What You Need to Know Before Renting a Harley-Davidson
Posted by Lisa DiFalco on
As riders share their experiences, it seems that a good number of Harley-Davidson owners have decided to rent a bike at some point in their lives. Many have enjoyed having such an option while travelling or vacationing. However, those unfamiliar with renting a bike may want to know more about what it is like to rent a Harley-Davidson.
Learn about costs associated with renting, reasons to rent and a few recommended dealerships and other options to rent with peace of mind.
How Affordable Is Renting a Harley?
It appears that prices can vary and may even surge during a popular event like Sturgis. One 2014 article mentioned renting a new Heritage Softail Classic for only $150 a day. Some Sturgis rally attendees appear to like renting a bike and once they try it out for the first time, may continue to do so when planning to come to future events. However, renting during a rally can get expensive as the price can jump from a little over $150 daily to over $400 a day as seen on the last day of the rally. The article makes it seem like there is great demand for this service. According to Pati Schmidt, rental manager for Black Hills Harley-Davidson, more rally-goers have become renters. Schmidt said:
“We started the rental agency 11 years ago with 14 motorcycles. The first rally we sold out easily, and we expect to do the same this year with an even bigger inventory.”
This growing demand for rentals reported may be site specific. Harley-Davidson dealerships may provide a useful service by offering bikes for rent when located close to a major motorcycle event or bringing new bikes directly to the event location. Dealerships near popular tourist destinations may also cash in. However, many dealerships do not offer this option.
Pricing seems to vary. One rider recently responded that it cost about $100 a day to rent a bike this past spring in Florida. Another rider rented a Road King for about $180 a day during the summer. One of our regular respondents, James Leatherwood, shared:
“Most dealerships that have rental sites will post their rates. My local dealer gets as little as $100/day for a sportster, up through $150/day for a touring bike (Road King like I ride, Road Glide, or Electra Glide Ultra). As with any vehicle rental, there are taxes and other hidden costs like insurance, luggage or backrest rental, etc.
‘I got two half-price vouchers for rentals when I bought my Road King, which was a nice little surprise. Of course, the dealer hopes I'll rent a bike while mine is in for service, then decide to buy whatever I rent.
‘Most dealers include the cost of a helmet in the rental; some also offer jackets and rain gear. Personally, I prefer to avoid rental helmets like I avoid rented underwear.”
Riders in areas such as Long Island may be hard pressed to find rental options at a local Harley-Davidson dealership. Riders looking to rent for longer periods may get a deal when compared to those looking to take a spin for a day or two.
Why Do People Rent?
For those that don’t want to ride their bike to a location and back, there are hauling services that would pick up and drop off an owner’s bike. So why would there be interest in renting a Harley?
It looks like the riders we have talked with rent:
- As a gift to themselves or a loved one;
- When they want ride time on a bike they are thinking of buying; and
- While on vacation.
Few mention choosing to rent when another bike is being serviced, although that is an option. Harley owners may like the idea of flying to a destination for work or a much deserved vacation and then renting for day or more. The experience may result with a new bike in the garage as renting can provide motivation for riders who are interesting in buying a different model. What appears to be an interesting phenomenon is that some of the people who choose to rent a bike use their own helmet and riding gear rather than helmets and rain gear offered through the dealership.
What Dealerships Rent Near You?
According to a few of our contacts, there are a few dealerships and tour agencies worth considering if interested in renting a Harley. These dealerships and tour companies include:
- Ademic Harley-Davidson in Jacksonville, FL.
- EagleRider, a rental and tour company offering rentals in multiple U.S. cities.
- Motorcycle Road Tours, offering guided tours in California and the Western United States.
These are only a few options recommended. One may try searching the “Find A Rental Location” option on the Harley-Davidson website for nearby locations. Outside of the dealerships, EagleRider, in particular, appears to be a popular choice for rentals and tours among riders.
Do you have a dealership or tour company near you that provides a great rental experience? Comment below, email email@example.com or tweet @DiagnosticaNews.
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