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Old 2nd March 2013, 17:18   #1
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Default Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Folks,

Quite a few of us would be aware of corporate jet time shares. Some of us may be aware of the Super Car time share concept where you pay a fraction of the cost of the car and that entitles you to a few days of drive in a car of your choice.

What if we had the time share concept for Super bikes? I know of a lot of people who would want to ride a Harley or a Hayabusa once in a while but the economics does not make sense to them.

Do you think it's a feasible concept? What would be the asks as a member, challenges if any?

Note to Mods: I have been toying with the idea as a business concept and therefore this thread.
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Old 4th March 2013, 17:08   #2
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Default re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Related Thread : Club Torque (Club Torque : Drive a Super Car in India *without* owning one)

Now, excuse me while I wipe the drool off the floor What an idea

Does it make sense? Oh yes and how! Here's why I think so:

1. Most Superbike owners sparing use their rides. Primary reason is a lack of time. Riding is mostly saved for the weekends. This is usually the case with special vehicles, be it a supercar, an off-road prepped Jeep or Vintage car.

2. Family members scoff at the idea of bringing a Superbike home. Face it, India has the highest road fatality rate in the world and the poorest road discipline. I face a lot of resistance from my folk whenever anything related to 2-wheels comes up.

3. A good motorcycle costs anywhere between 8 - 15 lakhs. That's quite a lot of money for a sparingly used weekend toy.

If I could "buy time" of a Superbike, at a fraction of the ownership cost, the 3 disadvantages listed above aren't relevant anymore.

I do hope Mumbai figures in the plans of your proposed venture. Let me know where to sign up. Good luck.
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Old 4th March 2013, 18:39   #3
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Default re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Nitin, if you are waiting for people to say YES or a NO, here comes a YES from me.
This is an awesome idea, too good to be realistic. But given the current situation with glocal business models, hot and live networking this just gets easier.

Only challenge I see is the desires for a specific brand / make / model and if I could see them on your menu before I sign up.
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Old 4th March 2013, 18:43   #4
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Default re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Its a great idea. And I love to be a member.
Do we have similar concepts abroad, I've heard of timeshare's for super cars but not for bikes.
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Old 4th March 2013, 19:09   #5
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Default re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Superb idea.

Count me in. Its a YES for me. Though I am from Andaman islands I would gladly join, but would prefer if this membership facility is available at Chennai....which is closer to me.
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Old 4th March 2013, 21:02   #6
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Huge number of challenges in setting up a business like this one!

1) Expect higher frequency of repair damages (= higher insurance costs) on superbikes as compared to supercars. Because, well, a vehicle with 2 wheels is less stable than a vehicle with 4!

2) Driving a supercar intimidates more people than riding a superbike. While a supercar club can expect serious & well heeled customers, the customer profile of a superbike club would be a couple of notches lower. Expect lots of applications from 18 to 25 year olds - the highest accident risk category, according to all insurance companies, world over.

To be successful, this business idea needs a strong fool-proof member application screening process.
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Old 4th March 2013, 21:24   #7
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

It would be a great idea, especially if clubbed together with rides organised by the same club. Something like Mahindra Great Escape, or Royal Enfield trips, but with bikes rented from the club for the ride.

E.g. If I want to ride a Harley worth 15L, it would definitely be on a weekend ride of anything between 250 - 500 km.
In this case, users would prefer to ride in an organised group rather than alone:
1. Ride with a group of like minded people
2. Service backup in case something goes wrong with the bike, or you run out of petrol, or you get a puncture.
3. A group keeps boy racers at bay, parking in resorts / roadside is safer with less unwanted people wanting a photo with your bike.

