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.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

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    ! indeed.

    When I worked in the UK during the early - mid '90s I bought a 10 year-old Honda CB250RS for £500. It was with me for over four years, during which I traveled all over the British Isles, and did a couple of jaunts around Central Europe.

    For $US 6,000 you could pick up quite a decent second hand bigger bike, or a brand new quarter litre. At those prices renting make little sense.
    #41
  2. MurphCO

    MurphCO Been here awhile

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    I have rented a few times in Europe and Hawaii, never as a tour but always as an on my own type deal....


    It's expensive for sure, much more so in Europe, but when I'm on the road and I have a weekend to spare, I'm almost always looking for a place to rent so I can ride.



    I can understand to a point why it's expensive, in Hawaii I saw a couple of different tourists dump bikes before they even got off the rental lot, so I'm sure they spend a bit on repairs to keep the bikes on the road. Plus, no one wants to rent an old used bike, people want something shiny and new, same as rental cars you know? So you have maybe a year or two tops to make money with a bike before you sell it and have to buy a new one
    #42
  3. Steve Hunt

    Steve Hunt Adventurer

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    Thank you , finally a voice of reason speaks. Comparing a car rental to a motorcycle rental is silly, it's two completely different businesses.

    Why would anybody rent a bike for transportation? Craigs list is constantly full of $2000 or less bikes for transportation.

    I am a Executive Elite at National Car and there are no interesting car rentals for $50/day. I looked at a Corvette at Avis one time and i believe it was $250/day, max 100miles then like .50 cents/mile. I have flown and rented bikes numerous times in order to expierence a area that was impossible to get my equipment to at a reasonable cost and time. I have rented a GoldWing in Colorada, Vstrom in Oregon, Yamaha Tenere, BMW1200 and Tiger 800 in TN and even a KTM 990 SMR for a day at Mid Ohio trackday. I dont think I ever paid more than $15-25/day for insurance. $125-165/day for the bike. Every rental was well worth the money. Think about this, do you really want to target the group that wants everything for cheap or cheaper or do you want to create a value offering to the group that wants a memorable experience and is willing to pay for it. You should never try to be everything to everyone. i've used Northwest motorcycle adventures and GSM motorents and both rent one type bike to a certain type customer.
    #43
  4. YukonTracker

    YukonTracker Ride your Way

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    Amen! Of course owning and riding your own bike is often preferable and makes financially more sense for most. But, there are times that renting is more convenient and sensible for a multitude of reasons.
    #44
  5. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    OK, here's my sum up from this thread and your replies.

    1. I do not agree that the renter should pay for damage to the bike. It's on the rentee's head to do so and this should keep your costs down. I cite my own experience renting the RT from the guy in Sarasota. While parked, some bozo knocked it down while it was in my possession. The renter charged me about $800 for damages. I think that fair and reasonable given that it was on my watch that the bike came to grief (even if I wasn't there when it happened).

    1b. IMO, the renter is responsible for incidental damages such as fairing gets nicked by a road rock. That's out of the rentee's control.

    2. Dump the cleaning fee. That's the renter's responsibility and makes you look small charging it.

    3. Scotch new bikes. I'm not renting to try out a new K16LT or Duc Multistrada. I see a dealer for that. I want to ride in the new area and would be thrilled to do so on a used Versys or a Zook Bandit 1200 or dozens of other bikes you can both source for $5 AND maintain easily. In short, I'd eagerly rent a Versys or a Ninja 250 or a Honda 250L for $50 / day but bridle at that Multistrada at the $200 / day you'd need to charge to cover the obvious extra costs.
    #45
  6. mngl1500

    mngl1500 []

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    I only rented a motorcycle once. It was my birthday and we were in Aruba. It was rent a HD or nothing. Get to the HD dealer in the morning. For $15 and his liquid lunch an ex-pat will take you around the island for 1/2 day and take you to the normal lookout places and to some look out places I did not know about (the one lighthouse where on a clear day you can see Venezuela). During the little go around the island one of the couples were idiots and did not bring water and got pretty bad heat exhaustion. Other than that I had a good time. And map? What map. We never got a map or gps or anything but then again kinda hard to get lost there.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #46
  7. ricmachado

    ricmachado Been here awhile

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    i'm still in the earlier stages of it, the information I have is what I remember from when I worked at the rental in Miami, when I have the business plan done, i'm contacting my former boss to discuss with him the idea.

    What I would like to do is a rental for the fun of it, offering mid size dual sport bikes, (V-Storm 1000, Versys, etc...) maybe adding some others later...

