How to Rent a Motorcycle

You may find the weather in the UK is not always compatible with motorcycle riding. But on mild summer days, you may have the urge to go exploring across Britain's roads to enjoy our country’s beautiful scenery. If you are not a motorcycle owner already you may not want to spend a large amount of cash on buying your own bike just to go riding for a week or two out of the year. Luckily there is a way around that problem.

Motorcycle rentals are increasingly available and are a great way to use a bike temporarily for the days that you want. There are some rules and restrictions that you will need to abide by, and of course, it doesn’t come for free. But if you are dreaming of being on the open road or touring around Britain then keep reading and we will walk you through how to rent a motorcycle that you can use for your enjoyment.

Where can you rent a motorcycle?

There are several outlets and suppliers that will rent you a motorcycle for a specified period. Some motorcycle dealers rent out their own models for the public to use, presumably in the hope that it will entice them to buy one of their own. Other companies provide a range of makes and models for you to choose from. Superbike Rental is a company that rents out bikes across Britain and Europe and offers an extensive range of manufacturers and models for you to choose from. Usually, the motorcycles will come in a range of engine sizes to suit everyone from leaners to highly experienced riders.

Do you need a full motorcycle licence?

You may be surprised to learn that you can rent certain types of motorcycles on a provisional licence, that you do not need a full motorcycle licence. You will also need to supply proof of your CBT—Compulsory Basic Training—certificate, and proof of your address before being allowed to take a rental out on the road. Renting a motorcycle on a provisional license is primarily to supply learner motorbike riders with a vehicle.

Do you need your own insurance?

You will need to have adequate cover before taking any vehicle out on the road and motorcycle rental is no different. However, many bike rental companies partner with specialty companies to offer you appropriate coverage while you operate their vehicles. So if you do not have a motorcycle insurance policy of your own you will be able to obtain coverage for your rental period.

Is there a minimum rental period?

Most companies will rent in 24 hour periods and this is typically the shortest block of time that you will be able to hire a motorcycle. Most companies are quite strict on scheduled pick up times and being just 1 hour late may cause you to forfeit your rental and lose your deposit.

How much is motorcycle rental per day?

Rental rates will vary depending on the company that you are renting from, the size of the motorcycle and how many days you are using the vehicle. Here is an approximate daily rental rate guide to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

MotorcycleEngine Size in ccApproximate daily rental
Honda CB125F125£50
BMW G310R313£100
Honda CB500X500£100
Suzuki GSX650F650£125
Ducati Scrambler Classic800£130
BMW F800GT800£145
Honda Africa Twin CRF 1000L1000£155
Ducati Multistrada 1200 touring1200£170

Will there be a deposit needed?

Renting a motorcycle means that the company you hire from is allowing you to ride and be responsible for thousands of pounds of equipment. They want to protect their investment so you can expect to pay a hefty deposit at any motorcycle rental company. The more expensive the bike, the higher the deposit will be—but at a minimum you can expect that it will be in the region of £1,000 pounds. Once the bike is returned as agreed and undamaged your deposit will be returned to you.

Who is responsible for damages?

Basically you are. While riding and in possession of the motorcycle you will be responsible for any accidents or damages that may occur. Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover you in the event of any such incidents and remember that you may also lose some or all of your deposit in the event of accidents or damage to the motorcycle.

Will the rental company provide safety equipment?

Many motorcycle companies will provide safety equipment for your use. These will come at a fee but if you do not have motorcycle gear such as leathers, a helmet, gloves, and other items then you will be able to obtain them from the rental company. The cost of renting such items is relatively inexpensive. You can expect a helmet to cost around £5 per day, and gloves around £2.50 per day. Usually, there are also jackets, trousers, backpacks and Sat Nav's available.

Is there a limit on the size of the rental motorcycle?

Any limitations or restrictions on the size of the motorcycle you are able to rent will be dictated by the type of licence you have. If you are on a provisional licence you will only be permitted to rent a motorcycle that has a maximum engine size of 125cc. If you have a full motorcycle licence you can rent up to any engine size available. That said, if you are only accustomed to riding a 250cc motorcycle it may be unwise to choose a 1200cc powerhouse.

Is there a limit on mileage?

Depending on the company you rent from there may be some restrictions on the total mileage that you can drive, with pricey penalties if you exceed the limit. If there are any extra charges they are usually added on as a cost per mile fee and these can add up very quickly if you are travelling or touring for long distances. Many companies will include unlimited miles with the price of your rental but verify the small print in your rental agreement to make sure you are not going to incur any extra fees.

Are there restrictions on who can rent a motorcycle?

Even if you have your full motorcycle license and all of your paperwork in order that still does not mean that you will be automatically approved for motorcycle rental. Due to insurance restrictions, some people will be excluded due to their occupation. For example, nightclub owners, professional entertainers, and sports people may be refused rental. Also if you are renting a bike to use in racing competitions or similar that is also a big no-no. If damage occurs to the vehicle while racing it will render any insurance null and void and you may be personally liable for any damages.

Summary

Renting a motorcycle for a temporary period of time can be a great way to enjoy the thrill of riding without the costs of ownership. Make sure that your paperwork is in order and you have appropriate insurance cover before operating the vehicle, and check all of the small print for terms and restrictions. Once the rental contract is signed, take your bike and enjoy hours and days of motorcycling freedom.

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