wae SuperDork
5/31/18 1:40 p.m.

I've got a couple motorcycles that I've decided it's time to part ways with and I'm going to wash them up, get them started, take some pictures, and get them for sale.  I might go as far as putting fresh batteries in, but they both have aged-out tires and the Goldwing could really use a fresh head bearing.  I'm not expecting to get big money for them, one is an '87 Goldwing and the other is a '91 Nighthawk 750 so I don't want to treat this as though I'm trying to sell something that's actually nice, if you know what I mean.  

When selling a car, I've typically just flipped the keys over and either gone with or stayed behind, just depending on the vibe I got from the potential buyer.  I sure as heck am not going to ride second seat with some random and it seems like the potential to have someone lay my bike down and just walk away is there.

What have you done when selling a bike?  Do you just check their license to make sure they have an endorsement and let 'em go?  Take money first then test ride?  I mean, I know I'm not talking about an expensive bike here but at the same time I'd rather not just throw them away because someone wanted a joy ride.

8valve Reader
5/31/18 2:00 p.m.

No test rides period, without 100% deposit.  Mostly because of fear of theft rather than fear of joy ride or a lay down.. 

Cousin_Eddie HalfDork
5/31/18 2:04 p.m.

I've sold a good number of motorcycles on Craigslist. No one ever showed up even expecting a test ride. They looked them over carefully, listened to them run, paid money, and took it away. Generally, motorcycles, unlike cars, you don't even get to road test them when you buy them from the dealer in the first place.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
5/31/18 2:06 p.m.

I make sure they have their license/permit and seem to know what they're talking about,  then explain "you drop it you bought it, you crash it you bought it, you die on it your ghost has to haunt somebody until they buy it," then they get the keys.  Depending on how trustworthy they seem, I might let them go on their own while I keep their license, or maybe I hop on a different bike and we both go for a ride.

I don't understand anyone buying a supposedly good bike without a test ride- I sure wouldn't buy from somebody who wouldn't let me take a test ride!  That said, your bikes sound a bit more like projects so they might not be safe for somebody to take a spin on regardless.

EvanB MegaDork
5/31/18 2:26 p.m.

Only one of the (running) motorcycles I have purchased was without a test ride, even then when I came back with the cash they let me test ride it to make sure I was happy with it. 

When selling I don't specify and sometimes the buyer wants to test ride it, other times they don't. I make sure they have their motorcycle endorsement and let them ride it. 

One time my friend was buying a motorcycle and the seller wouldn't allow test rides but said he would ride it up and down the road to show everything worked. The seller wrecked it right in front of his house and my friend left without a bike. 

Ransom PowerDork
5/31/18 3:33 p.m.

When it was registered, my plan was to allow test rides with me holding the cash and the clear understanding that breathing on it wrong would mean purchase.

Now that the reg is lapsed, I'm very clear in the ad that I cannot allow rides, but will show it, and will happily deliver it to the shop of their choice for inspection.

Bob the REAL oil guy.
Bob the REAL oil guy. MegaDork
5/31/18 3:43 p.m.

Wish you were closer, co-worker is looking for a first bike. that nighthawk would be perfect for her. 

8valve Reader
5/31/18 3:53 p.m.
Cousin_Eddie said:

I've sold a good number of motorcycles on Craigslist. No one ever showed up even expecting a test ride. They looked them over carefully, listened to them run, paid money, and took it away..

Same here...  we must live in bad neighborhoods.   :P

ae86andkp61 HalfDork
6/1/18 1:44 a.m.

Around here the standard seems to be cash-in-hand for test rides, if at all. To make it even more explicit (as a seller) I bill it as, "Hear it run for free. Test rides available with bike purchase; if you don't like it after the test ride, I'll buy it back for full price within 15-20 minutes in a condition I'm satisfied with, otherwise it is yours." Anyone who quickly turns to tire-kicking at that point isn't a real buyer anyway. I hold the cash plus the title, they ride the bike, and we do the paperwork when they get back satisfied.

dculberson UltimaDork
6/1/18 5:02 a.m.

