Can you use a motorcycle to Uber?
While Uber does not allow anyone to use a motorcycle for picking up clients in their rideshare service, you can pick up people’s food and deliver it to their door. Uber’s food delivery system called Uber Eats allows cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, and even bicycles to pick up food from a local restaurant and deliver it to a person’s home or workplace.
Some forums say Uber Eats is just as lucrative if not more so than the rideshare program, and you don’t have to put up with a rude, messy passenger. There is a strategy involved in delivering food for Uber Eats during peak hours and finding the best locations in the city to get the premium pay. So if you approach it strategically when you deliver, you’ll do about the same or even better as rideshare averaging between $15-$25 an hour not including tips from customers.
Using a motorcycle as a delivery driver for Uber Eats should save you a bundle in gas expenses compared to a combustion-engined car where a lot of Uber drivers’ profit is lost. Motorcycles in general are less expensive from repairs to insurance rates and will make Uber delivering more profitable.
Also, delivering food for Uber Eats may be faster if you’re lane-splitting in a busy downtown district on your motorcycle. Flexible parking because of your smaller vehicle is another advantage and a big time saver. Negotiating narrow alleys, throughways, and busy traffic will give a motorcycle rider more deliveries per hour than a normal car.
Motorcycle Rideshare by UberMOTO was a success in Thailand
Another indicator that this is a possibility for U.S. markets is the Uber Rideshare program which already happened in Bangkok, Thailand with what Uber called UberMOTO. In 2016 Uber launched this new transport service for a base rate of $.28 and $.10 a mile plus $.85 a minute. Bangkok riders could pay cash or credit, and it was a wild success with the motorbike becoming even more popular than the normal car service.
Uber has been known to experiment before creating an Uber Rickshaw service in April of 2015 in India. This one wasn’t as successful and was shut down eight months later. With UberMOTO, in 2018, Uber found it easier to just sell the Bangkok motorcycle service to a local company called Grab whose GrabBike service is popular with motorcycle riders but not the government as officials began to regulate the service in 2022 with registration requirements. Could this initial success become a template for motorbike drivers to infiltrate the U.S. rideshare market?
Is using a motorcycle for Uber Rideshare in the future for the U.S.?
A confluence of possible factors combines to make this author believe that, yes, Uber Rideshare will be open to motorcycles soon in some larger cities in the U.S. The storm clouds are gathering in the U.S. economy to suggest that as the Fed hikes interest rates to fight inflation, a downturn in our economy is likely. This will lead to people being unable to afford Uber rates. This may create a new market for a cheaper transportation system like in other major metropolitan cities throughout the world. Uber could very well open rideshare to motorcycles at a cheaper rate.
With fuel prices soaring due to the war in Ukraine and the government limiting U.S. drilling, it is also likely that Uber drivers will not see the profit of the rideshare program and decide to turn to electric cars or call for Uber to allow motorcycles.
Uber would have to weigh the safety protocols for injury in the event of an Uber motorcycle accident with the ability to bring in another revenue source. Decisions like limiting the ride to short mileage, requiring helmets, and limiting the speed limit could help people develop an appetite for not only a cheaper mode of transportation but, let’s face it, a more thrilling one.
Who wouldn’t want to spend less for a more exciting experience? Taking a mundane commute to the office and turning it into a thrill ride would be an incentive for first-time motorcyclists to get a taste for a two-wheeled fire-rocketed ride. Of course, most people wouldn’t be able to sip their latte and fuss with their phone, but people may enjoy experiencing the rushing wind and blurring speed of the open road. The appeal is there, and if not Uber, I imagine someone will see the potential for profit and jump on this idea soon.
What would be the best motorcycles to use for Uber Rideshare?
Comfortability of the Honda Gold Wing
If you’re going to have that coveted five-star rating as an Uber driver and get consistently high tips, you’ll need to emphasize comfort in your motorcycle choice. It should be a big cruiser/touring motorcycle with plenty of room for a passenger like the Honda Gold Wing. The Gold Wing is a touring bike that features a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine often referred to as a "flat-six" engine. This design allows the engine to be more compact and helps reduce vibration that can be felt by the passenger.
The passenger will also appreciate the wide comfortable seat and the Gold Wing's advanced rear suspension system called Pro-Link which uses a single shock absorber mounted in a horizontal position. This allows the shock to provide a more linear and consistent damping force throughout its travel. The Air-Assist suspension allows for adjustability compensating for any road conditions.
The Gold Wing's anti-dive front suspension is a feature that helps to prevent the front end of the motorcycle from diving under hard braking maintaining stability and control when carrying an Uber passenger.
Affordability of the Yamaha V Star 250
Economic factors are an important determinant when choosing a motorcyle for Uber rideshare. This is a business, and affordability is paramount. The Yamaha V Star 250 is a lightweight cruiser that is designed for a passenger although a few upgrades would be necessary like a sissy bar and better passenger footpegs.
The V Star 250 has a starting price of around $4,499 which is significantly lower than many other touring/cruising bikes on the market. It is also incredibly fuel-efficient with an estimated fuel economy of 78 MPG on the highway and 66 MPG in the city.
Dependability of the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide
Dependability is necessary when amassing the mileage of an Uber rideshare vehicle. You need a bullet-proof bike that is known for longevity like the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. It is powered by an upgraded liquid-cooled V-twin engine that is designed to last forever.
With regular maintenance, oil changes, and filter changes, this bike will not only take on the extended miles of an Uber rideshare but also be impressively cool for the passenger. Dependability is guaranteed in the construction of high-quality materials that often see Harley owners take their bikes past 100,000 miles.
About THE AUTHOR
Benjamin Rathbun has been hooked on motorcycles since 1987 when he bought his first bike, a 1973 Honda CBR450 for $300. Since then he has been through countless bikes and continued his two-wheeled hobby passing it down to his 21-year-old son who rides with him on the weekends in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Benjamin believes that nothing clears the mind faster than flying 26 inches above the asphalt on his Harley-Davison.Read More About Benjamin Rathbun