The greatest risk if you give the bikes out individually for people to ride as they please, then there are chances of dropping, scratching, over revving. God forbid in some uncontrolled street racing some user has a fatal accident, the legal hassles and negative publicity would be very bad.
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Old 4th March 2013, 23:14   #8
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

I completely agree with smartcat.
Fatality rate is insanely high when an inexperienced rider is given a sport/super bike.
And once the bike lands up in a police station due to such an incident, you can as well kiss the bike a good-bye. My friend had to do just that to his R6.
So, unless you have a fool-proof plan, this thing is quite risky.
Nevertheless, i wish you the very best.
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 4th March 2013, 23:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If I could "buy time" of a Superbike, at a fraction of the ownership cost, the 3 disadvantages listed above aren't relevant anymore.
I do hope Mumbai figures in the plans of your proposed venture. Let me know where to sign up. Good luck.
Thanks Rush for the encouragement. You would be the first few to get the details if this happens!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shimshumara View Post
Nitin, if you are waiting for people to say YES or a NO, here comes a YES from me.
This is an awesome idea, too good to be realistic. But given the current situation with glocal business models, hot and live networking this just gets easier.
Only challenge I see is the desires for a specific brand / make / model and if I could see them on your menu before I sign up.
Buddy, not exactly a yes or a no. While I am convinced about the idea and the costing; certain legal and operational challenges is am trying to sort out. The reason for posting here is to get some resonance. With I being a first generation entrepreneur, the choice initially will be limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiren.mistry View Post
Its a great idea. And I love to be a member.
Do we have similar concepts abroad, I've heard of timeshare's for super cars but not for bikes.
Yes we do but it's more of a bike rental service. Multiple reasons - it's easier to get a car license than a bike license for starters. I feel, bikes are easier to buy and ride (lesser traffic hazards). Just to name a few.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marinegopi View Post
Superb idea.
Count me in. Its a YES for me. Though I am from Andaman islands I would gladly join, but would prefer if this membership facility is available at Chennai....which is closer to me.
Well, Gopi, if it does start then Delhi it would be to start with. I hope your words do come true some day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Huge number of challenges in setting up a business like this one!
1) Expect higher frequency of repair damages (= higher insurance costs) on superbikes as compared to supercars. Because, well, a vehicle with 2 wheels is less stable than a vehicle with 4!
2) Driving a supercar intimidates more people than riding a superbike. While a supercar club can expect serious & well heeled customers, the customer profile of a superbike club would be a couple of notches lower. Expect lots of applications from 18 to 25 year olds - the highest accident risk category, according to all insurance companies, world over.
To be successful, this business idea needs a strong fool-proof member application screening process.
No wonder with the charts and graphs you prepare, the analytical brain is spot on!
- There just one club in Goa which actually is a legal rental service. What others usually do is get into a buyer seller agreement and 'buy back' the bike when you go to return. Indian RTOs provide a six month window for vehicles to be transferred so you hardly will find a rental for more than 6 months. This way the legal liability gets transferred. These generally are low end bikes and the renting agency can live on 3rd party insurance but not on a 11 lac OTR Harley.
- Member profiling is a MUST for 2 wheelers and would be key to the business model being successful; however that limits your market & inhibits the growth rate.
-18-25 would not be my majority target audience. I would say mid-30s / early 40s working professionals for whom the economies don't make sense but the mid-life crisis (i am 34 and in the same bracket so no offense intended to anyone )and that subdued desire works; while a 15k per day rental doesn't pinch so much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by abeerbagul View Post
It would be a great idea, especially if clubbed together with rides organised by the same club. Something like Mahindra Great Escape, or Royal Enfield trips, but with bikes rented from the club for the ride.
E.g. If I want to ride a Harley worth 15L, it would definitely be on a weekend ride of anything between 250 - 500 km.
In this case, users would prefer to ride in an organised group rather than alone:
1. Ride with a group of like minded people
2. Service backup in case something goes wrong with the bike, or you run out of petrol, or you get a puncture.
3. A group keeps boy racers at bay, parking in resorts / roadside is safer with less unwanted people wanting a photo with your bike.
The greatest risk if you give the bikes out individually for people to ride as they please, then there are chances of dropping, scratching, over revving. God forbid in some uncontrolled street racing some user has a fatal accident, the legal hassles and negative publicity would be very bad.
While I would eventually want to lead a tour once in a while, I still would not let my hobby become my profession as all love may be lost (pilot/sweep/support/reservation/medical phew!)

