Setting up Bike Rental in Mumbai- Advice please!
I'm a recent graduate from Mumbai and a huge Enfield fan. I love the their old school charm and think they are the nicest bikes to tour India on . I've been keen on investing in a few Enfields and starting a rental service here in Mumbai. I am looking for advice and suggestions about what people would look for in a rental service, and what are the problems that people have encountered(or are likely to take place) and how they could have( or can be) avoided or solved.
The main thing I've been confused about is whether people would prefer Enfields with the newer UCE engines, or whether the Old Cast Iron or Lean Burn ones are still in demand.
The UCE bikes being new, would be more reliable but since they are more expensive, rental costs would be higher too. Is there anyone who's toured on the new engines and had any major issues?
The Cast Iron and Lean Burn Engines need a little more maintenence, but I think can be reliable(apart from a few niggles) for long tours if they are well kept . These require a bit more getting used to with the right side gear shift and the use of the decompression lever in the starting drill ( in the Standard Enfields.)
Are there any other things that people look for along with the bike rental ? For example, Maps, Sleeping Bags, Tents, Riding Jackets, etc.
tray to do it in new delhi instead more people are coming that whay to india than mombay.and go four the old enfield instead off the new ones lot cheapear and esier to repair
Thanks for the reply bad babba,
But since I'm in Mumbai, I'd like to set up the service in Mumbai itself. It doesn't matter that less people come here.
Personally, I like the Old Engines, even with the troubles they might give. But I enjoy spending time at my mechanic, which I dont think all people on a trip with limited time would be keen on doing.
Advice still welcome!
Hi Dan, Good luck with your proposed new venture, I did a 3 week trip about a month ago and rented one of the 'old type' 350 engined bikes, I had the option of that or a UCE one but opted for the old one, knowing that if required it could be easily fixed should the need arise. The difference in rental price was only an extra 100rupees per day for the UCE, I ride a 500 UCE in the UK, and have heard of these being very reliable, the one I could have rented in India had unknown history. You will obviously be trying to get European riders to rent from you, so with that in mind I would suggest that if using the old engines, apart from reliability(In that heat I was not intending to do any spanner work!) that the machines have a 'leftside' gearchange(Thats what Euros are used to), a selection of 'clean' or cleanable helmets(liners I mean). I take my own openface helmet on holidays/trips but not all riders do, forget tents/sleeping bags etc, Euros come in all different sizes so how many jackets would you stock? and to be honest a jacket was the last thing on my mind in that heat,as were gloves, perhaps factor 30/50 sunblock would be better to offer, before taking 'delivery' of my rental I insisted a good strong rack, I had to carry a rucksack. Try and give your customers an idea of where they can ride and how far they can reasonably expect to get. my first day riding on non highways I only managed 311kms in 9hoursdoh.
A trip 'across' country to visit the factory is an idea, RnR in Mamalpurum is recommended especially after a few days on Indian roads! Many Indian rideouts are advertised in the factory magazine 'The Beat'. The options for you are endless..........All the best.
I wish you well in your proposed new business venture! Being based in Mumbai is not an issue for your business as there clearly is an international airport and you are in a good spot for those that do not wish to fly to New Delhi or indeed to the tourist area of Goa and arrange a bike trip. I would advise any foreign person riding in India, no disrespect intended, to take their own riding kit. This way, their equipment is their responsibilty and you don't have to stock and indeed store lots of varying sizes and quality. I have been fortunate enough to not only ride but have lived and worked in India over the last few years and from experience, most visitors I've met prefer the old style 350's for trips. Once fitted with a luggage rack , a pair of leather panniers and some tools they're good to go. Get a good website setup and advertise your services. Inder Motors (Karol Bagh New Delhi) has an excellent well earned and deserved reputation and if you use them as an example you won't go far wrong!
Wishing you well for the future,
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