to leave before he/she did. I did leave a note on the dual seat with my name and address and a short explanation what happened, so in case of damage my insurance would pay [or fight it out with his/her insurance]. What I tried to tell with my story is that it was the responsibility of the BMW owner to park his bike in a fashion that a) nobody would bump into it, and b) it wouldn't tip over if someone farted in its direction.

Far as I know, nobody tipped over my bike. Maybe it's the 10,000 volt electric field that electrocutes anyone that dares to come within a two-meter radius of my bike.

Reprobate Rules.

Reprobate 07-23-2001 05:27 AM

I ride a Yamaha Diversion 900 [which I gather is not for sale in the US], but my girlfriend rides a Bandit 1200s [with a fairing]. We just spend three weeks traversing France with panniers and tankbags, riding mountain roads too small for two cars to pass each other. Predictably the Bandit's shorter wheelbase and more powerful engine allowed it to traverse these roads with less trouble [and less lean] than the Diversion 900, which has a five/six centimeter longer wheelbase and 10 hp less [and a shaft instead of a chain, which makes it react a little sluggish compared to the Bandit]. We had a lot of fun and I'd say the Bandit 1200 would be an excellent choice for anyone who'd like to divert from the straight and wide to the curved and narrow.

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