For most millennials and younger generations, entering into the powersports industry can be a financial challenge. If new riders are able to purchase their first motorcycle, maintenance and repairs, especially if they’ve laid their bike down, can turn their hobby into another dream. For CEO Guillermo Cornejo, overcoming this challenge became the inspiration for his company, Riders Share.
“Riders Share came about after I crashed a motorcycle,” Cornejo said. “As a broke millennial, I couldn’t afford to buy a replacement, so I tried to rent instead. That is when it became obvious that there was an opportunity.”
Riders Share connects motorcycle riders and owners to create an easy, safe and secure rental experience. Owners can earn extra cash by renting their bike to riders that are vetted and insured, while renters have access to the largest selection of motorcycles, at a much lower price than a typical rental agency.
“I had familiarity with carsharing from my experience in the auto industry, so I knew we could get more people into motorcycles by lowering the cost of access,” Cornejo said. “The goal of the company isn’t just to become the ‘Airbnb of motorcycles’ anymore; we want to increase safe riding by bringing new riders or former riders back into the sport.”
Since Riders Share’s launch in February 2018, over 15,000 motorcycles have been listed nationwide in the U.S., expanding the availability of peer-to-peer motorcycle rentals for consumers by offering riders access to a large variety of motorcycles.
“We have everything from Ducati sportbikes to Harleys, from Can-Ams to BMW adventure bikes, and even electric motorcycles. Additionally, we have proximity — whereas most cities have one to two rental shops serving an entire market, on the Riders Share platform, it is likely you will find something closer to you, with the option to have the motorcycle delivered to you, which is very convenient,” Cornejo said.
Making motorcycle rentals cost effective was a priority for riders and motorcycle owners, according to Cornejo. For riders, they are able to rent at a competitive and affordable price, providing an option to be a regular rider without the burden of full-time motorcycle ownership, and ultimately, giving them more time to enjoy the ride.
For motorcycle owners, renting provides income to help them receive a full return on investment and often leads them to buy more motorcycles.
“We have owners earning $120 a day from renting out motorcycles worth $9,000,” Cornejo said. “After mileage depreciation costs and wear and tear, that is akin to a 200% annualized return. To make this possible, Riders Share provides commercial insurance on a need basis — only when your motorcycle is under commercial use. This means that if nobody books your bike, you don’t lose money on an expensive commercial insurance policy. The financial risk is very small, and the potential reward is very high.”
Renting isn’t just an option for consumers. For a motorcycle dealer, renting inventory through Riders Share has several benefits that can add to their bottom line.
“Dealers do not need to invest in advertising for rentals, employees or costly annual commercial insurance policies because Riders Share takes care of that on a per-transaction basis,” Cornejo said. “We vet customers thoroughly to minimize insurance costs and as a result, our business model allows for savings for both customers and vehicle owners.”
Along with saving on insurance and advertising, renting opens the door for dealers to sell more motorcycles.
“Thousand Oaks Powersports in California uses our program to attract more foot traffic into their dealership,” Cornejo said. “Other dealerships use rentals as an extended test drive to close more sales. And, if a renter totals the bike, that is a sale.”
Other dealerships say that renting increases parts sales in the event of a renter damaging a part with no pre-existing damage. Riders Share’s protection plan pays the vehicle owner to replace the damaged part and dealers can directly keep that cash.
In an industry of fun, accidents can happen, but Riders Share prioritizes rider safety and protection.
“For motorcycle owners, we offer all the necessary protection,” Cornejo said. “In addition to covering motorcycles up to $30,000 in value for physical damage and theft, we also include general liability and third-party liability via a partnership with Lloyds of London. Thanks to the Graves amendment, there is no excess liability to worry about. We also provide roadside assistance free to owners in every rental. Finally, we check for motorcycle endorsements online and we verify identities belong to the renter before they are allowed to get in touch with our community.”
With an average renter demographic of 36 years old, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are the most popular to rent through Riders Share. Touring, adventure and cruiser motorcycles, and luxury brands lead over sportbikes. Cornejo mentioned that naked bikes are most popular among younger crowds, and novelties like the Can-Am Ryker and anything custom are highly sought for their fun factor.
Cornejo added, “The most underrated benefit of renting is the possibility of meeting like-minded riders and future friends, as well as bikers from all around the world.”
For more information about Riders Share, visit riders-share.com.