Out of curiousity, I got in touch with Bill Scott, the owner of MX Rentals, to find out more about his unique business. Here’s what he had to say¿
How did you get started with MX Rentals? What was the motivation to try something like this?
I basically took the concept into a formal business and mixed in some hard work to make it happen. The motivation was pretty simple; I love the sport of MX and found a niche that was needed. MX Vacations (www.mxvacations.com) who does a great job in what they do (planning a whole vacation for groups) and at MX Rentals we provide a unique service for out of town riders and local riders to be able to ride or race a bikes before they buy.
What was your initial investment?
The initial investment was in the range of $35K along with some key industry support … it was all coupled with a lot of hard work to get it going, and also some good luck.
What’s your background?
I’m pretty much a family guy, married to an awesome wife with four great kids. My wife and I also have a printing business that she runs on a day-to-day basis. In addition to MX Rentals, I also have an exciting career at Oakley, which I really enjoy. As far as an MX background goes, I have ridden and worked on MX bikes for most of my life, so MX Rentals fits me well as an owner and fan of the sport.
Who is the typical MX Rentals customer? Non-bike owner? Out-of-towner? Or someone just looking to demo bikes?
It’s really a mixture. When the new bikes are released in the fall, the typical MX Rentals customer is a vet rider who wants to ride the bikes before they buy. During the rest of the year, MX Rentals takes care of a lot of people from out of town (mainly overseas) who come here for a Supercross race, National, or other big events.
How much of the business is race rentals vs. practice/riding?
Unless there is a big race in town, our main business is rentals for practice and play riding at the local tracks.
Which brand(s) do you have available?
Mainly Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki four-strokes. Basically we try to have the top-selling models in our inventory. For example, in 2004 the new 250Fs were all released and sparked a big interest with everyone.
How important is it to you to get new model year bikes as soon as possible?
Really important, because potential owners will always want to ride new bikes as soon as they come out.
How do you choose which bikes to carry in your inventory?
The popular models like the 250 & 450 four-strokes all driven from magazine reviews.
Do you get your bikes from shops? Or do you work directly with manufacturers?
We work with shops. This year we’re working with Hahm Motorsports because they have all the major brand of bikes and are trying to be a better dealership overall. Also Hahm is a supporter of supercross and has a program to reward kids with good grades … all very cool in my book.
What’s the cost for a day of rental?
A single bike rental is $250, and what we call a demo session for two bikes is $300. A crash damage deposit or credit card is also required.
Obviously crashing is part of the sport. What happens if a customer wads up a bike?
If a customer wads up a bike, it’s just like if it was their own … they have to pay to fix it. We are reasonable, of course, but if you bend bars or rip off a fender we have need to charge people for the parts to fix it. We do stress the importance of using your head, having a good time, and keeping it on two wheels so you go home without a mark.
What does a customer need to bring? Can they just show up with a credit card?
We like customers to bring their own gear because they are most comfortable that way. But at a minimum cost, we do gear available to rent.
In a previous conversation you mentioned that you also demo things like Asterisk’s Cell knee braces, and Alloy gear. How does that work?
Yes, these are additional cool things we offer because of great support from companies like Asterisk, Alloy Gear/White Brothers, Shoei, Oakley, Big Gun, Renthal and others. When at the track, customers can always check out knee braces during their riding session; if they want to try Alloy gear & Shoei helmets it is arranged in advance and we bring extra gear along for the riding session.
Will we see MX Rentals franchises popping up across the country? Or are you happy with what you’re doing now?
No probably not. The reality is there’s no place better to be than in Southern CA. We are in the center of the MX industry, and when you combine that with our weather, and great tracks that are open most day and nights you have it pretty much covered.
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks to TransWorld for the 15 minutes of fame, and for all the companies that help us out like Big Gun, Hahm Motorsprorts, Asterisk, Shoei, Bill Who, Factory Effex, Renthal, Alloy, White Brothers, Oakley, MTA and Cycle Pit Stop in Orange.
Everyone stay safe out there and have fun!