Posted on Sep 02, 2020

Four Common Mistakes When Test Riding a New Motorcycle

Whether it is out of pure curiosity or sheer boredom, have you ever found yourself aching to try out a different motorcycle? Well, there has never been a better time. Recently, there has been a rise in ride-sharing, rental services, and apps that allow riders to rent all different kinds of motorcycles directly from their owners for a few days.

These new services present a great deal of opportunity for riders to get behind the handlebars of a different bike and see how they like it. However, it also brings a certain degree of responsibility on the part of the renter. We have compiled a list of some common mistakes people can make in test riding new motorcycles so that you will be able to steer clear if you ever try these services.

  1. Booking a ride without research: As tempting as it can be to see a cool-looking ride and instantly wanting to book a rental, it is important to thoroughly research the bikes before you get on for a ride. Understanding things like gas tank size, fuel economy, bike size, and proportions will help inform you whether or not this shiny new bike will be a good fit for your lifestyle or not, if only for a few days.
  2. Setting off without getting familiar: When you are handed the keys to your new rental/test ride, we encourage all motorcyclists to perform a thorough safety walk around and get familiar with it before you take it for a spin. Sit in the saddle and make sure all necessary controls are situated in easily accessible and comfortable positions. Check the brakes, make sure you know how to access the fuel tank, adjust the seat to best fit your comfort, and make sure you have the owner’s manual handy in case you need to reference it during your time with the bike.
  3. Riding aimlessly: One of the worst things riders can do when testing out a new ride is riding off without having a planned route. The last thing you would want on a ride with someone else’s bike is to get lost or potentially find yourself in a dangerous situation after a wrong turn. Have a course or destination in mind before you take off and consider asking the owner where they like to take the bike. If you are planning to take a rental for a longer ride, be sure to lay out your route well in advance to account for necessary fuel and rest stops that you will require along the way.
  4. Giving in to confirmation bias: While you will definitely be interested in a specific motorcycle if you are going to the trouble of taking it for a test ride, it is important to approach the situation objectively. If you find yourself uncomfortable in the saddle after even short rides, stopping to fill up too often or you are otherwise dissatisfied with the performance of your rental, it is OK to walk away from the experience knowing that specific motorcycle is not for you – that’s part of the discovery process.

Following these guidelines will help to ensure that your next motorcycle rental or test ride is as safe, effective, and productive as possible. Moreover, as always, it is important to approach these situations with safety in the front of your mind and follow best practices for riding safely.

Should you or a loved one be injured in a motorcycle accident, we encourage you to reach out to the skilled attorneys at Hupy and Abraham to begin building your case. Our attorneys have the necessary experience and abilities to get you the best possible outcome in your case. Our offices can be reached at 800-800-5678 or via online chat at

For more relevant news and articles for motorcyclists, check out the Current News for Riders page on

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.