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What Kind of Bike Do You Want? Motorcycle Demo Days Will Help You Decide

A test ride is the perfect way to find the bike that works for you.

You’ve waited this long to finally go out with cash in hand and buy your first motorcycle. So which one do you choose and how do you go about making the choice?

There’s always the tried and true method of searching Ebay and Craigslist to find a use, preferably cherry, bike to take you into the wind.

But you say you don’t want to buy someone else’s problems? You want something brand-spanking new?

Then here’s the ticket; head out to a “demo day” and see what the various models and makes have to offer.

If you’re dead-set on a new Harley-Davidson, you can check out four new models from the Men of Milwaukee: the Sportster® Seventy-Two, Softail Slim®, V-Rod® 10th Anniversary Edition and the Dyna Switchback. And the really slick thing is that you can walk the showroom and then take a free test ride to help you make the call.

“Spring is the best time of year to come into a dealership to test ride and see why no other bike on the road compares to our new Harley-Davidsons,” said Steve Piehl, Director of Customer Experience. “We’ve asked all our dealers to offer free test rides as we want to give every rider the chance to experience the genuine feel of riding a Harley.”

So here’s the drill. You can hit one of the more than 150 free Dealer Demo Events (usually hosted over a weekend with other items such as food and music) at a dealership near you which offers free individual test rides. You can find those locations at to schedule a test ride online. If you’re not all internetty, find a Dealer Demo Event near you. All you have to be is a licensed rider to take a tour at a dealership anytime during the riding season.

Events are also a great spot to see what’s out there. You can take a test ride at events the Motor Company hosts in more than 15 locations like Americade and Sturgis.

If you’re a non-rider, you can check out JUMPSTART, a stationary motorcycle which allows aspiring customers to learn how to start, shift and twist the throttle on a fully-functioning motorcycle simulation. You can find out more about that little trick of the trade at

If you’re already up on something other than an H-D, you can head out to Americade, Wing Ding 34 or the Bikes, Blues & Barbeque motorcycle rallies try Harley-Davidson’s Dare to Compare Experience. Reserved for riders of competitive brand motorcycles, these test rides are set up on a first-come, first-serve basis and offer day-long test rides on select 2012 Harley-Davidson models.

So you’re not into riding a big cruiser? You, my friend, have some options this summer.

Kawasaki Good Times Street Demo Days will be part of the demo ride program at the sixth AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference in Carson City, Nev., on July 26-29, and that’s a great time to check out what kind of machine fits your personality and riding style.

“Kawasaki motorcycles have a reputation for being sporty, trendy and well-engineered vehicles that every rider can appreciate,” said Tigra Tsujikawa, AMA marketing manager. “We are excited that Kawasaki will be part of the demo ride program in Carson City, and I’m sure all of our attendees will want to sample their new model lineup on the exciting demo route we’re putting together for the conference.”

The Kawasaki Good Times Street Demo Days line features a wide range of Kawasaki motorcycles, including the Ninja® ZX™-6R, the Ninja 650, Versys®, Z1000, Ninja 1000, Ninja ZX-10R ABS, and Ninja ZX-14R sportbikes. Kawasaki’s cruiser line will be represented by the Vulcan® 900 Classic LT and Custom, the Voyager® ABS, the 1700 Nomad™, and the 1700 Vaquero™. Additional demo units include the Concours® 14 sport tourer and KLR® 650 dual-purpose machines.

“Today’s motorcycling community is made up of many different groups, and female riders are not only becoming a more significant component, but their voices are being heard throughout the industry,” said Director of Marketing Communications Chris Brull, with Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. “Kawasaki has for many years sold a large number of units to women, and the company is pleased to be able to include this AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference on the Good Times Street Demo Days Schedule.”

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