Motorcycle Forums » Biker Chat

How's This For An Idea?

  • October 31, 2013 11:03 AM PDT
    Hi Guys, 
    I have an idea (no really!). What if there was a place specifically designed for motorcycle parking in places with a lot of bike tourism? A safe place to park your bike when you came to town to stay overnight? I'm thinking BIG metal building with individual stalls for each customer along with a storage space for gear, picnic tables to meet up with other riding buddies as they arrive to meet you there, and a shuttle to your hotel/motel along with local info on day rides, best places to eat, bike friendly establishments, and other rider friendly features. I'd like to get feedback from the other members of this site. I'm in the first stages of developing this as a business plan and I can't think of a better place to get valuable feedback. I know, location, location, location. I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this, so now maybe it's time to act. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. So, whaddya think folks? 
  • October 31, 2013 11:32 PM PDT
    I dont think most people are going to want to put their ride somewhere that they have to catch a shuttle back to it....Where they cant pull the curtain back from the room and check on it thru the window periodically... or they have to lug a bunch of stuff on the shuttle instead of just walking from the room to the scoot as they tie on all the necessities for the next adventure from base camp (the room).......just sayin'
    • Moderator
    • 15688 posts
    November 1, 2013 12:30 AM PDT
    I am with Tim on that. No shuttles. If I cant see it or hear it I won't park it.
    • 85 posts
    November 1, 2013 3:04 AM PDT
    Hi Kiote
    I think youre on to something, but take it out of town, I had a vision for some property my family owns in N.C. its in the mountains not far from a small town near the Dragon Tail and other nice mountain riding roads. I pictured building a long pole barn to park the bikes under, that way folks can see them and know everything is ok. Then have a kitchen/dinning hall cabin to fix up those munchies, build rental cabins for folks from 2 bunks up to 12 nothing fancy just a place to sleep, keep it cheap, forget the 4 star hotel, just a simple cabin. In the center of it all have a fire pit with benches built all around so that everyone who wants to can come and fellowship and meet fellow bikers.
    But even cheap cabins and getting started takes lots of money, the one thing I am not blessed with, lol, but if you could get several of these running across several states all under the same name, folks would learn to look for them and I believe it would build a great business. Just my thoughts, good luck
    • 57 posts
    November 1, 2013 3:10 AM PDT
    Im with Mike and Tim on this one,first priority when making a reservation is the room has a view of the parking lot where we can take a peak at the bikes,on our most recent trip we had really good luck by simply asking Owner/manager if we could park bikes under canopy rite outside the main entrance 10 out of 14 nights not to bad, obviously we were traveling after peak season for the area but doesn't hurt to ask.
  • November 1, 2013 3:59 AM PDT
    Hi Guys, Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I really appreciate it! To reply to Tim's comment: Believe me I've done the pull back the curtain to check if it's still there thing, in fact I've done the pull the bike into the motel room thing. But why are we doing that Tim? Obviously because we're worried about the safety of our bikes. I think leaving my scoot outside in a motel parking lot is kinda risky, don't you? After a lot of years on the road, I (like most everyone else) looked for places with a ground floor and a place I could park my bike right outside the window, but that really limits where you can stay, doesn't it? I know it has for me. I've had to stay in some real fleabags just to make sure it had the right combination of features for some sort of half-assed security provided by me - while I try to sleep. See, I'm thinking more along the lines of a place to park your bikes that would network with the motels in the area. Let's use Hicky's (above) situation. When the area riders come to ride the Dragons Tail, where do they usually stay? Local hotels/motels right? Or at least those in the general area. What if there was a MotoHanger (thats the name I've come up with) right there in close proximity to those motels? That way when you come into town and when it's time to tuck in for the night, you ride a couple or a few blocks to the local MotoHanger, drop the bike off - and your gear if you want - and catch the shuttle back to your room. I've found that usually motels/hotels usually tend to clump together in certain areas so if you had a MotoHanger in that same area the shuttle would be quick and short. Now, instead of leaving your bike parked out all night in some motel parking lot in a strange town you have it stowed in a secure metal building with individual 'stalls' for each bike. 24 hr emergency number to call and special arrangements could be made if you had to leave before 6am, cuz that's when the shuttle runs. I'm talkin' enclosed metal building here and large as well. Stalls would be locked with your own device if you choose (cable provided) and an attendant would be present during working hours. Does that maybe make any more sense now (or are all those doctors right?) How does that sound?
    • 2961 posts
    November 1, 2013 5:43 AM PDT
    Great idea.I have a way to get around the worry of folks who want to see their ride,have some sort of closed circuit camera available via the web which would monitor the garage area,and provide customers w/their own access codes etc to view them live from the comfort of their rooms.Or install simple trigger/pager alarms which would instantly notify the riders if there stall was being messed with.

    Your idea holds merit, I think a lot of riders would appreciate it.

    The real road bump is the shuttle in my opinion.Tho I use shuttles whenever possible when I snowski,n would not have issue leaving the scoot in storage,provided I could visually surveil it by webcast.

    What may work is having the storage shed placed with some of the more frequented motels./hotels that express an interest in them.Free of charge except for minimal power etc access.Also providing some ameneties for the storage user would be nice,towels for the ride,lighting,heat etc for the ride.
    who knows it may take on and make for a lot of happy riders :)
    • 5413 posts
    November 1, 2013 6:35 AM PDT
    I am with the first couple responses that I just can't see me or other riders leaving their bikes to be shuttled to their hotel. First it sounds like a pain to go to the hotel bring in the luggage or whatever, ride over to the parking and then wait for a shuttle back. In the am do everything in reverse.

    Plus I just never know when I want to hop on the bike and run out for a bite to eat or whatever and I never have a schedule in stone as to when I am leaving in the morning. We could wake up at 5, feel all rested and just want to take off.

    The idea of the security sounds great, just think the logistics are not there. Have you though of putting smaller units (for 5 bikes or so) in the actual hotel/motel parking areas?
    • 44 posts
    November 1, 2013 9:50 AM PDT
    Ok I am with Lucky on this one I gota see my bike yea she's insured alarmed all that good stuff but after a long days ride I feel like crap and don't want to ride a shuttle now I will only stay at biker friendly motels if they have a area for bikes then they want me there 4 years ago in pigeon forage tn a friend of mines bike got stole at the pancake house parked right in front broad day light sore subject with him he got to ride b**** home his bike was right next to mine
  • November 1, 2013 11:18 AM PDT
    I appreciate the response guys. It's been really important to me. When I came up with this I had no idea that the visual - I wanna see my bike - thing would be so important. I was thinking it would be more of a 'cool, the bikes safe, no worries' kinda deal. I didn't realize the shuttle would as big a deal either. I was thinking about finding a spot as close to motel row as possible so that it would only a few blocks away at most. That would make it a very short trip, hence, no real wait time for the shuttle. You know, location location location. I do have a much better understanding of the issues that might hinder my ability to attract customers. I like Lucky's idea of small units onsite at the motels but was concerned about all the hassle that might ensue, such as the insurance the motel would use having a problem or if it was a chain motel what corporate would say, etc. But I haven't really researched that so, who knows? Ron (Blurplebuzz) also had a good idea with the webcam thing as well. Thank you very much to those of you who responded and if anyone else has input it would be greatly appreciated. And, uh, p.s.- don't you think there still might be a market for the mature touring crowd? You know all those cats out there on their 'Wings and 'Beemers? Thinking about those retired or semi-retired folks out there who might not be as frisky as Lucky and just want to stay in after a long day in the saddle. I dunno, I got my very first real motorcycle stolen way back in the 70's (brand new GS 750) and I guess I have never forgotten the pain...Thanks again!
    • 567 posts
    November 1, 2013 3:39 PM PDT
    I am with the others as far as having my bike somewhere that I can see from the hotel window.
    And to bring up an example of motorcycle friendly establishments in the area of the Tail of the Dragon .. There in Robbinsville NC is a motel called Two Wheel Inn that has rooms with two beds AND a small garage where you can lock up your bike for the night. And in nearby Stecoah there are a couple of motorcycle themed "resorts" Iron Horse Lodge and Kickstand Lodge that have cabins with bunks for a dozen or more people .. or camping.
    A visit to those places might give you some great insights for your business plan.
  • November 3, 2013 11:35 PM PST
    Here's a different angle (and I want a percentage if u go this way) about something like "Pods" deliver these portable bike storage units to the motels for those that want to rent them...small enough to fit in a parking, out of the weather storage AT your motel...... You take advance orders for the big rallies and have them in place when people arrive...if u can swing it with the motel/hotel establishment....course if u cut them in for a piece of the pie....
  • November 4, 2013 12:59 AM PST
    Pods....What kind of percentage are we talkin, Tim? Actually, I thought of something very similar at first, But I had a few questions as to the heavy equipment investment to load/unload and the rig I would need to deliver the units. I figure a decent fork lift to load unload or maybe just a flatbed truck with a crane. The units would need to have some sort of venting of course, and big enough to actually ride into, ( the older or less abled folks don't wanna push ) ..... gotta give the motel a piece of the action so the price goes up or the profit goes down.....Interesting. BUT I wouldn't have the overhead of a temperature controlled building, employees, insurance probably wouldn't be as high. hmmm.
    • 1855 posts
    November 4, 2013 1:19 AM PST
    There are options in place at many hotels to provide security for your motorcycle and provide shuttle service to town; especially true during annual events such as Rolling Thunder or Dayton or Sturgis, etc. However, I wouldn't want to park my motorcycle in some off the wall location and be shuttled to the hotel. From the hotel, o.k.

