Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Motorcycle Rented

Jun 20, 2021

Tags:tipsownergetting-started

Man riding a Ducati motorcycle rental.

If you’ve browsed our website, you’ll notice that some bikes rent really well (as in 90-plus trips in less than a year) while others barely get any traction at all. A handful of motorcycle owners have been so successful that they now have multiple bikes listed (some offering up to 20 street bikes!).

Why is that? Dumb luck? We don’t think so. We believe that every road-legal, well-maintained bike can be rented. We’ve also come to believe that the key to renting your bike (or bikes) often comes down to pricing and promotion. 

To prove this, we identified and compared the best renting motorcycles on our platform, looking for commonalities in how they're priced and promoted. We combined these insights with some of our own proven marketing techniques to create a top 10 list of things that you can do now that will significantly increase the likelihood of your bike being rented – without going broke.

1. Set the Price Right 

Let’s start with the most obvious (and most critical) factor in getting your bike rented… the price. A good rule of thumb is to set your daily rate at a price 30% lower than similar bikes at your local motorcycle rental shop. Even if they don’t have a similar bike, we recommend a lower price to win more business. Check out what the competition is doing in your area, not just in regards to price!

2. Think Like a Renter 

When describing your bike, highlight the features that are most meaningful to someone who is looking to ride it temporarily. This may be different from what is most important to you as an owner. Focus on the experience and ride characteristics rather than just the technical specs and build quality. Highlight anything that will make the experience more convenient or enjoyable. Heck, you may even want to include local riding tips if you think it’s relevant.  

3. Offer protective gear

If you list gear, you will increase the chances that your motorcycle gets booked by over 60%. Our customers are mostly people traveling from another city and can't bring their own helmets with them in their suitcase, so having access to a helmet is necessary (and helmets are required in most states). It also sends the signal that you are serious about renting.

4. Add Convenience, Like Delivery, if Possible

Building on the previous point… don’t hesitate to include and describe anything that might make the experience more convenient for a renter. If you have a free parking space available on your street, then let them know in case the renter wants to leave a car. If you can offer easy transit from a local airport, make sure you mention it. If you have a USB charger on the bike, definitely list it. It’s the little things that can make a BIG difference.  

And you should offer delivery, especially if you have a truck to do so. Motorcycle bookings with delivery earn almost $100 MORE per trip!

5. A Good Photo Is Worth 1000 Words

No more excuses… Every modern cell phone can take excellent images. You just need to put in the time and effort to properly show off your bike. Make sure that the images are sharp and lit well, showcasing the bike from every angle. Keep in mind, we don’t charge for extra images, so the more visual detail you can provide the better. 

6. Offer Multi-Day Discounts

This is probably the most overlooked tool to maximize rental revenue. After all, every additional rental day is extra money in your pocket - and you don’t have to do anything extra for it! Do the math. The bikes that have rented for a week or longer all had multi-day discounts included. It’s a pricing feature not offered elsewhere, so take advantage of it on Riders-Share.com

7. Respond Quickly

By the time that someone writes to you with interest in your bike, they are probably very close to confirming a booking. The longer you wait to reply, the greater the chance is that this person will rent elsewhere. Also, by always replying quickly, you will increase customer satisfaction, which will be reflected in rider reviews, which in turn will translate into more rentals from other people. 

8. Ask for a Written Review

When you shop online, do you pay attention to ratings and reviews from other users? Of course you do! Make no mistake, having a third-party rating and recommendation on your listing helps to convince other potential renters. It’s often like a snowball effect; the first one is the hardest (but once you have it, more will follow). So ask for it after every rental, and do the same for the renter.  

9. Promote Your Ad on Other Sites 

Our site is fairly new and many riders don’t even know that they can rent an insured bike locally. So let people know that you have a bike for rent. Consider free sources like Craigslist and Facebook to spread the word. Simply copy and paste your listing URL to make it easier for someone to book. If you are serious about turning it into a full time business, read this article.

10. Measure Your Performance and Test 

Click on Performance in the menu to see how you are doing. Your bike should be receiving booking requests on more than 2% of views it receives to beat the average, for example. If it is lower, it means you need to test new things like better pictures or lower prices. You can use this dashboard to measure if your experiments were successful or not.

To Recap:

  • Good prices & quality pictures
  • Diligent description
  • Offer gear rentals and discounts for longer trips
  • Offer great service and get good reviews
  • Use these tips to market it
  • If you can, offer delivery
  • Check out the Performance Dashboard to see how you are doing, and try new things!

Be Mindful Of Depreciation and Maintenance Costs

Make sure your bike is not priced too low. On Riders Share, we estimate the average bike is worth $9,000 and total depreciation/maintenance costs are 25 cents per mile. The average miles per day are 160, for an average cost of $40. Average mileage is about 15% lower for sport bikes and café racers, and 15% higher for touring and adventure bikes. Also, longer trips average less miles per day. The average bike breaks even at $53 per day after Riders Share’s commission, and anything above is profit! Most popular bikes are priced around $65 and get booked an average of 3 days, particularly Harley-Davidson, Ducati and BMW. More expensive bikes depreciate more, and in turn command higher prices, while the opposite is true for less expensive motorcycles.

Do you have a tip you'd like to share? Let us know! We are actively building our community and improving our platform, so we welcome all user input.