Be warned, it is a common MO amongst motorbike thieves to test ride a bike that is advertised for sale, they hand over a fake DL, or a credit card or their car keys as security, and end up leaving the stolen car, fake keys, or the credit card that didn’t belong to the perp in the first place behind. They leave on your bike never to be seen again.
The second most common occurrence is someone test riding a bike, and when they are at the sellers house they check out what sort of storage and security the bike has, and then come back to steal it later the old fashioned way at a later date “yoink”!
SOME TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK
The safest way to sell your bike is to a licensed dealer or someone you know personally… obviously. But the issue is that the majority of people selling bikes want to get top dollar. This is understandable but you will bear the additional risk of dealing with the bike in this way. So therefore if you ABOLSULTY MUST sell the bike privately then you should consider doing the tips below which will not guarantee something bad happening, but it might mitigate the risk to an acceptable level:
1) When people contact you to arrange inspection of the advertised bike, meet them at a location that is not a location where the bike is normally housed, EG: Friends house, parents house, or the local BP Servo…. Right under the security camera.
2) When people call advise and disclose to them that “I am happy for you to come and visually/mechanically check the bike, but I will not be allowing test rides until such time as you (the buyer) have satisfied yourself that this is the bike you want, we have agreed on a price, and subject to a test ride the deal is done”. If the buyer says “but I wont know if I like the bike until I test ride it”, you can suggest that “it rides just like [insert make and model here] and perhaps you could satisfy yourself as to how that is by riding a dealers bike of the same vintage”.
3) If once you have agreed on a price, the buyer is happy with their visual inspection, and are satisfied and have agreed that subject to the test ride, the deal is done, have the buyer attend the test ride armed with 100 points of ID, just like the banks require. A current drivers license with photograph, a passport, a credit card in the same name, and a copy of a rates notice with their current address on it (which matches the other info provided).
4) Naturally make sure the lisense has an ‘R” class (or RE for <=250) on it.
5) On the day of the test ride hold this information, make a note of names, numbers, addressed etc whilst they are on the ride (or photocopy/scan if u have those facilities handy) and do not return it until they return with the bike....intact.
6) Set guidelines to the buyer as to what you will allow him to do on the bike and what you will not allow (IE: no breaking the law, speeding, fast corners, mingers, etc, and set a maximum time limit). Have a fellow PSB’r mate who has an above average set of riding skills and a equally capable bike attend the ride, and chaperone/follow the test rider just like a motorbike instructor and his student.
7) Leave only sufficient fuel in the bike to enable the bike to travel only a short distance in case they DO try to do a runner.
It sounds like allot of effort and an inconvenience to the prospective buyers but actually it is not. Firstly it shows prospective buyers that you are a serious seller, it qualifies the buyer and almost immediately removes time wasters and tire kickers. Most importantly thieves will phone the next guy who is an easier target. It is only the illegitimate buyer that will have a bit issue with your demands.
If, the prospective buyer wants you to ride the bike with the buyer as pillion for whatever reason such as they are not licensed in the relevant class, you wont be insured (see below) etc, then fine, but ensure again that you have your PSB’r mate follow on their bike either covertly or overtly just in case you are wrestled off your bike when stationary (not a hard thing to do when sitting directly behind someone).
AND FINALLY, INSURANCE WARNING...
Check your insurance policy. Most motorbike policies have an express condition that states that your motorbike WILL NOT BE INSURED if there is damage or theft as a result of your bike being test ridden for sale. For this very reason alone, no matter what you to do reduce the risk of something happening, if someone stacks your bike on a test ride, you will NOT be insured and it will be up to you to attempt to legally recover damages from the rider.