Oct 19, 2019

To Buy or To Rent a Motorcycle? That is The Question.

Ericka Ellis

Do you love life on two wheels? Learn why a motorcycle rental could be a good fit.

Consider this scenario: You’ve just graduated from your Basic Rider Course and it’s time to put the dirty side down completely unsupervised. You know exactly what kind of riding you want to do and have a basic understanding of the different motorcycle options available to you.

Only thing is, you aren’t a gearhead at heart, and you know you probably should be if you want to own a motorcycle, but you don't have the means to purchase a brand-new bike. So, what do you do?

Beginners who don’t have the means to buy an all-new motorcycle usually opt for a cheaper pre-owned ride. This way, they don’t have to stress about losing heaps of money as their brand-new bike depreciates.  

Still, some riders prefer the pleasures of riding without the hassle of motorcycle maintenance—as a diehard gearhead, I can’t relate, but I can sympathize—while others can’t justify buying a motorcycle because they can’t devote enough time to riding it. If you fall under one of these categories, then a motorcycle rental is right up your alley.

Renting motorcycles

Why should I rent a motorcycle instead of buying one?

Renting a motorcycle comes with several advantages:

  • Whether you’re at the dealership or working with a private seller, the likelihood you’ll get to test ride a bike is slim to none. On the other hand, renting motorcycles that are owned either by a dealership like Harley-Davidson or Indian, or by motorcycle rental agencies like EagleRider, allows you to test out different bikes for extended periods.
  • Renting is a great option for riders who get bored riding the same bike for any length of time. While your main bike is resting at home (not for too long, I hope!), you can easily rent a motorcycle for a few days, and, once you tire of it, swap it out for a different ride. Luckily, memberships exist at certain rental agencies for people who do this frequently.

  • Bikers who enjoy riding internationally will find comfort knowing that not only do they not have to fork out an exorbitant amount of money to ship their bike overseas (~1,800 USD), they also don’t have to stress about damage done to their bike during transit. Plus, renting motorcycles overseas gives riders face time with people who are knowledgeable about the surrounding area.
  • Even if you don’t consider yourself a biker and only dabble in riding, renting a motorcycle from time to time gives you the opportunity to explore new territory from a different perspective (I call this vantage point the “bike’s-eye view”).
  • Finally, renting motorcycles puts you in touch with a group of people who have a wealth of knowledge about riding. Motorcycle rental agencies typically only employ experienced riders, so they’ll be able to answer questions about the bike you plan to rent, in addition to providing insight about riding in general (how to plan for certain riding conditions, what kind of gear to buy, which biker hotspots to hit up, etc.).

Motorcycle rentals

What should I consider before I rent a motorcycle?

There’s more to consider than whether or not renting a motorcycle is covered by your insurance policy.

  • Get licensed. The majority of rental companies will not rent their bikes out to people who do not have experience under their belts. You might also find that some require you to be at least 21 years of age.
  • Select a bike that makes sense for you. Consider factors like level of riding experience (this is a big one), height, weight, and what kind of travel you plan to do: Are you simply commuting from A to B? Is a long-distance ride in your future? Do you like speed and adrenaline? All of these factors will help the rep at the rental agency help you find the perfect motorcycle rental.

What kind of motorcycle should you rent?

  • ATGATT. Even if you don’t plan on owning a bike long term, equipping yourself with the necessary motorcycle gear is a must. At the very least, you need to invest in a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet, gloves, riding jacket, pants, and riding boots. Some rental shops might have a few of these items available for rent, but don’t count on it.
  • Inspect the rental. You inspect your car rental before leaving the lot, right? Do the same before you ride your motorcycle rental off into the sunset. Check the tires, lights, signals, brakes, and horn, first and foremost.

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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