I was talking with a guy that works for a reasonably large motorcycle dealership, and the subject of new riders came up. I asked over a few beers at a superbowl party, a few questions about new riders and motorcycles.....
Over the past couple of years, he estimated tha they had sold about 150 Sportsbikes to riders with no experience ie as their first bike.
Of these, about 90 where 600's the rest mainly 1000's or 750's, with a few 900's thrown in for good measure.
Bikes returned crashed within 3 months around 120
thats 80% !!!
Of those nearly all where written off by the insurance companies. A couple where subsequently sold by the dealer after repairs.
Of the crashed bikes, over half where 750/ 900/1000's, again this is almost all of the > 600cc machines.
One of the orignal 150 was repo'd with under 20 miles on the clock after three months.
Of the bikes that where crashed, about twenty had less than 100 miles on the clocks.
This is obviously crazy, so I asked why they let these guys buy bikes, and he basically said (without quoting) that their money is just as good as anyone elses, and if they tell people that they are better to buy smaller, they will just go and buy the same bike elsewhere ???
He told me a story of a kid that bought a brand new 1000cc sportsbike, and looped it in the parking lot, trying to pull away, it was repaired, and it was back in the shop within three days because it "fell off the stand" obviously at about 50mph because the stator cover and left side fairing was ground down to dust
The kid later traded the wreckage for a new 954 as it was a better handling bike, despite having 2" strips on the wreck.
He also told me that the shops favourite rider is one that does not do anything to his/her bike, the can get away with charging exactly what they like - a brand new 600 rider was charged $300 for a new chain because he did not lube it. AT THE FIRST SERVICE. Then they charged him for a new rear because of uneven wear (middle).
I am not sure just now typical this is, or even how much of it was bullshit - he had been drinking fairly heavily after all, but maybe some other dealers will tell us stories to offset this one.