Developments in Motorcycle Rental

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

  1. DGS49
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    7,239
    Thanks Received:
    1,588
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +7,010
    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.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
  2. rightwinger
    Online

    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    182,131
    Thanks Received:
    26,912
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Ratings:
    +93,506
    Opportunity for someone else to fill the void by offering a greater number of options

    Maybe rent some classic bikes
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Marion Morrison
    Online

    Marion Morrison Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Messages:
    46,107
    Thanks Received:
    7,821
    Trophy Points:
    1,840
    Ratings:
    +46,462
    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
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    7,239
    Thanks Received:
    1,588
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +7,010
    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
    Online

    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    182,131
    Thanks Received:
    26,912
    Trophy Points:
    2,190
    Ratings:
    +93,506
    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
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    7,239
    Thanks Received:
    1,588
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +7,010
    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.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Uncensored2008
    Offline

    Uncensored2008 Libertarian Radical Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    76,176
    Thanks Received:
    9,955
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    Behind the Orange Curtain
    Ratings:
    +40,113

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

    Jarlaxle Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    15,472
    Thanks Received:
    1,304
    Trophy Points:
    205
    Location:
    New England
    Ratings:
    +3,614
    Pablum. As of right now, Eagle Rider still rents Honda, Indian, BMW, Triumph and Ural motorcycles, along with Polaris Slingshots.
     
  9. DGS49
    Offline

    DGS49 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Messages:
    7,239
    Thanks Received:
    1,588
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Ratings:
    +7,010
    Yes. I'm not sure what's going on there. Our local Eagle Rider franchisee doesn't go along with much of the corporate stuff. Often, when there is a national promotion they don't participate. In any event, he told my son some months ago the story about Eagle Rider going all-Harley. Now, i've seen promotions where ER corporate is emphasizing the off-brands. I'm not sure what to make of the local guy. As said above, I like to rent from them when traveling, bot no Harley's.
     
  10. Admiral Rockwell Tory
    Offline

    Admiral Rockwell Tory Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    25,815
    Thanks Received:
    2,795
    Trophy Points:
    290
    Location:
    Sitting down in front of my computer
    Ratings:
    +14,561
    It is not an anti-trust issue as long as someone can start another company to rent the other models. Why don't you get some investors together and do just that?
     

Share This Page