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Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: wurm
Date: June 29, 2019 11:55AM
Despite recent news stories of motorcycle accidents, I'm starting to get the itch. I rode many years ago for a few years (Honda 450 and Honda 500) but stopped before I got married. Now, 35+ years later, I'm feeling like I might like to jump back on. I am constantly pissed off when I see cyclists weaving in and out of traffic, pulling wheelies ( on the f'in highway!) and just being @#$%&holes while riding, so I'm not going to be one of them. I envision being a boring rider.

For the hell of it I've been checking Craigslist for the type of bike I remember liking. I found a 1981 Kawasaki KZ440 which is about the size I'd be looking for. The guy's asking $1100 for it. But hell, it's 38 years old! Then I thought that before I even think about buying one, I should see if I can rent a bike for a day and see if I still like it or if I'm "mis-remembering" the fun. Turns out I can. The one place that looks promising has a limited selection of bikes. I don't want a racer. I want to ride sitting upright. I don't want a Harley. I don't want a big bike. Which leaves me with the possibility of a Yamaha V-Star 250. It's a nice looking bike. A bit smaller than I'd prefer, (I'm 6'1", about 215) but for just getting re-acquainted with riding, it might be a perfect option. After insurance, damage coverage, etc., I'm looking at probably $150 for a day. My biggest qualm about booking one in the near future is the weather aspect. I'd have to check with them about any considerations in that regard, but other than that, does anyone see any major flaw in my thinking?

Thanks. And yes, I have thought about that. I still have life insurance through my work, so if I'm going to test the waters I should do it before retiring. ;)
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 29, 2019 12:10PM
My former coworkers did that about once a year, usually a group of 4-5 would rent them in the evening, then meet up early in the morning, ride a little, have breakfast then ride to Pennsylvania and have lunch, then ride back to NJ and return the bikes in the evening. All of them said it was fun. They did that several years in a row.

If spouse approves, go for it. Better to find a friend and ride together.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: June 29, 2019 12:32PM
[www.youtube.com]
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: June 29, 2019 01:05PM
Been thinking the same thing (about getting back to riding a motorcycle). Currently, am partial to a Moto Guzzi Norge.

Before I would even think about renting (or buying) a bike, I would take a course.

Todd's four-stroke keyboard
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: wolfcry911
Date: June 29, 2019 01:17PM
I've been riding for 4 years and can't get enough of it. In my first trip to the west coast last summer, my brother and I rented Harleys for 3 days. I'm not a Harley guy but had fun regardless. We rode through the Angeles National forest and the next day up and around Big Bear Lake - beautiful, with great twisties!

Are you sure you want something that small? I guess you're not sure, hence the post. You might want to look at larger metric cruisers. I have a Yamaha Stryker 1300 (my first bike). Some people said to start with something smaller, but this bike fit like a glove and I was comfortable riding after 2 days. I can't imagine anything smaller - I'm actually considering a bigger bike now.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: June 29, 2019 01:21PM
See if your local technical college offers a rider refresher or rider certification course. They provide the bikes, at least mine does, and for a small cost you can make sure you are safe and still want to ride. Well worth the fee and afternoon of your time.

[mnscu.rschooltoday.com]



C(-)ris
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2019 01:22PM by C(-)ris.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: testcase
Date: June 29, 2019 02:31PM
Check out the Motorcycle Safety Foundation: [www.msf-usa.org]


I took their Basic Course back in 2012. They provide classroom and on the road training; you use THEIR motorcycles and helmets (the class I took used Honda 250cc bikes). I had rented from a dealer decades ago but, in today's litigious society, I doubt many dealers would accept the liability of renting motorcycles. I passed ALL phases of MSF's curriculum and, I received a document that certified I had passed the requirements to receive a motorcycle endorsement on my Driver's License. Taking the MSF class, I didn't have to worry about registration, insurance etc and, was under the direct supervision of MSF's trained & licensed staff. I did buy a Honda Silverwing (motor scooter) afterwards.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 29, 2019 02:40PM
Definitely take riding course and get a bike tag on your license. Many states require them. And I doubt you can rent without it. Stay safe!
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: robfilms
Date: June 29, 2019 02:40PM
i rode a motorcycle in my teens and my 20s.

i thought like a kid. i acted like a kid. i road a motorcycle like a kid.
(i have various scars from all three of the above knucklehead decisions!)

years and years and years later.

i am happily married. both daughters left for college. i get the motorcycle itch.

i ask my most wonderful, ever-loving, partner in life and all adventures, if i can get a motorcycle again.

she knows i was a knucklehead in my younger days (and occasionally it still leaks out!).

her reply; "if you get a motorcycle and die, i am going to kill you!"

but she didn't say "no".

so i heard "yes"!

