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The way I interpret most of the posts to this thread that are coming down on the con-side of renting out their bike, is that insurance will cover damage & liability (after a deductible), but it doesn't cover the misgivings while the bike is out, loss of riding the bike yourself or renting the bike again for a protracted time while it's being repaired, or worse; the subject of litigation.All insured, but not worth this type of risk Call it emotional baggage or whatever, but many here aren't into the "sharing economy" thing.
This assumes full coverage insurance. The cards are always stacked in favor of the house, and there are many who do not play the game and instead opt for liability insurance only for their vehicles.
 

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".....These insurance and liability issues are not insurmountable. Why is everyone acting like there's no possible solution?
All we hear is scare stories. Why?
All it takes is for the insurance companies to offer a reasonably priced add-on product to cover these situations. A few are doing this -- I think Erie Insurance was one of the first. ......"


I called my insurance company and explained the scenario. They flat out refused to cover my bike for outside rentals. You may have a different experience. How much more does it cost, from your research, to insure for renting? What does Eirie charge to add the rider onto a personal policy?

I have rented bikes from outfits who are in the business, in several different countries. In all cases, the deductible was huge (eg. $2500) and if you wanted to lower it, the cost was about $30/day and that only lowers it to about $750 and that is only because they "self insure". ie. that is the rental outfit gambling that the increased income will outweigh the cost differential. What does that signal to me? The first thing that comes to mind is that there are few bikes that are returned without damage.

As was stated earlier, many Uber/Lyft drivers are probably not insured simply by the fact that they have not informed their insurance companies of the activity and even if they did, their insurance is probably invalid. Very risky IMO.

So....the OP stated that he could make about $50/day renting his bike. To me, it doesn't make good business sense to risk my net worth for $50/day; especially if you are not renting it for 300+ days per year. There is a reason that insurance companies have the second largest buildings in town.
YRMV
 

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Renting your own bike out. Wow. Don't rent your bike. It's yours. And most likely paid for. You scratch it, you wreck it. Its yours. And, all the legal stuff..take it from a professional...it's more than you want to deal with...or can afford.
 

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I don't know of any insurance companies that offer coverage to individuals for renting out your motorcycle part time, but they might exist. In any case, it's an unfilled opportunity, not an absolutely insurmountable problem.

Some insurance companies now do offer add-on coverage for ride-sharing and delivery drivers (Uber, Lyft, Doordash, etc.).

However, most companies have pretty stuck their heads in the sand, plugged their ears, and are singing "LA LA LA" as loud as they can in hopes the "fad" goes away. It's stupid.

Most or maybe all insurance companies have recently added policy language that removes your coverage and could even rescind your policy if they find out you're driving for ride share or delivery. If you're in an accident, you will be asked specifically whether you had ride share passengers or were making deliveries.

Again, this is a big opportunity for insurance companies, and I can't quite understand why they're so hostile. Change is opportunity.

Many lenders are also very hostile to ride share/delivery drivers. I understand that the work causes the asset to depreciate faster, and the insurance issues may leave them holding the bag. But instead of working with the customer to put together a loan/lease and insurance package that makes sense, many just try to flatly prohibit this sort of activity. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Renting out one or more of your personal motorcycles could make financial sense for some, not for others. Probably wouldn't make sense if it's your only bike, or if you're too emotionally invested. No one is holding a gun to anyone's head to force them to rent out their bike. If the idea really bothers you, then don't do it. But if you can work out the insurance and legal issues to understand and manage the risk, then I can see that it could make sense.

On the other side, pretty much all the companies that facilitate these things do an absolutely terrible job of informing their drivers and customers about these issues. They tell you stuff like "you're covered" and "we've got your back", but then they rely on your personal insurance, which in almost every case specifically excludes sharing or business use. They're actively creating a false sense of security and taking advantage of the ignorant, which is deeply unethical.
 

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Ignoring all the cost/liability issues.

I just think about how people treat rental cars, heck, how I treat a rental car.

