Over the last few years, as a result of writing columns for motorcycle magazines, I have had many readers call to ask if there is a downside to selling their motorcycle privately as opposed to trading it in? Given that this question revolves around a motorcycle, it seems to make sense to direct it to a motorcycle lawyer.
First off, I don’t see anything wrong with selling your motorcycle privately, however if you are going to do this, you have to be smart about it. If somebody wants to test drive your motorcycle you must first ask if they have a motorcycle license and do they have any experience operating motorcycles. Although I may sound overly cautious, what would happen if you allowed this person to take your motorcycle out for a test drive, and they ended up injured as a result of a collision.
Depending upon the severity of the persons injuries, they may be looking to you to reimburse them for their injuries and you may be liable for allowing them to ride your motorcycle without a motorcycle license or questioning their experience.
The theory under which you can be sued would be negligent entrustment, with the motorcycle accident lawsuit alleging that you did not do any investigation at all to find out if this person should have been allowed to operate your motorcycle regardless if it was for a test drive.
Additionally, you may be responsible to fix your own motorcycle, so make sure you are fully insured with collision coverage on your bike.
The bottom line is, if someone wants to take your motorcycle for a ride you should; a) make sure they have a motorcycle license and b) if they do, ask them if they currently have insurance on any motorcycle they may own at the time they are asking to test drive yours. Assuming your bike is in good shape, that should leave you covered.
Also, before you give them your motorcycle, you should ask to hold something personal of theirs, like their car keys, to make sure they come back with your motorcycle.
If you have any questions regarding selling your motorcycle privately, or any questions about motorcycle accident lawyers, please contact Lee D. Gaber, Esquire, “The Cycle Attorney” at 888-292-5352 (888-CYCLE-LAW).