Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Here in Southern California, BMW dealers are the only ones who consistently have allowed and encouraged test rides. BMW dealers have been most flexible, even to the point of setting up weekend test rides for some riders.
The local Triumph/Ducati/Victory dealer has a long history of supporting test rides. Since sales slowed in the last year, Harley dealers have joined the test ride bandwagon.
Motorcycle dealers who sell Japanese motorcycles have never allowed test rides, even on used bikes, even with long time customers (e.g., more than 20 years). They cite liability and insurance when asked.
Some of the dealers ask you to ride a prescribed route. The reason is so that they know where to start looking for you if you do not return in a timely manner.