7 Reasons to Rent and Ride a Motorcycle in Northern Ontario
When it comes to renting a motorcycle in Ontario, there is good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad. Because of the automobile insurance rules and rates in Ontario, renting motorcycles to the public isn't a profitable proposition. Consequently, few companies go into the motorcycle rental business. Consequently, although there are motorcycles for rent in Ontario, there aren't as many as may be needed at any given time.
You might think this would drive up the rental rates and make renting a motorcycle in Ontario cost prohibitive. Here’s the good news. Based on a random check of rental rates across North America (I checked Pennsylvania, Arizona, and British Columbia), for the same bikes (a Harley Davidson Streetglide Special is one example), the rental rates in Ontario are pretty much the same as everywhere else. This leads to our most important tip about renting a motorcycle in Ontario: BOOK EARLY! (Yes, we’re yelling it from the rooftop.)
Try Canadian Motorcycle Rentals Or Google rent a Harley in Ontario. Canadian Motorcycle Rentals have rental motorcycles available in Toronto starting around the end of April. A BMW F 750 GS starts at $165 per day. Harley Davidsons are available to rent through the Harley rental program at several dealers across Ontario. E.g., Durham Harley Davidson. They rent several models, including their touring models and the adventure sport Pan America from about $220 per day. (Plus security deposit, insurance, gas fees, mileage fees, etc. Do your due diligence and check what’s included and what’s extra.)
Rent and ride Northern Ontario. Is it worth it?
You bet it is. You’re probably expecting me to tell you about Northern Ontario’s scenic and twisty roads, its waterfalls, museums, or the stunning ride along the north shore of Lake Superior, the Heart of Canada Touring Route, or up Ontario’s Tail of the Dragon (Highway 129). Or talk about how the pace is slow, and the people are friendly. All of those things are true. But what I’m going to talk about is: why you might want to rent a motorcycle to visit Northern Ontario. The fact that it’s a trip of a lifetime is a given, at least from this inveterate motorcycle-touring writer’s point of view.
7 reasons you should rent a motorcycle to ride Northern Ontario
- You ride a crotch rocket. You love that race bike feel, the adrenaline from the speed, the rush you get from leaning your bike in a corner. You don't want to give that up, but you've been itching to try motorcycle touring. No problem, keep your sport bike for daily riding and rent a motorcycle. If you love it as I do, you can decide if you want to invest in a more touring-friendly motorcycle.
- Maybe owning a Harley isn’t practical, but touring on a Harley has always been on your bucket list. Rent a Harley, cross it off your list, and come and see us.
- You're visiting from out of the province or country and want to add a motorcycle tour to your itinerary. Shipping a motorcycle is expensive. If you’re doing a short tour, it won’t be cost-effective for you to ship and ride. So, don’t. Rent and ride. And we'll see you when you get here.
- You've got an M2 or M license, but don't own a motorcycle. Don't let that hold you back, rent one and come to Northern Ontario. Not only will you be able to experience the north, you'll be much better informed about the type of motorcycle to buy when you get home. A WIN-WIN deal for you.
- Northern Ontario is a great place to visit by motorcycle. (Oops! I think we mentioned that.)
- You tour in-frequently, maybe once per year, so don't feel the need to own a motorcycle/touring motorcycle. No problem, ride an affordable bike for city commuting and rent your touring steed when you need it once or twice a year. Then come and ride roads with vistas unlike any you’ll see in southern Ontario.
- You've never toured, and it's not something you're positive you’ll enjoy. Rent a motorcycle and come and visit Northern Ontario. We're sure you’ll be convinced. But, even if you’re not, we know it will be an adventure to remember.
Some tips for touring Ontario
Okay, maybe not tips as much as a stream of consciousness, but through my interviews, several things came to mind I thought were worth sharing.
If you're coming to see us from out of the province or country, consider purchasing visitor’s emergency medical care insurance. Your motorcycle insurance will include accident benefits coverage as a part of your motorcycle insurance but doesn't cover accidents and illnesses unrelated to a motorcycle accident. You can likely buy this from a local insurer, or from Blue Cross. If you have forgotten, you can buy it upon arrival within the first 30 days.
Be sure to do your due diligence with respect to the motorcycle rental company in advance. There are sometimes restrictions on the age and licensing of the rider. There is usually a security deposit requirement and coinsurance payable in the event of an accident, even if you have purchased the insurance waiver through the rental company. Be sure you are clear about what your obligations are.
You should also check whether there are any riding gear requirements. The minimum requirement would likely be a DOT-approved helmet, as that is mandated by law. But, check. A helmet may be available for rent from the motorcycle rental company.
Some companies allow unlimited mileage (unlimited kilometres), but others don't. You may need to add extra fees to your budget.
You should also check whether you're allowed to ride out of Ontario. I.e., are you allowed to ride into the US? Note: if you are buying medical emergency care coverage, be sure to declare that you'll be going into the US lest there is an issue.
We know if you come to Northern Ontario once, you’ll want to come again. There’s really no excuse not to. We hope you give renting a motorcycle a try. And, we hope to see you soon.
And just a final thought. Before leaving on your trip to come and see us, read these great tips from a self-proclaimed avid motorcyclist and Northern Ontario paramedic. We want to make sure you’ll be safe and prepared so you'll have a great time