Traveling the world on your motorcycle is now easier than ever with so many shipping and rental options out there. But more often than not, budget plays a huge role – while having several different bikes on each continent, or shipping your bike around the globe sounds good, the reality is that very few people can afford it. Could motorcycle share be a way out?
As someone who travels very slowly and works on the road, I sometimes have weeks or even months where I’m generally not riding as much. I get someplace warm and nice, get an AirBnB, and stay for a while resting, working, or recovering. Because of this, Lucy, my trusty DR650, sometimes finds itself being used as a grocery pony or a town scooter. So I came up with an idea – offer friends and friends of friends an option to ride a country they normally would not on my bike while I’m getting work done or plotting my next destination, rally, or some other two-wheeled project.
So far, I’ve offered people to fly in and ride my bike in Peru, Bosnia, Poland, and Spain, for anywhere from ten days to a couple of weeks. To my surprise, there were no takers – too short a notice; family commitments; work commitments, and so on, prevented people from booking a flight and coming over to ride. And granted, Lucy is a beat up DR650, not a flashy KTM or a comfy GS. Still, my Europe offer remains open for the next month or two.
But it got me thinking: is a motorcycle share idea realistic? From the legal point of view, most countries will be OK with someone riding a bike that’s not their own as long as the person has a POA from the owner (this is the case in most European and South American countries). There’s also the question of insurance; some countries allow the bike to be insured as opposed to the rider, and if it’s the latter, then the visiting rider could buy their own insurance for the ride. To prevent disasters in cases of motorcycle damage, perhaps there could be some sort of a mutual contract in place.
Couch surfing and house sitting was once a weird idea which has since become mainstream. Could it happen to motorcycle share, too?
Would you swap bikes with other riders so you can both experience different countries or continents? Would you ride someone else’s bike and let other people ride yours? Or is this utterly utopian?