The Most Popular Motorcycles on Riders Share

Oct 13, 2023

Tags:owner

When you've been in the business of connecting motorcycle owners and renters for as long as we have, you learn a thing or two. People often ask us what motorcycles earn the most money on Riders Share. While it would be easy to say "baggers!" and move on, the full answer is a little more complex than that.

Before we dive in to the data, let's first set the stage. We are sharing information with you that we pulled directly from our own rental data, so it's as accurate as possible. That said, every area is going to have its quirks. Sport touring motorcycles might be more popular than baggers in one city, while supermotos might reign in another.

Now, without further ado, let's get into the numbers!

First thing's first — you might have seen this chart around. This is a high-level overview of the revenue that an average motorcycle from each category can make per year:

Touring: $3,424

Adventure: $2,820

Super Motard: $2,778

3-Wheeler: $2,338

Retro: $2,024

Cruiser: $1,978

Standard: $1,808

Sport Touring: $1,682

Sport: $1,603

Scooter: $,786

Update 9/19/2022: we have added the earnings per booking and per year, not just per day. We also added the average used market value of the listings in each category to estimate the Annual ROI. The Annual ROI doesn't include operating costs or changes in vehicle values.

Now let's break down what this means in the real world, and how these numbers can (and should!) impact your buying and listing decisions.

Averages Vs. Leaders

A few professional hosts command a large percentage of the earnings. Simply accepting 100% of booking requests will increase your earnings by 30% compared to the averages shown above (and increase your ROI by 30%). Furthermore, good acceptance rates, good reviews and and a high conversion rate will increase your listing's rankings on Riders Share's search results.

The conversion rate is defined as the number of people that view your listings vs. the number of booking requests. Prices, images, reviews, listings descriptions all help increase your conversion rates.

So if you manage your listing professionally, you are likely to earn about 4x more income and ROI than the chart above, which means you can reinvest and grow your fleet into a profitable business with the perk of allowing you to ride your top 30 dream bikes.

Bookings Vs. Income

There are two different ways to look at the numbers when you're an owner on Riders Share:

  • Bookings - The number of times that your motorcycle gets rented. As you can see from the chart above, motorcycles on Riders Share are getting about 2x more bookings per year than RVs or boats in other sharing platforms.
  • Income - The amount of money that you make from renting your motorcycle, the gear, plus any delivery or extra fees

An important consideration, perhaps the most important one, is the dollar amount you paid to enter the market. If you buy a bike for $10,000 that earns $100 per day, your ROI is lower than if you buy a motorcycle for $5,000 and it rents for $100 a day. The perfect way to go about this is to buy a motorcycle that you can later sell for a higher price and earn some income from Riders Share in the process, all the while you enjoy riding it yourself.

Another consideration is the total dollars per booking. While a scooter may have higher ROI than a touring motorcycle, it takes about the same amount of work per booking (ex. waiting for the renter to show up and taking pictures). So when in doubt, go for the vehicles that command higher order values. This is the reason why we sorted them by total earnings per booking.

3-Wheelers are quickly gaining popularity such as the Polaris Slingshot. We expect them to earn more and more as we achieve sufficient supply volumes to justify spending on their marketing.

The Top Motorcycle Models on Riders Share

Now that we've set the stage, we can look at specifics. This is where things get real interesting, and where you can start to make your decision about how you want to run your business.

First, here's a breakdown of motorcycle models by income:

  1. Harley Davidson Road Glide
  2. Harley Davidson Low Rider S
  3. BMW R1200GS
  4. Indian Roadmaster
  5. Harley Davidson Street Glide
  6. Yamaha FZ-07/MT-07
  7. Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883
  8. Yamaha R6
  9. Yamaha XSR900
  10. BMW S1000

Looking at this list, it's pretty obvious that touring bikes are highly represented when it comes to money. And for good reason! These are the motorcycles that get booked for long rentals, and of course they often rent for more per day.

Now let's look at motorcycle models by number of bookings:

  1. Yamaha FZ-07/MT-07
  2. Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 883
  3. BMW G310R
  4. Harley Davidson Low Rider S
  5. Yamaha R6
  6. Yamaha XSR900
  7. Indian Scout
  8. Harley Davidson Road Glide
  9. Yamaha MT-09
  10. Indian Roadmaster

While there's definitely crossover, this list is obviously more slanted toward day-trip motorcycles. These bikes also tend to rent for less money, making them ideal candidates for unplanned bookings. While there are exceptions (the Road Glide and Roadmaster touring bikes are still on the list), this list is also dominated by standard and cruisers.

Takeaways

What does all of this mean? That depends a bit on what you are looking to get out of it. But here are some facts (including some that aren't in the list) that can't be slanted:

  • Touring motorcycles are the top money maker
  • American touring bikes outpace imports
  • All else being equal, black motorcycles get rented more often than white ones
  • Three-wheeled vehicles (Slingshots, etc.) are gaining popularity faster than any other segment on Riders Share
  • Good photos and descriptions matter way more than you think they do
  • Some bikes appear on both lists because they're cheap to rent, not because they're in especially high demand (Sportster, MT-07)

With all of that said, now you can make a more informed decision about listing your bike with Riders Share, or purchasing a motorcycle that you intend to use for rental. But if there's one fact you should keep in mind above all else, it's this:

Set high prices for 1 day rentals, and discount longer duration rentals.

You do the same amount of work for a 1 day trip than you for a 10 day long trip, but the latter earns you more and is likely to accrue less miles per day. On Riders Share, you can set high prices per day and discount them for longer duration rentals - that is why the average price appears so low. The typical booking on Riders Share these days is over 3 days long. For many people, one booking a month is enough to cover the monthly payment on the bike.

And if you rent a touring bike, it is likely the average trip duration will be even longer.

Our suggestion is to come up with a number that works for you, then figure out how to get there. Got a $300 bike payment? How many days do you need to rent it to make sure that's covered? Ready to buy another bike? Have a savings goal with a time limit? These are all great reasons to list with us. So do the math, figure out how much rental time you'll need, and then let's do something great together.

Until next time, keep the shiny side up.