You know what they say: If it flies, floats, or fluctuates, you’re better off renting. Is that true of motorcycles too? Not long ago motorcycles needed lots of love and personal attention just to keep running, in the same way a toddler or puppy needed constant guidance and assistance with personal hygiene. New bikes, though, seem sprung from the womb fully formed and ready to be emancipated. They need fresh oil now and then and other normal wear items. But for the most part, you just hit the button and go.
That twist-and-go nature might make some boomers sad, but it really shouldn’t as there will always be plenty of used motorcycles to go around, with carburetors and other arcane internals slouching toward entropy. It’s that need to care for a machine, just like a child, that creates the emotional bond so many people feel for their motorcycles. With the diminishing of that need for maintenance, does the emotional bonding go away? Does the motorcycle become just another sporting good, like a bag of golf clubs or a pair of skis?
When the topic of renting one’s motorcycle out has come up before on MO, it’s really struck a nerve with a reasonably sized vocal subset who view someone else riding their bike the same way they would an outsider having, ahem, sexual relations with their partner. Some of them may be just kidding. Others, throughout history, have seen that same kind of sharing as a money-making proposition. We’re not here to judge.
Sexual mores have changed quite a bit along with the same technology that makes ride-sharing possible. These revolutions seem to happen faster in California, where many of us are unmoored from our roots. Note, for example, the Riders Share website. As we sit here on a Tuesday …read more