Will hiring replace motorcycle ownership?

Hiring motorcycles could be the future for the industry as BMW plans to launch a sharing system and American company Twisted Road has launched a motorbike version of Airbnb.

BMW Motorrad executives recently suggested their future could be in sharing electric scooters in major cities.

BMW Concept Link electric scooter sharing hiring
BMW Concept Link electric scooter

The company already has a sharing service for cars, so why not motorbikes?

Even new Ford global boss Jim Hackett sees a future where cars won’t be owned but shared. The company has started up a ride-sharing brand called Chariot in California.

Twisted Road is now hiring

Since October 2017, US company Twisted Road has been offering a motorbike version of Airbnb and Turo which operate online services to rent short-term accommodation and hire private cars.

Motorcycle rental costs vary and the revenue is split 70-30 between owners and Twisted Road. 

CEO Austin Rothbard says they have about 375 motorcycles listed in 35 states in the USA.Twisted Road hiring

“For now, the entire fleet is located in the United States,” he says.

“However, we’ve received strong interest from riders in Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala, Portugal, Columbia, the UK, Uruguay, and Slovakia.

“Before we start operations in any of these regions, we want to ensure that we are prepared. Our first mission is to provide an exceptional customer experience, and global expansion needs to be methodical.”

Austin says the idea was forged when he was vacationing with his family in a beautiful part of the United States.

“I thought ‘I wish I had my bike,” Austin says.

Hiring Twisted Roads Austin Rothbard
Twisted Roads boss Austin Rothbard

“Over the coming months, this happened with more and more frequency and after discussing this with riders, I realised I wasn’t the only one. Many others had said these six discouraging words. ”

“A few months later, in the beginning of 2017, I started the company with a goal of connecting riders so that people could ride wherever they wanted.

“After 10 months of searching for the right insurance option and building the website, we went live in October.

“Our company has been lucky as we have seen some early traction and growth.”

If the business continues to grow, there is no doubt it will spread to other countries.

The company is working on a rating system similar to Airbnb where both renter and owner are rated.

Obviously, if a renter crashed the bike they would get a low rating and if the bike broke down the owner would be rated low.

Twisted Road insures motorcycles for up to $US15,000 (about $A19,000), so it is not top-end motorcycles they are hiring.

They are aiming for younger riders more interested in motorcycle travel rather than motorcycle ownership.

Millennials are the prime targets for these peer-to-peer rental services as they are not as devoted to house and vehicle ownership as previous generations.

But would you lend you pride and enjoy to another rider?

  • Do you think the future of motorcycling is peer-to-peer sharing or hiring? Leave your comments below.


  1. I think the only way such a system might work is far off in the future where every form of transport has been engineered to a bland universal machine with common interchangeable parts and battery.

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