Your opnion about motorcycle rental / tour

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ricmachado, Feb 2, 2013.

?

Would you rent a bike during vacation

  1. NO

  2. Yes, rental with maps and free I go

  3. Yes, daily guided tours will be nice

  4. Yes, depending where it is, rental or tour.

  5. Yes, multiple day tours would be nice

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

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    I keep visiting this site... http://www.dubbelju.com/ Renting a bike in SF and riding up and down the coast would be awesome, kinda pricey though....
    #21
  2. ricmachado

    ricmachado Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the link, I'll give them a call. Really close to what I'm looking for, but at the other coast.

    #22
  3. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    I have often rented a motorcycle here in Southeast Asia. In Thailand can have a little 110 cc scoot for 150 baht / $US 5.00 a day.... but you need to be a bit careful as they are not insured. Crash the bike, or it it gets stolen, and you are up for the repair or replacement cost, as a couple of Thai friends found out last week.

    I would rent in other places too, if the cost was reasonable. I would not be into paying some kind of premium for the "Harley Experience" or whatever. Just something to get around on would be fine.

    I am not into the guided tour idea, though I imagine it would suit some people. When I ride around I am more into following where the spirit leads.... getting lost occasionally, and then finding my way again. It is more in keeping with the freedom motorcycling engenders.

    None of my tours around the British Isles and Europe, and around these parts have been particularly planned affairs.
    #23
  4. Jman

    Jman a.k.a. FUglyK

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    This looked interesting up to the point where you read the fine print. $39 to clean the bike after I rented it? What exactly did I pay $169/day to rent it for? Never been charged for cleaning a rental car.

    I agree with most of the posts on here, I would love to go more places and rent a bike (that wasn't a Harley) but when the rental fees are 3 - 4 times what I would pay for a nice convertible rental car, I have a harder time justifying it with the wife.

    I don't need tours, what I want to see and do doesn't always align so just rent me the bike and let me go.
    #24
  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I agree about the price being a huge issue.

    My wife and I wanted to rent bikes in Florida and ride to Key West (boring straight road, I know, but the point was a beach vacation). After working out the numbers, we decided to spend a few days in Ft. Lauderdale, go on a Key West cruise that included Belize and Cozumel, and rent a scooter in Key West for half the price of the Harley rental alone.

    We are now planning a trip to the UK during the Isle of Man, and would love to rent bikes. One place rents them for 180 GBP per day! We can rent a Porsche for the same price, or an Abarth Fiat for half that price. We will probably end up renting a bike for one or two days just for the experience, but 3 weeks on a bike would cost us nearly $6,000 US.

    If bike rentals were double that of cars, I think there would be a big increase in demand. Pricing around $50/day for a Ninja or Rebel 250, on up to $100/day for Ducati or BMW liter bikes. I would like to rent mid size dual sports/adventure bikes (DR650, XL650, G650GS) for around $75/day in areas with off road opportunities. In cities or in Europe, I would spring for the $100 sportbike (Ducati, CBR, Truimph).
    #25
  6. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    I did that ride on a rented RT. I found it quite enjoyable. There is more to riding (to me) than turning.
    #26
  7. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    The $39 fee applies only to rentals of 3 days or longer -- most rentals are for a day or two. And as you may be aware, cleaning a motorcycle is a bit more involved than washing a car... Besides, the daily rate goes way down once you hit 3 days anyway.

    Interestingly, of all the bikes Dubbelju rents (V-Stroms, Versyseseses, various BMWs and Triumphs, Harleys®™©, the odd Shadow), the most expensive one -- the Multistrada 1200 -- is also among the most popular.

    I think the high cost of motorcycle rentals can be attributed to several factors: (1) lack of fleet pricing for motorcycles; (2) high percentage of rentals that come back with crash or tip-over damage (cars don't tip over much); (3) insurance costs; and -- in the case of Dubbelju at least -- (4) the cost of doing business in an expensive city like San Francisco without a major corporation to back you up.

