If you’re planning a trip, especially somewhere particularly scenic or where it’s a common mode of transportation, you might think about renting a motorcycle.
Renting a motorcycle can be exciting and a great way to sightsee.
There are risks, however.
The fact is that motorcycles can be very dangerous. Even a minor spill on a motorcycle can lead to serious injuries like road rash or broken bones. You might end up in the hospital during your vacation instead of enjoying it.
The following are some considerations and things to know if you want to rent a motorcycle on vacation.
4 Things to Consider Before You Rent a Motorcycle on Vacation
Do You Have Any Experience?
If you’re going to rent a motorcycle, the company you’re renting from may be able to give you a few pointers, but it’s important to understand that learning to ride a motorcycle properly can take a long time.
If you’ve never done it before, you should consider whether or not your vacation is the right time to do it.
Instead of a motorcycle, if you don’t have any experience, you might think about renting a scooter. Many of the risks are the same, but a scooter is easier to handle because it’s smaller and more lightweight.
If you’re thinking about renting a sportbike, that can be especially tricky because they’re powerful, and there’s a big learning curve.
Will You Meet the Requirements?
Like renting a car, there are going to be certain requirements you’re going to have to meet to rent a motorcycle.
For example, you’re going to need the basics like a driver’s license and a credit card. You’re probably also going to need a license with an M1 rating in the state where you live. An M1 rating is a motorcycle rating.
A motorcycle learner’s permit isn’t going to work with a rental company.
If you’re renting outside the U.S., the requirements may be less stringent, but don’t count on that unless you confirm. Even for foreign companies, there is often a requirement that you have a motorcycle license to rent.
There are going to be age limits as well. For a motorcycle, the age limits are commonly either 21 or 25. For a scooter or moped, they’ll usually rent to you if you’re at least 18.
If you’re renting a motorcycle in the U.S., you’ll need to have at least liability insurance. Depending on the state where you rent, the minimum amount of coverage is going to vary.
Your liability insurance from home isn’t going to work for this. Rental insurance, and particularly for a motorcycle, is entirely different.
Most rental companies will provide basic liability insurance as part of your daily rental cost. They might also charge extra, but they should tell you what’s covered and what isn’t.
Liability insurance covers you if you’re at fault in an accident that causes property damage or an injury to someone else.
You should think about increasing your coverage.
Most rental companies will offer the option to pay for supplemental liability insurance to increase your amount of coverage if you’re in an accident.
You could also add comprehensive insurance, which will cover theft as well.
You should evaluate the risk level of riding a motorcycle and how much coverage you might need if you’re hurt.
It can be better to pay extra to protect yourself. Also, you’re probably going to have a deductible that can be thousands of dollars, so factor that into your decision.
What About Gear?
When you’re renting a car, you don’t have to worry about gear. All you need is the car itself.
Not the case with a motorcycle rental.
You’re going to need a helmet for yourself and your passenger, so you should factor in the daily fee for these.
You may also need other gear like jackets, pants, gloves, and leathers. These can go a long way in protecting you if you’re in an accident.
Finally, the rental company is likely to have a set of restrictions regarding the types of roads you can ride on. For example, if you have a street bike you can’t ride on an unpaved road.
If you’re traveling out of the country, think about road conditions and how feasible it is for you even to ride a motorcycle.
For example, on many Caribbean islands, riding a motorcycle wouldn’t be a feasible option because of the roads’ condition and how dangerous and uncomfortable it would be to do so.