Below are the biggest challenges I see and any pointers / thoughts more than welcome!
- lessee profiling (should it only be through a closed group and then references)
- legal hassle of renting - it has to be a black plate with yellow number (self-drive rental) registration
- the bike insurance needs to cover medical, accidental medical and 3rd party both coverage : believe this would be a new kind of policy at least for India
- managing the deposit to be paid by the renter (not transaction)
- in case of arbitration between the lessor/lessee which body to go to? A 20 lac bike just may end up being at the court for the next 5 yrs while the matter gets settled!
- warranty coverage by the OEM - most OEMs do not or have limited warranty for rented motor vehicles - this in itself may kill the business plan!

I am very convinced of the idea but from a concept to a realization phase, what more that needs to be sorted out?
Thanks for reading and helping out!

Last edited by nitin.rai : 4th March 2013 at 23:41.
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Old 4th March 2013, 23:38   #10
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

+1 I am in . Let me know where can I get to ride a Hayabusa for day or week .

Sure the membership should he highly selective . Like atleast 50K kms riding experience , more than 25+ years ,etc etc .

Last edited by black12rr : 4th March 2013 at 23:40.
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Old 5th March 2013, 02:32   #11
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

We have been discussing a similar concept here in our group for a while now. Some ideas we have gathered which might help jotted below as reply to your queries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
Below are the biggest challenges I see and any pointers / thoughts more than welcome!
- lessee profiling (should it only be through a closed group and then references)
You will have to consider walk in customers to avoid the snob tag, but you can insist on a professional screening via questionnaire. Additionally, a riding skill test must be mandatory with a small test ride on a CBR250R or Duke (or similar) under observation by following, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
- legal hassle of renting - it has to be a black plate with yellow number (self-drive rental) registration
Dunno if your state law will allow bike rental like Goa does. One way to work around this and also help with your first query is to form a "Rider's club" where one can buy membership and use the bike. That way you can register, insure and keep the bikes on the Club's name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
- the bike insurance needs to cover medical, accidental medical and 3rd party both coverage : believe this would be a new kind of policy at least for India
- managing the deposit to be paid by the renter (not transaction)
Membership to the club comes with a small fee and a guarantee of some sort (Signed cheque?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
- in case of arbitration between the lessor/lessee which body to go to? A 20 lac bike just may end up being at the court for the next 5 yrs while the matter gets settled!
Not an issue because club members will be supposed to follow "Club rules" which should be pretty tight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
- warranty coverage by the OEM - most OEMs do not or have limited warranty for rented motor vehicles - this in itself may kill the business plan!
Club bikes will exempt you from this as well I believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
I am very convinced of the idea but from a concept to a realization phase, what more that needs to be sorted out?
Thanks for reading and helping out!
It might not make sense to cater to every Superbike desire because your list might end up being pretty long. You should start with a fleet of beginner SBKs like Ninja 650's and Sportsters. If you can get confirmed number of members willing to upgrade to a certain Litre+ bike, you can expand according to demand.

Best of luck. More bikes = More joy.

Ride Safe.

Last edited by Rehaan : 5th March 2013 at 15:15. Reason: Broken up into quotes. Please use the [qu0te] and [/qu0te] tags to encapsulate the quoted text.
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Old 5th March 2013, 11:34   #12
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

It certainly sounds like a good proposition. However, letting someone ride a really powerful machine (however hard they vouch on their riding experience) with absolutely no prior super bike experience is asking for a tragedy.

These machines need a lot of time to get used to and swinging a leg occasionally can prove fatal.
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Old 5th March 2013, 14:02   #13
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

The biggest challenge would be avoiding abuse to the Superbike inventory. The no.1 concern of self-drive rental companies in India is how people treat the belongings of others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitin.rai View Post
while a 15k per day rental doesn't pinch so much.
15K is way too much, buddy. It will be a tough call getting any customers.

1. The cost of renting a 10 lakh sedan is 2K a day.

2. At Club Torque, the effective rental cost per day works out to 20 - 25K per day for a BMW Z4 (that costs 3 - 5 times a Superbike).

3. For 15K EMI a month, I could buy a Kawasaki Ninja 650R or an entry-level Harley.
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Old 5th March 2013, 14:03   #14
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

This looks like a good concept and reminds me of the 5 rich students in our college back in the 80s, who all took their respective pocket monies (or something else) from their wealthy homes and without the knowledge of their parents bought a new Maruti van, jazzed it up and each one would take it for his date or trip or recreation or whatever, etc.

