Monday, August 3, 2009

Decisions, decisions

September 24, 2007 - Monday
Who'd have thought spending ten grand could be so much work? All I wanted was a motorcycle - a nice green Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja. Florian and I test drove the 1998 model. It's perfect. Would be perfect. But by Swiss law it needs to be throttled at 34 PS for the first two years of my driving, and the Strassenverkehrsamt won't accept that particular model at 34 PS. Ninjas after the year 2000 can be limited to 34 PS. But not the '98 one.
I tried to organize a test drive of a 2000 model, all the way out in Bern. That fell through on account of the seller being ornery.
Last Saturday Florian and I drove two and a half hours down to Neuchâtel, in the French part, to check out a Buell XB9SX Lightning City Cross. He test drove it, came back and said it wasn't reduced to 34 PS.
The seller offered to reduce it for us, for 300.- The grand total would be 10'300.-, we'd have it in ten days. Good price, good service, good deal. But it's a lot of money. I'd be paying 70% and buying the rest off Florian a month at a time.
It's not that I don't like the Buell. It's not that I couldn't afford it. It's just that I like the Ninja better.
A lot speaks in favor of the Buell. It's small, fast, perfect for my daily commute to the office. It's better suited for winter and wetness than the Ninja, and that's saying a lot. Since a bad bike crash a few years ago that ripped up the whole left side of my body, I'm deathly afraid of skidding out in the curves. The Buell is more comfortable there.
It also drinks less than the Ninja. It's safer; you're sitting straight. I could do my driving test with it; it can get around the curves better than the Ninja. It's still be worth quite a bit in five, ten years. Unlike the Ninja, which loses at least a thousand every year. And it's available. Right now.
But the Ninja is cheaper to repair. It's lighter by 20 kg, and only has 636 ccm, instead of 1000. It has more room, and it'll be better suited for that Northern Germany motorcycle tour Löchen and I plan to do as soon as we both have our full licenses. You drive it leaning forward, all the weight on your wrists, but at least you're not a wind block. And the Ninja is over 2000.- cheaper, though I don't think that's a great argument since it loses value a lot faster than the Buell. And last but not least, the Ninja sounds way better than the Buell and has more style and design. The Buell is just ugly.
Florian and I spent most of yesterday comparing those two and looking at others. He even made an elaborate list, and the Ninja got more points than the Buell.
It would have helped considerably if I'd been able to test drive the Buell. I'd know for sure whether I wanted it or not. But after Löchen found out it wasn't reduced, that wouldn't have been legal.
Löchen would like the Buell. I know if I bought the Buell, I wouldn't regret it. I never regret spent money. Once it's gone, it's gone. There's always plenty more where that came from. But there's no reason to waste it if I can avoid it.
There's still a Ninja out there that I could go for. 8000.-, if the seller would respond and agree on a time for a test drive. Florian said I should test drive a few more machines; the Buell won't sell that fast. True. But I start work in Zurich on Wednesday and I need my own set of wheels. Not to mention that my learner's permit is good for 4 months and in October I need to take the 12 hours of practice to get it extended for a year...
I've got a few hours before I call the Buell seller and say yay or maybe later. I think I'll throw something on the Swissbikers forum and see what they say.
How come I gotta be so doggone picky?

I had no idea what I was getting into. And no clue in buying bikes, or I wouldn't have been looking at Ninjas.

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