    But having compared Dubbelju's costs with certain others (e.g. Jupiter in NYC, Big Boyz Toyz in Perth -- with whom I rented an ST1100 ten years ago, and who now want $255/day for an F800GS!) they're really not that far out of line. I could go into the various discounts they offer, but that might be construed as advertising.
    #27
  8. ricmachado

    ricmachado Been here awhile

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    I really appreciate all the feedback, it is just like having a board of directors for free :D :ear

    I understand that cost is a big deal, and I agree with it, I would not rent if the price is way too high, but again, comparing bike rental with car rental prices is not realistic.

    Here are some points that one has to consider on the price.

    Maintenance costs, bike maintenance is much higher cost than car, tires worn much faster foe example and the replacement tire has to be included,

    Road Side assistance costs: again much higher on a bike, you can rent a car from any company and they give you a road side assistance, same with the bike, but let’s say you have a flat tire, on most cars, the assistance can either replace with the spare, or many times fix the tire on the spot and get you back on the road, this is not possible with a motorcycle, unless the rental company has a available bike to swap with you, you have to wait till they tow you to a repair shop and get a new tire put in.

    Demand: you fly to any town and it is raining, you rent a car, but not a bike, even if they are same cost. Same would apply if the temperature is too high or low, are you alone, vacation or business trip, all these are factors that make cars much more “rentable” than bikes. These are some examples why cars are sitting on the rental lot much less than bikes.

    For example, I rented a car twice in the last month, I don’t have a car of my own, only a bike, last month my boss asked me to go visit an place 120 miles away, temperature was in the low 40’s and I decided that it would be much better rent a car than riding, the company would pay me the miles or the rental so $$ was not the deciding factor, comfort was; the second time my bike didn't start and later broke the throttle cable, I had to take my daughter to school and go to work, the temp was in the low 30’s, again I rented a car. Both times money wasn't the deal breaker, but the car got it my business.

    I’m still looking for all the costs and this discussion is helping a lot to make sure everything is on my list, so let’s keep it coming. :ear
    #28
  9. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    Yes, exactly. I was just going to come back here and point out that the moto-rental business is seasonal -- in some places more than others, but winter is definitely a "dead" time even here in relatively temperate San Francisco. I'd estimate that about 75% of Dubbelju's rentals occur between April and October. The rest of the time the bikes are mostly just sitting there; it's possible to take them off insurance for the winter, but depreciation never sleeps.
    #29
  10. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

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    Cost is the key, especially for multi-day rentals. If it was $200 for the first day and $50 a day after or something, that could work.

    When my wife and I went to Hawaii a couple years ago, we rented a H-D Road King for a day to cruise around Maui on, and a couple hundred bucks was a reasonable expense in the context of the trip.

    OTOH, I was considering at one point flying back to CA and renting a Ducati HyperMotard to ride to Laguna Seca and back for the MotoGP. Although the price per day was about the same as that H-D rental had been, a 5 or 6 day trip comes to well over a grand for just the bike, and that's a lot less justifiable.

    Another time I looked into it was when I had a lowside on my regular bike (which is my main transportation). The bike was in the shop waiting for parts, and I had mashed my left foot up a bit so I couldn't shift a regular bike. I looked into what it would cost to rent a Vespa for a few weeks, and that was way too much. Cheaper than the Harley or Duc, but still $75 a day, with no discounts for multiple days, which would have been over a grand for the three weeks I would have wanted it. For that, it would have been a lot cheaper to just buy a good used one, and sell it afterward.

    I recognize that the economies of scale aren't there, and the risks are higher, and all of that. But at 5 times the cost of a car, renting a bike doesn't make much sense for more than a couple of days at a time.

    PhilB
    #30
  11. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    Then again, it could be argued that a bike is more than 5 times as much fun as a car. :D
    #31
  12. ricmachado

    ricmachado Been here awhile

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    The rate we used to run was something like 150 for first day and 75 for each day after, dropping to 65 for each day after the 10th. Not cheap, but I think it was reasonable.
    #32
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I like the idea of the stepped pricing.

    For those renting for a day, it is costly, but won't break the bank. Those people are probably more likely to damage the bike, so you get the insurance costs covered up front.