Coming back to the time-share-sbk concept, IMO, the only few things to consider is:

Firstly like others have mentioned, a good background check is very very essential as these must be primarily for people who have good experience with regular Indian bikes and not simply someone who just got some money & wants to one morning get into superbiking. As bikers, we all know that many such new born superbikers end their riding in disasters. Probably a minimum age limit of 25 or whatever has to be also enforced.

Secondly there is a small percentage that will always want to test how a Hayabusa will handle in off road conditions, or how about trying a wheelie on a R1 with no prior experience etc. or try a drag on a Harley….(afterall nobody is watching attitude!). While these wont show any external damage on the bike, although that can be covered partly by insurance cover, there isn’t a great deal to cover stupidity and other internal mechanical damage to the vehicle.

Thirdly, if Chunnu takes it home, his neighbor munnu will want to ride it, then his cousin tinnu also comes in and matter of few minutes, the whole neighborhood will be trying out the bike and if one of them drops or crashes it..although Chunnu is responsible its still not something expected of Chunnu.

So in light of above, one more suggestion:

For Superbikes:
These are bikes whose true potential is best used for the race track. Therefore, avoid leasing them for public roads and rather run track days on a routine schedule of monthly or bi-monthly or whatever basis feasible, where you can actually monitor the user under your eyes, the rider also can ride a lot faster and safer than he would do on public roads (read more riding & less posing), less chances of third party liability and avoid being beaten up by a angry mob on the road, vehicle being confiscated etc(!), you also have the option to replace all the plastic with the locally made race plastics which I am told only costs a fraction of the OE plastics. Additionally you can also have the engine crash cage to minimize engine damage in a crash. You can take a security deposit (like a pre-authorization on the credit card or some kind of a refundable deposit).
IMPORTANT: A track day does not necessarily mean all the riders have to drag their knees. Its not a race. Every rider rides to his capabilities. Probably there can be separate sessions for those that want to opt for a milder experience and those that want a more extreme experience.


For cruisers, and other street bikes:
Ideally the group riding feature suggested here seems the best scenario. Or probably the rider should atleast do one or two group rides and is evaluated before being given the bike for his self use. Ofcourse, the security deposit in this case is also mandatory.

Finally the economics: I think you may have to ask people here what is the best suggestions for what bikes to filter down for the final line up. What time share value they are willing to pay for a superbike like an R1 or CBR1000 or Harley Sportster or Dyna etc…and what would be the security deposit amount most feasible that they are willing to put down.
REMEMBER: Just like renting bikes all over the world, it will always be costlier than a car coz the bikes are firstly not let out as often as a car and repairs/insurance coverage on bikes differ from cars, so your cost of recovery on investment will be longer hence it will remain costlier with bikes. Besides renting & riding a 15 lac R1 and driving a 15 lac Honda City, its for the special enjoyment factor you are paying the difference on the bike.

Anyways good wishes in advance for such a pioneering venture

Last edited by Haroon : 5th March 2013 at 14:13.
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Old 5th March 2013, 14:31   #15
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Default Re: Timeshare Super Bike Club : Is it a good business idea?

Renting out Superbikes on track is a great proposition. I belong to a SBK riding group and a part of our group went for CSS. After returning back they simply donít like to ride on the streets! Suddenly they all have realized the "risk" of riding on our streets. They are willing to go on a track once in 3-6 months than taking the risk on every Sunday morning. Although I havenít been to CSS, I know there is merit in their perception.

The point is, SBK is a track tool and you as a business owner can have lot of control over your assets if they are being used on the track. To begin with, you can potentially monitor the riders throughout the day. You can ensure the safety gear is ON or the bikes are not being abused. There can be a team of medics which makes the proposition even attractive. There can be mechanics to ensure maximum up-time. You may also keep instructors who will initially help members get used to the bike on the track and later can intervene if required.
Also, you may just want to check whether you are required to pay the entire plethora of duties (import, registration, etc) if you were to use the bikes strictly on the track. I think you may get lucky here. Not sure though.
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