I was recently talking with a bloke who had just taken a Challenger for a test ride (in Invercargill at the Burt Munro Challenge - more on that later).  He raved about the power and handling although he thought it a bit cramped (his current ride is a 2017 Roadmaster and he was at least 6ft 3).  He was smiling when he said he had been booked for doing 110 in a 100 zone, said he felt lucky because a few minutes before he had been going 180+!!  Got me wondering if buying a demo was a good idea, given the "run-in" period is critical for the motor's longevity, and the probability of riders testing / thrashing them.  Very low Ks probably OK, just don't buy a black one that has been in Invercargill.
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I reckon you need to have a good look at the way the dealership operates. Have a look at the way they care for their demo bikes and how they let folks ride them. Just because that bike has been ridden at 180km an hour is no reason not to buy it. One crucial factor in my eyes is the warm up process, especially with a new tight engine. Make sure the dealers are letting these bikes idle up to temperature before they let you take off on it. Make sure they prep you well on the handling and operations of the bike. TBH if it were my demo bike I would also be riding along with my prospective buyer. Obviously check the service records and make sure everything has been signed off and carried out as it should. If you go to a dealer to ride a test bike and he lets you take off on your own without any warm up or run down, I wouldn’t be buying a demo from them. 
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I had a demo bike and I had no problems with it at all.  Traded it in on a newer model some time after but it was always reliable and consistent, did I have issues with it?  Sure, same as any bike (whether new or not) but it still served me very well over the time that I had it.
Had it done 180kmh - maybe - who knows.
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
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My 2016 Scout was a demo model. It had no real problems in the 16 months I owned it and nothing wrong with the motor at all.

The only thing I can think of now was replacing the speedo. Ironically it would rocket up far in excess of bike speed and show me doing 160 kph as I changed into 3rd. 😵

I've heard of a guy looking at a demo bike and while the salesman said it had only been ridden at legal speeds, the guy felt up under the rear mudguard and scratched out a bunch of burnt rubber that showed somebody had been doing burnouts on it. That was a bit of a sale killer.

There is/was a website from a guy named Motoman who caused some controversy many years ago for saying it's best to run in a motor hard and fast. His method was to give it full throttle from the get-go, then slow down, then full throttle again. He said it forced the rings into the cylinder walls more effectively and gave better results than the long and slow method. I was rebuilding a GS1000 motor about 20 years ago when he was becoming known and was interested in checking it out.

Different coatings on the cylinder sleeves these days gives much greater protection against wear and damage than when we had bare alloy and I suspect modern motors can stand more rpm early in life than an older motor could.

Remember that these bikes are rpm limited as well as speed limited. The TS111 bikes are speed limited to 190 kph (been there) so there was still a bit of headroom at 180 if the Challenger has the same numbers.

I got a good deal on my Scout. It had cash off the price for being a demo, new rego and warranty from the day I bought it, and extras already fitted were half price. If the deal is good I'd look seriously at another demo model in the future.
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
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My 2019 Scout (4/19 build date) purchased in 11/19  was also a demo model with 900km on it, Dealership fitted crusher pipes, sports seat and usb pod, I payed way below new bike price and have all benefits of new bike.

2019 Indian Scout - Dirt Track Smoke / Thunder Black

IMRG - AU102383

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Unless buying a 'fresh' bike off the boat, we never know how the bike was treated.  Even the showroom, brand new Indian, may not be as untouched as we like it.  A member of this forum ended up with glazed bores in the engine on a brand new Indian.  The cause was too many showroom start-ups (revving the cold engine to impress the prospective buyers?).  In regards to the condition of demo bikes, has any dealer instructed a test rider not to rev too hard during their test ride?  😆

Coming back to your question, ‘Are demo bikes really a bargain?’ I think of demos as low mileage used bikes. Nothing wrong with buying them but the price has to be right.  The same risk as buying any other used motorcycle applies, including a potential repaired vehicle.  Also, demo bikes are not new, so you are buying the bike, 'as is', not necessarily in brand new condition.

