Sorry to hear about your continued shoulder issues, wrenrj1.
Selling a financed motorcycle and allowing test rides conjures up images of nightmare scenarios, but they will most likely never come to pass. It would probably be a good idea to ask to see a license with a motorcycle endorsement on it before you let somebody take it for a spin.
Chances are nobody's going to show up on foot and take it for a ride and never come back. They do, after all, have to get there somehow and as noted above, will most likely toss you the keys to their vehicle while they go ride it.
It's a gut call. Somebody shows up in a vehicle or on a motorcycle they're willing to leave behind while they go for a ride, that's one thing. Somebody gets "dropped off" or shows up on foot carrying nothing but a helmet, that's another thing.
Most serious buyers will understand that you might be leery about letting them take a test ride and most will consider it a "necessary evil" that they go for a ride because the last thing they probably want to do is crash your motorcycle but they dont' want to buy it unless they can ride it first and that's understandable.
I would never ask for a down payment for a test ride. Say something does happen: rider comes back with a damaged bike. Now you've got a wrecked bike and the person's money that they may want back depending on what kind of person they are. Are you really going to try to keep it? If you're going to go that route, you might as well have the cops on speed dial to mediate and cover you insurance-wise.
People privately sell financed vehicles all the time and the banks are used to it, but it will most likely run off a few sales because it does require a leap of faith on the buyer's part, especially if they've never done it before.
If you're lucky and your institution is local, you can both just go there to finish things up with the title.
If not, banks do this stuff all the time and you can set up an escrow account for the buyer and the long-distance bank. Instead of paying you, the buyer writes the check to the bank and it is temporarily held in an escrow account while the lien is released and the title re-issued in the new name. Oh, and also a check from you since you most assuredly will not sell it for what you owe on it. This way the buyer knows the money went to the bank and the bank has the funds to insure they're legit to do the paperwork to release the lien.
This happens a lot with cars, but might be more hassle than most people wanting to buy a lower-end (i.e.: not worth that much) motorcycle are willing to deal with, especially if it's not possible to just walk into a local bank and do it.
Were it me, I would put it in my For Sale ad up front that there is a lien on the vehicle that will need to be dealt with. That way you know anybody that shows up to look at it is willing to deal with that instead of getting a succession of potential buyers who walk away when they find out this is the case.
I can say that even though I know it's possible and not that hard to do, it's not something I would want to deal with if I was buying a used motorcycle. It might be worth it for a good deal on a $15,000 car and I would expect a car to be still financed, but not a motorcycle in this price range. Not saying there's anything wrong with that, I financed mine, but a lot of potential buyers will think it's just not worth the hassle over a used motorcycle that they're prepared to pay for and leave with immediately.
To be honest with you, I dont' think you're going to get too many offers if the thing is still financed, especially this time of year.
Good luck with your decision and your recovery. I can understand your inclination to sell it. If I couldn't ride mine for two years I wouldn't want to have it sitting around to try to maintain and keep running, either. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to lose a bunch of money selling it. I wish you well on figuring out what to do.
Last edited by planalp; 08-26-2013 at 06:29 AM.