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Would yoiu ever consider it?


Warthog
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Renting Urals in the Baltics  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Pick all those that apply to you, please!

    • I have a sidecar but might rent one abroad.
      10
    • I?d ride/ship my own there, rather than rent.
      2
    • If I did, I?d be alone.
      0
    • I'd drag some mates along, for sure!
      6
    • If I rented, I'd pick my own route.
      9
    • If I rented, I'd consider having stuff organised.
      11


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As some of you may know, I live in Estonia.

 

I'm looking into an idea and I'd like member feedback on it. This is purely testing the water.

 

Basically, a fellow Uraler and I are looking into the feasilibity of setting-up a small venture that would aim to provide visitors to Estonia and the Baltics with the option of renting Ural sidecar outfits.

 

We could also offer custom routes/attractions/destinations depending on a customer's interests, trying to make the most of what Estonia and the region has to offer.

 

So my question is, assuming the rates were acceptable to you, would you consider such a holiday?

 

I'd appreciate any input you have and if you could look at the poll attached too.

I'm open to any an all comments. However, given the large member share that live in North America, I'd be very interested to see what you think, given the costs of shipping a bike to Europe!!

 

Cheers.

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I'd rent, I'd likely be traveling with a monkey and I'd like stuff organized by someone who knew the area, esp. if I hadn't been there before.

 

To put it plainly, if I was ever in Estonia and found out I could rent a RPOC and see the sights I'd be down like a rodeo clown :unsure2:

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As some of you may know, I live in Estonia.

 

I'm looking into an idea and I'd like member feedback on it. This is purely testing the water.

 

Basically, a fellow Uraler and I are looking into the feasilibity of setting-up a small venture that would aim to provide visitors to Estonia and the Baltics with the option of renting Ural sidecar outfits.

 

We could also offer custom routes/attractions/destinations depending on a customer's interests, trying to make the most of what Estonia and the region has to offer.

 

So my question is, assuming the rates were acceptable to you, would you consider such a holiday?

 

I'd appreciate any input you have and if you could look at the poll attached too.

I'm open to any an all comments. However, given the large member share that live in North America, I'd be very interested to see what you think, given the costs of shipping a bike to Europe!!

 

Cheers.

 

 

It is interesting and fun idea. I have pitched the idea to several motorcycle rental companies here in USA; a project to allow someone to ride a historic Soviet Red Army motorcycle and I would be the supplier of the bikes. All were shot down by one problem; liability issues and the massive insurance plans required to protect the company from financial ruin if someone were to have an accident. In USA, if you make something available to someone, it is likely you will be in court as the thanks to making it available even if they have ZERO rights to be riding the thing, even if an accident is not your fault in any way.

 

I'm in USA Warthog.

 

From my perspective of a lifetime of being involved in the professional side of motorcycling and riding motorcycles, racing motorcycles, and riding Soviet bikes since my late teen years, the problems you are going to face are largely financial in the way of customer liability and rider training. The unavoidable reality is that eventually someone will get hurt and or killed on one of your sidecars if you do enough business!

 

The biggest problem your business will face will be rider training and ensuring the people you rent to don't wreck the thing on their first right turn, or forget they have something hanging over a meter off the right side and slam the sidecar into something at road speeds. Right turns and forgetting something is attached to the right side are the 2 biggest problems my clients have when they have accidents resulting in a damaged bike! Riding a motorcycle is difficult enough, but a sidecar rig adds complexity to an already dangerous situation, and sidecars do not behave in any way like a motorcycle. And before anyone rails me for my position on riding, there is a difference between sitting on a bike and going down the highway with the wind in your face, and having to avoid some obstacle that suddenly put itself into your path all the while maintaining control of your bike and avoiding the accident and not crashing. Anyone who can balance on 2 wheels can ride the thing, but it takes some serious training and on road experience to actually be able to 'ride' the thing. Most people riding 2 wheelers are legends in their own minds when it comes to judging their true skill levels. Here in USA, motorcycle rider training is dismal at best, and advanced training is generally voluntary(it is often court ordered for older people when they get traffic law violations or have accidents), most of our states do require someone to take a written and driving test and some even mandate the very basic entry level rider courses to get the motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license. I taught at the MSF riders' course for 2 years, you cannot believe how many people believe you should never use the front brakes for anything other than to hold the bike from rolling on a hill. I know in Europe and Japan that motorcycle rider training is considerably better then in USA and people ride bikes more frequently then in USA, but having someone take off in a sidecar with no sidecar training other than some basic rules you hand out won't save them, or you.

 

I have rented(hired) bikes while in Europe before, the riding is quite different then what I can do here in Florida. The last few times I've had bikes in Europe I made arrangements to bring a bike someone desired with me and ride it and then sold it to them when my holiday was finished, which in many cases has paid for a sizable portion of my holiday. I would rent something like this if I had the bug. If you have a companion with you, its generally more comfortable for them in a sidecar, the exception being if they were on a nice GL1800 Goldwing. I know other people would rent these too.

