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Rent or ride my own?


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What would you do? I have a week's vacation. Route will be the same either direction, roughly 450-500 mile days. If I'm running ahead of schedule I'll just keep touring.

Option 1: ride my FJ from Memphis to Los Angeles Sept 7-15 and ship the moto home. My company will pay for my return flight (from a conference in LA).  I'll need new tires before the ride which will cost almost $500 in my area and the shipping quote is $800 open or $1500 enclosed. 

Option 2: fly out to a work conference at company expense, rent an FJR from Eagle Rider, ride from Los Angeles to New Orleans Sept 21-29 and take Amtrak back to Memphis for $60. Eagle Rider quote without their membership is $2200 and the tier 3 membership might save another $100. That includes comp/collision insurance on the ER bike, flat repair, unlimited miles, drop off fee, etc.

There is no problem shipping or packing gear or storing gear + work clothing and laptop. 

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That is a really interesting scenario.  I think I would ride my own bike just to save time.  I have a riding buddy who rented bikes from a rental company in Portland and they had to wait until 10am when they opened, then went over the paperwork and walk around inspection of the bikes.  One of the guys had a minor issue that had to be corrected before they left the lot and before they knew it, it was lunch time and half of the riding day was gone.  Once you get to NOLA its going to take time to have the bike checked in and inspected, change clothes and get an Uber to the station and then wait for your train.

I personally love riding in the morning and while on a road trip I am often on the road around 6:45, so since this is vacation time, I personally would want to maximize as many hours riding as possible.  Your requirements could be totally different.

Looking at the map, LA to Memphis is 1,800 miles - easy 4 day ride straight through (BORING).  If you could cut across California into Arizona and north into Utah and then Colorado, you could make one hell of a 7 day ride.  Research some of the must-ride motorcycle roads in each state and see what you can fit into a week.  Maybe something not at all direct - https://maps.app.goo.gl/cHknTQbkvN5VXUzXA

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Thanks. I have no intention of arriving early. Fair points about delays. I'm trying to add hours on the first and last days for delays like you mention if I rent. I really do think I'll lose 1/2 a day of riding on each end if I rent. 

I have no intention of riding I40 across the country! I'm going to do a lot of riding in W Texas and rolling through my old favorites in AZ and San Diego. I've done most of your UT/CO roads (all good), and I want to stay far south this time. I also want to slow down and do some sightseeing on foot, too, which will take time from riding. 

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8 hours ago, wanderer said:

You might also consider the rental option but try a different bike. It is an opportunity to experiment a little.

I was about to say the same, Harley dealerships have extremely reasonable rates for rentals at least in my area. It's honestly probably a loss leader to get you hooked.

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17 hours ago, wanderer said:

You might also consider the rental option but try a different bike. It is an opportunity to experiment a little.

That was the main premise of his Option 2.

"Option 2: fly out to a work conference at company expense, rent an FJR from Eagle Rider"

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Thanks for all of the ideas. I picked the rental option. Couple of reasons why:

1. Cost. The rental will cost about $2200 compared to almost $1900 from a shipper I used to ship a car cross country. That's just a 15% convenience charge. I also have a 1 year Eagle Rider membership and I'll get a free long weekend riding a Harley next spring. 

2. Convenience. The shipper can only give me a 5 day window for pick up. I'll be at a work event and friends will be at work.  Vehicle shippers string together many customers so they're kind of like the cable guy - they give you a big window when they'll show up but you better be there when they do. The couple of hours of inspection that @betoneymentioned could be less time than waiting for a truck. 

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