EagleRider has been renting motorcycles to customers for 30 years. The goal for EagleRider and Chris McIntyre, the CEO, has always been to give customers a memorable experience. Chris wanted to ensure that no matter who rented a bike from EagleRider, they had the best experience and remembered the experience for the rest of their lives.
What was your favorite motorcycle?
Chris: I have ridden numerous motorcycles over the years, but my two favorite motorcycles were the Suzuki PE185 and the Harley Davidson Heritage Soft Tail. The Suzuki PE185 was the first motorcycle I ever rode, and the Harley Davidson Heritage Soft Tail was one of the first bikes that were used as a rental for EagleRider. The Harley Davidson is now on display at the Hawthorne, California headquarters.
What is EagleRider?
Chris: EagleRider rents new motorcycles and provides guided and self-guided tours. All the motorcycles are less than a year old, and we have mechanics for every type of motorcycle we rent to ensure that they are correctly maintained with OEM parts. EagleRider hires tour guides to take customers to different sights in the area. EagleRider also provides self-guided tours that allow you to see incredible views at your own pace.
Eagle Rider Guided Tour
How did EagleRider get started?
Chris: EagleRider, known initially as Easy Rider, was just a thought in the early ’90s. I knew I wanted to start a business but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had a good job working for a banking corporation and had a steady paycheck coming in every week. While working for the banking corporation, I met Jeff Brown, who also worked at the banking corporation. We became friends over the bond of motorcycles. Jeff and I wanted to travel to Europe and ride motorcycles, but we were unable to find anyone willing to rent us motorcycles. We realized what kind of business we wanted to open and wanted the business worldwide. Jeff and I got together every Tuesday night and every weekend for over 50 weeks. Once Jeff and I had the business plan together, we decided to present the idea to banks to try and get funding. We would go to the banks and were laughed out of the bank. Jeff and I went to over 100 banks and were laughed out of every bank. We were told that it was not a good idea and that we should find something else to do. We pressed on even though the banks refused to help and laughed at us.
I finally decided to bring the plan to my boss and mentor, Ted. Ted liked the idea and even agreed to pay me my salary for 1.5 years while Jeff and I started the business. I didn’t even have to go to work during this time. Ted told me that if the business failed, I could come back and work for him as I had never left.
Jeff and I continued to build the business and finally decided to finance our bikes to rent them out due to lack of funding. After getting the motorcycles, it took us one and half years to find an insurance company to insure the bikes while they were rented.
In October of 1993, Jeff and I had our first customers. The first customers were four men from Germany and Austria. The four men took the motorcycles and went on a tour for over a week. When we saw the four men taking off with the motorcycles, we didn’t know if they would return with the bikes. Everything was dependent on these first four customers. The customers returned from the bike tour and gave us our bikes back in perfect condition. The customers had tears in their eyes and thanked us for letting them rent the motorcycles. At that time, we realized we were on the right track and wanted to give customers an experience they would never forget.
In March of 1994, Jeff and I opened our first store. We had to do everything independently because the banks still would not finance the business. As the company grew, we realized we needed more motorcycles but were unsure how to get more. We started talking to friends and asked to borrow them when they were not using them. We would pay our friends when the bikes were rented out. We built a fleet of about 25 motorcycles we owned and approximately 25 rented from friends.
We started hiring employees, but we did not want just anyone. We wanted employees that were smarter than us and had a passion for the business. I believe the company is what it is today because of the employees and not because of Jeff and me. The business continued to grow and grow to the business it is today.
How many EagleRider locations do you have?
Chris: EagleRider is in 15 countries and around 150 locations. We hope to expand EagleRider to 50 more locations within the next year, including Europe and Japan.
What would you want your customers to know about you and Eagle Rider?
Chris: I live for great experiences, and EagleRider provides excellent experiences.
What kind of motorcycles can you rent at EagleRider?
Chris: At EagleRider, you can rent BMW, Can-Am, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Polaris, and Aprilla motorcycles.
How much does it cost to rent a motorcycle?
Chris: Renting a motorcycle average about $100-$300 daily. If you want to do a guided tour, that can range from $2000-$6000, but the price includes the bike, fuel for each day, and some meals. You have a tour guide whose goal is to show you some of the unique places along the route and ensure you have a great experience.
EagleRider started a membership program called Club EagleRider, which costs anywhere from $29-$79 a month. You get one to three credits a month, depending on the price. You also get a 20% discount on additional rental days. If for some reason, you don’t rent a motorcycle for a month or so, the credits will roll over to the next month. You could save and use your credits for one big trip.
Any plans for EagleRider that you can share?
Chris: One of the things that EagleRider is working on is Eagle Share. Eagle Share started a little over a year ago and allows people who own motorcycles to rent them to others and make money off the motorcycle rental. For the first year you rent out your bike, you will earn 100% of the profit. After the first year, you make 75-80 percent of the profit. The other 20-25% goes to insurance, renter verification, marketing, customer service, platform development, etc.
Any advice for new and experienced riders?
Chris: Whether you are a new or experienced motorcycle rider, make sure you ride the right bike for yourself, take motorcycle training, always be cautious, and pay attention to what’s happening around you.
Have you been involved in any motorcycle accidents?
Chris: I have had a few minor motorcycle accidents in my long career of riding motorcycles but have been able to walk away from the motorcycle accidents with little to no injuries.
Renting a motorcycle can be a great way to travel without putting miles on your bike. It can also be a great way to test different motorcycles before buying a bike. EagleRider would be my first call if I needed to rent a motorcycle. If I wanted to rent a bike, I would like something new and well maintained. The last thing I want to do is question whether I will make it to my destination. EagleRider takes that concern away by ensuring the motorcycles are new and well maintained.