but i am happily married. i am a dad to wonderful children. i have a business to run. and i have a future to spend with my wife. i do not want to die on a motorcycle.

i decided to take a msf class.

it was fantastic. totally basic. instructional. informative. i LOVED it.

after the weekend of lessons, i hired the course instructor and put together a personalized next level "course". i did two additional sessions with the instructor.

and then i went out looking for a craigslist motorcycle.

seven years later i am still riding.

i am on my third bike.

each has been bought used.

i keep each motorcycle for at least two years and then move on to something closer to what i then want.

i ride four seasons-winter-spring-summer-fall.

i commute into manhattan.

i ride up and down the hudson valley.

i look for twisty roads so i can practice lean control.

i literally count the number of my rides-i try to average two rides a week or 100 rides annually.

i have taken one long 2k mile ride.

i am gearing up for another.

my experience might not be yours.

PM me and i am happy to answer or discuss any questions or concerns.

i really do LOVE riding a motorcycle.

so you go scratch that itch!

thumbs up.

rob



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2019 02:43PM by robfilms.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: June 29, 2019 02:44PM
Your post could have been written by me, wurm! I, too, had a motorcycle "back in the day" (about 1992 - 1995, and before any kids). I had a 1969 Honda CB350K1! So my first bike was already over 20 years old--but I loved it. Loved how it looked, and find myself looking on Craigslist for similar era and style bikes.

It *is* surprising that a 35 - 40 year old motorcycle could still command nearly $1000, but such is the market. I know around here, some people buy those older bikes and turn them into "cafe racers."

A local (~30 minute away) motorcycle shop (Montgomeryville Cycle Center, about 30 minutes outside of Philly) recently had a Kawasaki "Demo Days" event, which I thought about attending, but didn't. Had, I, I would have been able to try riding one of their bikes.

I am looking into the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class, as well, since as others have mentioned, they have bikes you can ride. I still have a "Class M" designation on my driver's license, so could technically get a bike right now.

Keep us posted about what you do!



[www.zeemaps.com]
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: wave rider
Date: June 29, 2019 03:05PM
The UnDoug’s post got me curious. I too still have the motorcycle endorsement on my license. Dang, been at least thirty years since I’ve driven a motorized two wheeler.

A buddy showed me some GP racing recently, amazed at the techniques they are using these days. Riders were scrambling about their bikes like sidecar monkeys! And kicking the inside leg forward on a curve like motocross or flat track had me flummoxed.



=wr=
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 29, 2019 03:17PM
I too recommend a motorcycle safety course.

Not just for the riding and defensive riding knowledge, but as much for the opportunity to get back on two-wheels in a very controlled, non-rushed environment.

A metaphorical and literal limbering up and stretching before hitting a not so open road.

I still ride, and love it.

You've found that vintage UJMs (Universal Japanese Motorcycles), especially in good condition, can command an inordinately high price, especially in the class you're looking at. Even if the price was reasonable to you, I'd be leery of a bike that old. Many items should be fairly new and that doesn't happen on a lot of CL deals.

To anybody buying a new or new to you bike, make sure the brakes are properly bled. Yes, there's all the usual stuff – clutch, battery, tires, oil, radiator fluid, yada (if applicable) but properly bled and functional brakes are extremely important.

Over my many decades, traffic has become worse, and occasionally you may find a careless vehicle operator or one who isn't fond of motorcycles. Either can disrupt your day, as much as you enjoying the ride more than paying attention to your surroundings.

I would say the risks of riding have increased over the years, but can be mitigation substantially with vigilant situational awareness.

In CA we're allowed to split lanes, and no matter who careful and respectful it's done, there is not-infrequently someone who objects. That's an edge case, especially since CA has been the only state to allow it, until relatively recently.

I'm not a Harley guy, but there's much to be said about a big twin's low RPM, casual pace. Yes, you can crank 'em, but they lack the buzzy, itchy, 'let's GO' attitude of a lot of Japanese bikes.

I like the Moto-Guzzi Stone line of bikes. The only recommendation I might offer is try not to get too much or too little bike for the riding you want to do.

And make sure your quads are in good shape to move the bike around, and to pick it up should it be lying down for whatever reason. I recently saw a rider who looked like a 12yo riding an HD of some nature. There's no way she could touch the ground with both feet. It she's an accomplished rider, not a problem. But should one pick a bad spot to stop, leaning on one leg, especially where the ground is lower than expected, could be embarrassing at best.

But if one has a taste for it and exercises due care and caution, it's about the most pleasure one can have on the earth's surface.





