Hey BMW dude, what kind of bike does your son have? Not that it really matters or anything. I'm just curious. I've heard Hawaii has some nice roads but even if they didn't, I'm sure I'd have a great time riding my bike to the beach and just hanging out.
My Husband and I have ridden all over the Big Island - Hawaii - and loved it. The only bike we could find to rent was a Harley...actually its a funny story....we are Jap/German type bike riders and after leaving the rental center we decided the bike wasn't running right. So we returned and explained it to the rental guys and they took it for a ride. The guy comes back and says "yeah, it's suppose to run like that".....what a shame. Anyway, the island is great and the roads are okay. Prepare for rain at some point. Ride the road from Hilo up the Mauna Kea pass and on over to the West side. Enjoy a sunset ride at some point and have a great time.
I just got back from a week on the Big Island - Rented for a day from DJ's Rentals (http://harleys.com/) in Kona - they have Harleys, although I used their Magna. A fun day out with the g/f riding along the coast and inland on the north end of the island. From my web searches prior to heading over, there appear to be a number of rental shops on the various islands. Have fun!
Just got back from Maui and Oahu and all the rental places I saw were Harleys and scooters. One nice thing is Hawaii has the smoothest most well maintained roads I have ever seen in my travels all over the world including the German autobahn, and the scenery is fantastic.
My folks live on Oahu and I rented a Harley from Cruising Hawaii in Waikiki. Other than the few times I forgot what I was riding and almost went swimming it was great! I'm going back this March and want to ride again but wish I could find a bike to rent for a week, not a $200 a day HD. Although like someone already said, 1 day is really all you need to cover the whole island.
I did it a couple times. I'm originally from Oahu, and go back once or twice a year. Rented Harleys and Honda Shadows a couple times. It's pretty expensive to rent (about $80 a day for a Shadow, $110 a day for a Sportster), and really only cruisers are available. I finally bought a baby ninja to store at my parents place and use while I'm out there. I figure I saved a fortune in rental costs.
Places to go fast are very limited, so there is less of a need for the bigger displacement mainland bikes.
One thing that is a plus is that most municipal parking garages, beach parks, etc. have free motorcycle parking even though cars must pay. For example, the city garage in Chinatown charges a quarter for 15min for cars, free for bikes. Hanauma Bay charges a dollar for cars (and the lot is usually full by about 9am). Bikes get in free and can come in when the car spaces are full. This is great because the next place to park is about 3/4 a mile a way. That's a long way to hike carrying diving equipment!
I was on Maui last year and wanted to rent, but there was nothing but cruisers so I didn't pursue it. One thing I noticed was there weren't as many roads as I'd expected and the speed limits are low. I think there was one segment at 55, and the rest of the island was 20 to 45. My thoughts were a big engine would be wasted, and a 400 to 650 dual sport would be ideal for me.
Their main thing is HD's but they also claim to offer an 1150r for $620 a week. There was also an R6 listed but no per week price. I was hoping for an KLR, but hey, I'll take what I can get! If all else fails, I'll be on one of their sportsters.
If anyone finds any other rental leads, please let me know!
Now there's an idea! I will absolutely check that out.
This idea reminds me of my college days living in Boston. A friend of mine had both a boat and a pair of "Wet Bikes". (They looked like a motorcycle on water ski's) We would spend entire weekends on the boat out off shore diving and riding the wet bikes.(Burrrr Cold!!!)
We actually got boarded and lectured by the coast-guard one weekend; We were anchored just outside the mouth of the cape cod canal and followed a cruse ship on the wet bikes riding over the waves it was making. A good way to get killed I know! But damn we had fun! Up until the authorities showed up and spoiled our fun.
I can't stand them. When I was looking to buy a 250 Ninja out there, they quoted me $4800 plus freight, prep, tax, and fees. They're the typical overpriced Harley place, except they try the same nonsense on Kawasaki.
That's right, I said $4800 plus freight, prep, tax, and fees. Not a typo.