Fly and Ride: Renting Motorcycles Away From Home

Given the obvious hardship of riding our motorcycles from Long Island to Italy, doing a “Fly and Ride” was our only option. In order to take our Alpine trip Kenny and I needed to rent motorcycles.

What Did We Look for in a Rental?

  • Unlimited Mileage
    This was a big one. Miles accumulate quickly and therefore so can the cost.
  • Luggage
    Are side cases, a top box, a tank bag available or standard on the rental? This helps you determine if you need to bring some of your own luggage. The less stuff you need to pack and bring on the airplane, the better.
  • Miles per Gallon/Kilometers per Liter
    What kind of fuel efficiency do the bikes offered get? Fuel in Europe, which is bought by the liter, is considerably more expensive than in the US. You might end up spending the equivalent of $6 – $7 per gallon. Watching your wallet drain with the gas gauge is no fun. Unless money is no object, try to pick something fairly fuel efficient.
  • Insurance
    Be clear on the insurance offered or what you would be required to pay should an unfortunate accident occur.

What Did We Rent?

We came away with a pair of BMW F 650 GSs; a 2009 & a 2010.

They offered plenty of usable power on the motorways and climbing through the mountains. They were fully outfitted with Touratech tank bags, 46 liter Givi top cases, Givi side cases and Garmin ZUMO GPS power cables. The bike had a low seat height, wide bars and my favorite part… sipped gas.

2010 BMW F650 GS on Grimselpass in Switzerland

The GS had plenty of zippy power and did everything it was asked to do with no complaints. In the past, I’d heard chatter that the prior generation 650GS single felt like it would kind of peter out especially on the highway. I’m happy to report that this 798cc twin showed no signs of that.

In hindsight I preferred it hands down over the BMW R1150Rs we’d rented in California in 2008.

Kenny on the BMW F 650 GS

How Do You Find a Motorcycle Rental Outfit?

To find a rental outfit, we used the same locator we used when looking for a rental in California; AdMo Tours. With a network of rental stations all over the world, we knew they’d have something for us.

Due Ruote BMW Rent-A-Dream Motorcycle Rental Milan Italy

The company AdMo hooked us up with was Rent-a-Dream, based out of Milan. We had such a great experience with their service I would confidently recommend them. Diego, the gent in charge was a pleasure. You could absolutely tell how much he himself loves riding motorcycles. He is fluent in English and is a wealth of information should you need suggestions for area riding or tours.

Renting motorcycles can open up many opportunities to ride in places you could never otherwise ride to. If you do your homework and choose wisely new adventures await!

Do you have any tips for potential motorcycle renters? Comment Below!


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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13 Responses

  1. Judy LaParne says:

    I must tell you how jealous I am. I bet you get that a lot!! 😉
    I am on my way to meet with three of my mc buds, one being Christina Shook, who encouraged me to read your blog. She couldnt have been more correct. Great stories, usable info, and inspirational. I think we may have to discuss a Europian experience for our futures…

  2. ToadMama says:

    Those are the same bikes we had. After the first day, I was sort of sold. After the second day, I wanted one. Bad. After day 5, I almost cried when handing it back over to the tour guy.

    Thanks for the rental info. Now more stories and pics, quickly please. 🙂

    Just kidding. I know how long it takes to cull through pictures and put together decent blog posts.

  3. specialsymbol says:

    I can only give tips for germany. Here, almost all dealerships have motorcycle rentals available. They are almost all members in the same rental organization, so you have identical insurance policies and the same tiered pricing. Of course every dealership only has the brand available it works for.. but then you often have the full palette available for rental.

    The only drawback is the limited range. The good news is, you can bargain. When I asked for a ZZR-1400 for 7 days I got an offer of 550€ with 1500 km included. Since I needed it for 3000 km it would have been more than 1100€, but I could haggle it down to 650€.

  4. Waz says:

    In London (UK) try Raceway Motorcycle Rentals, Rotherhite and Shepherds Bush. A bit rough and ready but friendly and their prices are pretty good. You can get something like a CBF or a Honda Deauville at a decent rate. My buddies from Australia rented two CBFs and we rode to Austria and back.

  5. What a nice set-up on the rentals! I bet wide bars on a lightweight bike was nice on those alpine switchbacks I see (and drool over) in your pics. BMW does things its own way doesn’t it? Marketing a 798cc as a 650 instead of an 800.

  6. @Reyzie says:

    Thank you! Sage advice! 🙂

    I’m headed to Italy (and the Mugello MotoGP) next June and wasn’t sure where I’d rent. Admo, however, has precisely the Aprilia I need! 🙂

    Again, many thanks!

    And sorry to intrude on your “Girlie blog!” 😉

    • Fuzzygalore says:

      Wow @Reyzie – That sounds like it’s going to be a great time. Which Ape are you looking at renting?

      Thanks for the feedback @SS & @Waz – now I knwo who to hit up for more info if we ever head your way 🙂

      @ToadMama 😆 I can definitely see why you would have really clicked with the bike. They’re pretty effortless to ride! I’m trying so hard to concentrate and get motivated to post pics… almost.. there…. 🙂

      @Judy – Aww, you’re a sweetie. Thanks for the nice words. This trip was in many ways a “someday.” Sometimes you just have to take a leap and go for your dreams no matter how big or small – Go for it!

      @Doug – They were really fun and flickable. Compared to our big bomber 1150gs they felt like zippy little toys. Not having a lot of power in your fist is pretty nice when you’re in an uphill hairpin. You def. dont want any surprises there.

  7. Claye says:

    So you now have a taste of the love I feel for my F650GS twin …
    It’s a great ride!

  8. pimmie says:

    The mileage was unbelievable on those things, 1 stop against 2 stops on my Tuono…

  9. James says:

    If you ever come to the UK, try these guys. Really top bikes and nice staff too

  10. Irina says:

    Hi Rachael, It is still very helpful story even though it was a few years ago!:) We’ve been in Italy this summer, also rented a Ducati there from, usually rental in Europe is cheaper than in US, but petrol is much more expensive. Multistrada 1200 consumed a lot, but we rented only one bike for two, so it was more or the less affordable. Looking for your next reviews about riding in Europe. Alps are amazing!

  1. September 12, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Motorcycle Stuff, FuzzyGalore. FuzzyGalore said: Blog Post: Fly and Ride: Renting Motorcycles Away From Home […]

  2. September 14, 2010

    […] that we’d be tired, we scheduled our first day in Italy to be a day of rest. We picked up our rental BMW’s and traveled just a quick hop, skip and a jump up the autostada to Lake Como where we’d made […]

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