    For longer duration tourists, the weekly costs are a bit closer to a car. Those people probably have a motorcycle at home, and are less likely to damage the bike.
    #33
  14. RedShark

    RedShark Long timer

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    Often wondered this myself. I've rented BMWs in Europe and they have a bunchof bikes to rent here in Hawaii - because of the Visitor Industry, but a few years back I was on the East Coast for a couple days while it was gorgeous out and needed to travel around some and could not find a motorcycle to rent anywhere. Cars of all manner, trucks, trailers, etc. sure - but no motorcycles. I suppose in the American market we are just too much of a niche-market for it to be profitable. ( more than once I got: "A motorcycle ? how 'bout a convertible ? " ) - I mean really ? A $ 30K Mustang ragtop for $ 150 a day, but no V-Stroms anywhere to be had, eh ?

    Ended up just BUYING a used bike and staging it at a buddy's place so I can fly in and ride plenty when I want to. Anybody want to rent a Yamaha FJR 1300 in the Philly area ?

    I'd love to have a small business that bought decent, (used ?) reasonable mid-market bikes and rented them out fairly inexpensively. No doubt some idiot would kill the bike and sue me for letting him ride the thing.

    I wonder if the old boating rule would apply:

    You know how you make a small fortune in that business ?
    Start with a large one.
    #34
  15. Dan-M

    Dan-M Long timer

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    Renting is the best way when overseas or even out of the country. Most European tour companies give the option of self guided touring. If your time is limited it surely cuts out a lot of red tape.
    #35
  16. tokyoklahoma

    tokyoklahoma 75%has been 25%wanabe

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    Some of my favorite time spent on a bike, was when we rented 125cc two stroke dual-sports during a trip to Bali. We had IIRC three brands of Japanese bikes, and most had the same power-plant.:huh
    The place we rented from charged $50 deposit for the week, and $20 a day or $100 for 7 days insured. The deposit was returned if the bike was returned unmolested.:clap
    Out of the six of us two were locals, so we didn't need the "maps" printed on copier paper that were provided. Following a local for a day was all it took to acclimate me to the local driving "customs".:eek1
    One of us had a flat, and the bike was replaced within thirty minutes.:D

    There were cheaper places, like $7.50 a day but the rumor was a "cousin" would spot one of the bikes out side a cafe, or club, and steal it, causing the tourist to have to pay. :deal
    It helps to have a local contact regardless of where you travel.:evil
    #36
  17. Cara Pálida

    Cara Pálida Been here awhile

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    In september 2011 I rentend a GS1200Adv from Benjamin (Ben) at houseofmotorrad.
    8 perfect days in Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
    Ben's perfect! Ease best service! Ease best bikes!
    He's right now near Tiera del Fuego with one of "that yelow bikes" I rode :clap

    In september 2012 I rentend a GS800 from Peter at motorradvermietung.
    14 great days in the Alps.

    Maybe it can help you!

    Abr.,
    CP!
    #37
  18. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    Just underscores the fact that moto rental prices are high wherever you go (at least in the Western world).

    Rental price for an F800GS:

    Motorradvermietung: €139 ($188) for 1 day, 300 km included

    House Of Motorrad: $160 for 1 day, unlimited miles (I think)
    #38
  19. dirtygary

    dirtygary Ageless

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    I rented from Eagle Rider Las Vegas last February and rode Death Valley and up into the Mts. Great trip and worth the money. I was disappointed that they didn't honor my request for an RT or ST and got stuck with a Gold Wing. A V-Strom with bags would have even been fine with me for that trip. My Son and I want to start in Vegas again and spend 16 days riding a loop to CA, up the coast to SF, out to Yosemite, up to Lake Tahoe, over to Yellowstone, up to Beartooth Hwy, on to Devil's tower etc and on home to Columbus OH. There is no way to afford rentals for that. So, the point to all this is that we can ship our bikes with a trucking company called 'Specialized' from Columbus to Vegas for $450 per bike. Way less than rental costs and we have our own V-Stroms for our whole trip. Not realistic for short visits like my Death Valley weekend, but realistic for a long trip.
    #39
  20. Cara Pálida

    Cara Pálida Been here awhile

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    Yes, for sure!
    I think they all focus on "more days".
    More days cut the price very well.

    Abr.,
    CP!
    #40