Borrowing is not free – then again, what really is? The appropriate word is to “rent,” not “borrow.” With our economy these days, it feels like renting has become increasingly popular throughout America. Interestingly enough, choosing to rent a Harley-Davidson motorcycle instead of purchasing it might actually be cheaper or more convenient. Maybe you work all the time, maybe you have friends who come to Los Angeles, maybe you do not want to make the purchase, or maybe you can only sneak out once a month. No one can say for sure if renting is better than buying or the reverse. That is because it is situational and ultimately depends on your lifestyle. Fortunately, for those who do decide to rent, there are places like Bartels’ Route 66, in Marina del Rey.
As you walk into the Route 66 shop, you will find that the store is surprisingly stylish. In addition to renting Harleys, Route 66 is also stocked up on many other two wheel attractions, like actual scooters and bicycles. This makes sense in Marina del Rey. The folks that work there are great – they create an atmosphere reminiscent of the motorcycle shops of the past with a beach guise. If you like an environment where it is comfortable to hang out and chit chat about what is good in life without being pressured to rush into the business stuff, this is the perfect spot. Nowadays, this is refreshing and rare in quick paced Los Angeles.
The bottom line for renting a Harley-Davidson: It costs around $200 for a day (helmet and jacket included). Renting is not for the novice and you have to prove your experience with the motorcycle endorsement on your license. A $2,000 credit card security deposit is necessary beforehand, but is refunded when you bring the bike back, provided it is not destroyed (this deposit is also common in other states). It is like an insurance deductable. This system should incentivize the normal renter to be a tad more responsible and dissuade riders from pulling wheelies down Pacific Coast Highway.
The security deposit may sound like a bit much, but we are talking about $20,000 motorcycles. To help illustrate this, take a moment to imagine: You are in Vegas and rent a convertible mustang. You drive by a stretch of desert and cannot help but veer off the road to apply your Hollywood stuntman skills by doing some incredible donuts. The wind is blowing in your hair and the sight of the wall of dirt shooting up from the tires is beautiful. However, this is something you probably would not have done after a sizable security deposit.
The busy season is from now through September, so it is wise to call first. The store might be tapped out. Also, the Route 66 guys will pick you up and drop you off from LAX or your hotel (if its within 5 miles from Route 66). They even have a “frequent” membership program for folks who rent at least one weekend a month, which could equate to a cheaper payment than owning.