How to Start A Motorcycle Rental Business

Mar 31, 2022

Honda Rebel motorcycle.

So you love motorcycles, and would like to spend more time with bikes? A motorcycle rental business is a dream opportunity. Read the Make Money With Your Motorcycle article to learn how. It is relatively inexpensive to start, and it has the potential to generate significant revenue. Nowadays, there are two ways to start a motorcycle rental business: the traditional way; tech-enabled platforms like Riders Share.

The Traditional Way

To start a motorcycle rental business, you first need to register either an LLC or a corporation in the state of your choice. Some states require specific licenses to operate vehicle rental businesses, and you will need to obtain these. Of course, you will need a few motorcycles and these will need to be registered to the business name, not to yours. This is critical.

To obtain a motorcycle rental business license, many states require that your facility meets certain conditions. So, make sure you budget enough to rent or buy a space that can meet them.

Insurance Requirements

Additionally, you’ll need to supply commercial liability insurance in the event your customers crash and harm someone. It’s also with purchasing comprehensive insurance in the event the renters damage the motorcycle or if it is stolen. Be warned: insuring motorcycles commercially is very expensive. Often you will need at least five bikes and quotes run from $2,000 to $3,000, per motorcycle, per year, plus a per rental day fee typically of $15 for the customer (or more).

In addition to insuring your motorcycles, it is always wise to purchase general liability insurance. With motorcycles, it is possible for riders to get into serious accidents. When this happens, it is common to sue for negligence in order to be able to pay their hospital bills. Therefore, we strongly recommend general liability insurance. Oh, and make sure it includes roadside assistance.


You will need the ability to accept payment via credit card (which usually incurs a 2% fee) or cash. You will need procedures to document the state of the motorcycle before and after each rental in case of damage. You will need strong contracts with liability waivers to protect your business. Ensure the motorcycles are well maintained (fluids, tires, engine lights, chains, etc.), and to provide protective riding safety gear if needed. You need to confirm motorcycle endorsement codes on licenses from all 50 states and dozens of countries in the world. Additionally, some car rental companies choose to run credit checks on prospective customers, but this is not the norm in the motorcycle rental industry.


This is likely the hardest part. Nowadays, most business comes through online discovery, so you’ll need to invest money in online advertising and social media. You will most definitely need a website, preferably one with the tools to help your customers reserve and pay for bikes online - these cost extra cash. Additionally, you may need to form partnerships with travel agencies for referral business.

If you have made it this far, you are probably thinking "wow, this is a lot harder than I thought". And you are right, it is difficult to do this all by yourself. Luckily, Riders Share provides a new way of doing things that is much simpler.

The Tech Enabled Method

Riders Share is like Airbnb, but instead of renting homes, it rents motorcycles. On Riders Share, you can list motorcycles for rent. They are automatically insured during each rental. They also provide general and third party liability protection, roadside assistance, and most importantly they bring customers to you. Riders Share is responsible for reading the motorcycle endorsement on each license for you, and also runs credit checks to better vet customers. In short, it is an all-in-one solution to start a motorcycle rental business. Learn more about our insurance policy

Riders Share charges 15% to 40% per transaction to cover the above costs and operations, and may sell damage waivers to your customers. Otherwise, it is entirely free for you to list your motorcycle for rent. The fact that the costs are per-transaction offer a huge advantage over traditional motorcycle rental businesses: few people choose to ride during the winter, so you don't need to get stuck paying rent, salaries, insurance and other fixed costs during slow times.

In short, Riders Share offers a simpler and cost effective way to start a motorcycle rental business - from your home if you so wish. Email if you'd like to learn more.