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  #1  
Old 18 Mar 2012
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Renting a BMW in India

Folks,

I live in San Jose CA and am a big BMW fan. I have observed how hard it is to get a good bike in India. I am considering starting a rental service in India where potential customers will be able to rent BMWs (F800GS, R1200GS or 650 Dakar) from some location in western India such as Ahmedabad or Mumbai.

Just want to see what interest will be for such a service. How do rates below sound including wear and tear for minimum 15 day rental?

650 Dakar: $50 per day
F800GS: $60 per day
R1200GS: $70 per day

Are these rates ok or too high? Please let me know. I am not trying to make too much of a profit but trying to provide some convenience and charge enough to cover losses and maintenance.
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Old 19 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by veerkar View Post
Folks,

I live in San Jose CA and am a big BMW fan. I have observed how hard it is to get a good bike in India. I am considering starting a rental service in India where potential customers will be able to rent BMWs (F800GS, R1200GS or 650 Dakar) from some location in western India such as Ahmedabad or Mumbai.

Just want to see what interest will be for such a service. How do rates below sound including wear and tear for minimum 15 day rental?

650 Dakar: $50 per day
F800GS: $60 per day
R1200GS: $70 per day

Are these rates ok or too high? Please let me know. I am not trying to make too much of a profit but trying to provide some convenience and charge enough to cover losses and maintenance.
Hi,

My two-cents worth .... I think you have a great idea ... in principal, and the bikes you mention are perfect for an overland trip.

As a person who's just about to tour India for a few months, I decided that when in India, travel like an Indian, hence decided on a Bullet. Suitable local alternatives are the 125cc Japanese bikes that seem to be far more reliable and abundant.

Sure, you'll cover greater distances on the Beemers, faster, but perhaps that's not the Indian way?

Plus, the bikes you mention will be very big bikes relative to Indian road conditions.

Parts/service will also be difficult .... I wouldn't let a tyrewallah near my F800GS!

In terms of rental cost - the 650 will cost me $750 = IR40,000 (roughly) for 15 days. Not bad by western standards, but as you probably know one can hire a Bullet for 6 months for that, although there will be considerably less maintenance/repair costs associated with the Beemer.

Just my thoughts.

Good luck with the venture, and let us know how you get along.
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Old 19 Mar 2012
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Thanks man for the feedback.

I compared vs. prices for BMW rentals here in the Bay Area. The prices I was thinking of charging are much lower than those in the USA. But higher than local prices for sure.

My father in India owned a Bullet. It is an antique piece best kept in museums. Yes, the local 125-250 cc bikes are abundant and very reliable. The suspension etc are very streetlike and not good enough for any extended foray into deserts or hills.

I personally would love to travel from Leh in north Kashmir to Kanyakumari which is the southernmost point in India. For such a trip the wind protection etc that Beemers provide alone would be great, no? Also the ability to saddle up, large gas tanks, electrical wiring for GPS and offroad capabilities would all prove essential. All these would not be available on the local bikes. These were my thoughts as I planned my cross-country India trip. Are any of these important to you?

Many thanks for your kind words of advice.
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Old 20 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by veerkar View Post
Are any of these important to you?
Hi,

Maybe ... I suppose the market will tell you!

Cheers
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  #5  
Old 20 Mar 2012
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Hi Just a thought have you check the import duty and Tax for these bikes in India.
Have read that bikes that cost $20,000 in the rest of the world could cost you over $90, 000 with tax and import duty, and this could be why the only choise is of Indian made bikes there.
This would impact on your choise of bikes that you may use, and the cost of the rental
It May of changed by now.
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Old 20 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by veerkar View Post
I compared vs. prices for BMW rentals here in the Bay Area. The prices I was thinking of charging are much lower than those in the USA. But higher than local prices for sure.
That is no kind of business plan.
"With all due respect" having a great idea is fine, but do you really want to devote yourself to establishing and running a bike hire business in India, or do you want to ride there for a while?

South America might be a good case study of this, being further along the road in this regard (pun fully intentional).
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Old 20 Mar 2012
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I think it would sound as a good idea, but... two comments:

a) I tend to think your (BMW fans) target customers will join a TOUR when riding through India, instead of riding themselves ("following their navigator").

b) Building your prices is a complex process in which you have to take into account many factors, apart from "India is cheaper, so prices will be cheaper". Renting a (expensive) bike in the US may be much cheaper than in many developing countries, as it is to buy it.

Nonetheless, if India keeps growing at this pace, there may be a share for your idea and you would the pioneer, a very good thing. But a) reason weighs quite lot by now, in my opinion.

In any case, wish you the best luck,

Esteban

Last edited by estebangc; 20 Mar 2012 at 18:00. Reason: Mispelling: meant a TOUR, not a TORU!
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Old 20 Mar 2012
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Perhaps it's the cheap, er, I mean, thrifty side of me, but I can't help but think we already have too many shops in the world renting out high-end (ie. expensive) motorcycles. There are plenty of locations where I'd love to fly in for a vacation and rent a modestly priced 125 or 250cc, yet the only bikes available there for a short term rental are BMWs and Harleys priced at $125+ per day. Maybe that's okay for a couple of days, but not for a long trip.

India is still a place that someone on a budget can fly in, get a cheap rental for a few weeks, and not have to get a second mortgage to pay for it.

Good luck to your business proposal, but I don't think I could ever afford to be a customer.
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Old 21 Mar 2012
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Bmw India

Hi,having been to that country several times and have booked to go again ,I love the place.
I belive BMW are in India now offering tours,this information came via an instructor at the BMW offroad school in Wales.
I think that the rates that you have quoted are very good should you want to go ahead with this venture,compared to what I have paid in S Africa for the pleasure of riding a R1200GS £120.00 per day.
You will also have to get used to the unique way that Indians do business.
If you do go ahead let me know and you will certainly get my business.
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Old 21 Mar 2012
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You will also have to get used to the unique way that Indians do business.
And all the rest...
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