Hiring A Motorbike In The USA

Buy or Hire A Motorbike?

We initially looked at what would be the most cost effective option:

  • buying a motorbike and either selling it at the end of the trip or shipping it home, or
  • hiring a motorbike

Whilst shipping a motorbike from the USA to Sydney, Australia is only about $600, I figured the hassle of buying a bike, having to deal with any breakdown issues, etc wasn’t enough to make it convenient.

Selling it at the end of the trip was the same – I didn’t have the time or patience to sell the bike.

So hiring the bike it was (Harry is 17 yo and too young to have a motorbike license, so we would only need 1 bike).

Hiring A Motorbike

After searching online for a while it became pretty clear that there was really only 1 motorbike hire company we could deal with.

Eagle Rider have a huge range of bikes, outlets in tons of cities and the ability to have us hire in LA and drop the bike off on the East Coast of the US.

I’ve hired bikes before from Ian at Moto Adventure in Tasmania and Alison & John at Te Waipounamu Motorcycle Tours in New Zealand, both of whom have dealt with Eagle Rider before.

Ian has hired from them and ridden right across the USA (and Mexico and Guatamala ride – a great read), whilst Alison and John have referred lots of customers to them.  They both gave them the thumbs up, so I shot Eagle Rider an email.

The first thing that I found out is that their New York office is closed for the winter as generally it’s too cold/icy for riders.  No drama, we could drop the bike off in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Harley Davidson Electra Glide

On the recommendation of my new mate Soleil at Eagle Rider, we hired a Harley Davidson Electra Glide,  a big assed touring bike that would make the ride real comfortable.

Harry with Harriet Harley near the Grand Canyon

Harry with Harriet Harley near the Grand Canyon

With me being 6 foot and my son 6 foot 3, we needed something pretty big and the Electra Glide fitted the bill.

After a bit of back and forth, I ended up hiring the bike:

Pick up:  Sunday November 20, 2011 in LA (a $10 cab fare from LA Airport)

Drop Off:  December 12, 2011 in Fort Lauderdale

That’s 23 days.

  • Motorbike Hire:  $2,546.10 US

Then we have the extras:

  • One-way fee (because I’m dropping the bike in Florida):  $550
  • E-VIP:  $552.00
  • Supplementary Liability Insurance:  $297.85
  • Environmental Recovery fee:  $140.04
  • LAX Sales Tax:  $283.16

Total:  $4,369.15 US

I paid the whole lot a couple of months before we picked the bike up.

When we picked the bike up, I also had $1,000 charged to my credit card for a damage deposit.  That charge dropped off a few days later.

Picking The Bike Up

We picked the bike up at 9 am on the Sunday – the Eagle Rider office is a short cab ride from LAX ($15) and they’ll reimburse you $15 on a cab fare if you show them the receipt.

Picking the bike up was a breeze – we went over the bike, the guy showed me what did what and we were on our way.

Feedback On Egale Rider

Our experience couldn’t have been better with Eagle Rider.

Whilst we broke down in Death Valley on the first day (these things happen), the guys at Eagle Rider were superb and had us sorted and on our way as soon as possible.

It would have been an expensive fix up for them (car and trailer had to drive a round trip of about 500 miles to come and get us, pick the bike up and transport us to Las Vegas), but they did it fast and with absolutely no hassle for us.  Brilliant.