Nope.

Same reason I haven't looked to buy an old police bike. I've talked with the deputies who ride them. If the oil light comes on, they keep riding. If they bring it in, they lose time on the street, and their numbers go down. Better to ignore it till the end of shift and then let the maintenance guys sort it out. "it came on while I was riding back here mate"

Basically no one is going treat it like they own it except, you and only you. To everyone else, it is just a machine.
 

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"Better to ignore it till the end of shift and then let the maintenance guys sort it out. "'it came on while I was riding back here mate.'" @Dragon Rider
And how many of those hours are spent idling while writing a ticket, or monitoring an incident site?
 

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I'm not sure I get the comparison to ride sharing use.

with uber the owner/driver has valid insurance which means they have a valid drivers liscence or at least they did when they got the policy. you as the private bike renter have no way of checking if the person you're giving your bike to has a valid liscence other than if they have a card. who knows if their liscence has been suspended for DUI, multiple tickets, street racing, etc, etc. do you think your insurance will pay out if the driver hasnt a valid liscence? I highly doubt it.
 

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".....I'm not sure I get the comparison to ride sharing use......"

The comparison has to do with the fact that the vehicle is being used to generate income (not just recoup expenses) which usually takes different insurance than private use only. Who is operating the vehicle is another matter.
 

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'been reading the reactions with interest. Most on here claim "no go", which is not very surprising. The type of people that frequent these forums are bike enthousiast, if not to say lovers. You selected the bike with care, farkled it up, you maintain it yourself, wash it regularly, put the battery on a tender and whatnot. It's also your primary mode of transport, your way of having a vacation, whatnot.

But there's plenty people out there that do not have the same emotional attachment to their bike(s) or riding in general. They've got a bike, maybe 2nd or 3rd hand, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. It may already have some minor damage. It's not their primary mode of transport. They use it a few times a year and the rest of the time it's just sitting there in the garage or driveway. In fact, some of these people may actually look at the bike every now and then, feeling slightly guilty that they're not riding it more often. Definitely not the type of people that are active on this forum.

Lending it out, for free or for money, for them doesn't lead to the emotional issues that some here display. In fact, seeing somebody else ride their bike may even diminish the guilt they feel for not riding it often enough themselves.

Heck, that's how I got my bike: It was owned by a friend, but he wasn't riding it often enough. After I got my MC license he loaned it to me for a trip, after a year and a half of not having ridden it himself. The first things I had to do was replace the dead battery and inflate the tires. A few weeks and a few 100 kms later he offered to sell it to me.
 

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The insurance and liability issues of "bike sharing" are challenging at every level. I can't say it's "stupid stupid stupid" to take these issues seriously as an owner, renter, or insurer. The inherent dangers of putting a rider on an unfamiliar machine with no means of monitoring his riding activity, ability, or location is a nightmare. Can it be figured out? Sure, but responsible parties may decline the opportunity. DD
 

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Further, I don't think it is inevitable that we will all need to embrace the sharing model. Looks like the "pro-sharing" position here is being taken by those who may not be particular about the condition of their bikes. Or those who may wish to own a bike specifically to rent out. I won't be one of those.

Our culture is based on private ownership, and hopefully it will stay that way. If you like nice stuff, and want it to stay nice, it's your responsibility to steward it in a way that keeps it that way. It is your right to preserve your nice stuff in any way you choose. If we move to a culture where all things are shared by everybody, please understand that we'll all be sharing beat-up junk. Comes with the territory.

