As you may know by now, I own a 2010 BMW 800cc that I really, really love. I cringed when BF made me buy what was then the most expensive motorcycle on Ebay, but after two years of ownership I have to admit that is was an awesome buy. We toured Europe last summer for six months, driving from the UK all the way to Turkey, then Norway via all the Baltics and Finland, then back to Paris. Not. One. Problem. This year we took it on a two months trip around France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco that was also fantastic. But enough with my crazily extended holidays. When we are not around, the bike is sitting there in my garage and losing money. I need to pay its tax disc, its insurance, and unless I had a really good eye and the bike turns into a classic, it is losing value month after month. I also think that not being in use for months at a time may damage some parts. So I went looking for ways to make money with my bike.
1. Rent it
I had a quick look at online motorcycle rentals, and found it really expensive. What if I were able to attract renters at a discount? Social sharing is the new hype, you can rent a room in your house, rent your car, so why not rent your bike?
I rented it to a friend for 10 days this summer, I am not ready at this point to rent it to a perfect stranger, but all my friends know that my bike is available while I am overseas and that they can have it for a few days if they wish. I charged about 30% under market rate so everyone was happy.
As usual, make sure you are properly insured before you do anything. You can check Bennetts for the latest rates.
If I were on site, I could look into getting a shift at a pizza store or with any other company that needs messenger services, or packages delivered. My particular bike is pretty heavy and it is not ideal to ride in the traffic jam, plus it has a lower mpg than small scooters, so financially it would not be ideal. But if you have a small bike or a scooter you could offer your services vehicle included.
You just put the company’s stickers while you are on your shift and take them down when you are done. That is a great way to make extra money after work, although you have to factor the vehicle’s depreciation in your hourly rate. If you are going to make minimum wage with or without your bike, better keep it parked.
3. Collect classic bikes
I just wrote a post over at RFI about collecting classic bikes as an investment, and if you have a good eye, and know how to buy under market, there is money to be made. What I like in that case, is that instead of having a depreciating asset in your garage, you have an appreciating one, AND you get to use it while it gains value! Insurance is also pretty cheap for classic bikes because insurance companies know you won’t rack up tons of miles with them and classic bike owners are more likely to take good care of their vehicles. A friend of mine has a classic bike and it is a great pet project during winter, he would spend hours finding the perfect part and fitting it to the bike, and riding it in summer, that is hours of really cheap entertainment.
What do you think? Any other ways you can make money with your bike?