 

If it is something you want to pursue, then do so with passion. The internet, if properly used, makes advertising a niche business like this easy as there'll be no competing advertising and your costs will be very low. You may even have support programs if you have an official ministry of tourism in your country! I'd investigate the correct insurance if your country's laws allow you to be dragged into court.

 

Good luck!

Clint

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It is interesting and fun idea....

 

The biggest problem your business will face will be rider training ...

 

Good luck!

Clint

 

Wow.

Great post and thanks for taking the time to write all that.

 

And I agree with all your points.

Needless to say any business we set up would follow the law to the letter, so licences would need to be approved and insurances in place but I would still feel terrible if someone were hurt whilst out on one of our hacks, regardless if they had been riding like a idiot or had just been in the wrong place at the wrong time!

 

Training would be part of it: perhaps a full morning with a ride out. I could spend a week training someone who's new to it, but that would not be realistic for them or me!! I guess it's all early days.

 

Nonetheless, your points are definitely noted!!

:unsure2:

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Simple solution: you drive they ride in the sidecar. You do simple one to two day tours, maybe longer.

Set up a package deal with some bed and breakfast places. Make it simple on the costumer they just ride and enjoy themselves. Make a tour of castles, wineries, etc.

Kepp it to a small group, 4 or 5 people max. And let them change plans or destinations if they want.

Nothing worse than being stuck on a giant bus being herded like cattle.

You don't have to worry about them killing themselves on an unfamiliar machine driving in a country where they don't know the traffic rules. It will also appeal to more people that want the experience but don't know how to ride a motorcycle. That way you just increased your coustmer base.

Also maybe set up intercoms so they can talk to each other while riding.

Just an idea.

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Simple solution: you drive they ride in the sidecar. You do simple one to two day tours, maybe longer.

 

He'd lose my business there, because there is no way in Hell I'm getting into a sidecar driven by a pilot I don't know personally. I would prefer to demonstrate my hack ability and sign a waiver absolving the tour company of all responsibility, then follow the guide.

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Simple solution: you drive they ride in the sidecar. You do simple one to two day tours, maybe longer.

 

He'd lose my business there, because there is no way in Hell I'm getting into a sidecar driven by a pilot I don't know personally. I would prefer to demonstrate my hack ability and sign a waiver absolving the tour company of all responsibility, then follow the guide.

 

I'm with you on this one, I wouldn't get on a bike driven by another person on the drunkest bet, I don't even ride on pillion with good friends anymore because I know that even though they've been riding for 30+ years, they only ride once every few weeks and that does not equate to skill/competency. Anyone with brains knows a motorcycle of any kind is dangerous and once on it as a passenger you are at the mercy of the driver's competence, sobriety, state of mind, ability to operate a machine with a moving sight seeing passenger, and personal issues/quirks when dealing with other drivers. Some people have homo phobia issues and think they'll be looked at as being gay to be in that sidecar or on the back with a guy, and if you poll most men with that issue they have sissy image problems if presented with a female driver. Plus, where's the fun if you are not driving, might as well be in an airconditioned tour bus if you're not going to be in control. It is also well know that distracted drivers are extremely dangerous, I cannot imagine trying to drive a motorcycle/sidecar rig and have to talk about the things we're driving by and answering questions for the client, especially if they speak a foreign language. I speak 4 languages, but only one is my native first and that means the others give me problems at times if I'm not used to someone's accent or vocabulary.

 

You actually have more liability being the tour operator/driver, because now if there's an accident you are the focal point of the accident because you were driving and supposed to be both the pro driver and be intimately familiar with the roads and conditions. Its one thing to be sued for negligence because someone says your machines are faulty or poorly maintained, but entirely another to personally ensure their arrival at the morgue or hospital if an accident happens.

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I have rented a Ural and it was organized. 12 of us on 6 Urals followed by a van with 2 mecanics, 2 cooks, a doctor, a body guard and a translator, in Irbit Sibera 2004.

 

Graham and Julie Meyer ran a sidcar retal opperation for a couple of years in Australia. For insurance reasons they had to follow the rentors in a 4x4. you may want to contact them. Go to the Russian Iron Down Under forum. It's run by GMBM. That's Graham. Click on the run by and send him a pm.

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I have rented a Ural and it was organized. 12 of us on 6 Urals followed by a van with 2 mecanics, 2 cooks, a doctor, a body guard and a translator, in Irbit Sibera 2004.

 

Graham and Julie Meyer ran a sidcar retal opperation for a couple of years in Australia. For insurance reasons they had to follow the rentors in a 4x4. you may want to contact them. Go to the Russian Iron Down Under forum. It's run by GMBM. That's Graham. Click on the run by and send him a pm.

 

Wow! That is quite the entourage!

I'd hope, with the possible exception of roadside assistance, we could be a bit more hands-off and let the punters enjoy their rides, unless they wanted our involvement.

 

Was it a positive experience?

To be repeated or avoided?

Anything you'd have done or had them do differently?

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As some of you may know, I live in Estonia.

 

I'm looking into an idea and I'd like member feedback on it. This is purely testing the water.

