Ride sharing takes to two wheels

Many people who pine for the thrill of the open road feel that nothing beats traversing scenic roadways while riding a motorcycle.

The wind in your hair and the vibration of the powerful engine can make for an unforgettable experience. But not every person has the time and resources to devote to owning and maintaining a motorcycle.

For people who want the thrills of motorcycles without the work that comes with them, some new services that cater to part-time adventurers may be just the thing they need. Peer-to-peer rental has infiltrated marketplaces for everything from cars to condos to beach houses … and now motorcycles. Companies like Riders Share and Twisted Road enable willing motorcycle owners to rent out their rides to interested parties who want to ride but can’t afford to do it all the time. Interested motorcycle owners list their bikes for rental, entering photos, descriptions and other basic information.

Riders search listings based on location, price or bike manufacturer. The rider will need to have a valid motorcycle rider’s license and insurance — which is verified by the bike share site — in order to rent. The company may have additional insurance protection plans for purchase. Bike owners maintain the right to approve or deny renters. Depending on the service, owners and riders choose pick-up locations and arrange meet-and-greets to go over the specifics of the rental and to exchange the keys. When the rental period is over, the rider returns the bike to the approved location and the owner inspects the returned bike. Payment may occur before or after the rental period is over, depending on how the rental company works.

According to Riders Share, the average motorcycle travels less than 3,000 miles per year, compared to an average of 12,000 miles for cars. In addition, there are about 30 million licensed riders but just nine million motorcycles in the United States. Such statistics indicate that the potential for motorcycle sharing services is vast if owners and riders can connect.

Motorcycle sharing services are the next wave of peer-to-peer rentals, making it possible for those who don’t own their own bikes to enjoy the unique thrill of riding a motorcycle.

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