Last week, I had the chance to get away from the monotony of Fact Book editing and enjoy the sublime Southern California weather on the back of a motorcycle limo, courtesy of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based MOTO LIMOS CLUB
, a chauffeured transportation company that launched in March 2011.
The bike was not one of those freakishly charming STRETCH MOTORCYCLES
or a MOTORCYCLE PULLING A CAB
, but rather a Honda Goldwing. Moto Limos Club is unique in that its FLEET CONSISTS ENTIRELY OF MOTORCYCLES
— no sedans, no SUVs, no stretch limousines, no vans, and certainly no motorcoaches. The idea is to provide a quick, easily-maneuverable form of transportation that can navigate through areas of heavy traffic congestion, which is exactly what a motorcycle can do. No other vehicle can split lanes and cruise comfortably through gridlock.
When I initially came across the idea behind the Moto Limos Club, the first thing that came to mind were MOTORCYCLE TAXI SERVICES
found in Europe, Asia, and South America: quick, cheap, efficient, but not necessarily the safest or most comfortable ride in town. Upon visiting the website, I could tell right away that there was an effort being made to distinguish the company as a luxury ground transportation service. But then I thought, “What incentives would a client have to choose a motorcycle over a big, spacious sedan for something like an airport transfer?” The website claimed that the rides were comfortable, provided amenities such as Bluetooth and iPod integration, with the helmet, and hammered home the point about maneuverability through traffic, which is a huge problem in Los Angeles (and most large cities). But I had to see for myself.
After speaking with the owner, Micke Cohen, I arranged a test ride and was picked up outside the Bobit Business Media office in Torrance, Calif., by a “moto chauffeur” named Cisco. A trailer can be attached to the bike to accommodate luggage if requested in advance, but I had no need for that. Cisco and I chatted briefly before I got on the bike and I learned that he had 20+ years of experience riding a motorcycle. He previously worked as a chauffeur for a traditional limousine service, and provides bodyguard/security service, attributes which made me feel secure. (I have to admit I was indeed surfing a small wave of anxiety about the whole thing because I hadn’t ridden on a motorcycle in about a decade and was a little concerned about safety). I put on a complimentary blue hairnet-type cap followed by the helmet, and climbed onboard.
The first thing I noticed was the comfort of the seat; it felt like I was sitting in a car. Cisco showed me how to put a tint shield over my visor if I so wished, and then explained I could either plug in my iPod or turn on the radio, which I could listen to either through the motorcycle’s stereo system or through my helmet.
With some heavy bass and the wheezy mumble of a rapper who sounded like he was eating cereal flooding my helmet, off we went into the warm golden day. While there were handles on either side of my seat for me to grab, I found that I could keep my hands on my lap, crossed, or texting on my cell phone without ever feeling like I would lose balance. I felt so confident that I even asked Cisco to hop on the freeway for a little bit so I could see what that was like — and let me tell you, it was so much FUN! Only at one point did we need to split a lane, and that didn’t feel sketchy either. I was able to talk to the chauffeur without having to yell at the top of my lungs, and I could even make a phone call through the same helmet-speaker system. I also had control over a seat-heating function if I felt cold.
The three words I would use to describe my overall experience are: COMFORTABLE, CONVENIENT, and FUN. An executive travelling to a notoriously traffic-heavy city could find a great deal of value in this type of service. My chauffeur was professional, friendly, and knowledgeable about a plethora of things. The ride itself was smooth, and I had the ability to make calls through Bluetooth or use my smartphone to browse the web and text. Motorcycles are also much cleaner than other vehicles and get better gas mileage.
The one big question I had was about weather. I know many operators work in climates with bad weather, and Moto Limos Club has addressed this with a special PROTECTIVE SUIT
that a client can wear on top of their regular clothing.
I think that this service has great potential because it provides a safe and unique transportation solution for traffic-plagued areas. And you can’t beat the thrill of riding a motorcycle on the open road.
Look for more coverage of Moto Limos Club in a future edition of LCT.
—Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor
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