Renting a Motorcycle vs Shipping Your Motorcycle

Having shipped out bikes throughout the United States and Canada and having rented bikes numerous time in both Mexico and South America, here are a few thoughts about renting vs shipping:

Renting Pros

  • It’s a great way to “test ride” a bike before you purchase.
  • The bike paperwork (permits, ownership, local insurance, fees) is taken care of by the rental company.
  • No wear and tear on your motorcycle.
  • The rental bike may be better equipped to handle the terrain.
  • Mechanical issues will be taken care of by the rental company – or if not on a guided tour at least you have someone to call for advise or help if required.
  • If your on a rental bike on a guided tour, you get the added benefit of someone knowledgeable in the history, geography and local customs, you will have someone who will be your health insurance by helping to get you to a hospital if needed, you have someone who can fix bike problems or possibly offer you the spare bike if issues arise.
  • You can arrive and drive – and on a limited vacation schedule you could be riding the same day you fly in.

Renting Cons

  • Cost
  • Its not set up the way you would like the bike to be set up.
  • You can never be 100% sure of what you are getting.
  • You may be limited in the amount of Km you can put on the bike per day.
  • You may be required to pay a high insurance fee / damage deposit.
  • You might be charged an overly high price for any damage to the bike

Shipping Pros

  • Freedom to go where you want when you want on your own bike!
  • You know the last time the bike was serviced and what maintenance was recently completed.
  • The bike is set up the way you like it – bar risers, aftermarket seat, barkbusters.
  • No mileage limitations.
  • It’s your bike in all the pictures.

Shipping Cons

  • Cost
  • The bike might get lost or damaged on the way.
  • The bike may arrive well before or well after you – changing your travel plans and possible costing you storage fees if it arrives before you.
  • Depending on how you ship your bike, you may be “bikeless” back home while your bike is on route.
  • There may be new previously unknown fees you need to pay when you try to pick up your bike…depending on the country.
  • You are responsible for all paperwork, permits and fees