The Seasoned Wrench

An Owner’s Riders-Share Motorcycle Rentals Review

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About a year ago, I took a leap of faith. I bought, what turned out to be, an old beat up Ducati Monster with the intention of starting a Riders Share motorcycle rental business. Which succeeded by the way, but not without its hiccups.

As I was first starting out, I immediately noticed that there were not any Riders Share reviews from the perspective of the owner. Having an experienced owner that could have provided insights from their personal experience would have been invaluable, to say the least.

If you’re interested in the Riders Share motorcycle rental platform go ahead and keep reading, I’ll break it all down for you. If you’re looking for more of a general overview and comparisons, like Twisted Road vs Riders Share, I’ll make sure you’re covered there as well.

My Thoughts Getting Started

When I first started, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I alternated between “this is never going to work” and “I’m going to be absolutely rich doing something I love”. In reality, the truth was somewhere in between.

Renting my motorcycles for a profit definitely did work, but it did not, and will not, make me rich. It will however allow me to continue riding for free, make some extra money with my bikes, and to meet cool riders from all across the country – and sometimes from outside of the country! Oh and not to mention – I get to own awesome motorcycles that I otherwise could not justify owning!

In otherwords, this experience has been truly a successful experiment. I’ve generated some additional, relatively passive, income. I’ve owned more motorcycles than I’ve ever owned in my life, and I’ve been given the opportunity to do so while exploring my own entrepreneurial tendencies!

Through the rest of the article I’ll be going over how much money I made, how many rentals I had, pros and cons of renting your motorcycle for profit, what happens if a renter damages your bike, and more.

My Rental Bikes

As with any sort of investment, your money is made from the moment you purchase the asset. In other words, to maximize your earnings, you want to get the best deal possible. You’re looking for value, instead of only considering cost.

Value is relative to the motorcycle that you’re buying. You will need to consider things like initial purchase price, registration and insurance fees, depreciation, re-sale potential, and desirability for the market. These are all things that will effect your rental rate.

My GSX-S is listed for $89 dollars a day. A multi-day discount of 5%.
My V-Strom is listed for $95 dollars a day. A multi-day discount of 10%

Discounted rates shown are available for new Riders-Share signups

Local Markets For Motorcycle Rentals

As I mentioned, one of the factors in determining the value of a motorcycle, for rental purposes, is desirability in the market. In this case, what exactly is a market? Well, by definition, a market is an area in which commercial dealings are conducted. How does this apply to us? All markets are subject to supply and demand.

This means that when finding a candidate to use as your motorcycle rental, you must consider the available supply of motorcycles for rent, and also the demand for any new or existing motorcycles.

For me, I’m in the Atlanta metropolitan area. More specifically, I’m inside the limits of the City of Atlanta. Or as the locals say, I’m inside the perimeter (ITP). This places me about an hour south of some of the best riding in the country, the North Georgia Mountains. So how does this fit into our market discussion?

Atlanta Georgia Motorcycle Rental Market

With the location that I have currently, I receive both short-term and long-term renters. Each style of renter, based on the bike they would like to rent, fits into a specific demographic. For example, I have many younger guys who rent my GSX-S for a shorter time period. Many of the short-term renters for my GSX-S are locals who want to “scratch the itch” for a day or so.

Keep in mind, this is a base level observation and has its exceptions. On the other hand, my V-strom attracts many older, more experienced, riders who are looking to tour the area over a longer span of time. Many of my V-strom renters are flying in from out of town and have a trip planned accordingly. Again, this is a base level observation and has its exceptions.


I touched on it briefly, from my own personal experiences, but an important factor to consider in your rentals is the location that you’re in. For me, I’m located inside the perimeter of Atlanta and am accessible by public transport directly from the airport. My own location, and also public transportation systems, give me a unique benefit in accessing the market around me.

A renter who can travel to me for free will be more willing to spend more money on the motorcycle itself as the total cost of the trip will be lower. In the same vein, I’ve noticed competitors that are located in North Georgia, closer to the mountains, who are doing great volume as well.

I suspect that this volume accounts for a higher population of motorcycle riders outside of city limits; but also, the fact that many people do not want to ride an hour or more to their destination. When renting directly in the mountains you leave the owner’s location and are where you want to be already. Benefits of a location can vary from place to place, so be sure to consider this for yourself.

What Are The Best Bikes To Rent?

We covered things like considering a motorcycle’s value, local markets for motorcycle rentals, supply & demand, etc.. but what bikes actually get rented? In my experience, you will have the most success with five specific categories of motorcycle.

  • Adventure Motorcycles (Suzuki V-Strom, BMW R GS, KTM Adventure, Triumph Tiger, Ducati Multistrada)
  • High-End Cruiser Motorcycles (Indian Chieftan, Dark Horse, Scout, Etc. Anything Harley-Davidson aside from the Sportster)
  • High-End SuperSport Motorcycles (BMW S1000RR, Ducati Panigale, KTM RC8)
  • High-End Naked Bikes (BMW S1000R, Ducati Streetfighter, Ducati Monster, Triumph Street and Speed Triple, KTM Super Duke)
  • Touring or Sport Touring Motorcycles (Honda ST, Yamaha FJR, Kawasaki Concours)

Aside from only considering a motorcycle’s rental potential, you must also consider things like cost of ownership, reliability, repair & maintenance costs, and overall longevity. For example, we know that my GSX-S is a naked bike but not high-end in the likes of a Ducati Monster, or Triumph Street or Speed Triple.

