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  • Bob LoCicero

HOG For A Day

Renting a motorcycle for fun or to try something new

2009 Harley Street Glide on Vermont 58
2009 Harley Street Glide on Vermont 58

Renting a Harley for a day is a great way to try something new or fulfill a life-long dream. The process is as simple as renting a Chevy and the result is far more enjoyable.

For my ride to the Northeast Kingdom, I rented a 2009 Street Glide. The same day, another rider rented a bike to ride to the Adirondacks to estimate a job. “It’s cheaper than 55 cents per mile, so I think it should be fully deductible,” he said.

Renting a bike and riding 200 miles is a great way test ride a bike. The long experience allows time to get comfortable and notice a bike’s subtleties: good and bad.

In my case, renting the Street Glide made it possible to have an experience different from my daily ride. At just over 800 pounds, the Glide was the largest motorcycle I had ever ridden. The bike’s handling was impressive. It was extremely stable in a turn, leaned over quickly and held its line. It handled bumpy dirt roads with steady calm. The motor was smooth and acceleration was plenty for passing.

If you rent a Glide for solo riding, make sure they set the rear suspension for a single rider. Mine was setup for Big Bob and his main squeeze Voluptuous Vera, which made for a stiff rear end. Some bumps were enough to pop me out of my seat. The air adjustable suspension should provide a smooth ride when setup for your weight.

The controls were simple and the dashboard easy to read. The self-canceling signals worked well and were a nice change for me. The heel-toe shifter was another matter: if I had a hacksaw, the heel shifter would have been gone (though this would have been in clear violation of the “no modifications” portion of the rental contract).

I did my rental through Green Mountain Harley Davidson in Essex Junction, where you can choose between a Street Glide, Heritage Softail Classic, Road King, Electra Glide Ultra Classic or a Sportster 1200.

Rentals include 24-hour roadside assistance, a Harley DOT Helmet, raingear and security system or locking chains. The rider must have a valid motorcycle endorsement and be at least 25 years old. A $2,000 damage deposit is required. Passengers are welcome as long as they sign a release.

Daily rates are $99 per day for Sportsters, $169 per day for Softails and Touring bikes. The regular rental day is 24 hours, so you can pick a bike up at 10 a.m. and return it the next day at 10 a.m. A same day rental is $125 and ½ days are $99. Three-day rentals get a 10% discount; four to five day rentals get 15% off; and seven or more days get 20% off. Military and HOG members get 10% off every rental. Rental costs do not include insurance.

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