Developments in Motorcycle Rental

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by DGS49, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    For those who do such things (I do), motorcycle rental took a giant turn for the worse a few months ago, and I doubt that very many people are aware of it.

    Eagle Rider is a nationwide company that rents motorcycles on a short-term basis. Many Harley Davidson dealers have also provided rentals for many years - a little more costly - but if you rent on vacation you could usually rely on either an Eagle Rider or a H-D rental agency being in the area. Eagle Rider also rents Harley's, if that's what you want.

    The advantage to Eagle Rider is that they rent many different brands. I like to rent a big touring bike, so I've rented Indians, BMW's, and a Goldwing from Eagle Rider, as well as a couple of Ultra's at Harley shops.

    But the landscape has changed drastically. Eagle Rider (Franchisor) has entered into a deal with Harley Davidson that FORBIDS THEM FROM RENTING ANY OTHER BRAND. And this deal - made without any input from the franchisee network - also binds all franchisees. So if they want to continue renting other brands, they will lose their franchise.

    To be concise, this sucks.

    In fact, I wonder why the Justice Department isn't looking into it. This is blatantly a monopolistic practice by H-D - which already controls most of the market for big cruisers - and could be a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. I'm not privy to the franchise agreement itself, but it is surprising to me that the franchisor can make such a major change in the business model without consulting the other parties to the agreements.

    If anyone out there knows more details (or knows that I'm wrong about something), I would appreciate the input.
     
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  2. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Opportunity for someone else to fill the void by offering a greater number of options

    Maybe rent some classic bikes
     
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  3. Marion Morrison
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    Marion Morrison Platinum Member

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    Sounds like an opportunity is opening up there. I would want to rent a CBX if I rented a bike, or an Interceptor.

    Maybe an RD400. Goldwings would probably be what everybody wants, though.
     
  4. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    I've often thought that a business might be possible renting desirable older bikes, which can be bought for just a few thousand dollars. As mentioned above VFR's, Goldwing 1500's, Maybe some big Japanese cruisers.

    It's so obvious, but I've never heard of it being done.

    As for newer big bikes (like Eagle Rider used to have), I think the problem is that they depreciate too quickly. Harley's are different, because a dealer can rent them out until they have a few thousand miles on them, and still sell them at a profit. But for a used BMW or even an Indian, the value drops like a rock.
     
  5. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I have seen places that rent classic cars, I don’t see why they couldn’t offer motorcycles also

    Motorcycles rent at a premium, don’t see how they can lose money.
     
  6. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    Overhead is a bitch. It's not just some enthusiast renting cheap bikes out of his garage. You need a storefront, advertising, insurance, full-time staff, licenses. How much could you get for rental of, say, a 2002 VFR? $50/day? Not much more than that.

    As I ruminate about it, a small motorcycle repair shop might be a good platform for this business. They have the mechanics, the licenses, and the knowledge already. Add a f/t marketing/business guy and $50,000 in inventory and you're in business.
     
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  7. Uncensored2008
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    Uncensored2008 Libertarian Radical Supporting Member

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    If there is a market for the other bike, someone will fill the void.
     

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