New rider: what to look for in a test ride

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If you’re looking at a bike to buy and you’ve given it a good once over, ask for a ride.

You may have to leave the asking price in cash, or your family, or both. At the very least you should get a pillion ride.

Things to check for on a test ride are smooth acceleration, good performance (if a FireBlade struggles over 90mph, there’s a chance it has a problem), and no surprises in the handling.

Make sure the bike doesn’t pull to one side or the other (hold the bars very lightly in your hands on a smooth stretch of road and see), and that it steers smoothly. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations.

Everything should work once on the move – check gears, clutch and brake operation as well as things like the speedo, rev-counter and digital display. 

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