Author Topic: Keep or Sell?  (Read 1535 times)


  • Bristles
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  • Age: 30
  • Location: East Bay
Keep or Sell?
« on: July 05, 2017, 03:52:17 PM »
Over the last few months with the gentle coaxing and guidance of a good buddy, I purchased a used motorcycle. This is by far my largest expense of the year. Its a beautiful Kawasaki Ninja 300 with ABS (white and gets 70mpg, if it matters). Literally it is the type of bike that I've always wanted since I was a teenager (27 now), but not until recently did I get my license and pull the trigger. I'm going to list out some expectations vs reality in hopes of whether your feedback will affirm my notion to sell the bike or encourage me to keep it via mustachian creativity. I'll also highlight what I spent in this learning process and what I can expect to recoup.

Expectation: Ride it to/from tennis practice
Reality: It is super time consuming to have to put on the gear, transfer my tennis stuff to a smaller backpack, and bring clothes & shoes to change into once I get there. Wearing proper riding gear on it is non-negotiable, even if I'm just riding down the street. It is easier to just put on tennis clothes, throw my regular bag into my trunk, and be on my way via car.

Expectation: Ride to work, especially since I'm moving offices soon to a closer location that doesn't require freeway travel
Reality: It is time consuming/inconvenient to have to pack clothes to change into once I get to work, or lug around riding gear if I wear my work clothes under. My storage capacity is incredibly limited (to a backpack) and I'm finding it to be easier/more efficient to just take the car. In a car I can take my work items and tennis gear, go to work, then to tennis, then swing by the grocery store on the way home if need be. With a bike (and requiring different apparel for each) it seems like I am limited to the amount of things I can carry.*

Expectation: Weekend trips
Reality: I do have a couple of friends that ride and want me to go on trips with them, but I don't really get excited about going places on the bike. Right now a weekend trip on the bike seems like a waste of time & gas when I could be doing something more enjoyable and safer.

Expectation: Manly DIY maintenance
Reality: I live in an apartment complex and don't have a garage or area where I can really fiddle with the thing or store . Oh, and did I mention I don't enjoy this type of stuff?

List of expenses thus far
Bike incl. license & registration: $3,700
Motorcycle Safety Course: $258
New license: $28
Helmet: $170
Gloves: $80
Insurance: $100/year
Already had boots & just wear jeans when I ride
Total: $4,336

Additional expenses if I choose to keep it
Riding pants w/ armor: $100-$200
Maintenance: $100
Storage attachment/pod: --not sure, don't even want to look.

So, I will admit that the bike is fun but I see my vehicles as tools, not as toys. I use them to haul me & my stuff from A to B. The bike is great at hauling me places, but not my stuff which limits its practicality. I have other hobbies that compete for my free time and it doesn't seem that even after dropping over $4k on this new hobby that I even want to do it. The good news is I purchased the bike at a really good price within 4 hours of it being posted on Craigslist. I can resell the bike, probably for profit with an asking price somewhere around $4,800. I saw the same bike w/more miles a day or two later for $5,000. I'd also get a refund on my insurance for 10-11 months worth of coverage.

If I sell it, I could buy a commuter bicycle but I'd be in the same boat with respect to my inability to lug things around (ball basket for tennis lessons, groceries, etc.) but at least with the bicycle I'd be getting in some exercise which is a nice tradeoff. I also really like the idea of putting that money back into a combination of cash savings and VTSAX. Curious to hear your thoughts!

*I could buy and install some additional storage units for the bike, but I feel like I've spent so much on it already that I'd rather be elbowed in the face than spend another penny on this not so useful tool. Seriously, it's a little painful for me at the moment. Also, if I wait until after summer to resell, riding season will be over and I'll most likely not get as good of a price for it.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 33
Re: Keep or Sell?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 04:51:42 PM »
I encourage you to keep the bike and learn to overcome some of the "realities" of being a motorcycle owner.

Of course the ultra mustachian thing to do is get rid of it unless you are going to do all the maintenance yourself.  Though honestly there isn't that much to do other than lube the chain from time to time.

If you find that after you try it for a while, you still hate motorcycle ownership and the hassle of having to plan ahead/carry things on your back, then sell it.  A few months of insurance and depreciation is hardly going to break the bank.

But personally as a rider, I like the challenge of getting on with day to day life without relying on a car (although I have one of those too).  Once you get in a routine, it becomes much easier to decide not to wimp out and drive to work.  I do think there are some good Stoic principles that can be learned from being a motorcycle-commuter, such as being creative about what you buy at the grocery store, and becoming comfortable with changing clothes in parking lots.

But again, if it's not fun for you, don't do it.  The point of being financially independent is being able to do what makes you happy.  I think you're just having a bit of buyer's remorse and you should try and push through, make adjustments, and soon your teenage dream of being a badass biker will come true.


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 483
  • Age: 30
  • Location: East Bay
Re: Keep or Sell?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 02:29:16 PM »
After another weekend of not using the bike, I am going to list it on Craigslist this evening or tomorrow. It was a great weekend with a lot of time spent with my SO, but in the handful of outings I made the bike was never the practical choice.

I'll put at least half of the proceeds into Vanguard (VTSAX), letting it earn passive income. The rest will go back into cash savings for a rainy day, vacation, etc. I'll update my journal once I have something to report.


  • Stubble
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Re: Keep or Sell?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 07:10:28 AM »
The last year I owned my bike I only put about 300 miles on it. That was what made my decision to sell it. It was not a big expense once I owned it. Similar numbers to yours. Mine was a cruiser so better for weekends but I had recently added a wife and the wife & dog couldn't go together on the bike so hikes were done in a car. What you don't want to do is sell it and re-buy another because you miss it. The turnover costs can be more than the cost of keeping it. (Turnover costs can be $ or time).


  • Bristles
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Re: Keep or Sell?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 07:37:15 AM »
If you live in an apartment complex and can't keep it garaged, sell it. Even with a good cover, the weather will get to it prematurely and it will be more hassle than it's worth.

That said, I have put almost 1200 miles on mine in the last 12 months with 9-mile work commutes and many spirited drives around some back roads. If you have the patience and the means, there's definitely nothing like it.