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Thread: Pre-purchase Test Rides

  1. #1

    Pre-purchase Test Rides

    I contacted a local dealer regarding a potential purchase of a new BMW bike. They are a multi brand dealer and have a decent assortment of new BMW's but not the specific model I was interested in, that being an F700GS. They advised that they could locate one for me if I were a serious buyer, (don't know? I've owned over 20 bikes in my 50 yr riding career, including 9 BMW's) I told them I was serious, but I wasn't going to order a bike without seeing it and going for a test ride. The sales guy is a very nice, and knowledgeable professional, who then advised me that they do not allow any pre-purchase test rides on BMW bikes.

    I understand that I am at the doorstep of geezerdom, but how the hell do they sell any bikes? I also understand that it is probably a dealer restriction and maybe/possibly BMW exercises no policy regarding test rides, (although BMW is inclined to exercise policy on everything else).

    Is this a new marketing plan by BMW? Is it a rarity among other BMW dealers? Or is this the new norm?

    Want to test ride a Harley? Just point to the one you want (I don't want) and they will roll it out the door. Triumph? It's even on their website asking if you want a test ride.

    So do I need to wait for bike week and they make a reservation?

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I think this is up to the dealer. I wouldn't take it so personal. You got a chance to see how this dealer operates- for free!
    If you want to mention where you are, chances are a Member can recommend a more accommodating place to make your purchase.
    OM
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  3. #3
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewoof View Post
    I contacted a local dealer regarding a potential purchase of a new BMW bike. They are a multi brand dealer and have a decent assortment of new BMW's but not the specific model I was interested in, that being an F700GS. They advised that they could locate one for me if I were a serious buyer, (don't know? I've owned over 20 bikes in my 50 yr riding career, including 9 BMW's) I told them I was serious, but I wasn't going to order a bike without seeing it and going for a test ride. The sales guy is a very nice, and knowledgeable professional, who then advised me that they do not allow any pre-purchase test rides on BMW bikes.

    I understand that I am at the doorstep of geezerdom, but how the hell do they sell any bikes? I also understand that it is probably a dealer restriction and maybe/possibly BMW exercises no policy regarding test rides, (although BMW is inclined to exercise policy on everything else).

    Is this a new marketing plan by BMW? Is it a rarity among other BMW dealers? Or is this the new norm?

    Want to test ride a Harley? Just point to the one you want (I don't want) and they will roll it out the door. Triumph? It's even on their website asking if you want a test ride.

    So do I need to wait for bike week and they make a reservation?
    Go to a different dealer, if that's an option. Or, as you note, a dealer of a brand that offers test rides.
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  4. #4
    Interesting. After you purchase a bike BMW sends out a survey. One of the questions asks if you were offered a test ride. I think there is some give and play with the dealers and BMW on inventory and test bikes. But I get the feeling the company encourages test rides.
    Buck in Greensboro, NC
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  5. #5
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    My guess is this is a dealer decision. BMW USA's website has a test ride request link.

    http://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/us/en/index.html

    This link takes you to the main US website. Click on the Test Ride tab. This will give you a short drop down menu. Click on request a test ride. You will be asked some basic information about where you are located then the app will find a dealer near you. Next you will get a form to fill out to request a test ride.

    I don't know what goes on behind the scenes in this process. While I am certain every bit of information is gathered, filed away in a database and analyzed by someone; there may be more. BMW may offset expenses, insurance, make specific models available or other things for participating dealers. I do not know

    My dealer, a large multi-brand dealer, is iffy about BMW test rides and cautious in general about test rides in general for walk-ins but overall is a very good dealer and will work with people. It came up on the the search when I just ran through the process.

    Good luck with your decision.

  6. #6
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    I have never been able to get a test drive for any BMW motorcycle I have purchased in either of the the two (mulit-line) dealerships in Alberta even after already buying three from one on them. Is this a Canada thing again? Also no survey. So wondering if this is a BMW Motorrad Canada thing or a dealership thing.
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  7. #7
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bogthebasher View Post
    I have never been able to get a test drive for any BMW motorcycle I have purchased in either of the the two (mulit-line) dealerships in Alberta even after already buying three from one on them. Is this a Canada thing again? Also no survey. So wondering if this is a BMW Motorrad Canada thing or a dealership thing.
    I checked a couple other BMW country sites and found mixed results. It has long baffled me that we are asked to buy bikes from various manufacturers and dealers without test rides.

  8. #8
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
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    Dealer decides. If he doesn't have a designated model for testing and none in physical inventory, he may well prefer not to order without a deposit. I got burnt a couple of times on having a certain color in stock, which customer rode...but he wanted a different color. Had to order....he swore he'd buy it on arrival. Bike arrives and he doesn't even return calls. Finally he had his wife call indicating he would not take it. The other time, guy lost his deposit when we had to order a bike specifically for him. It isn't personal. Especially this time of year, no one wants excess inventory.

    Do visit dealer with in stock to see if test available...but if you do, be sure to consider any offer from him seriously before returning to original dealer, if that's the plan.
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  9. #9
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mika View Post
    I checked a couple other BMW country sites and found mixed results. It has long baffled me that we are asked to buy bikes from various manufacturers and dealers without test rides.
    "If I (the dealer) don't have to carry insurance to cover this liability, why incur the cost on speculation of a few more sales?

    I can see this being the bottom line for a dealer.
    Last edited by 36654; 08-23-2016 at 04:27 PM.
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  10. #10
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    "If I (the dealer) don't have to carry insurance to cover this liability, why incur the cost on speculation of few more sales?

    I can see this being the bottom line for a dealer.
    I agree this is a bottom line issue for dealers in many ways. Still it has long baffled me that something as expensive, new or used, has become, in many ways, an impulse buy.

  11. #11
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    I'd follow through with Mika's link and see if anything comes of it.

    As has been said, each dealer has their own policy, but you'd hope BMW would have some influence. This time of year you won't get any Demo-Days, but in the spring many dealerships have a fleet of BMWs show up for a one-day Demo-Day. If the dealer you went to is the logical choice for you and you can wait until the spring, ask the salesman if they put on Demo-Days and if so can they put you on a list of people that want to be notified and can they make a note of the bike you want to try.

    I'm in Atlantic Canada and unfortunately we only have one dealer to service a very large geographical area, but they do put on a Demo-Day every spring and also allow demo rides from potential customers at any time if they have that model in stock. Check to see if the have Demo-Days.
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  12. #12
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mika View Post
    I agree this is a bottom line issue for dealers in many ways. Still it has long baffled me that something as expensive, new or used, has become, in many ways, an impulse buy.
    No argument on it not being very logical.

    But, how many snowmobiles, bass/ski boats or RV's are sold without a test ride? I would guess most are sold without a test drive.
    Last edited by 36654; 08-23-2016 at 06:14 PM.
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  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    A more likely policy at multi-brand dealers, I'd speculate. In any event, I'd avoid multi-brand dealers in any event ... unless maybe it's Ducati. You want a dealer whose customers are grownups.
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  14. #14
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    unless maybe it's Ducati......................
    Grown-ups on the return trip to childhood?
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  15. #15
    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    No one wants to buy the bike that someone else put miles on and turned the pipes blue/gold. I want mine with as close to zero miles as possible. Try taking a new Corvette for a spin.
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