Demo Ride Accidents/Damages

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by JDPEagle, Apr 12, 2010.

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  1. JDPEagle

    JDPEagle Active Member

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    I am cautiously "throwing" this out there for those of you with personal or dealer experience in this topic.

    I went to a local dealer's demo day over the weekend. Everything seemed as it normally would be; however, I personally witnessed three people lay a bike down (at low speeds) either in the parking lot or pulling out onto the roadway in front of the dealership.

    I found this curious, so I watched a little more. The local HOG chapter was running the demo (including lead/sweep operations). The end of the ride culminated in a sharp 75-90 degree low speed turn to line up the machines for the next rider (NEVER had seen this type of "advanced" maneuver [the dip] utilized for prospective demo riders of unknown skill levels on heavy motorcycles). It was here that I saw two bikes get dropped (including a 2010 Street Glide). Following each accident, the General Manager of the dealership would tell the "offending" rider that they would be contacted on Tuesday (two days later) with the cost of damages. No pictures were taken (at least by dealership staff) and the bikes continued to be ridden by others throughout the day. The manager would follow-up a few minutes later by telling the (obviously shaken) riders that if they purchased a bike from them in the near future, he could waive the cost of the unknown and unstated damages. This seemed to ruffle the feathers of quite a few prospective riders, and one even stormed off mumbling wishes of contacting a lawyer.

    Out of curiosity, I obtained a copy of the legal release form that the riders were signing, and it only seems to disclaim the dealership and Harley-Davidson from legal responsibility in the event of personal injury or death.

    I have never personally dropped or damaged a bike on a demo ride; however, I always assumed that dealers carried insurance to cover this risk. I later found out that the demo bikes are often sold as "new" on this particular dealer's sales floor. From what I saw, and from the experience that I have, the damage to these bikes seemed to be exaggerated by the dealership staff to the unsuspecting riders, and I don't see how the dealer could discriminate any particular damage to any particular rider (since they continued to operate the motorcycles for an unknown time period and an unknown number of riders). I'd hate to know what kind of "bills" these prospective customers will be getting.

    Does this practice seem common to any of you who have experienced such things? I'm all for the demo rides, but this seemed to be taking on a role more representative of entrapment. I've never seen anything like it before. Yikes!
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Seems like a ploy to get the rider that dropped the bike to buy a bike from them. I have never heard of this before and if it is true, they had better document the damages here and now before anyone else rides that bike and give me an estimate and also show me a copy of their liability policy for the demo rides. They should be insured or disclose that they aren't if that's the case.
    Possibly contact the MOCO and ask the policy for demo rides and what it covers.
     
  3. Retrop

    Retrop Active Member

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    I can't say I have ever heard of a story like that before. Somebody has to pay to fix things which are damaged, but to ask a prospective customer to foot the bill for damages when the dealer invited him to a demo ride is not going to fly in court. That is why dealers provide insurance. For a dealer to threaten a customer like you describe is almost ridiculous, if not totally asinine.
     
  4. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    This definitely needs to be brought to the MOCO's attention. I can't believe they would condone this kind of thinly veiled, hard sell attitude. It's obvious to me they were just trying to scare people into buying a new bike. Especially the way you describe the maneuvering required - pure set up!

    As Glider points out, they'll have a REAL hard time getting damages repaid by anyone if they didn't take photos, get witness signatures, and otherwise get hard documentation of what happened.

    Which dealer was it?
     
  5. smith1j

    smith1j Member

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    Not sure about the damages part but can believe they would sell the bikes as new. As with any vehicle, regardless of the miles, if it's never been titled then it is sold as new.
     
  6. sprinklerfitter669

    sprinklerfitter669 Junior Member

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    Wow,
    Talk about getting creative to make money.
    I hope you still dont do buisiness there.
     
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    This fits right in with what the dealers say...


    They all do that.:D
     
  8. rmarino14

    rmarino14 Member

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    Just one more scam by the dealer. The dealer shoud and more then likely does have insurance on the bikes now what for (fire, theft, accident.....) is on them. The most these people may have to pay for is the deductable and that might not even be a issue.
     
  9. kennyw

    kennyw Active Member

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    hi all i recently had a demo ride on the triumph thunderbird 1600cc,i had to sign a legal document stating a £2000 excess for any accidents ,damage ect,i rode it like i rode my own bike,but give it a good check over before i took it out & signed,
     
  10. Fossil

    Fossil Active Member

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    Eagle has posted that he lives in Kennesaw, GA and he was at a 'local' dealer so I can just about place the dealership. I kind of wonder if the dealer knew what the general manager was up to? If the HOG club acted as a chapter then they had better have insurance to cover themselves. This is so wrong it defies logic and common sense. Fossil
     
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