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post #1 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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New bike cost vs Personal finance

Rough theoretical question -- someone buying a $15K toy (bike, atv, jetski, whatever), what kind of net income / cash savings should they have? Or is it all about total debt-to-income ratio? I don't have any debt, and my older humble house is paid off, both cars paid off (lots of life left, 65K and 75K miles), current bike paid off, and I wouldn't have any issue throwing down for a loaded Honda CR-V for daily usage, but then I am very hesitant to buy a brand new bike that costs north of $10K. I've been riding cheap-as-possible bikes so far. Statistically, probably the "smartest" thing is sticking to used bikes, but you can't have the latest greatest that way. And the bike is a weekend enjoyment thing, so it's of limited usage, but then when I get the time to ride, I want to enjoy it as much as I can. But you got to do something with your time and money. I'm not looking to justify the money outlay, but how others approach whether $15K toy is totally insane given various money factors, or when it's like, whatever, you've got enough, buy it enjoy it. These purchases aren't the wisest or rational, but surely there's some sort of general consensus of the afflicted hobbyists where toys are being overbought -or- underbought?
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post #2 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:06 PM
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Interesting question. I suspect that you'll get as many different answers as there are people on this forum.

Personally, I can't stomach the idea of taking a 50% depreciation hit on a new bike or whatever. It's not that I can't afford it, just that the idea of a new bike vs. used isn't worth it to me. I'm sure that others will have a different opinion.

To be clear, I'd have no problem spending $15k on a bike if that's what I wanted, but if I were in that neighborhood, I'd be looking at a 1 year old Ducati, not a new Honda.
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Last edited by T Dad; 04-19-2017 at 05:09 PM.
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post #3 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:13 PM
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My first bike almost 3 years ago was $1900 used. My T100 $7500 new (minus other stuff, dealer fees, ugh - now $10k). For me what mattered was could I afford the monthly payment and still be "comfortable"? Yep. Also I think I was just itching to get one I forgot about looking more at used ones and getting a bank loan for that :P ...and I kinda forgot about the extra fees. But again, bottom line was, could I afford it per month.

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post #4 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:50 PM
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I doubt that there is any consensus when it comes to rationalizing the purchase price for a bike or a sports car. Very different in my view whether the purchase is recreational or as a sole vehicle. I've only bought two new bikes over decades of riding. The most recent one was a leftover marked down by $3K and the first one was also marked down as an end of year sale. If money spent would not incur a hardship, I wouldn't care about depreciation for a new bike, if that's what I wanted. I remember the ad campaign for HD that showed a new bagger in front of a tiny trailer home. I guess the message was about priorities in life. You can't enjoy when you're in the ground or sitting on top of a mantel.
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post #5 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 06:01 PM
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I bought one new bike, my 2014 Thruxton. Mainly it was because I'd never bought a new vehicle. Before and after that it's always been below my pain threshold of $3500 for a motorcycle, and I never borrowed for those. I saved up and paid cash. You can buy a lot of motorcycle for 3-grand.

I can tell you, I've enjoyed the used bikes every bit as much as the new bike. The difference is the new one cost 3x as much as the used bikes, and the new one had a warranty which I used once, for a sticky throttle.

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post #6 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:15 PM
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Since you can afford to go either way, it is a simple question. What do you want ?

When I wanted a new bike, I asked the wife, she said ok, and I bought it. When that was totaled I took the insurance money and bought a 2 y/o bike, with money left for goodies. Works either way, just get what YOU want not what somebody else tells you to buy.

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post #7 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:18 PM
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I have made very bad financial decisions concerning motorcycles. Loans for too much (and loans on new bikes are easier than on used). Bought wife a new one she didn't end up liking, traded it in for big loss. A bit embarrassing really, but not regretted. Sh1t happens, and we've gotten more out of the bikes than we've put into them. Could have been more cost-effective about it all though.

Doubt I'll ever buy a new bike again at this point though, used is a lot cheaper and just fine.
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post #8 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:18 PM
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I bought my Speed Triple brand new, but it was a two year old left over and got a great deal.

My Rocket X? Yeah, I paid a premium for that. It cost me more than my used Volvo station wagon cost me. My personal rule, as enforced by my lovely but stern wife, is that I can have one vehicle payment. When the Rocket is paid for I will evaluate the Volvo. If it still has life, I plan to add a Thruxton R to the stable! I have made the choice to invest my "disposable" vehicle funds on motorcycles and skimp on my car. Works for me.

But, if I were you I definitely would not take financial advice from me...
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post #9 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 07:40 PM
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I'm like most of you guys, I can easily afford a new bike, but cannot stand the idea of wasting that kind of money. I guess that is why I'm a cheap bastard. In fact, I have never had any kind of vehicle that was bought new. The wife, on the other hand, has almost always had new cars. She doesn't even condone of me having the bike.

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post #10 of 101 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:48 PM
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I'm a Risk Manager for a Bank. I would say if your total debt-to-income ratio is 24% or less, including the payment for your non-essential toy, you still have a comfortable cushion of discretionary income. You may even go a little higher, like 30%, but 24% or less is typically considered very low debt service.

Now with regards to a motorcycle purchase, if you are concerned about depreciation and re-sell, don't buy new. Motorcyles are not investments. But you know this already.

I bought my 2014 TBird Storm brand spanking new. It was old new stock, and I got a decent deal, but the bottom fell out of the value. No surprise and I didn't care. I intended on keeping the bike 10 years or more so why worry about depreciation. And, I financed it even though I could have scraped together the cash to pay for it. But it was worth it to me to pay a modest interest rate and keep my discretionary savings intact. Cash (savings) is King! I doubled up on payments for a while to knock the principal down, now I owe less than $1000. The interest expense has been minimal.

Looking back, I"m sooo glad I bought new and with a warranty. The 2014 suffered a freakish break in the frame and after a little tussle with Triumph Corporate, I exchanged it for a brand new 2015 Storm under warranty. Without the warranty, I would have been been looking at a unique and possibly costly repair.

Sorry for the ramble but if you can afford it and it makes you happy, buy new. Life if short and why not enjoy the latest and greatest offered. Heck, buy the bike you thought you could not afford and make payments if it suits you. Go with your heart, not your head, as there is nothing wise and sensible about being a motorcyclist. :-)
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