Too many buyers take delivery on a new motorcycle with defects. Inspect your new motorcycle before you drive it off of the lot. Check it out just as if you would a motorcycle with 50,000 miles on it. Have the dealer fixed any defect, no matter how minor, before you drive away with a motorcycle helmet with bluetooth. Once you are off that lot, the odds for getting a quick and satisfactory warranty repair diminishes. Check for the following:
- No nicks, cracks or cuts in the paint, plastic or vinyl
- All options and accessories are installed and working properly
- With the bike on the center stand, check that the tires are aligned and that the chain is aligned
- Check all lighting and electrical options
- Have the dealer start the machine. Be sure that it warms up well and I goes down to its normal idle RPM.
- Check for the toolkit and any other included options (e.g., we’ll chain lock, then covers)
If there is anything wrong or missing, the dealer will probably try to correct it on the spot. Otherwise it will be only a day or two. But leave the bike on the lot! That few days weight will be much shorter than the amount of time it would take if you drive off the lot first. Remember that you do not formally take delivery of the bike into you write it out onto the street. And then, all things change.
The salesperson should provide you with an orientation to the bike. He or she should go over all of the controls and features, show you where all the technical information is located and serial numbers are stamped and demonstrate how to remove the quarter panels that you will often remove. Be sure that you understand all of this before you hit the road.
If the bike checks out, enjoy. But take your time on the way home. These first few miles on the most dangerous miles you ever ride. Studies show that motorcycle riders on unfamiliar motorcycles are at extremely high risk of accident.
Warranties and Warranty Repairs
This is a big issue in the motorcycle industry. Dealers have a contractual requirement with the motorcycle manufacturer to perform warranty repairs on any bike brought to them of that manufacturer. In reality, some dealers refuse to perform want to work on a bike bought from a local competitor.
Some dealers take this too far, refusing to do any warranty work on any motorcycle not bought at that dealership.
I have sympathy for the dealer who refuses to perform warranty work on a bike bought from a competitor. Warranty work does not pay the bills. Most manufacturers pay a reduced rate or attached caveats to what warranty work they will and will not pay for. If you did not give a dealer the fat, juicy business opportunity to sell you a bike, why should this dealer take your warranty work?
If it is not too far to go to buy the bike, it should not be too far to go to have it warranty work performed. But there are situations where a dealership perform warranty work on a bike not bought at the dealership. I have heard plenty of stories of military personnel and other folks being moved across the country only to find that some local goofball dealer will not make good on the manufacturer’s warranty.
This is not only unpatriotic, it is an insipid business practice that alienates potential customers. If you find yourself in this situation you have tough choices. You can for the dealer to perform the work through legal wrangling and much letter riding. This wastes a good deal of energy and takes time. Then again do you really want that dealer touching your bike? Take your business elsewhere and spread the word about the jerks at intransigent shop.
Some dealers will do want to work on bikes bought at other dealerships. These villas are saints should be rewarded with your loyal business.
To be reasonably sure that the dealers is willing to make repairs, check the dealer’s reputation with motorcycle groups, local consumer groups and the Better Business Bureau. The time to do this is before you buy a motorcycle helmet with bluetooth.