Renting a motorcycle (or as they say overseas, "hiring a motorbike") is not too different from renting a car. However since riding a motorcycle is a more specialized skill than driving, there are some extra considerations.
Just like with auto rental, for motorcycle rental you must have a valid driver's license including what we call a "Motorcycle Endorsement" in the USA. It might have have a different name in your country, but basically it means that you are permitted to drive a motorcycle. We accept driver's licenses from all states and countries and we don't require, but do accept an international driver's license. This is basically a translation of your license and makes it easier for us. If you use an international license, we will still need to see the license from your country.
Next, we require that our motorcycle drivers be of 25 years of age, reflecting a certain maturity that goes with the responsibility of renting a large and powerful motorcycle. We recommend at least two years experience on motorcycles of 1000cc or greater. The motorcycles we rent at California Motorcycle Adventures are large, heavyweight, very powerful and not appropriate for beginner or inexperienced riders. In fact, our service staff will observe to make sure that a renter can comfortably handle his or her rental motorcycle around our parking area before giving the final OK to ride the bike away.
We pride ourselves on having a straightforward rental process, but with any business transaction, there is paperwork. Our motorcycle rental agreement is just one page and written in plain English and at the time you arrive to pick up your rental motorcycle, one of our staff will go over the contract with you carefully and thoroughly.
There are requirements for insurance and also supplemental insurance packages that we make available to our motorcycle renters. (If you're curious about the insurance details, please read our Motorcycle Rental Insurance article.)
At the time you complete your rental reservation, we take a rental deposit to hold the motorcycle. We collect from $50 - $400 depending upon the length of the rental.
When you pick up your rental motorcycle, there is a $2000 (US) security deposit required in addition to the rental fees. Your credit card will be "authorized only" for this deposit. We do not actually collect the $2000, your bank will either put a "pending" or "hold" (depending on the credit card / bank card type). When you return the motorcycle in the same condition as when you picked it up, we will release the authorization and only charge you for the rental.
We strongly advise that you notify your bank in advance that you will be traveling and to expect a large authorization. We have found that making that call and talking to the fraud department prevents delays and gets you down the road faster. If you don't do this, to protect you, the banks will often require multiple phone calls before they will approve the transaction. This can be a real problem if you are in a very different time zone - your bank may be closed until tomorrow!
It is our philosophy to give you the motorcycle that you want. Unlike some other motorcycle rental agencies, we do not double book or overbook our motorcycle rentals and we don't bump anybody. However, because of this philosophy, we have a strictly enforced cancellation policy. If you cancel your reservation at the last minute, it is very likely that we will not be able to rent your motorcycle. In fact, we have probably turned people away to hold this motorcycle for you.
We guarantee that you will get the TYPE of motorcycle that you requested. If you requested a Road King, you will get a Road King. However, we cannot guarantee that you will get the specific bike or color that you requested. We reserve the right to switch you to a different bike within your motorcycle type. This may require us giving you an upgrade at no additional cost, but we will never downgrade you. For example, we may switch you from a Standard Goldwing to a Goldwing Deluxe, or from an Electra Glide Classic to an Electra Glide Ultra Classic or from an older model to a newer model.
We will never send out a motorcycle that is mechanically unsafe - YOUR SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER 1 PRIORITY! If for some reason, the motorcycle type your requested suddenly becomes unavailable for safety reasons, we will notify you immediately and give you the option of switching to another motorcycle or canceling with no charge, and we will even assist you in finding another rental agency that does have the bike you wanted.
Because we take such great precautions to make sure that none of our renters are disappointed (and our track record in this regard is extremely good), we also expect you not to disappoint us and violate our cancellation policy. We will apply the following cancellation fees if you do: