Renting a motorbike with built-in storage can be very convenient for trips, touring, and securely transporting items. It eliminates the need to install separate luggage systems. When selecting a rental, consider factors like engine size, fuel efficiency, costs, safety features, and availability. Useful places to find rentals include dedicated rental companies, peer-to-peer rental platforms, and rentals near travel destinations. It’s important to evaluate each rental company’s reputation, vehicle condition, customer service, and rental terms. Extra equipment like insurance, helmets, and locks may also be necessary. This guide covers everything you need to know to find the ideal rental motorbike with storage for your next adventure.
Reasons for renting a motorbike with storage
Renting a motorbike with built-in storage offers some great benefits:
- Convenience for trips and touring – Built-in storage allows you to easily pack clothes, camping supplies, tools, and other gear to be self-sufficient on long trips and tours. This can maximize your independence and flexibility.
- Transport items securely – Safely storing valuables, fragile items, and important travel documents within the motorcycle storage compartments protects them from weather and road hazards.
- Avoid need to install storage equipment – Renting a bike with integrated storage saves you the effort of having to purchase and install separate luggage systems like saddlebags or a top case. The storage is ready to use.
“Having lockable storage compartments on my rental motorcycle gave me peace of mind that my belongings were secure during my cross-country tour. I could store everything I needed and not worry about it falling off or getting stolen.” – Mary, cross-country motorcyclist
Types of motorbikes with storage
There are a few common types of storage systems built into motorbike rentals:
- Underseat storage – Storage under the seat is very common and convenient. It allows accessing items without unpacking the bike. Just be aware of weight limits.
- Top case storage – Top cases mount to the rear of the bike and typically offer 10-50 liters of lockable storage safely positioned over the rear wheel. These are great for balance and security.
- Panniers and side cases – Paired waterproof storage cases that mount on both sides of the motorcycle. Offer large capacity ideal for extended trips and camping gear. Just be conscious of overall width.
“I prefer rentals with side cases because they evenly distribute weight on both sides of the bike. It also gives me tons of secure storage space for camping gear, clothes, food, etc.” – Lucas, adventure motorcyclist
Factors when selecting a rental motorbike
Consider the following when choosing a rental:
- Engine size and power – Select adequate engine displacement and horsepower to carry you, a passenger, and cargo weight without straining the bike. Know the limits.
- Fuel efficiency – Motorbikes with better MPG will require fewer fuel stops and save money on long-distance rides. Compare ratings.
- Rental costs – Prices vary so compare total rental fees between companies while factoring in equipment needs. Look for deals.
- Availability of safety features – Consider rentals with modern safety systems like ABS, traction control, and linked braking for maximum control.
“I made sure to select a large enough engine and comfortable seat since I planned to ride 8+ hours a day. Fuel efficiency was also big, as was availability of side cases for storage on my multi-week trip.” – Sam, long-distance motorcyclist
Places to find motorbike rentals
There are a few options to find motorcycle rentals offering built-in storage solutions:
- Motorbike rental companies – Major national companies like EagleRider offer motorbike rentals with storage options, but research policies and reputations.
- Peer to peer rental platforms – Sites like Riders Share allow individuals to rent out their personal motorcycles. Provides variety and deals.
- Rentals near travel destinations – Local mom-and-pop rental shops near popular riding routes may offer storage-equipped bikes and area expertise.
“I prefer to rent from local companies near my destination rather than transporting bikes. This allowed me to get solid advice from them on the best area routes, sights, and even custom installations like added luggage racks.” – Mike, motorcycle traveller
What to look for in a motorbike rental
To ensure a good rental experience, look for providers that offer:
- Reputation and reviews – Search online reviews and forums to verify quality of vehicles, service, pricing, and policies from real customers.
- Condition of motorbikes – Thoroughly inspect bikes for damage, tire wear, oil levels, etc. Take them for test rides. Don’t accept unreliable vehicles.
- Customer service – Rental staff should provide good advice on optimal bikes, routes, gear, etc. They should support you if any issues arise.
- Flexible rental terms – Look for flexible duration, pickup/dropoff options, unlimited mileage, etc. to accommodate your unique ride.
“I learned quickly to spend time chatting with rental companies and reading reviews before committing. This let me avoid less scrupulous providers and find ones that really emphasized good motorbike condition, service, and renter support.” – Mark, adventure rider
Extra equipment to consider
Factor in any additional equipment you may need:
- Insurance options – Consider supplemental insurance to reduce liability for damage. Review policies closely regarding coverage and deductibles.
