Ride Them All; French Company Has New Motorcycle Rental Model

Taking a ride

Can’t decide between any number of Ducati models? Maybe a triumph? Hell, have ‘em all. A motorcycle rental and tour company based in Cannes, France, is rolling out a new way to ride: fractional ownership.

For 2,000 Euros (about $2,400 US), a rider becomes a member in the Columbus Club, and gets credits for 2,300 Euros ($2,780 US) he or she can spend on Columbus bike rentals. Columbus International’s motorcycles are generally less than a year old, fully insured and always maintained. They carry a full lineup of Ducati’s (soon to including the new Multistrada 1200) as well as a smattering of other makes such as BMW and Triumph. Rental rates range from 155 Euros to 195 Euros per day, although there will soon be a Hollister model going for 345 a day.

Columbus International touts the riding conditions in the south of France: scenery, 300 annual days of sun and a moderate climate.

The business model brings to mind U.S. companies like Zipcar and makes one wonder whether motorcycle dreams can’t be realized in this fashion the world over. Of course, most riders would like to see a pricing scheme a little more in line with car rentals at least. Columbus International says it’s “better than buying,” but with their plan, a rider would get 10-15 riding days in a year for a price that could finance outright ownership of any of their bikes.

Still, Columbus International’s “Columbus Club” idea is a way for riders to stop dreaming about all the bikes they’ll never get to straddle, and start riding.