 

Basically, a fellow Uraler and I are looking into the feasilibity of setting-up a small venture that would aim to provide visitors to Estonia and the Baltics with the option of renting Ural sidecar outfits.

 

We could also offer custom routes/attractions/destinations depending on a customer's interests, trying to make the most of what Estonia and the region has to offer.

 

So my question is, assuming the rates were acceptable to you, would you consider such a holiday?

 

I'd appreciate any input you have and if you could look at the poll attached too.

I'm open to any an all comments. However, given the large member share that live in North America, I'd be very interested to see what you think, given the costs of shipping a bike to Europe!!

 

Cheers.

 

hello Warthog,that's a great idea! i wish you all the best with your venture! :feelssogood:

ride safe and free,martyn.aberdare.

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I have rented a Ural and it was organized. 12 of us on 6 Urals followed by a van with 2 mecanics, 2 cooks, a doctor, a body guard and a translator, in Irbit Sibera 2004.

 

Graham and Julie Meyer ran a sidcar retal opperation for a couple of years in Australia. For insurance reasons they had to follow the rentors in a 4x4. you may want to contact them. Go to the Russian Iron Down Under forum. It's run by GMBM. That's Graham. Click on the run by and send him a pm.

 

Wow! That is quite the entourage!

I'd hope, with the possible exception of roadside assistance, we could be a bit more hands-off and let the punters enjoy their rides, unless they wanted our involvement.

 

Was it a positive experience?

To be repeated or avoided?

Anything you'd have done or had them do differently?

 

 

I like your idea. But personally I'd not be part of a pre-arranged trip. Its not me. First thing that'd not mesh with me is if I wanted to drive faster then the lead allowed, or I wanted to stop some place on a whim that was not on the tour; I'm afraid the whole group would have to chase me or stop with me and try to convince me to give up seeing what I wanted to see. Renting/hiring your own ride is about going off on your own and being unattached or bound by someone else's plan, or that's how I see it. To me, driving around on a leash would not be much fun. However, you may have to go along with the rules your insurance provider dictate, or have no insurance at all.

 

If you did this and had good machines, I'd rent something from you, my Ukraine partner banks in Estonia so I have opportunity to go there. :feelssogood:

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As some of you may know, I live in Estonia.

 

I'm looking into an idea and I'd like member feedback on it. This is purely testing the water.

 

Basically, a fellow Uraler and I are looking into the feasilibity of setting-up a small venture that would aim to provide visitors to Estonia and the Baltics with the option of renting Ural sidecar outfits.

 

We could also offer custom routes/attractions/destinations depending on a customer's interests, trying to make the most of what Estonia and the region has to offer.

 

So my question is, assuming the rates were acceptable to you, would you consider such a holiday?

 

I'd appreciate any input you have and if you could look at the poll attached too.

I'm open to any an all comments. However, given the large member share that live in North America, I'd be very interested to see what you think, given the costs of shipping a bike to Europe!!

 

Cheers.

I guess it depends on how long I was going to be there. I bought a Dnepr K-750 and fixed it up to ride when I was in Kazakhstan. From my experiance in visiting other CIS countries, it is never hard to find somebody willing to give you a ride for a small fee if you are just visiting for a short time.

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I guess it depends on how long I was going to be there. I bought a Dnepr K-750 and fixed it up to ride when I was in Kazakhstan. From my experiance in visiting other CIS countries, it is never hard to find somebody willing to give you a ride for a small fee if you are just visiting for a short time.

 

Some might opt for that, but would they be a majority?

 

I think it is unlikely that many come all the way over here hoping to source a bike whose owner would hand over the keys for a few €€€. Then there are the more stringent EU laws. A punter would have no insurance, and no roadworthiness guarantees for the bike!

 

I see what you're getting at but I can't say I feel that this alternative would a more attractive option to most potential customers.

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I guess it depends on how long I was going to be there. I bought a Dnepr K-750 and fixed it up to ride when I was in Kazakhstan. From my experiance in visiting other CIS countries, it is never hard to find somebody willing to give you a ride for a small fee if you are just visiting for a short time.

 

Some might opt for that, but would they be a majority?

 

I think it is unlikely that many come all the way over here hoping to source a bike whose owner would hand over the keys for a few €€€. Then there are the more stringent EU laws. A punter would have no insurance, and no roadworthiness guarantees for the bike!

 

I see what you're getting at but I can't say I feel that this alternative would a more attractive option to most potential customers.

 

You are correct. My situation in Kazakhstan was probably unique. There is really nothing that some well placed cash can't solve there.

 

I did not mean anybody turning over their motorcycle for cash, I meant only that it was possible to travel around very inexpensively if transportation were your only concern.

 

I think the real answer to your question would be in marketing your product. Before I lived in Kazakhstan I had no idea about Soviet motorcycles. Through advertising you might create demand for the service from people who didn’t even know they wanted to do it before they arrived.

 

Your advertising would also have to create confidence in your product. What happens if something goes wrong, what about liability etc. I would be reluctant to trust any Soviet bike further than I could throw it without doing mechanical preparation/assessment myself before I went anywhere on it. But I admit I am strange.

 

My two tenges worth anyway

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