Selling bike ?

I'm getting ready to put my bike in the Cycle Trader and local paper this weekend. I'm looking for some advice on "to do's" and "not to do's" in selling a bike. Mainly the test ride, being the paranoid type that I am I think everyone is going to steal the bike. What's the best way to let the prospective buyer see the bike and test ride it ? I've heard to many horror stories of stolen bikes.

Thanks for your help

Motorcycle Consumer News had an excellent article a few years back on this issue. Some of the points I remember:

1. A test ride should be just that, a ride to ensure the condition of the bike. Not a joy ride or a ride to see if that is the type of bike the buyer wants to buy.

2. Before any test ride happens an offer should be accepted for the sale price of the bike and the buyer should be prepared to purchase the bike right then and there with payment acceptable to the seller.

3. The article said for maximum ass coverage, (my words not theirs) complete a bill of sale for the bike and include a 30 minute buy-back clause and demand payment before the ride. If the buyer is not safisfied with the condition of the bike and returns it within 30 minutes in the same condition as he took it then he gets his money back and the deal is off. That way if the buyer is injured while riding it you are not leagally on the hook as the owner of the bike.

I doubt that I will allow any more test rides. The last bike I sold was my 2000 Suzuki TL1000S. I did not follow the above suggestions but made up my own criteria. Any perspective buyer/test rider would need to present the following items:

valid Drivers License w/ motorcycle endorsement

currently own a bike with insurance

helmet, gloves, reasonable boots and attire

Well the first guy that was interested showed up with all my requisites. I tried to ascertain whether he was a buyer or a looker and decided he was serious enough for a ride. Well I went with him on my DR650 and since he wasn't familiar with the area I started to take him on a nice little street loop that included a nice 2 lane country road with some gentle twisties and beautiful smooth pavement. Well, I got about 6 turns down the road going at a very easy pace (like the posted speed limit) and he was no longer in my mirrors. I waited a minute then headed back. Around the first bend I could see the headlight about 2 inches off the ground, the bike on its side and the dude running out the slide off his butt.

It took some fancy talk about "Doing the Right Thing" on my part to get him to give me my price. I then loaded the bike in my truck and followed him home and delivered it for him and demanded immediate payment. He gave me one of those credit card "Super Checks" but at least I knew where he lived. I lucked out, he didn't stop the check and it cleared my account.

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