Hey, it’s the sharing economy so why not? Airbnb sounded pretty sketchy to me, too, but since I started doing it I’ve had nothing but great experiences and nobody’s burnt down my house yet or even clogged a pipe. Riders-Share.com is a peer-to-peer rental startup that got off the ground last August. It connects riders who want to rent motorcycles to unused motorcycles. It screens renters, provides liability protection and a safe online payments platform.

There are about 30 million licensed riders and just 9 million motorcycles in the United States, says, R-S, millions who would occasionally ride if it wasn’t for the steep price of motorcycles and motorcycle rentals. R-S aims to put those unused motorcycles to good use, by connecting them to people who want to ride but can’t afford to. By being selective on who can rent (and having no brick-and-mortar stores), the goal is to make both motorcycle rentals and ownership affordable, to get more motorcyclists on the road – and even spark a comeback for motorcycling among young people.
Most of the questions dancing through your mind, including `what if somebody crashes my bike’, are answered here. Sounds like motorcycle ride sharing can be a great idea, really, especially if you have a cruiser that just doesn’t get ridden much but you don’t want to part with…
  • Sayyed Bashir

    No one is going to touch one of my bikes. At the Jimmy Lewis off-road training school in Pahrump NV in Nov 2015 I rented a beat-up Honda 230cc dirt bike for $300 for two days instead of using my own 1200cc KTM on which I travelled there. In Alaska in the first week of June before my Volunteer Vacation starts, I am renting a BMW F800GS for $350 for two days to ride around Central Alaska. My boss was trying to tell me about cheap car rentals and his jaw dropped when I told him how much the motorcycle rental was. Don’t even talk about Harley rentals.

    • paco

      Yeah, we started the whole thing because motorcycle rentals are insanely expensive. We let our owners set their own prices, but usually we are 50% lower than traditional rental companies

  • JMDGT

    I can afford to rent if I travel to a location far enough away from my home and want to ride. I see no problem for those that want to share. Especially if they can pocket any income without the tax liability.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The IRS will be on it like a ton of bricks. They don’t even like bartering.

      • JMDGT

        F¥€£ the IRS and the horse they rode in on.

  • Old MOron

    The whole thing is a non sequitur to me.
    There are more than three times as many riders as there are bikes, and yet there are unused motorcycles just waiting to be hired. That doesn’t make sense!

    • paco

      Lots of riders without bikes. Lots of owners with multiple bikes, or bikes that are their second vehicle.

    • John B.

      When I first took the motorcycle safety course and obtained a motorcycle endorsement on my license, for business and personal reasons I decided to put off becoming a motorcyclist. For several years, I had the endorsement, but no bike.

      • DickRuble

        Me too.. for four years to be exact. During that time I dropped and dented a friend’s bike, and I almost killed myself on his other, much bigger bike. I then retook the MSF course and only then I bought my own bike.

  • DickRuble

    Doomed to fail. All it takes is some knuckle head to wreck some idiot’s (what else would you be to rent your bike to a complete stranger?) bike and maim a couple of innocent bystanders. Then the legal fun and insurance claims fantasia begin. However, a small, local group of 4-5 people, in an affluent neighborhood, who know each other well might decide it makes sense to get together and borrow/exchange/pool bikes. Maybe share cost of a warehouse where to keep and maintain the bikes. Basically a motorcycle club. Again: know each other well and like each other are key terms. If I don’t like you, there’s no way you’re getting close to my bike or that I’ll touch your pile or rolling crap.

    • Old MOron

      “And I don’t like many people.”

      I’m sure the feeling is mutual.
      Har har har! Sorry, Richie. That one was too easy.

    • paco

      Hi Dick! We vet renters to ensure they are safe riders by looking at their 3 year driving records, and we require them to be 25 or older. We bought an insurance policy backed by Lloyds of Londons for up to $1 million in liability protection covering each of our transactions. The accident rate for motorcycle rentals is 1 per 500 rentals. Give it a shot!

