I spent the week 15 in Spain with a rental bike.
First, I had no previous experience on renting a bike in Spain. I've been in Spain many times, both for holidays and business. I don't speak Spanish as such, but manage a few words.
I have one personal limitation what comes to bikes: I'm a shorty. I also have a bit of bad shoulder... and some smaller issues with my back and wrists... so I'm comfortable only with a quite neutral riding position.
I knew I'd like to explore mostly small (paved) roads and those famous Spanish "white villages"...but would need to do a few bits of faster roads too. Put all this together, and my bike preference was a smallish (twin) BMW GS or something similar.
My first plan was to fly to Seville and make the trip from there. It turned out really difficult to find a good/ reliable feeling bike rental company around Seville, so instead of wasting more time into no-reply enquieries and such, I made a plan B. Start from Malaga, which handles more tourists and have better offering of rentals. In addition to the places I wished to explore, I was set to Southern Spain due to the time of year and weather - not too hot, but not too rainy either.
I asked rental advice in the ADVrider forum. I did got some, and this together with my own research pointed me towards a rental company called IMTbike. They had given prompt and clear answers to all my queries. They were not the cheapest one, but seemed to be pros and having been in the business for awhile. They had a wide selection of BMWs to offer, main location in Madrid, but a major one also in Malaga. Just 2 kms from the Malaga airport. So I made a deal with them - a BMW F750GS. Asked also for a lower seat, which was offered as a no-cost option. Two side panniers and a top box to make it a decent mule. And a GPS. The deal included "basic" insurances and I had also a separate travel insure for myself.
I had a limited time-frame to use for my vacation and direct flights between Helsinki, Finland and Malaga. So I decided to travel light and also to minimize risks of getting my luggage lost. I had one large, 30L Riega motorcycling backpack and a separate helmet carrier bag (went as a handbag in the plane, under the seat in front of me) - holding all my stuff for the week. Stuff meaning socks, underware, shirts....I did not have much. I wore my riding pants, jacket and shoes during the flights. Well, actually only the pants - kicked the heavy shoes off and donned the jacket immediately when in the plane. 4,5 hours flight, a bit too heavy pants to be really comfortable, but not that bad either. The gear was a good conversation piece with the fellow passangers...
The IMTbike premises were easy to locate. They had a huge selection of bikes there, many of them brand new models. Mine had about 100kms in the odometer! With the low seat, panniers and GPS as agreed. Super friendly service, check of the bike, my riding license (you'll need both your original and international if from outside EU) and then I was on the road.
The deal included "basic" insurances and I had also a separate travel insure for myself.
Well, before that I re-packed: Inside the backpack, I had my all stuff packed into smaller, waterproof "dry bags". I distributed these and the helmet bag to the bike's storage boxes, ending up with an empty backpack on my shoulders. Nice, really nice.
I toyed around small roads towards Torremolinos to get a feeling of the bike without much traffic - and to get a lunch....
First kilometers on the way to a lunch, Torremolinos coastal road.