Think of it like this, if you bought a brand new $40,000 motorcycle and drove it for 1,000kms. Then you decide to sell it back to the dealer. How much will you get for your bike? $38,000? $37,000? A lot less, I suspect. Over the past few years, Indian Motorcycle dealers have been discounting around $1,500 for a demo bike.

On top of that, the demo bikes are often the oldest stock. So if it is 2018 build, that’s 2 years old. By the way, be careful with ‘model year’s. A motorcycle built in Aug 2019 might be advertised as 2020 'Model Year' (MY), but in the end, it is still a 2019-built motorcycle. Why is that important? Because of the value of the bike. When you insure the motorcycle, they will ask you the build date (i.e. month/year)? Not the model year. Believe it or not, there is a value difference between a motorcycle built in December 2019 and January 2020. That is why the write-off payout figures differ as well. Most dealers will discount previous year model bikes, but are they discounted sufficiently?  Only you can assess the risk of buying a demo is worth it for the price.

The 2018 vs 2020 model - Are they physically the same bike? Probably, but when you trade-in or sell it privately, all else being equal, the value of the motorcycle built the year before will be less. Knowing all this will better arm you to negotiate harder.  Although, with only 1 or 2 Indian dealers in each state (if you are lucky) on average, it is hard to haggle. This may change with more independent dealers.

With natural and unnatural disasters of biblical proportion we have been experiencing, on top of an already weak economy, there aren't that many people willing to spend $30,000 - $40,000 on a 'toy' these days. So be prepared to walk away from the deal, if it is not sweet enough. Of course, if you have a pocket full of cash burning a hole, go and buy a limited edition Indian at the full retail price - Australian economy thanks you for your contribution. 💰😉
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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I've known of people flogging demo bikes, but I still think they are good value if you are so inclined.  It's just as a few others have said, view it as buying a new/second hand bike.

As to running in, nowadays bikes aren't like the "good old days" where you had to be careful to run the engine in.  Just about all modern bikes are factory run in (or similar) to a reasonable standard.  The last three new bikes I've purchased I asked the dealers how to run them in (a couple of times I was based at least 1500kms away from the dealership.  Running in was also riding back home for me).  Each time I was told a variant of "ride it like you ride your old bike".  I.E. no real need to be careful of speeds/RPM levels.
If anything, I was told to vary the speeds for periods of time and the only real hint was to careful of the gear changing.  What I gleaned from that advice was that the engine is cool but the other working parts need a short time to settle in.
(by the way, the 800km or equivalent run in period was not deemed that important, I actually had the first service done a couple of times where the mileage {kilometerage??} was over by more than 500kms!  All of the bikes were/are still running great and warranty was never at issue. I also know that MY Scout did over 160km in low gears well before the official run in period, still does that now, no probs 👌😎👍)

I suppose it is personal choice. I know people who Never buy a second hand bike on principal.  Fair enough but that's up to them.  A good priced Demo still has warranty etc. and, in my opinion, is a valid option.

I'm Not Completely Useless . .
I Can Be Used As A Bad Example!

Kwinana W.A.

Ulysses   #48275
IMRG      #100932
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I have purchased several demo cars over the years but this is my first demo motorcycle 

Touchwood, have never had any issues with any of them. In WA demo vehicles are covered by full manufacturer warranty and I presume this would be the same in the ES. 

The peace of mind that comes from the warranty and the substantial discounts and extras received make it a hard bargain to ignore and outway any concerns I may have had regarding the way the bike may have been test ridden.
Brad - SoR, Perth WA

2018 Indian Chief Vintage (Willow Green & Ivory)
Stage 3 116 Big Bore Kit, Stage 1 Pipes, fishtails & air cleaner
Beach Bars
IMRG: AU102531
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