      • DickRuble

        Yeah.. you get a guy with a spotless 3 year driving record that hasn’t touched a bike since his first born child came, twenty-five years ago. Then you reimburse my bike at blue book value, which wouldn’t cover the cost of two side panels or the cost of the fried clutch.

        • paco

          It is possible, but the odds are in your favor and the money is significant. We have 80 bikes listed today, averaging $200 per transaction

          • DickRuble

            Not only wouldn’t I rent you my bike for $200, I would also not pay $200 for a rental, unless you rent Superleggeras or Tesi 3D’s.

          • paco

            Per transaction, not per day. We are a lot less expensive than the competition.

          • DickRuble

            paco, (or is it guillermo?) since you’re math heavy let’s see if you figure this out. 1/3 of licensed riders own a motorcycle. 2/3 don’t. What do you think is the likelihood that any of the 2/3 have ridden a bike in the last 3 years?

          • paco

            The most frequent, experienced riders are the most likely to rent. Regarding the other 2/3s…Do you remember how to ride a bicycle?

          • DickRuble

            Yeah.. that’s an apt comparison.. someone who rode a Katana 30 years ago gets on an R1. He hasn’t forgotten anything. What could go wrong?

          • paco

            You could be right, but our insurance company thinks they can make a profit from insuring us and they are the experts in this, so we’ll see 🙂

        • Bryan Spears

          I’m with DickRuble, on this. The idea that I would rent my bike is laughable.

        • Born to Ride

          I agree with you on this point wholeheartedly, but the idea would be that you wouldn’t rent a bike that’s worth 10 times it’s KBB value. This is for guys that have a cobweb covered Vstar 650 in their garage that sees the road 3 times a year at best.

    • Prakasit

      My knee jerk reaction would be: no freaking way some random guy/gal is riding my bike. It takes a lot of skills to ride competently. If I can’t gauge your riding skill to be adequate, you are not riding my bike.

      • DickRuble

        You have to be able to gauge the intent. The person could be highly skilled and fully intent on riding wheelies from LA to SF, with tire smoking donut breaks in each parking lot along the way.

        • spiff

          This may only be an urban legend, but… Back in the day some wealthy gentleman paid an upstanding man to get his Ferrari, recently shipped across the pond, from NY to LA. The car was delivered and the new owner was happy. What he was not aware of was the car was clocked at over 160mph on the NY Thruway, and also helped the upstanding gentleman win the Cannonball.

          If your vehicle is for utility, and viewed as a tool this may work. My bike is my favorite toy, and if it is going to be entered in a Cannonball my ass will be in the seat.

  • John B.

    Sounds like a great concept to me.

    • DickRuble

      A lawyer would say that.

      • John B.

        I like entrepreneurs; people who see a need in the market, and despite statistically long odds for success and incessant negativity from detractors, invest their blood, sweat, and tears to make their business a success…. I read somewhere the average motorcycle travels about 1,700 miles. That aint right! Let’s put some miles on those bikes!

        • DickRuble

          What blood and sweat? A couple of web pages at most. And your and other people’s bikes. Air BnB 2.0, but a lot riskier. Speaking of which, do you have an MV Agusta Turismo Veloce I could borrow for a trip to Tijuana?

          Note: Probably 1,700 miles/year..

          • John B.

            Starting a business, like hitting a curveball, always looks easy from the sidelines. You did make me laugh though. Thanks for that!

          • Bryan Spears

            Getting and keeping a business running is respectable.. well, usually. DickRuble is right about at least one thing, though; blue book insurance payouts will not replace a bike that the owner truly cares about. There is a decent chance that owner has added or upgraded parts.. will blue book cover that? That owner knows that the bike gets routine maintenance, and blue book isn’t going to buy a new bike but rather one that you have to trust someone else to have done. That’s just if the bike gets damaged.. Again, as DickRuble already argued, what about burnouts? $200 would cover the OEM Diablo Rosso II if I can still find one, but I’d be hard pressed to get its replacement, the Rosso III for that price.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            No one will rent out the bikes they love, only the bikes they don’t care about. Mostly small repair shops that have unused bikes laying around and can fix them cheaply if needed. You and I will probably not be renting out our own bikes, but considering this as a cheaper option for renting bikes when travelling. If they are still around and have the right bikes available in the right locations. Like match.com, the larger the number of active members, the more the likelihood of a good match.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            No one will rent out the bikes they love, only the bikes they don’t care about. Mostly small repair shops that have unused bikes laying around and can fix them cheaply if needed. You and I will probably not be renting out our own bikes, but considering this as a cheaper option for renting bikes when travelling. If they are still around and have the right bikes available in the right locations. Like match.com, the larger the number of active members, the more the likelihood of a good match.

