A new motorcycle sharing service allows users to rent bikes from strangers across the US.
For people who imagine themselves motorcycling on scenic open roads far from home, but don’t want to buy a bike of their own, there is now a way to make the dream a reality. Twisted Road, a startup based in Winnetka, Illinois, acts like an Airbnb for motorcycles. It offers peer-to-peer motorcycle rentals online.
Motorcycle owners can put their bikes up for rental and riders can search the site by brand, location, or price. Riders also need to provide a driver’s license, with a valid motorcycle endorsement and proof of insurance. The site checks the renter’s information to make sure it is accurate, and that they have the required motorcycle insurance. Bike owners can review the renter’s riding experience and what bikes they have ridden previously. Owners can then decide if they want to approve or reject the rental. Background screenings are also conducted to make sure that the prospective renter does not, for example, have a conviction for motorcycle theft. Once approved, owner and renter meet to hand over the bike.
Twisted Road keeps 30 percent of the earnings on each rental, and the motorcycle owner keeps the rest. While the service is only available in the U.S., international riders are welcome. International riders don’t need their own insurance, but do need to put down a deposit on their credit card. If the rider’s insurance denies a claim following an accident, Twisted Road offers its own insurance policy. At the moment, Twisted Road has around 300 bikes registered for rent, ranging in price from USD 75 to around USD 200 per day.
Twisted Road is the latest manifestation of the growth of the peer-to-peer economy, with the idea that it is not necessary to own expensive goods in order to use them. It is now possible to rent everything from designer clothing to drones on a peer-to-peer basis. What other items could be rented on a peer-to-peer service?