    If all works well, the start will be next Spring (2014), so that way I have this summer to keep studing the business and saving $$$ and the fall / winter to promote before kicking it for real.

    Wife is supportive so this is a plus, I have the time and energy, could use some money... :evil

    Please keep the ideas, pointing the ups and downs, all the information is welcome.
    #47
  8. vaara

    vaara Been here awhile

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    Good luck, and don't expect to get rich.

    Sorry to say, your biggest challenge might be getting people to want to rent V-Stroms and Versyses. The reason there are so many places that rent Harley®™©s and nothing else, is because lots of people want to rent Harley©®™s and nothing else. Unfortunately, most of the moto world lacks the discernment to appreciate a fine piece of Japanese lite-adventure iron.
    #48
  9. Neuf

    Neuf n00b

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    Thanks for sharing the Modern Classic Motorcycle Rental (Orlando, FL) - I'll be out there in a couple months for a conference, so I'm going to pick up a Bonnie from them for a few days afterwards ($300 total) and scoot around one of the last states I've never visited. I'm thinking I'll ride to Key West just to see the long, boring bridges, etc. but the rest is open. Suggestions welcome...
    #49
  10. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    I spent a couple months living in India in 2008/2009, and rented an 80cc Honda scooter for 150ru/day (About $3). Taking day trips on that thing was some of the most fun riding I've ever had! :)
    #50
  11. ricmachado

    ricmachado Been here awhile

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    :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy :baldy


    I understand that it may not be easy to rent anything other than HD's, and maybe it will be the only way to go. I think that if I stay in NC area, Dual Sport bikes can also be an attractive, we have many great roads for non HD public, will HD be part of the lineup, sure, but I would rather have a small selection of them and large selection of other bikes.

    Again, this thread is my cheap "market research", maybe I can rent only big dual sport bikes (Tenera, V-Storm 1000, GS, )

    Bike suggestions are welcome.
    #51
  12. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Team Orange

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    I intend to rent a bike for a day in Kauai when I'm there in a few weeks. The biggest issue I have is that the choices are cruisers or scooters - nothing else. I don't like riding motorcycles with forward controls, but I'll do it for one day.

    A few years back there was a place on that island that did tours with DR350's and XR650L's. I would love to have done that, but they weren't able to keep the business going, so shut that one down. An XR650L would perfect to ride around that island on, but I doubt very many other riders share that opinion.

    I would love to see a rental place offer a Honda NC700 in any of the variants. Or even a CB500. I would at least like to be able to choose a standard over a cruiser.
    #52
  13. Calamity Jesus

    Calamity Jesus n0ob

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    I'd suggest skipping Key West on a stock Bonneville. They're stiff and underdamped and buzzy at 80mph (the speed of traffic on Fl freeways) while providing no wind protection. You're talking about an 800mi round trip from Orlando. Go East and West from Orlando on the 2-lane. Explore the beautiful cattle country and orange groves in the middle of the state and the space coast area. Save Key West for a flight into Miami.
    #53
  14. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    All this talk of risk and repairs is missing the fact that rental companies typically make the renter pay for any damage. So it should not cost the rental co. any more if a careful rider returns the bike in pristine condition or someone else dumps it in the first 1/4 mile.

    I do agree that bike rental rates appear to be very high and out of line with the costs involved. However, if it was THAT profitable, there would be more people doing it, more competition, and prices would fall. I can only assume, therefore, that for whatever reason, it really does cost much more to offer a bike for rent than a car.

    In 2010, I rented a Weestrom in New Zealand for just under US$100/day for ten or twelve days. It was a few years old with over 60K miles but well maintained and gave me no trouble. I was perfectly happy with the bike. It was about double the cost of a car rental (not five times) but worth every penny. I don't understand why costs should be so much higher in the US.
    #54
  15. CaspianTiger

    CaspianTiger Adventurer

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    We just returned from an 8 day tour of the North Island of New Zealand. We rented bikes from Randal Brown of Aucklandmotorbikehire.co.nz. Me on an almost new Vstrom 1000, my wife on a brand new Kawa Versys. Great bikes, plenty of luggage space, programed GPS, fantastic accommodations, superbly run outfit. If you want to know how to run a motorbike rental business, rent from Randal and see how it's done.

