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Old 07-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
Gonzoso OP
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Location: Pocono Mt.s PA
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Worst Bike Lending Experience?

What's your worst experience lending someone your motorcycle?

My dad was my hero when I was a kid. He rode an 91 Yamaha xj or xs 1100 in black chrome and gold. He almost died in traffic and gave it up so he could provide for our family. He didn't ride for a long time.

Well I had a period where I let him ride my Suzuki Marauder and he did well on that.

Then today i got him to ride my 2012 KLR 650. It's got 5k miles on it. He's 62 years old. Drove to the end of the driveway and dumped it on some gravel, I think he locked the back brake up.

I've got crash bars, skid plate, panniers/racks, so it's a very droppable bike. I ran over stopped him from trying to pick it up and got it back up for him, brushed it off and didn't mention it to my mom.

He rode it for about 20 minutes around some local roads, seemed to have fun but prefers cruisers.

If he dropped my Suzuki chrome covered cruiser I'd have been upset. I would have bit my tongue, cause it's my dad but I love having a droppable bike.

I'm sure there's some horror stories from all you folks lending bikes to dodgy f"riders" so how bad did your bike get it?
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:34 PM   #2
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Akron, OH
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This is why I don't let anyone ride my bikes anymore. Not that I've had a bad experience, but I have read and heard of too many like yours.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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When my Brother biffed it while going about 40mph riding my DR 650. I was right behind him and watched the whole thing unfold. I remember seeing the bike flying in a tumbling fashion through the air but my focus was on how he fared. I was stopped next to my Brother before the DR had stopped its tumble and told him: "DON'T MOVE, DON'T GET UP!" He tried to stand and I yelled "STAY DOWN... Just sit there a minute"

I dismounted the bike I was riding and went over and picked up my DR and rested in on it's kick stand, then went to see how he was. I was sick with concern but after talking with him I helped him to his feet and after a thorough self examination he said: "You know, outside of a bruise on my hip I think I'm good... How is the bike? I'm sorry I wrecked your bike."

Outside of EVERY possible piece of it getting scratched up some there was NOT ONE SINGLE PIECE BROKEN. Hell, the handlebars and mirrors weren't even bent.

I was so elated that I never even asked for him to chip in for new plastics.
“Watch out for everything bigger than you, they have the "right of weight"
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:21 AM   #4
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Location: Southern Louisiana or Southern England or ...
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Way back in the early 80's I let a friend take my bike up a muddy lane near his house. He putted a hundred yards or so, up and back without incident, then watched me flying up and down flat out.

"If I'd known you were going to ride it like that, I'd have gone faster. Can I have another ride?"

The results were predictable and extremely painful for him, with some deep bruises and several patches of mud-impregnated gravel-rash.

This person is still a good friend, spent several years as a master instructor after he finally got his own bike, and can ride any of my bikes any time.

Another time it was the very experienced instructor who had left his keys at home so would I mind letting him run home and get them. He came back so quickly, with the engine ticking like mad as he shut it down, he had to have been thrashing the heck out of it. He then proceeded to moan about the condition of the front tire. He will NEVER use one of my bikes again.

These days, I'll only lend a bike to someone I know well enough to be sure they can ride well, are going to be responsible with my bike and would fix/replace it if they caused any damage. That's a pretty short list of people - all of whom would lend me their bikes too.

Test rides are another thing altogether. Nobody gets test rides on a bike I am considering selling until I've got the cash in my hand and even then not unless they can convince me they are not going to dump the bike before they've left my driveway (been there, done that!) If I lose a sale that way it's not a big deal to me. The last couple of bikes I sold, the buyers did not get to test ride them at all.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:09 AM   #5
Vertical C
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I have never had any problems, its a good way to get rides on a lot of bikes.

Its only a bit of metal anyway.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:23 AM   #6
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Location: Just off the Warrego, S.E. Queensland
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Not my worst but my FIRST.

At age 17 I bought my FIRST powered two-wheeler for cash outright!

It was a Honda C65 (Supercub) optioned up with Honda Windscreen and Honda Luggage Rack.

Part of my learning to ride it properly involved riding it around on our 20 acre extent of land.

. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .

Well my 19 y.o. elder brother (who would be years later diagnosed as schizophrenic) put out his hand for a ride.
So I let him, and he tootles along (big smile on his face) while coming up to perform a tight turn on the dirt surface (street tyres; remember on a supercub) without slowing from the speed that he has attained.

So, down it goes - outwards since there is no appreciable degree of banking involved ---- and now I have a busted windscreen.
(And he wondered why I was concerned for the screen and not for him! The screen cannot heal and become whole by itself --- whereas human skin can, and does, do all of that.

So, then I had to buy myself a replacement windscreen BEFORE I even had gone for my test and then got myself a licence.

. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . . . .

Many decades later as a full-blown schizophrenic he would sell out his self-owned house, leaving himself with no abode, and pull me down the back steps of my Uncle's Queenslander - leaving me to drive myself to hospital (four-on-the-floor) with the second last finger of my left hand (shift hand) sticking out sideways!
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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The only people I let ride my bike Is my dad as he knows how's to ride well
Every body else gets told to f. Off
suzuki gsxr 600 srad sound fun bike
bmw r100gs i sold as it be came to unreliable.
road legal stomp pitbike sold
Klr 650 the worst ever made
Honda xl125rc powered by a cg125 block fun wee bike
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:54 AM   #8
Mambo Dave
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My last bike was a Kawasaki Vulcan 800 cruiser that I bought for $600 in non-running condition (carb).