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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: Psurfer
Date: June 29, 2019 03:52PM
Another possibility is just getting a scooter. Lots less cost, less noise, less gas, less laws, less insurance apply. Not as high top speed, so no highway use (but that could be a plus), but just as much fun.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 29, 2019 04:32PM
Depends on what you think you can spend, pay the state reg fees, tax, inspection fees. and then re-sell when you are done with it. it may serve you well to borrow someone's bike to see if you want to do this at all. but, if you buy used, I would buy from a reputable dealer, who will check things like tires, brakes, etc. and ask them if other parts need replacing. I think the highway cruising requires about 500cc minimum, and it does depend on the engine/bike, of course. and age of said bike.

as to being in shape, I would work out for a few months before any long road trips. you work a lot of muscles you don't expect to when you are in the saddle for hours at a time.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 29, 2019 04:48PM
I would rent one once and then see where you stand.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: wurm
Date: June 29, 2019 08:10PM
Thanks, all. One of the reasons I'm considering renting is that I might be able to satisfy the itch in a day for $150. I have a Motorcycle license already and as much as I haven't ridden in a while, I'm fairly confident I can pick up where I left off in short time. That said, for the heck of it, I just checked out courses. There's one place about 5 minutes from my house that I drive by quite often. I always thought their courses were strictly for people who have never ridden or maybe even been on a motorcycle, but I just checked out their website. For about twice what I was prepared to spend, they have a class that seems designed for someone like me. They also have a downloadable 80+ page Course Guide which I just looked through and realized how much I could gain from such a refresher course.

Returning Rider Basic Rider Course (RRBRC) 1 DAY -- $295
The RRBRC is for students that have experience riding a motorcycle but do not have a bike that they can use for the class. We will provide you with a 250cc training motorcycle and helmet (or you can wear your own).
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: June 29, 2019 08:50PM
I feel sure someone has.



Grateful11
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: June 29, 2019 10:24PM
Quote
wurm
Thanks, all. One of the reasons I'm considering renting is that I might be able to satisfy the itch in a day for $150. I have a Motorcycle license already and as much as I haven't ridden in a while, I'm fairly confident I can pick up where I left off in short time. That said, for the heck of it, I just checked out courses. There's one place about 5 minutes from my house that I drive by quite often. I always thought their courses were strictly for people who have never ridden or maybe even been on a motorcycle, but I just checked out their website. For about twice what I was prepared to spend, they have a class that seems designed for someone like me. They also have a downloadable 80+ page Course Guide which I just looked through and realized how much I could gain from such a refresher course.

Returning Rider Basic Rider Course (RRBRC) 1 DAY -- $295
The RRBRC is for students that have experience riding a motorcycle but do not have a bike that they can use for the class. We will provide you with a 250cc training motorcycle and helmet (or you can wear your own).

Sounds absolutely perfect, do it! (And let us know how it goes.)



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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: tenders
Date: June 30, 2019 10:52AM
I recently got back into scooter riding after having seriously enjoyed a tiny Honda in college. My current badazz 150cc Vespa requires a motorcycle license, and the MSF course I took to get it was fun and hugely valuable. I wish I'd taken it in college and strongly recommend it to anyone on two wheels. I intended to drive conservatively but made a lot of what I now know were ignorant mistakes on that Honda.

Robfilms, I've seen your thoughtful posts on various cycle boards, can't remember where though. I live in a northern suburb and would love to commute into lower Manhattan down the West Side HIghway, but the stories of police harassment and parking hassles have so far dissuaded me.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: tenders
Date: June 30, 2019 10:56AM
Quote
Psurfer
Another possibility is just getting a scooter. Lots less cost, less noise, less gas, less laws, less insurance apply. Not as high top speed, so no highway use (but that could be a plus), but just as much fun.

There are many 250cc-and-up scooters which handle highway speeds just fine! Even my 150cc is highway-legal. It'll go 58mph, which is not good enough for most highways most of the time, but it is doable for SOME highways SOME of the time.
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: wave rider
Date: June 30, 2019 11:52AM
Quote
tenders
Quote
Psurfer
Another possibility is just getting a scooter. Lots less cost, less noise, less gas, less laws, less insurance apply. Not as high top speed, so no highway use (but that could be a plus), but just as much fun.

There are many 250cc-and-up scooters which handle highway speeds just fine! Even my 150cc is highway-legal. It'll go 58mph, which is not good enough for most highways most of the time, but it is doable for SOME highways SOME of the time.

My Vespa P200E would do 75MPH… Without the windshield mounted and my chin tucked down to the speedo. Fun times!



=wr=
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Re: Anyone ever rented a motorcycle?
Posted by: robfilms
Date: June 30, 2019 12:42PM
there are PLENTY of 250cc options.

the important part is to start thinking about how you ride a motorcycle.

you need to ride defensively.

you need to always be in the moment.

you need to anticipate that every other person on the road can and will get you killed so you really need to appreciate your options.

you need to ride with gear all of the time.

again, the above is perhaps more about me than you, but for me the msf course was money very well spent.

keep us posted.

thumbs up.

rob
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