Interview with the founder of Cruizador
First article to find out who is behind Cruizador. And it is no more or less than Adrien, the founder and manager, who sticks to it to lead by example!
How did your story start with the bike?
Relatively late I must confess. My parents never let me own a motorized two-wheeler before. They said it was too dangerous. But the envy was still there, almost nagging. Then in the summer of 2013, my cousin decided to take his temporary licence, and I decided to do the same. At the end of August I had found a 1998 Honda CB600 Hornet with 40,000km for about 2,500CHF. At the beginning of September, I had my provisional licence. And at the end of October, 2013 always, I passed my license the first time!
What were the first sensations?
An indescribable feeling, a feeling of absolute freedom. It was a little more difficult for me. After finishing my studies, I was in the postulation phase to find a first job. It took time, too long for my liking. And the bike allowed me to set a goal and hold on to something tangible. Also, when I wasn't in too much spirits, I would jump on my bike and leave with no destination in mind. I just wanted to roll around and clear my head. I rode this first year more than 3000km in 2 months. I've been through almost all of French-speaking Switzerland:-)!
What about the first scares?
Yes and No. The fact that I waited until I was 28 years old allowed me to limit my ardour I think. It is clear that I started directly with a large cube (600cc of more than 90 horses). Besides, these old four-legged carbu really sing when you give them tricks. So I wouldn't say I didn't get caught up in the time-in-time acceleration. But hey in Switzerland, with Via Secura, you better think twice before opening thoroughly.
And since then?
Fears/accidents? Not always no big fears, I touch wood :-)!
No, I mean, you keep rolling?
As much as I can, even if now, and it's paradoxical, I have less time to ride with the Cruizador Project which takes me a lot, a lot of time. I thought I would make my passion a profession, I find myself not being able to practice my passion because of my profession :-)!!
We'll be back in Cruizador later, but let's continue your personal experience a little bit first. You keep rolling your CB 600?
No, I decided to part with it, even if I regret it a little. They say you never forget your first love… I thought I would keep it as the basis for a custom coffee racer style project, but I quickly realized by skimming the forums that it wasn't the best basis to tackle such a project.
In 2016, I bought a Triumph Speed Triple from OCCAZ, from 2009. I fell in love with this bike while reading the magazine Moto-Heroes. A custom project by a French preparer CreativGarage. An over-vitamin dirty scrambler that sent pie.
I read a lot about the subject, about three-cylinder architecture and about the Triumph brand. And after a try, I knew it was the right one. A radical chassis, with a rocky sound that made you shiver from head to toe. And an acceleration that kicked you in the every time you opened a little. I came across a owner in Bern who wanted to sell it because given his age (past 60 years) and his knee problems he could not/wanted to roll it anymore. And a bike that sleeps in a garage, it's never good for her. We agreed on the price and in 30min, after a brief mechanical check and a small test run, I took it!
Indeed, a hell of a bike, without any assistance and not yet all these standards Euro4/5/6 etc … The good old days as they say! And now?
I still have my Speed that I'm going to keep for the rest of my life, I think. We're not going to do this anymore, I think. It is no longer in tune with the times.
But since I don't have a car, I thought I could find a second bike, a little more versatile, why not a Trail… I was a little resentful at first. For me, the bike was above all a story of style. A motorcycle should not be consensual, a roadster if nothing. Then I tried a friend's Africa Twin 2015 and thought why not. In 2018 I fell for a Triumph Tiger 800 oCCAZ also. A golden oCCAZ, a future Bernese retiree who had a Bonneville and a Tiger but who no longer had the time/desire to ride it. She had few miles for this kind of bike and the price was more than reasonable. In 30 minutes, the deal was done. And I've done over 20,000km in a year. And it was a great discovery. A slightly linear but still sporty engine (three cylinders of 90hp), with torque, a fairly rigid chassis, in short a good compromise. I like to do road-trips of several players, in wild camping mode with friends, it seemed perfect. And I wasn't wrong. A bike with which you can do 1000km on a day and arrive fresh at the aperitif in the evening. It changed me from my Speed :-)!
So that's what you're doing now is riding a motorcycle? Long road-trips?
Not always. Go do e.g. The Susten-Grimsel-Furka triplet on a day is top too. But for me, getting on a bike rhymes with discovery, and therefore the journey. So if I can combine the two it's top. So I try to settle 1 to two outings a year, if possible in the off-season (June or September for example) and leave between 4 days and a week. We usually leave with my cousin, we take the camping equipment, a stove, and we leave without a concrete route but with a strong desire to ride. And after a big day of driving, we bivouaque and we remake the world around the fire with one or more bottles of red :-)!
What about your favorite place?
There's a lot of them. The Pacific One in California between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Captain Cook Highway in Australia… But I particularly like France. Route des Grandes Alpes, Drome, Lubéron, Gorges du Verdon, etc. And big favorite for Mont Ventoux. 24km of ascent, in an incredible landscape, practically lunar at the top. Well to watch out for cyclists, some behave a little no matter how on the road. But if not, it's just happiness.
Well and now Cruizador, how did you come up with the idea?
