How to avoid getting your bike stolen on a test ride

When putting your motorcycle up for sale and a stranger wants to test ride it, you will preferably need to take their car keys or not let them ride at all. Holding on to there licence or ID just isn’t enough because they could easily hand you a fake.


In this article, we look at how people might try to persuade you to let them take your motorcycle for a test ride without anything of value for you to hold on in case they steal your bike.

We will look at the following:

  • What you need to keep in mind when selling your motorcycle
  • How do people try to persuade you to let them ride
  • How to say no without seeming like a jerk

What you need to keep in mind when selling your motorcycle

To normal everyday people like ourselves, the difference between average Joe and a con artist is almost unnoticeable. Being from a country where it happens quite often that a motorcycle is stolen on a test ride, I know how important it is to look out for suspicious behaviour.

Some things you need to think about is:

  • why did the person walk over to your house if he or she is able to afford your motorcycle?
  • why are they not asking the usual questions a normal buyer would ask?
  • why did they come from the other side of the country to look at your motorcycle?
  • why do they not seem to hear the questions I ask?

How do people try to persuade you to let them ride

People might try convincing you in various ways to let them test ride your bike when they don’t have anything valuable to leave in your possession. This could be a risk since the stranger could just ride away on your motorcycle. The video below might give you some more insight into how they do this.

Very often a con artist might ask you a question like “do you mind if I take it for a ride?” and then immediately start talking about something like how people ride their bikes and very likely about the greater meaning of the subject like why people ride their bikes.

In this method, they ask you something and then bring up things that you might agree with. This is an attempt to make you more agreeable and make you feel too awkward to say no after feeling agreeable. It’s as if your answer would dispute all of what they just said.

I actually knew someone for many years who would use this method on his employees and clients just to get them to agree with him on matters unrelated to motorcycles. But I know all too well how he tries to manipulate people and with an extraordinary success rate.

How to say no without seeming like a jerk

A con artist will try to make you too uncomfortable to say “no”. But there is no logical reason why you can’t say “no”. It does matter how you say it though. You still need to give the impression that you won’t change your mind while still being nice. Because if you don’t, they see that as a chance to try again.

You can say something like “I don’t see why not… Although you will need to leave your car with me”. If they didn’t come with a car, it makes it feel easy to say “no” after saying this.

If they use the method that I talked about earlier where they play deaf and start talking again right after their question, all you need to do is ask them something so they start talking again. When that happens, say “hold on” and make as if you are listening or seeing something on the bike.

They will be intrigued by this and put their focus on you. Then just look at them and say “No, I don’t think you should ride my bike”. This intense moment makes your words more serious and they can’t play deaf anymore because you know for a fact they heard you.

This way you have maximum power behind your words without raising your voice.

Final words

Thankfully, I’ve never had a bike stolen before but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Very often this can happen when you put the bike up for sale as you may feel like you are at the mercy of the potential buyer to get your bike sold.

Featured image by _batrider on Instagram.

I always try to keep my articles interesting and informative. And I’m always thankful when they are shared on social media platforms or Pinterest.

Two Motion

I don’t see myself as an expert in every topic of motorcycling but my articles usually relate to new experiences that are relevant at the time of writing.

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