The bike must satiate the want to create our shared experience – implies equally comfortable to both rider and pillion.
BHPian arb recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
New query, perhaps not! More like old wine in a sparkling new bottle, nevertheless I am ready for some Team-BHP enlightenment and so here goes my predicament.
“To buy a decent motorcycle now or save for bigger?” Before you slice and dice to give me some Team-BHP style honest, stark opinions with no ounce of blarney, here is the thought process that led to my predicament.
I have not ridden a bike since 2013, not accounting a spec or two of test rides, friend’s bikes that I may have casually taken for a quick spin. Prior to that I have ridden few commuter bikes and scooters available within my circle of family, friends. I was also stupendously naïve to annoy my parents into getting me a Pulsar 180, which at that point was a bit stretched. No, I didn’t realize then. I did say naïve right, okay I’ll settle for being self-centered stupid young man, afterall I did root for P220, while my father used a grand old Splendor all his working life. Cut to the chase, I got a P180. So this P180 of mine, straddled along me through the west coast of the country primarily in northern Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa. It clocked around 80k kms in the 10 years I had it with me. I know some of you with a keen sense of time may have already figured the timelines don’t add, well almost all the mileage got clocked in first 5years of ownership and the remaining adding may be thousand odd kms. My P180 went from my daily ride to garage queen to damsel in distress to be rescued by a friendly shop owner who happily continues to ride till I last checked. To summarize my ridding years, I rode a lot while I was not working, did very little while working and absolute zero in recent years.
Time to change a gear, let me introduce my better half. She can ride, ride well I must say, had her share of biking adventures with her friends and would be absolutely fair to say we both enjoyed riding equally but never shared the experience together. Now comes the sudden shove, “Should we not create some biking experience together and if not now, when?” This is 8:30am in morning, after dropping our kid to bus stand while sipping tea. Time to leave the tea and pick remote, youtube to rescue and RE SuperMeteor reviews queued up for play. I did say I am regular to Team-BHP and knew exactly what’s the automotive scene, so when the time presented I clicked right to what could be a bike I like. By evening made the booking and voila, peace! Plans galore to create the shared experiences.
Now the spanner in plans, RE with best of their wisdom chooses not to start the test rides. Waiting starts, day 1, 2, 3 and in the meantime youtube keeps rolling. By end of the week ready to check more options, remember Super Meteor booking was on reflex, RE allowed me to research and so did I. Finalized baselines –
- Must satiate the want to create our shared experience – implies equally comfortable to both rider and pillion.
- Average running to comprise some office drives and some short day drives around Bangalore (Again, to squeeze some shared experience while we navigate the Bangalore traffic) – implies no more than 1000 odd kms running per month
- Larger engine – simply put, why not? Baseline set as multi-cylinder, a minimum of 650cc around.
With above baselines, we went straight to Kawasaki. Inquired for Vulcan and Versys 650, neither available for test rides, not that the showroom folks were interested had there been one available for test ride. Nonetheless, looked around with self gathered knowledge, Versys 1000 caught our fancy and we asked for quotes, exchanged whatsapp number and left. In hindsight, I must have asked them to send the quote wrapped in scroll, tied with golden feathers. And I am sure the salesperson is seeking special permissions from Kawasaki Japan to cater to my request and therefore the unending time to send the quote.
Next comes Triumph, the brand holds some additional brownie points for being our golden apple at one point of time. Went straight in for the V650 equivalent and had a proper test ride in Tiger660, discussed at length on Bonneville range, exchanged quotes and headed home to soak in our indulgence of buying a bike, buying a mid range bike, then jumping on to 1.2L , 15L buying intent. All because RE will not give me a test ride and let me close my indulgence then and there.
Next in line was pragmatism, it is indeed interesting how with time in hand we can traverse all the possible emotions in one hand and reasoning on the other. So our pragmatism led to this –
- Enough of loans, buy with spare cash. Okay can do SuperMeteor now, anything more add some months. Not much worried with wait, but right now-right away type indulgence goes for a toss.
- We buy SuperMeteor, and also start ridding equal to or more then what we are currently expecting. In that case, SuperMeteor is going to be ‘less’ with ‘Want’ kicking in. GTO’s thread on buying the bigger, better choice comes to play.
- We wait and buy bigger, but the enthusiasm goes down and I am sitting on a depreciating asset. May happen with SuperMeteor as well, but possibly easier to digest. Now that you are aware of my riding background, the need, the want, the logic or ill-logics I again present my predicament “To buy a decent motorcycle now or save for bigger?”
Thank you for reading through and even happier to have your insights, opinions. Thanks!
Here’s what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:
Answer to your question isn’t that easy. On one hand “if not now then when” implies going with what you like be it the Triumph, Kawasaki or the Royal Enfield but how long will the interest last forces one to look at the financial hit you’re going to take once the initial excitement subsides.
Logic dictates getting a easy to own RE which can be used to service local needs and runs without burning a hole in your pocket in maintenance costs. The 650 twin won’t leave you wanting on highway performance but how it feels on the heavy super meteor is something I haven’t tried so you’ll need to check that out yourself.
But, we haven’t got to the most important part, what would both of you like to ride or rather dream to own ? If it’s a Triumph or Suzuki then be wary of the ASC and spares issues reported on the forum etc. My point being that if going for “big/imported” bikes be wary of what you’re signing up for.
If there’s nothing that you really dream about then try out the easier options to live with and that would mean both of you
Also try out these in addition to the ones you’ve already tried :
- Honda CB 500X
- Suzuki VStrom 650 XT
Here’s what BHPian AtheK had to say on the matter:
I always believe to take it easy and make incremental upgrades when it comes to bikes, stick to smaller bike when you are just getting into the game of getting to riding again. Get used to the power and ride aroud, 650 is all the bike you need for touring this country, but start atleast here if not lower.
RE hold there value well in the market, think of the depreciation as investment gone into getting used to riding again and also checking your interest, if it stays and you want more go for a bigger bike. You can also pick a pre owned Interceptor 650 to get the ball rolling, that way when you sell it depreciation will be even lesser.
You have rodeen P180, not sure what your wife has ridden as you did not mention but if it was also not a big bike, please avoid them for now. The bigger bikes mask there speed really well, and if you are just getting used to it, they might get scary then fun in initial few days. Rest you are the best judge, stay safe, ride long!
Here’s what BHPian roy_libran had to say on the matter:
If you are resuming riding after 10 years and your last was a P180, I would strongly suggest you to NOT restart with the Litre class or equivalent. Stick to the 650 segment or near-abouts and give yourself time to adapt to riding a big, powerful motorcycle. These are just not as forgiving as smaller bikes and you don’t really want to have this realisation at the last instant!
Here’s what BHPian mafia had to say on the matter:
Imagine this question in 2010.
An affordable 650 twin would have been a dream.
Get what you can now. There will be something new around the corner always. You can upgrade at sometime in the future if the need and the chance comes
Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.