Three Army veterans are launching a startup to help Richmond’s college crowd burn some rubber.
Brandon Costanzo, Brian Burnett and Alan Tuck this spring will open RVA Rides, a scooter and motorcycle rental and tour shop near the intersection of Broad and Boulevard. Costanzo said scooter rentals will start at $25 a day and increase with the class and engine size.
The company is leasing a 3,000-square-foot space at 1022 North Boulevard, where it will have a showroom and repair shop. It’s aiming to open between April 15 and May 1.
In addition to the rentals, RVA Rides will lead several motorcycle tours.
“The lengths and routes of each of the tours will depend on the level of experience of the group,” Costanzo said. “We’re planning a four- to five-hour round trip to Tappahannock that should be easy enough for beginners.”
RVA Rides is starting out with a fleet 24 motorcycles and 30 scooters. The shop will carry most major brands, including Honda, Yamaha and Harley Davidson, Costanzo said.
For the more adventurous riders, Costanzo said the company would also have a street-legal replica of the 400-plus-pound “light cycle” from the movie “TRON: Legacy.”
It will take about $750,000 to get the business up and running, with expenses such as equipment, rent, insurance and a staff of about three mechanics, Costanzo said. The partners are financing the venture with an SBA Patriot Express Loan and the help of several private investors. The company is also pursuing money from grant programs for veterans.
The shop will only rent motorcycles to licensed riders but plans eventually to offer the state rider training program.
Costanzo said the trio came up for the idea in 2011, when the three partners were stationed in the same unit in Iraq, where their jobs were to set up IT systems. All three are now working on RVA Rides full time.
“Brian’s been riding since he could walk, and Alan has about 15 years of experience,” Costanzo said. “So we have a really wide knowledge base.”