I say no test rides in the ad and it hasn’t been a problem. I’ve only sold three bikes before but each buyer was understanding. I’ve had friends with horror stories about wrecked bikes and buyers attempting to cover it up or dash. No thank you!!

wae SuperDork
6/1/18 6:14 a.m.

Thank you all for the info!  I agree that it seems weird to buy a vehicle without being able to drive it first, but it sounds like that's not outside of the norm.  I think my approach will be to not broach the subject in the ad, but when and if a prospective buyer shows up, we can start it up in the driveway and let it run, but if they want to go anywhere, I'll need a deposit of the price of the bike, cash in hand.  The bikes aren't really major projects -- the tires hold air, they run, go, and stop, but the tires really should be replaced simply because of the age and the Nighthawk battery is kaput because I had to take the Battery Tender off of it and then forgot to put it back on.

Bob:  If your location data in your profile is correct, you're not that far :)  I'm actually going to be in Indy the 12th and 13th and I've got a trailer...  :)

MulletTruck Reader
6/1/18 10:14 a.m.

I usually give all my old bikes away and have them trailer them away. Its always to someone I know so its not a real issue.

The last bike I actually sold for money was my turbo Hayabusa. I took CASH, held the title and went with him on the test ride on my other bike. I made sure they had a MC license too.

Ransom PowerDork
6/1/18 12:37 p.m.

I guess it might've been pertinent to add that I bought my bike the same way I expect to sell it. I had it inspected at a shop I like, and never rode it until I'd bought it.

Fortunately, it turned out to be awesome!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
6/1/18 1:16 p.m.

I've bought and sold bikes where either as a buyer I got a test ride, or as a seller I let the buyer take it for a test ride.  No problems either way, but of course you want to make sure they have a license.  I also always had something of theirs as collateral to make sure they returned, like the car they arrived in.

44Dwarf UberDork
8/17/18 9:10 a.m.

Sold a dirt bike Monday night off FaceBook.

Met the buyer at the local Police Dept parking lot.  They have a INTERNET sales lot.  Full video surveillance and a one way window to the dispatchers office.

Kid forked over the $$ then took it for a spin in the parking lot got it in to 3rd gear and loaded it.  I was suprised the cops didn't come out as its a dirt bike and kid had no helmet, but think they understood i didn't want a stranger coming around the house.

I generally pay and load it up up then again i also buy very few ready to ride bikes.  If I feel somethings odd i'll run it through the gear on the center stand or in a driveway.



speedyracer New Reader
3/20/19 9:00 p.m.

write a good post, found relevant forums via google, post your message with all the conditions, bump thread time to time and looking for the interested person

chaparral Dork
3/21/19 1:58 p.m.

Test rides encouraged, bike insured against theft, take a photo of driver's license and check motorcycle endorsement. I'd rather sell the bike than have people nitpick over it. If someone already has his helmet and gloves on when I roll it out on he's not going to check every scrape and rock chip.


Petrolburner Dork
4/4/19 4:42 p.m.

Cash in my hand lets you test ride it.  I wouldn't buy one without test riding.  I've bought 15 or 20 bikes so far in my life and never without a test ride.  One time a guy followed me on another bike of his.  Then when we got back to his house I took my girlfriend on the back for a test ride and he just said, "Have fun!"

kernymi New Reader
4/12/19 7:59 a.m.

Payment first before test ride or at least downpayment if the buyer agrees to test ride it with you on wheels. Craiglist is one of best platforms to sell bikes and motorcycles. Facebook is also helpful as it could reach more potential buyers. It is important to check first the buyers' personal details before negotiating personally. We know that their many bogus buyers out there.

wae SuperDork
4/12/19 8:06 a.m.

True story:  I clicked on this thinking "hey, I've got a couple bikes I need to sell.  Maybe this will be helpful information!"

Totally forgot I started this thread a year ago.  

Still haven't gotten around to selling the bikes, but I think that this might be a sign that I really really need to get that done :)

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