  • November 4, 2013 11:08 PM PST
    I dont need much Kiote.....I'm not a greedy man and I have simple tastes... the only thing is that someone with enough foresight to order the pod might have someone pull their enclosed trailer down to do the same thing.....
  • January 8, 2014 4:11 PM PST
    Sometimes overnight parking is about percentages and the law of averages. When a thief sees a bike with gear on it parked in back of a dark motel and no one around, and no little alarm light blinking, he will be emboldened. He has time and the cover of darkness.

    He will be increasingly reluctant to mess with the bike if it is parked in the light by the front door (of a motel for example) if it is "clean" with no removable items tempting him. If the bags don't lock, leave them empty. But one of the best deterrents is a good bike cover, preferably locked, parked in a lighted area. And never leave cameras, computers, gps, money, or firearms on a bike while you sleep!

    I met one guy who had spent considerable money painting Harley Davidson artwork on his trailer. It was beautiful. When thieves broke in and stole both of the $30,000 bikes inside, he sort of figured it out. The trailer was repaired, and the new art says something like "Stinky's Septic System Cleaning Service."

    Bikes are now safe...
    • 1855 posts
    January 9, 2014 4:26 AM PST
    If I'm at a motel I park my bike by the front door under the carport in plain site of the desk clerk. Back in the day.......a very looooonnnng day ago I'd pull it into the room if I was on the ground floor with outside access.
  • January 10, 2014 5:36 AM PST
    Sidewalk wrote...
    I met one guy who had spent considerable money painting Harley Davidson artwork on his trailer. It was beautiful. When thieves broke in and stole both of the $30,000 bikes inside, he sort of figured it out. The trailer was repaired, and the new art says something like "Stinky's Septic System Cleaning Service."

    Bikes are now safe...

    Yeah I've seen those trailers all painted up "hog hauler" and such....and I have always thought why dontcha put some neon lights on it too just in case somebody missed the fact you have some expensive stuff in there......

    I had a buddy years ago that when he left his bike unattended some hall....motel.....he always left this empty pistol holster mounted on the bike just to make folks stop and say hmmmmmmm.....where's the gun?...... 
  • January 11, 2014 10:36 AM PST
    Schweet! I like it!