If you choose to lend or rent your bike, be aware that you are placing yourself at risk of loss in exchange for little gain. DD
 

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if I was to even consider renting out a vehicle of any kind, it wouldn't be for a flat daily fee, there would also be a mileage consideration, $0.40/mi ? more ?


wouldn't be worth the insurance premiums, for something you only did occasionally
 

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We stayed in a nice new AirB&B loft last year. The owner had placed little notes everywhere, like "Please don't let your luggage rub the walls when climbing the stairs". I understood completely, and would have been that careful anyway. We were thankful to have a nice place to stay, and would hope to be able to stay there again. The commitment he had made to build and maintain the place deserved that kind of respect. I'm not sure there's room for enough notes on a motorcycle. DD
 

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If we move to a culture where all things are shared by everybody, please understand that we'll all be sharing beat-up junk. Comes with the territory.DD
Not necessarily. As was stated by bwringer on insurance issues, it's a problem to be solved. There are a couple of outfits in Ontario running a shared ownership scheme for expensive "toys" that most couldn't afford on their own, or wouldn't use enough to justify the expense. Exotic cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, I think I saw a hovercraft in one of their catalogs. Membership fees are hefty, assets are booked in advance and signed out, and they're inspected upon return so that the cost of any damages can be billed to the appropriate member. These clubs are too rich for my budget, but I did look into one of them with wide eyed enthusiasm. Everything was beautifully maintained, they were right on top of any detail on these vehicles. What was unavoidable was the mileage. When you're paying large fees for access to these nice things, you want to try them all. The planes all had much higher than average hours, the cars were higher than average mileage.

This is a model that is of course much different than the "sharing economy" we're discussing here. The primary difference is that the members are all "owners" who will be held responsible for the visible damage they cause. There is almost certainly still the "drive it like a rental" issue which wouldn't be caught by any inspection, I'm not sure how (or if) that's accounted for. Also, the actual ownership is with a company that has the legal and insurance issues worked out, so you can drive your fractionally owned toy with confidence, and not have to worry when someone else is enjoying it. Not so with most of the sharing economy facilitators, where for the most part you're on the hook if a rental goes bad. Although I will say that AirBnB has stepped up to help owners who have had properties trashed in a few well publicized cases, I'm still not sure I'd take the risk. As bwringer wisely put it, "change is opportunity". But the way most of the sharing economy is set up now the company that organizes the sharing takes the bulk of the benefit, and the individuals who are doing the sharing take the bulk of the risk. I'll be watching for someone to solve that particular problem, but until then I'm going to opt to stay out.
 

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The possibility of my property getting trashed, or being robbed blind, or both, is enough to talk me out of doing an AirBnB.

I don't care if insurance DOES cover it, I don't want to deal with that, for the sake of maybe a few hundred bucks a year in revenue. Tack a zero on that number and I'm still not interested.

I have an acquaintance who became a homeowner about 2 years ago. He's very well-off financially, but does AirBnB with an extra bedroom. I couldn't do it. I was done having roommates years ago. Having a stranger stay over? Nah.

The only way I could see doing Air BnB would be if I had a space that was somehow isolated from the rest of the house. A garage loft with an outside stairway, for example.

Conflation of the "sharing economy" with some kind of Soviet-style collective ownership paradigm makes absolutely no sense to me. That's not what anyone's proposing.
 

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I’m sure the OP is regretting the post due to all of the negative feedback garnered. I’m guilty as one of the bashers. OP, nothing personal. We are just looking out for you. Call it tough love if you will. At the end of the day, the bike is yours and nobody else’s on this forum. Do as you wish. Good luck on whatever you decide.
 

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As much as the folks here overwhelmingly suggest they wouldn't want to do this with their bikes, I'd love to rent so many of the bikes on the list. Seems like a great idea if legally sorted out.
 

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I agree with Nicad, I wish there was a workable system for renting cooler bikes. I just think it requires an infrastructure for inspection, upkeep, repair, training, insurance, etc. I can see a dealer with a large stock of used bikes being able to provide this kind of rental service. I think it is probably beyond most owners to get it done. DD
 

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I've got my first rental set up for about 4 weeks from now.

The rental will be enough to cover the insurance on my bike for the rest of the summer and into the fall.

Naturally I will report back IF I have a negative experience. Yup, I know..I get it....it's the risk associated with this that turns many of you off. Add that many do not want to loan their bike even to a friend and it's a question of risk assessment for everyone to make themselves.
 
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