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What Online Experience Booking Agents Don't Tell You

You've probably seen those Ads for Experiences on Google for companies like Red Balloon and Adrenaline. They sell experiences for a wide range of companies - ours is not one of them. And there is a good reason why.

To the average consumer a company who uses the word Adrenaline to sell products gives the impression that the products they sell are the best, but they forget to tell you how much they are making out of those companies who are contracted to them. It may come as a surprise - there is no quality control. They don't run regular inspections by their staff to check the quality of the products they sell. Why do I know this? In the Harley Rides Industry they had a supplier who had an accident record as long as my arm. This operator had been involved in three motorcycle accidents (thankfully without a passenger) that went un-noticed by Adrenaline and Red Balloon.

Dick Smith produced a video recently to expose the way in which these online companies operate. Dick highlighted how much of a rip off these sorts of companies really are.

OK, I'll let you in on a little secret Harley Rides in Melbourne was once a supplier for Red Balloon. In the several years they sold our Harley Rides they not once came and actually inspected our product. Their only interest was in how much they could make from us by way of commission. The straw that broke the camel's back was the day they decided to offer a "lowest price guarantee". That was the day they dumped us, and went with a supplier who was prepared to sacrifice their profits to garner bookings through Red Balloon. Red Balloon recently acquired Adrenaline.


The majority of what we charge for Harley Rides is paid to the owner Harley Davidson rider on a Sub-contract arrangement. We don't operate a fleet of Harley Davidsons ridden by employees. The reason for that is there simply isn't enough demand to justify the expense of maintaining a fleet, and when a bike belongs to a rider they tend to take more care and are more safety conscious. It just makes sense to do it that way. We can't afford to pay high commissions because we prefer to maximise what out rider/owners are paid.


When you choose to book your experience through Adrenaline and Red Balloon, 25% goes to them. What's left goes to either the supplier who rides their own bike or directly to the sub-contract rider the supplier provides. Put simply, its just economic suicide for any Harley Rides Operator to be with Red Balloon or Adrenaline unless they are the Harley Rider on the day of the booking. If there is more than one other bike involved all the profit goes to Red Balloon or Adrenaline. That's why we are not one of their suppliers. If we were, you would be paying more for your experience.


But why didn't you price-match, you ask? For starters, its not just that simple given the way in which the Harley Rides Industry operates in Melbourne. To pay the commission they demanded simply strips the financial incentive for any Harley Ride Company and turns them into a direct supplier, who at the end of the day makes very little profit when supplying more than one Harley Davidson for each booking. We don't like the idea of being forced to be "just their The Harley Rides Industry has operated on a Sub-Contractor model since its inception in the 1990's. This means that we all work together, know each other intimately and thus are able to guarantee each others quality. That rider I mentioned earlier who was supplying Red Balloon and Adrenaline? We once worked together, he was on our Sub-contractor list, but given his accident history I stopped using him several years ago.

On a personal note, if I was in this business for the money I wouldn't be doing it. There simply isn't enough demand to make it hugely profitable these days. We have kept our prices low for too long - our last price rise was in 2015/16.


So, before you consider using an online booking company, give us a thought. Its always better to book direct. If you book with us we guarantee a better experience. We guarantee our quality. And because we don't have to pay someone else a commission we will more than likely take you for a longer ride - at the same price.


If you book online, you automatically qualify for a longer ride - 25% longer. If we aren't that busy on the day of your ride - its more than likely we won't be in a rush and will invest more time in ensuring that you enjoy the experience. This is exactly what happened last week when a visitor from the UK booked a One Hour tour online. We ended up stopping in St Kilda for lunch and had a totally relaxing time. Why? Because I enjoy spending time with and getting to know the people I take for a Harley Ride.

Taking the time to call us is also an excellent idea. It gives us time to listen to what you want to do, and quite often it results in our giving you a less expensive Harley Ride. By asking you questions, I am often able to guide you in the right direction. Quite often people call with crazy ideas that are clearly not suited. I am able to draw on years of experience to suggest the best and most enjoyable and suitable options for them. If you book via Adrenaline or Red Balloon you don't get a choice.......and you might end up paying more then you need to.


Call John on 0419359628 to organise a ride with us.



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