I can rent my motorcycle consistently for $89 dollars a day. However, if I had a Ducati Monster or a Triumph Speed Triple I could likely rent them for roughly $130 dollars a day. Sounds good on paper right? Think about initial cost again. How much does a Ducati Monster or Triumph Speed Triple compare to the purchase price of my Suzuki GSX-S 750? Nearly double would be my guess.

So you tell me, is a ~40% increase in rental cost worth the ~50% greater purchase price? Not always. More so, Ducatis, Trumphs, BMWs, KTMs, and pretty much anything European, have a higher cost of maintenance. While most European motorcycle companies have greatly improved their reliability throughout the 21st century, there is still something to be said about the consistent reliability seen in Japanese motorcycles.

Each case will be unique, so I highly recommend considering your own variables. For me, I have more flexibility as I’m handy enough to do my own repairs, and I have connections in the industry should I need outside assistance. This will not always be the case, so do not be afraid to run your numbers before hand.

What Happens If A Renter Crashes My Bike?

This will always be the worry won’t it? Unfortunately, I can speak from experience that it will happen. Like the old adage, “It’s not if, It’s when“.

I’ve had the misfortune of answering this question twice, across my twenty-five rentals, in one year. However, in both cases it was a relatively ok experience – considering that my motorcycles were damaged by someone who isn’t me. Also fortunately, Riders-Share insurance is quite robust.

I’ve never had to issue a claim through the platform, but I’ve discussed this personally with Riders-Share CEO Guillermo Cornejo and have complete faith in the system. Riders-Share utilizes a direct reimbursement system where the renter will pay you directly for any damage. This is primarily for minor things that would not meet a traditional insurance threshold.

As far as my personal experience, one renter dropped my V-strom which resulted in a new turn signal, a new clutch lever, and a new knuckleguard. Could be worse right? It ran the renter $400 dollars however.

Incident number two, an older gentlemen rented my GSX-S for a weekend spin in the mountains of North Georgia. This gentleman contacts me within the next two days asking to have a chat over the phone when I’m available – never a good sign by the way. This time, the renter low-sided the bike resulting in new left hand fairings, turn signal, stator cover, clutch lever, and left hand passenger foot rest. This go around, it ran the renter $800 dollars in repairs in addition to cost of the rental’s duration.

In both instances, I charge a shop rate to repair which is $100 per labor hour. I highly recommend this for those who can do their own work. As strange as it may sound, if you’re able to emotionally disconnect from your motorcycle, performing repair work can be a significant source of income through your motorcycle rentals.

How Much Money Can You Make?

In contrary to some of my doubters, you can make money by renting your motorcycle. Atleast, to some varying degrees. It also depends what your intentions are and what goals you’re trying to accomplish by renting your bike. Like I said, you probably won’t get rich from this but you can make some extra money from your bikes, ride for free, meet some cool people, and own some motorcycles that you maybe wouldn’t otherwise.

In both cases here, I wouldn’t have purchased these motorcycles without the confidence that renting my bikes had given me – not to mention the extra cash. Regardless, we’re still here to figure out how much money you can make renting motorcycles. I’ll give you full transparency into my costs, maintenance, and net / gross earnings below.

Riders-Share March to December YTD Earnings Infographic

As you can see, I meticulously track as much data as possible. This is absolutely key in any business, but especially motorcycle rentals. If you’re not tracking your income and expenses, you will have no idea if you’re actually profitable or not. Aside from gross rental profit, there are two key data points that I look at. These data points being earnings per mile (EPM) and total miles ridden.

These two pieces of data are important because a motorcycle is a depreciating asset that can also be affected by unexpected breakdowns or damage from misuse. Your EPM will allow you to calculate the profitability of a motorcycle over the long-run when the bike is properly maintained.

Using this data, we can calculate potential profit versus potential planned expenses. Planned expenses are items like tire replacement due to mileage wear, annual registration, and insurance policies. Do note that my expenses such as registration, insurance policies, and other miscellaneous odds and ends are not accounted for here.

Without completely revealing my entire operation, you can expect to operate within a 20-40% profit margin depending on your locale and individual circumstances.

Should I Rent My Bike on Riders-Share?

It entirely depends on your own personal circumstances. I works for me, but I also have a unique set of circumstances that allow me to further leverage the platform. I work from home, I have a history as a mechanic, I’m in a prime location in my state, and I have industry connections that give me certain benefits that others may not have access to.

Is it worth it? For me, it is. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, while my net profit may not be astronomical, I meet a lot of cool people from all over the country and I’ve had more bikes this year than I’ve ever had in my life. Not to mention that there are certain benefits when your business intertwines with your hobby – think tax advantages and loop holes.

I believe in the platform now, and I believe in Guillermo’s vision for the company. Riders-Share will be conducting a round of equity crowdfunding that I will be taking advantage of.

How Do I Start?

It’s as easy as signing up. If you’re an interested owner, or a potential renter, I would greatly appreciate you signing up with my Riders-Share referral link. New owners will receive $100 (so will I) and new renters will receive a sign-up discount along with a $25 credit. If you have any questions, or feel that I missed anything, please feel free to reach out to me via the form below. I’m happy to help, and available at most times. I’ll see you next time behind the wrench.

Got Questions?

Feel free to ask away!