What Happens if You Crash a Motorcycle on a Test Ride?

I work at the dealership, and buyer drama after a motorcycle test ride is frequent. Thus, you will learn what happens if you crash a motorcycle on a test ride. Moreover, this article covers the dealer and buyer perspectives.

what happens if you crash a motorcycle on a test ride

Sometimes, buyers pay the deductible and suffer the hit on their insurance, and the dealership receives the checks from buyers’ insurance company.


Typically, test rides are calculated risk. It goes well often, but sometimes it hits the dealer.

A private seller, on the other hand, isn’t worried, especially when they have your cash in hand. Unfortunately, their insurance may not cover the test ride damage.


What Happens if You Crash a Motorcycle on a Test Ride?

Dropped bike at dealership

Motorcycle test ride crashes are typically unexpected accidents. When you crash a motorcycle on a test ride, you are responsible for accidental damages, including long-term healthcare, economic loss, and medical bills. Concerning the crashed motorcycle, people assume that the rider is responsible for the damage, but it is not necessarily true.

When a motorcycle is for sale and test-ride ready, the dealer or private seller’s insurance may cover it. However, the dealer might charge you an amount to handle crash situations. Most dealerships get a buyer to sign a waiver before a test ride. Unfortunately, if the seller’s insurance does not cover the motorcycle you are test riding, you are responsible for the damages. So, make sure to enquire about the coverage from the private seller or dealer before a test ride.

  • Dealership Test Ride Crash

What happens when you crash a motorcycle on a test ride at the dealership? If the dealership is insured, they file an insurance claim for their loss, and the third party’s loss may be claimed from the dealer. The insurance adjuster will examine the situation for opportunities to reduce their losses by claiming it against the test rider.

If the insurance finds you responsible for the drop, and you have a payment means or signed the test ride waiver, the insurance may seek personal recompense. Since the dealer is insured, you make the payment or give something in the equivalent value of the excess. You may also pay extra for ruining a new showroom motorcycle.


What if the dealership does not insure the motorcycle? If the dealership did not insure the motorcycle, a buyer is responsible for the damages. You may refer to the state law governing motorcycle sales. You might be able to fight the dealership for allowing a customer to test ride an uninsured motorcycle. Besides, it is a dealership’s responsibility to insure their motorcycles.

A dealer must explain the functionality and mechanism of a motorcycle before allowing a test ride. The brief education should cover the handling characteristics of the bike and additional features the buyer may not be aware of. The dealer must educate the rider on the motorcycle commands regardless of whether the test rider is experienced or inexperienced.

Dealerships typically request your driver’s license and make you sign a disclaimer before the test ride to pass the damage responsibility to you. The disclaimer does not mean you bought the motorcycle but makes you responsible for a test ride crash.

  • Demo Test Rides Crash

When a dealer offers demo rides during an advertised dealer open house event, their insurance covers it. Since you did not walk into the dealership to request a test ride, you do not have to pay for any damage. You may be responsible for accidental injuries, including economic loss, long-term healthcare, and medical bills depending on the dealer’s terms.

Nonetheless, read and ask questions before you sign the papers to accept the demo ride.

  • Private Seller Test Ride Crash

When you crash a private seller’s motorcycle on a test ride, what happens depends on your insurance or the private seller’s insurance policy.

In the UK, for example, the insurance of a current motorcycle covers the damage on third-party property. However, your insurance may not cover the motorcycle you are test riding. Moreover, it is common in private sales that when you buy a motorcycle and crash it, you are responsible for the damages. When you purchase from a private seller, of course, they collect payments first, and you can request your money back if there’s something you dislike about the motorcycle.

In the US, insurance contracts differ slightly. So, the seller’s insurance may cover the motorcycle you test ride. Sometimes, depending on your insurance policy, the motorcycle may be covered by your insurance as the rider. When a crash occurs, call your insurance company to find out about your coverage.

A Salesperson May Take the Blame for a Test Ride Crash

If you are purchasing a motorcycle at the dealership, the salesperson must determine whether you have the necessary skills and qualifications for a test ride. They should confirm that you have a valid driver’s license and of age to ride a motorcycle.

Some salespersons, out of the urge to sell, fail to examine a buyer before permitting a test ride. When the insurance company investigates the claim, the salesperson could be liable. Recently, a friend, a salesperson, allowed a teen to take a motorcycle at the dealership on a test ride. The teen claimed to be 18. An hour after, he returned with the wheels apart. During the investigation, the teen’s photo ID showed he was 15. The dealership was responsible for the damage, and the salesperson was fired. Well, the salesperson only attempted to force a sale that went berserk.

Mechanical Fault

The dealer is responsible for damages arising from any mechanical issue. However, the buyer or test rider may be penalized with a fine if they have inadequate riding skills and much unaware of legal regulations.

What to Do After a Motorcycle Test Ride Crash

First, check yourself and be conscious of your health. If you sustain an injury, seek emergency medical aid.

If you are still fit and OK, take pictures or videos of the accident spot using your mobile phone. Capture the scene closely and do not change the position of the bike on the ground. Do not also pick or replace broken parts until after capturing everything.

Next, call the police and file a police report. Notify your insurance and file a claim. If you did not verify whether the motorcycle is insured by the dealer, interrogate them since you have not purchased the motorcycle yet.

Will the Seller Let You Test Ride Without a Driver’s License?

In most cases, the private seller or dealer will let you test ride a motorcycle if you have a valid driver’s license. However, passing the motorcycle written and road test or possessing a driver’s license does not urge dealerships to let you test ride. A dealer might fix the number of years you are expected to have a driver’s license before permitting a test ride.

Final Thoughts

Before you go on a test ride, be sure you passed the motorcycle road test excellently, and possess a valid driver’s license. When you arrive at the dealership or private seller’s location, find out whether the motorcycle is covered.

Next, question the seller or salesperson about the handling, especially if it’s a motorcycle you’ve never handled.

Get on the bike and be careful when riding. If the controls seem strange, maintain a low to moderate speed to avoid crashing.

If you’re financing a motorcycle that crashed on a test ride, the lender may not be held responsible, although they are the lien holder.

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