I would say first of all a personal need. I travel a lot and it was often impossible to find rental bikes, and even when I found them, it was awfully expensive. And this in the USA, France, Thailand, Australia, etc. Also, why not bring motorcycles into the sharing economy. I did a market analysis in Switzerland, and I thought there was something to do qqch. Keeping in mind that a motorcycle spends 95% of its time in a garage, why not allow them to stretch the cylinders while pleasing as many bikers as possible? In Switzerland, there are more than 430,000 registered motorcycles, so if we can offer 4-500 at first, it allows to test the idea and validate the concept. I will mention in passing that there are similar concepts abroad (USA, NL, etc.) and that it is starting to work very hard!
But there is an emotional connection with the bike… we always say that a motorcycle does not lend itself!?
That's true, and we understand it. Some people will never want to rent their motorcycle and we respect it. But first of all, it doesn't mean they won't find any interest in it. They may want to rent a different bike to test a new model, or rent one on holiday without having to bring their own bike. And Cruizador is also addressed to them. I always say, Personally I don't rent my apartment on Airbnb, but I often use the platform to rent accommodation on the go. And so I think it's a great service. In short Cruizador is for everyone, owners and tenants alike.
But in any case, owning a motorcycle is expensive. You have to pay for insurance, tax, maintenance, a box to protect it from the capricious climate. In short, motorcycling is an expensive passion and many can afford it but at the cost of sacrificeins in their daily lives. So if thanks to Cruizador, you can offset these costs and save for your vacation, to pay for accessories or even save for a new one, isn't that a win-win?
I confess that presented like this … But you? Do you rent your bikes?
When I wanted to launch Cruizador, the red thread was this: would you be comfortable renting your bike to a third party with the current structure? And as long as the answer was no, I didn't launch the service. I reworked the questions with the lawyer, reformulated the contracts, adapted the processes, etc. And so the answer to the question is now YES, my personal bikes are for rent on the platform. And I do it with a clear conscience.
But you're not afraid there's going to be any junk?
It is clear that it would not please me especially and that the risk 0 does not exist. I'm not going to lie. After that, safeguards were put in place to avoid problems as much as possible and to limit the risk: control of tenants upstream (min 25 years and min 3 years of permit set up otherwise they cannot rent), armoured rental contract by a lawyer, concrete general conditions Etc..
And should there be a claim, Cruizador provides casco-comprehensive insurance, which is included in each rental. So even if the 0 risk does not exist, I am ready to rent my bikes in this secure structure. And if that wasn't the case, I probably wouldn't dare offer others to do it!
So it's all pink?
All in all yes! At the moment no disaster (we touch wood), and we have a strong community spirit that settles between our active members. The fact that the owner and the tenant meet at the handover of the keys means that there is a feeling of trust that is taking hold and suddenly the tenants are more respectful of the bike than if it were for example a traditional rental bike. We have great feedback from our members, great meetings. It exchanges itinerary tips, it speaks mechanics, etc. One of our Australian tenants has already offered to lend his bike to the owner who rented his if he came to visit him. In short, Cruizador also tries to maintain and strengthen the biker spirit that tends to disappear a little sometimes. It's not just business.
And we offer real added value. Some bikers, especially foreigners, do not know how to rent motorcycles in Switzerland. There is no digital portal. And Cruizador brings them comfort. Our idea is to "book your bike with just a few clicks."
And never any negative comments?
At first it was very polarized. Some people were excited about the concept and others took us to the action on social media, sometimes violently. It wasn't always easy because we put a lot of energy into the project, to propose something coherent but also authentic. And it felt like we were just there to rip people off. But now, for some time, it has calmed down. We still have some derogatory comments here and there but overall, people are beginning to recognize authenticity in our approach and especially that Cruizador meets real needs, both for tenants and for Owners.
What is the profile of the users of the coup?
Among the tenants, we have everything. In any case, they have a minimum of 25 years and 3 years of license, otherwise they cannot rent on Cruizador. We have tourists, who dreamed of walking our mythical roads but who could not necessarily for lack of a suitable offer. But we also have fathers who no longer have motorcycles but who always want to do a few outings a year. We also have bikers who have sports bikes and who want to go out with their spouses on more comfortable bikes, oriented great tourism. Or vice versa, bikers who want to test bikes a little more sporty.
Among the landlords, we also have everything. Students with less means, expats who no longer have the time/desire to ride their motorcycle but also do not want to sell it. But we also have owners who have several bikes and who say, ok why not rent one to depreciate the costs of others.
In short, Cruizador is for everyone and we are not sectarian :-)!
Ok, I think we're getting to the end nicely. In conclusion, are there any new developments for 2020?
Of course. We work hard to find new bikes and improve the platform. But I would say that in the big news, we will first release the new version of the platform that will offer extended features to users, especially in the management of their ad.
Then we will launch a channel for dealers and hope to make Cruizador the largest motorcycle rental portal in Switzerland. Good in-officially, and it remains between us, with our more than 60 bikes listed, we already are;-).
And last but not least, we would like to be able to launch our operations in France in the near future. But that's yet to be confirmed! That's it, you know (almost) everything :-).