Battle of Bikes-OnnBikes vs Royal Brothers!

A decade ago, bike rental was unknown thing in most of India, except select states like Goa. Self drive cars were available in some cities but not bikes. But then, this landscape is fast changing. From what I know, WickedRide was the first major bike rental firm to commence operation in India, but they only had super expensive bikes and in early days, didn’t have regulatory support (black plate with yellow support). After that, over years, several agencies have come up, offering two wheelers on rent at affordable rates. Royal Brothers is a major player, with coverage across several South Indian cities and 3 international cities as well (Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket). I’ve rented from them in Mangaluru, Phuket and one more is planned this weekend. OnnBikes is another major player in this fast growing bike rental market. We did a trip with them to Wayanad last weekend and I got to interact with its key staff, to get some insights into the bike rental business. If you need some transport to move around a city for a few days, renting a bike is a lot cheaper, convenient and highly flexible option than other options such as using cabs, auto or public transportation. Bikes need less space- easy to park or maneuver in traffic infested cities, consume less fuel hence cheaper to run. For biking enthusiasts, rentals allow them to ride super expensive bikes, (which they can’t afford to buy or not worth buying) for a few k rupees a day.


With that background, main objective of this post is to compare two key players in Bengaluru’s bike rental business- Royal Brothers and ONN Bikes.
#
Factor
Royal Brothers
ONN Bikes
Remarks
1
Station Opening hours
9.30 AM to 8.30 PM
9 AM to 9 PM
may vary by city
2
Tax
Extra (18% over display amount)
Included in displayed rental

3
Pickup & Drop
Not available
Not available

4
One way rental
Not available
Not available

5
Extra Helmet
100 Rs + 18% tax
Option not available to specify, can call customer care n book jackets etc

6
Weekend rental- 24 hours, RE Bullet Classic 350
Rs 1128 + 18 % tax
240 kms free, Rs 5 per extra km
Rs 899, inclusive of tax
217 kms free, Rs 3 per extra km
Fuel Extra, ONN Bikes is about 30-40% cheaper
7
Weekend Rental- 24 hours, Honda Activa
Rs 408+ 18% tax
120 kms free, Rs 3 per extra km

Rs 349 , inclusive of tax
217 kms free, Rs 2 per extra km
Fuel Extra, ONN Bikes is about 30-40% cheaper
8
No of stations (pickup/delivery centres)
About 10
About 9

9
Bike options- High End
10 high end bikes including Street 750, Z800, TNT 600i etc
NA

10
Bike Options-Mid range
Dominar, KTMs, Royal Enfields, Avengers
CBR150, Royal Enfields, Avengers

11
Bike options- Budget
5 scooter models, few budget bikes
Activa, Navi, Dio, Pulsar, CT100, Hornet etc

12
Ease of booking
Easy
Easy

13
Speed limit/
Deposit
100 kmph for RE, 70 for mopeds, 90 for other bikes
Rs 500 to 3000
75 for scooters
100 kmph for bikes
Rs 500 deposit all bikes

14
Overspeed Penalty
Rs 500+ 
Rs 200 onwards, after 2 warnings

15
Website

16
Cities in India
30+
3

17
Abroad
3 cities
NA

18
Long term rental
Possible
Possible

19
Minimum Rental duration
1 day for superbikes, 10 hours for others (you can book for 30 min also but will cost full day rent)
4 hours

20
App Support
Available
Available

ONN Bikes have some of the cheapest rentals, inclusive of taxes and more favorable terms. However RB offers more choice, more high end bikes. I am given to understand ONN Bikes is adding more bikes and mopeds in the days to come, giving more choices to their customers and tougher competition to RB.

ONN bikes may soon be adding KTMs, Mojo, Dominar n Honda Click to its fleet.

RB is self funded start up without VC funding, hence their rentals are slightly higher.
Cancellation policy is more favorable with ONN Bikes- Up to 6 hours before booking start you pay only Rs 100. With RB, if cancelled last minute (up to 24 hours before booking start), you get nothing.

Speed limit is another factor renters should be aware of. It is a pain to constantly keep an eye on the Speedo. My earlier suggestion that rental companies should work with dealer to electronically limit the top speed of bikes so that customers don't have to worry about exceeding top speed n having to pay a penalty is not implemented by any agency. Onn bike claims to charge a penalty only after 2 warnings, which is better than outright penalty charged by other agencies.

One of the biggest deterrent for me is having to wait till 9/10 AM for stations to open. If I arrive in BLR by 6 AM, I have to manage 4 hours on my own before collecting bikes. Car rental stations usually operate from 6 AM to mid night. Also the agencies should consider few counters near Railway stations and airports, so that outstation passengers can get their bikes as soon as they arrive.

Wheelstreet is another player- haven't explored them much.
Read my review of ONN Bikes Avenger Street 220 here , read review of Bajaj Dominar 400 rented from Royal Brothers here.
Disclaimer: All information as available on Operator's website at the time of composing the post. Bike options, rental amount and other terms and subject to change over time. Please cross check with the agencies for latest information.

A list of all bike rentals agencies in Bengaluru is available in this post.

5 comments:

  1. That's nice and useful service for budget people. If anyone need bike Activa in Chandigarh or Punjab do contact us www.royalbikerentals.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Shrinidhi,

    We appreciate your continuous effort in educating ppl on presence of bike rentals across globe. We at Royal Brothers promise to deliver quality and seamless experience across all our locations.

    Would like if you write more about us on how we strive to build a sustainable startup without VC money.

    Regards,
    Abhishek
    Team RoyalBrothers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have enough insights as to how you manage without VC money- may be I will try to meet your team when possible n understand better. Thanks

      Delete
  3. Hello Shrinidhi,
    Greetings!

    Thank you so much for your genuine feedback and constant support.There are few corrections:
    -Our minimum billing cycle is 10Hr except super bikes
    -We are a self funded start up. Hence, our tariff is bit higher than other external funded startups
    -I met Akash today, Core team member of Onn bikes with whom you interacted the other day.We recollected you and your beautiful blogs.
    -We are planning to come up with outlets near Airport, Railway stations and Bus stations. You will see lot of growth in near future.

    Regards,
    Manjunath T N
    Team Royal Brothers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've made updates about minimum hours. Thanks for your detailed comments and updates. All the best

      Delete

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days- Shrinidhi

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