The bike was rusty and such, so I didn't think I really cared who rode it. But in retrospect, the numerous co-workers that I let ride it were chosen by me - not by them.

In other words, now that I think about it I'm sure there are a ton of people who could have asked me and I would have denied. Yet in one year's time I let about 6 people ride the bike, and had open invitations to many more.

Back in the day when I had a pristine ZX-7R I did have a very, very good friend ask (actually, he was pretty pushy) to ride it, but I knew his riding skills, and knew he had no experience with horsepower nor the quirky handling of a sport bike. It took a lot to say 'No. Sorry Mike" (multiple times), but looking back I'm sure I made the right decision.
"After reading through this thread I've come to the conclusion
that more people cruise the internet looking for reasons why
X bike won't work in Y scenario rather than actually riding
their motorcycles
." --
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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Location: St Louis MO
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Probably for the guy back in '73 in Ireland it was me. I was working as a 'petrol pump attendant' for the summer. Aged 13, I had never been on a motorbike. One of the mechanics in the shop had a Honda 50 and asked me if I wanted to try it when I asked him was it hard to ride. As I rode a bicycle everywhere he was not totally naïve and I was just to ride it around the parking lot of the place.
Could not believe the sense of freedom that short ride gave me - it was then I got hooked - as I swanned around the gravel surface at probably no more than 20mph.
Then an idiot mechanic thought it would be fun to jump out in front of me with arms held wide out to the sides....
I grabbed the brakes hard and went down. I had a few bruises but the windshield and fairings on the bike were I cracked, scratched and broken. Being on a pittance wage and seeing as it was not my fault anyway I flat out refused to pay for any damage despite a campaign of intimidation and some physical shoving and punching for the following five or six weeks I spent there.
Met the guy about ten years later and he instantly started whining about how I 'broke' his Honda 50 - I simply asked him if he wanted to try hitting me again over it....he wisely declined. : )
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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i figure the main thing about lending bikes is making sure you are on the same page when it comes to fixing it up if there's an accident.

i remember a close friend saying cool, you have two bikes now so mind if i come for a ride with you? i said of course, i know you haven't ridden for years so as long as you don't mind fixing stuff if it gets broken.

she looked surprised and said don't worry about it. some lenders would not expect the borrower to fix their bike. some borrowers would expect a good friend to pay for their own mistakes. just pays to be clear or a friendship could go down the gurgler pretty fast!
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
Bill Harris
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I just about never "loan" the bike out. Although wrenches and knowledgable friends have test-ridden when diagnosing problems. Not the same thing as a recreational ride.

However, growing up our local "Honda 50/65/90, Bridgestone, Vespa, Sears Compact" crowd did regularly "swap out" bikes on our jaunts around the neighborhood. It was a cultural thing. And a status thing-- you'd never ever think of asking to ride something like a Honda 160 or 305 Twin.

Kids are strange, and were strange back then.

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Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #12
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I was in high school and decided to sell my KX125. Guy I knew from school said he wanted to buy it. He asked to test ride it. There was a field next to where I lived where they were getting ready to build a new high school and had been moving dirt around into different levels of land. These made for really great jumps if you knew what you were doing. As he rode off on my bike, I quickly realized that he did not have the skills that he had bragged he had. I watched as he came to the top of one of these sloped jumps, as if he was going to ride down it, at the last second he panicked and slammed on the front brake. I watched as he cart wheeled with the bike down the slope. He pushed the bike back to me where I noticed both the brand new brake and clutch levers were broken off and the new plastic was all scratched to hell. He handed me the bike and said, "I don't think I'm interested." When it became evident that he was not going to pay for the damage he did, I tried intimidation tactics but it never worked out. Finally, I just had to chalk it up to a lesson learned.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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Worst Bike Lending Experience?

Several years ago, I had very tricked out Harley FXDWG. I had pretty much stopped riding it in favor of my BMW. Well, a very good friend had some reverses and lost his bike (and everything else) in a divorce. As he got back on his feet, I decided to help him a little and told him to take my "glide" and treat it as his own. He insured it and kept it in pristine condition. If it needed anything, he did it. Finally, we came upon an agreement for him to purchase the machine. As fate would have it, he crashed and totaled the once-proud Harley. He got out of the hospital and, true to our purchase agreement, he came by to give me the first payment. Naturally, I collected the insurance money and told him to put those payments into the "cookie jar" and go buy another bike sometime. Not long after that, his luck ran out and he was killed in a traffic accident.

I sure do miss my friend.

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Old 07-20-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
Mambo Dave
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Damn, Mike. Sorry to hear / read that.
"After reading through this thread I've come to the conclusion
that more people cruise the internet looking for reasons why
X bike won't work in Y scenario rather than actually riding
their motorcycles
." --
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #15
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If I loan out a bike I do so with the idea it might not come back. If it does then great but if I can't walk away with a shrug then I won't loan the bike.
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