- Helmets – Many places require you to bring DOT-approved helmets. Others rent helmets. Verify to ride safely and legally.
- Locks and security – Bring disc locks, chains, tamper-proof bolts, GPS trackers etc. to secure your rental bike when parked. Prevent theft.
“Don’t forget essential riding gear like helmets, jacket, rainsuit and boots. Also bring serious locks – I used a 14mm chain lock even for quick stops. Better to be safe than sorry when on the road!” – Chris, veteran motorcyclist
Tips for loading rental motorbike storage
Carefully loading your rented motorcycle’s storage is crucial for stability, balance, and safe handling. Follow these tips:
- Heaviest items low – Keep the center of gravity low by mounting heavy items like tools or camping gear in lower side cases or panniers.
- Distribute weight evenly – Equally distribute left/right weight and front/back weight for best balance. Don’t overload one side.
- Pack tightly – Tightly packed, dense items prevent shifting that can upset balance. Use straps, nets, and dividers.
- Consider weight limits – Don’t exceed the total recommended load capacity for your bike and storage mounts.
- Test handling – Take short test rides with loaded storage to assess handling, acceleration, braking, etc. Adjust as needed.
- Allow lean angle – Don’t overpack width-wise so the bike has proper lean angle for curves.
- Review frequently – Re-evaluate loading after the first riding day and at fuel stops. Rebalance as needed.
“I was meticulous about evenly packing my rented bike’s saddlebags and top case. I must have test ridden it 10 times with different loads until the handling felt natural.” – Lucas, motorcycling enthusiast
Finding rentals with specific storage needs
If you need specialized storage like extra capacity for extended trips, consider:
- Trailers – Small luggage trailers allow pulling substantial extra cargo. Just confirm tow rating.
- Luggage racks – Many companies can install heavy-duty rear or side racks for oversize items.
- Custom cases – Shops may be able to fabricate one-off storage cases to handle odd cargo.
- Towing mods – Some providers can modify bikes with tow hitches for trailers holding tons of gear.
- Sidecar – Attaching a sidecar creates space for oversize, odd-shaped or especially sensitive cargo.
- Cargo nets – External nets mount over saddlebags and cases to haul extra lightweight items like sleeping bags.
“I was transporting photography gear across the country, so I rented from a shop that custom-outfitted the bike with pelican cases secured to a special rear rack. Worked perfectly!” – Sam, professional photographer
No matter your specific cargo transportation needs, with some creativity and research you can likely find a rental equipped for the job!
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Loading touring gear into rental bike storage
Packing touring gear like camping equipment into your rental bike’s storage compartments requires strategy. Some tips:
- Heaviest at the bottom – Pack stove, tools, food at the bottom so lighter items sit above them.
- Cushion delicate items – Protect electronics, glasses, etc. by surrounding them with clothing for padding.
- Evenly distribute weight – Balance left/right weight by pairing items like stove and tent on opposite sides.
- Utilize all space – Fill every nook and cranny while keeping organized. Inventory items.
- Waterproof key items – Use waterproof bags or cases within storage to protect essentials like clothes or sleeping bag.
- Limit load shifts – Pack tightly with straps or padding to prevent contents from shifting around.
- Balance wide items – Counterbalance wide items on each side so overall width stays narrow.
“I was amazed how much touring gear I could fit in the bike’s storage cases just by carefully packing and distributing everything – tent, stove, clothes, tools, food, sleeping bag, etc. I had a mobile basecamp!” – Ken, adventure biker
With smart loading techniques, you can carry an impressive amount of touring and camping gear securely on your rental motorbike. Then you’re set for an epic trip!
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Renting a motorbike with built-in storage opens up incredible travel opportunities. The convenience of having lockable compartments to safely transport luggage, camping supplies, tools, and other essential gear can maximize your independence and flexibility on the road.
When searching for a rental, carefully assess your cargo capacity needs and planned routes. Do your research to find a reputable company with storage-equipped bikes that fit your specific trip requirements. Inspect the motorcycle thoroughly before accepting it and don’t hesitate to ask questions to get set up with the ideal configuration.
Properly loading the storage with weight distribution and security in mind is critical for stability, handling, and balance. Use luggage packing techniques to optimize the available space.
Renting a motorbike with the right integrated storage solutions allows you to embark on epic point-to-point adventures, long-distance tours, and cross-country rides. With an ideal motorcycle as your trusty companion, enjoy the freedom of the open road!