    BTW, we might have see a Harley in New Zealand but it was so far back in the twisties that it was hard to tell.:rofl

    Dennis and Sheri
    #55
  16. CaspianTiger

    CaspianTiger Adventurer

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    The website is aucklandmotorbikehire.com......NOT .co.nz. Sorry for the error.
    #56
  17. farmerstu

    farmerstu Been here awhile

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    hope you can make it work. i just rented a hd street glide in sanford.fla. picked it up tues. at 10 a.m and returned it on fri. at 10.am put 775 miles on it. total cost was 320.97 . i did not need the insuance witch would have been 44.00 a day more. i figured deprecaation at a conserative .20 a mile for a total of 155.00 add in the fact that i didn't wear out my tires or have to do any maintence or even wash it. i thought it was a great deal. bike was a 2013 model with 1250 miles on it.
    #57
  18. Steve Hunt

    Steve Hunt Adventurer

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    As a native Floridian I have to agree, I cant think of a worse ride in my life than Orlando to Key West. I'm starting to hurt all over just thinking about it. Even flying to Miami and then riding to Key West is lame. I suppose if you get your mind right maybe you can find some way to chill and enjoy the ride from Miami to Key West but I've done it and would never do it again on any bike much less Orl to Key West. Instead head towards Homosassa, Crystal River, Dunellon, then to Ocala area and explore the beautiful horse farm areas. Fabulous ranches and believe it or not some rolling hills (i use the word hill loosely). I had a FJR for a while and would head for that area and just wander knowing that the GPS would save me anytime I had enough. Have fun!

    SH
    #58
  19. Brit-rider

    Brit-rider n00b

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    My wife & I have been over to ride in the US a few times now and this last time we rented bikes through Eagle Rider via an agent here in the UK. We're both around 5' 6" so we dont feel comfortable riding big Harley's or similar, and to be honest the kind of roads we enjoy riding we just dont need the sheer bulk. We went for a couple of VT750's, it's all they had in "our size" but they were great bikes and we couldnt have wanted for more ..well, maybe better service when we're handing over nearly £2k ($3100)

    To me, many of the rental companies seem to think that customers just want a huge great Harley/Wing, because it's a one off 'special occasion' holiday for some.. it's their dream and so they 'think' big is best. In our case recently, the rental company found it weird that we only wanted "small bikes"..lol..mind you they still charged us £100 ($155) per day, per bike, ours were 4-5 years old and covered in dents & damage, while the HD range and Gold-wings rentals in the shop were like new, low mileage and immaculate, that in itself shows the thought process when supplying middleweight rentals.

    With bikes more popular today than ever, and how Japanese, British, German, Italian bikes are such common place on the roads today, we still only have a very limited choice if we want to rent a bike in certain parts of the US.. and it's usually too big and too heavy for what many 'really' need from a bike. To be honest we'd prefer to rent middleweight bikes over the larger ones any day, something we can reach the ground on, be able to push around without getting a hernia, and wouldn't even mind if it was a few years old as long as it was looked after, well serviced and priced acordingly. I don't see the need to have to rent huge great bikes when today's middleweights are so good, so something like an ER6, SV650, CB500 etc would be great.
    #59
  20. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer

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    I've rented from Dubbelju several times. Simply an outstanding customer experience! The rides where fun too. :clap. They run a pretty urban, laid back operation in downtown San Francisco. Lots of choices from scooters to big GS's and the aforementioned Multistrada. They are my go to choice in San Francisco. They are always busy.

    Motoquest rents KLRs and BMWs in LA, Anchorage, and I think Seattle. They are more group touring oriented, but you can also just rent and go. Phil runs trips all over the world, but seems to specialize in Alaska, where he's from.

    IIRC, there is a company in Tennessee that also rents adv bikes and does tours. Never used them, but will look into it next time the need arises.

    I've also rented from a guy in Seattle that has about 10 different bikes. I had a choice between BMW LT, BMW RT, Triumph, and an FJR :eek1. Took the FJR and had an outstanding trip to Whstler and back.

    Eagle Rider seems to be the only truly national company doing rentals. They show multiple brands and styles of bikes, but seem to lean towards the cruiser crowd.

    I've also rented Hardleys in Colorado Springs from Pikes Peak HD. Great people, but a somewhat scary experience trying to horse a Road Glide up and down Pikes Peak, befor it was fully paved. The hairpin curves gave that bike the shakes :puke1

    I travel (and rent from Hertz) nearly every week. I'd certainly rent a VStrom or similar, instead, if I could get it for $50 or so a day. BMW's are great and all, but may throw the economics all out of whack. Stick to UJM's and price it right and you may have a good business.

    I'd talk to all the other rental companies before doing anything. If you aren't going to compete on their turf, they should be willing to share. From what I can see, Dubbleju is the best in the business, fly out, rent from them and talk to Wolfgang.

    One thing t keep in mind. If you are running the shop you won't be out riding.
    #60