        • Born to Ride

          You’re as optimistic as Dick is a dick John. I applaud you for it. The world needs all kinds. That being said, I too see this as an opportunity for dust collecting bikes to not only get ridden but the owners to score some cash on the side. However, Dick is right, for those not expecting their bike to be treated like shit, a reality check is in order. And I sincerely doubt that the insurance does little to make owners of broken bikes whole on the deal. I would love to use the service if I were traveling via plane to some scenic locale, but ain’t no yahoo swinging a leg on one of my Ducatis.

  • John B.

    I was having fun, and then I started thinking….

    If I were to rent my motorcycle to someone through Riders-Share, I would first review my motorcycle insurance policy. I suspect, but have not confirmed, my personal policy does NOT cover damages caused by a renter. If that’s the case, my policy and related coverages are irrlevant.

    I would also want to read Riders-Share’s insurance policy to ascertain coverages and policy limits. That Riders-Share has a million dollar Lloyd’s policy doesn’t tell me anything useful. Among other things, I would want to confirm I am a first party insured under the policy, and make sure the policy pays me reasonable cost to repair (not to exceed fair market value) in the event a renter damages my motorcycle. I would also want to know the amount of the deductible, if any, and see whether aftermarket improvements to the bike are covered. Insurance claim payouts depend on the language in the policy (including policy limits) and the negotiation skills of the carrier and the insured.

    If someone wants to email me (jbutrusj@gmail.com) RiderShare’s insurance policy (the full policy not just the declarations sheet), I will be happy to review it and report back to my fellow MOrons. I had big plans for tonight, but never miss an opportunity to review an insurance policy.

    • DickRuble

      Riders-Share have some contract with Lloyd’s that the renter can purchase insurance. The renter is responsible for the insurance AND rental fees. It says so on their website. I am sure Paco will be happy to provide you with the forms.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      John, read the insurance page http://blog.riders-share.com/insurance/ and let us know what you think.

      • John B.

        I read it and don’t see that there is coverage if a third party (who may or may not have insurance) damages the owner’s motorcycle while the renter possesses it. For example, where the renter is stopped at a red light and gets rear ended, or where a car left turns in front of the motorcycle causing a crash. I still need to see the policy to know for certain what coverages are provided.

  • spiff

    Motorcycles are like girl friends. If someone wants to ride mine they need to bring one and swap.

    Yes, slightly off color, but this is what I was once told when I asked to ride anothers bike.

    • DickRuble

      And the analogy extends to caveats…

  • Andy C

    I don’t really have the best bike in the world (Ninja 650) but maybe if I bought a new bike I would be open to share the old bike instead of dealing with the Craigslist crazies!

    • Sayyed Bashir

      You will have to treat your old bike better than your new one if you want to offer it to Riders Share. Read the Owner Guidelines. Also the Insurance page. “If the owner of the motorcycle fails to maintain the motorcycle properly such that it causes an accident, then it is considered that the renter was not negligent and the liability will fall on the owner”. Also: “We strongly encourage you to maintain full coverage of your motorcycle, not just the minimum state requirement, because Riders Share provides pictures, approximate location, and availability that may be used by thieves to target your motorcycle.”

  • Gruf Rude

    Looking at the death statistics for motorcycle riders in the U.S., I think I’ll pass on AirRent-to-Ride with my bikes . . . $1,000,000 worth of insurance doesn’t go very far for a death and/or paraplegic accident that some family could blame on my supposed maintenance shortcomings.