How to Test Ride Motorcycles Before You Buy: Harley, Suzuki, & More

Nov 27, 2023


test ride a motorcycle with Riders Share

So you’re in the market for a new motorcycle, or at least one that’s new to you. You browse all the magazines and online marketplaces, like Cycle TraderRideApart, or Motorcyclist Online, so you have an idea of what you want.

You narrowed down your choice to 3 bikes. They’re similar, but with slight differences in seat height, dimensions, horsepower...all those small details that end up being too important. How does that V4 engine feel compared to a V-Twin? Maybe you've never tried one. Maybe you don't like vibrations, even if your passenger rider does...

You also know that it takes 3 hours of riding on a seemingly comfortable bike before you realize it is not truly comfortable for your back. Or maybe you have never tried the clamshell position of a Harley Davidson cruiser and would like to experience it before committing to the sexy bike. Regardless, quick test rides normally don’t cut it. You need to experience the bike. So what do you do?

What To Do If You Want To Test Ride a Motorcycle

When you're on the verge of making that motorcycle dream a reality, the pivotal moment arrives—testing the waters, or in this case, the roads. As you think about which bike to choose from three options, you might wonder: How can you try them out? Well, that's where demo rides, dealership test rides, and motorcycle rentals come in.

1. Demo Rides

Sometimes, manufacturers offer demo rides. This is your best option. Unfortunately, they are very rare and usually only showcase brand-new motorcycle models. Maybe they tour the country once and if you are busy on those days they are in your city, you missed out.

2. Dealerships Test Rides

If demo rides don’t work out, you can also try your dealership. Some dealerships offer test rides on their demo bikes. For example, many Harley-Davidsons do. These are also free, which is a huge plus. However, an employee usually follows you around to ensure you are riding (very) safely. It is rare that they allow you to go onto a highway and hit over 80mph like you would in the real world. And they definitely will not allow you to keep the bike for a full 3 hours so you can find out what parts of your body actually hurt when you ride this bike over a long distance. And it doesn’t matter if you’re only in your 20s, your back will ache with the wrong bike after a long ride and will feel better with the right one.

3. Motorcycle Rental

If you truly want to prevent making a purchase that may end up being uncomfortable, a waste of money, or not your ideal fit, the best way to test-ride a motorcycle before you buy one is to use Riders Share. On our website, you can rent a motorcycle for a day and ride it for as many hours as your heart desires (or maybe even for several days!). Riders Share is like Airbnb or Turo but for motorcycles: owners their bikes to rent to riders like you. With thousands of bikes to rent across the United States from owners who truly know and understand their bikes, you can get the experience you crave. 

You can even ask the owner for details about the bike, how it rides, their recommendations, and more. It’s a first-hand experience you wouldn’t get from any dealership and definitely more involved than the information you can gather online. , 

By renting three distinct bikes over the course of a few days, you have the opportunity to test each one and determine which is the most comfortable. Comfort plays a crucial role in choosing a motorcycle model, as surveys often reveal it as the top reason for riders' preferences. While this option does come with a cost, consider it an investment in ensuring that the motorcycle you choose will be the perfect fit for your riding journey over the next 3-5 years. After all, your comfort on the road is invaluable.

4 different styles for those of you that like trying different positions. Riding positions.

Rider Pass

Maybe you have motorcycle commitment issues: you ride the 3 bikes and decide you WANT THEM ALL. You want them all but don't want (or can't) afford them all. It's not just the variety that you'd miss; it’s the monthly payments, insurance, responsibilities, and maintenance that concern you. For those of you who can't commit to one bike, Riders Share offers a subscription that provides a 35% discount on rentals. This way, you can rent bikes a couple of dozen times a year, save money compared to owning a bike, and get to ride a couple of dozen different bikes instead of one.

Brands To Consider

When it comes to choosing the perfect ride, considering the right brands is key.

Suzuki Test Ride

Suzuki offers test rides that let you experience the smooth handling and powerful performance of their bikes. It's a firsthand look at what makes Suzuki a standout choice, helping you decide if it's the right fit for your riding style.

Honda Test Ride

For a taste of reliability and innovation, Honda's test rides are the way to go. Explore their commitment to quality craftsmanship and get a feel for the ride that could be your trusted companion on the road.

Ducati Test Ride

Seeking a touch of Italian flair? Test riding a Ducati motorcycle is your ticket to exploring cutting-edge design and high-performance engineering. Ducati bikes offer a unique blend of style and substance, making them a standout choice for those who crave a bit of luxury on the road.

Harley Test Ride

Testing out a Harley Davidson is like stepping into a whole different world. Experience the comfort and unique riding style they're known for, and figure out if it's the key to unlocking your riding passion. If you're looking for a ride that's not just about getting from point A to B but about enjoying the journey, Harley is your ticket to that experience. Each brand brings its own perks, and testing riding is your way of finding the one that perfectly clicks with your two-wheeled dreams.

Rent a Harley Davidson to Test Ride with Riders Share

Considering a Harley Davidson motorcycle rental for your test ride? You can make it happen with Riders Share. Take the iconic Harley for a spin with their hassle-free Harley Davidson motorcycle rental service. But hold on, there's more. Riders Share isn't just about Harleys; it's your gateway to testing various brands, including Suzuki, Honda, Ducati, and more. So, if you're itching to experience the ride of your dreams, be it a Harley or another top-notch brand, Riders Share has you covered. 

So, what will you do to test-ride a bike? Will you take it easy, or will you go all out?