Fighting Materialism: Staying happy with one bike for a long time

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by fastring, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

    Aug 5, 2012
    Monroe, GA
    How do you do it?

    I'm guessing most dont, I thought I was happy with buying new (or new to me) bikes every year or so and trying to find "the ideal bike" or "bikes" for different purposes.

    In the end, the "new" wore off and I spent lots of $ and time trying to figure out what to get next or solve problems I havent yet experienced on bikes I havent yet purchased. I've lived distracted. Should have spent more time riding, less time reading and day dreaming of what I'd want next.

    Looking at selling my second bike so that I'm down to just the 03 R1150GSA. While I will likely keep reading about the servo brake or final drive failure that has not yet materialized for that bike, it does what I realistically want it to do. I can do gravel roads, cross country and commuting.

    Will I keep it forever and not add another "to the stable"? I'm weak, I'd still like a "smaller dirt oriented" bike but am going to try hold out. I'm less weak on replacing the GSA for something better road oriented (real cruise control) and going to try to hold on to this one for as long as I can and keep my eyes off the shiny new models. My car is now my "last", I will replace its battery pack and keep it for as long as economically feasible. Now I need to learn that same "satisfied complacency" for what I have in a motorcycle.

    I did purchase some RT wheels so that I can have dirt oriented tires on the 19/17 spoked wheels and road tires on the 17/17 mags. That and two sets of luggage, soft Mosko for dirt and hard Jesse for road/commuting.

    Maybe creating this post helps me convince myself that I can do this...
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  2. shoeb

    shoeb Long timer

    Feb 9, 2015
    Sheffield, England
    I hear you, I'm a minimalist at heart. I've found a bike I'm happy to stay with for many years if it lets me.

    I find the best ways to be free from materialism is to avoid too many adverts, and to do away with the idea that a bike has to 'have it all'. If you can learn to live with a bike (or house, job, wife etc) that you know isn't perfect, you can have a lot more peace in life IMO.
    DKCJ, Tallbastid, MeanMug and 11 others like this.
  3. allowishish

    allowishish Boof Master

    Dec 7, 2014
    Denver...ish, CO
    1st, the 1150 GSA (styling wise) is my all time favorite... so a little jealous.

    I have always been a one bike kind of person and have never felt restricted by it.

    When I had a GSX-R it still did gravel and two track to get to some fly fishing spots. When I had my 1200 GSA it still caught plenty of sport bikes in the canyons. All of my bikes do a bit of everything... I just accept that they may not be designed for a particular style of riding, they can still do it but will be limited.

    Personally I accept the limitations of whatever bike I buy. I buy the bike that works for me and ride it till it is no more. That is just the way I have always been.
    My annual mileage has varied from a few 40,000 mile years to my lowest year at 16,000 miles over the last 20 years.

    As a society the norm seems to be more towards "I want it all and I want it now". That has never really been my moto
  4. trumpet

    trumpet Group W Bench

    Aug 2, 2008
    Always preffered a more 'universal' approach, the bike should be able to do many things. Market fragmentation has worked for selling bikes,but works against us as far as flexibility goes.

    Find a bike that speaks to you, and figure how to make it work for you. /zen
  5. Offcenter

    Offcenter On The Road Again!

    Jul 5, 2012
    Northern New Jersey
    Waaay back in 1974, I wanted a smooth, QUIET, long lasting bike.
    So I bought the new BMW R90/6 when it came out. Rode that bike
    for more than 30 years, over 172,000 miles. Eventually it got old
    and worn and it now sits in the back of my shed.
    I recently acquired a slightly used Goldwing 1500. MUCH smoother
    and quieter than the BMW ever was. I'm now prepared to go the
    distance with this one. Since I'm now 68 years old, I will most
    likely ride this one 'til I die.
    I've had a bunch of other bikes in between, all used.
    But none of them ever satisfied me like the BMW did, or
    like the Goldwing does now.
  6. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

    Dec 11, 2015
    Try being under paid, and unemployed

    That will cut into you consumerism
  7. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

    Dec 31, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    Wait... what?
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  8. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

    Dec 10, 2006
    Long ago when I was single (before marriage and mortage), I had some pretty nice bikes (BMW sporttourers etc...).
    Then after marriage and mortage I downsized to a DR650 and that was my sole bike for many years. I did have a second wheelset (motard for street and knobby for dirt) which helped.

    I did manage a second bike (and at one time 3 bikes) by buying really cheap used bikes. But a cheap dirtbike or dirt oriented dualsport can be really reasonable. And even an older beat to crap dirtbike will always be better than your big GS offroad. If you are just doing dirt roads, then pretty much any street bike will work (just go a little slower). But if you are talking actual offroad (a relative term I know) you really need a smaller bike.

    Sorry, Im probably not helping...
    Chaostrophy likes this.
  9. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Sep 6, 2011
    If you don't like the water, don't buy a boat.

    Same bikes.

    But, if you love touring, and trials riding, you do need two different bikes.

    If you've something in the shed that you haven't ridden for two years, you probably could sell it.
    ACR, MeanMug and Bucho like this.
  10. Sitheach86

    Sitheach86 Long timer

    Jan 21, 2016
    San Antonio, TX
    I don't need things to be happy. I know how to live without, and I love it. Living with less and being happy with or without is easy for me.

    That said, bikes are the exception to the rule for me. It mostly has to do with the fact there's not a single bike that does everything well.

    I like to ride in the dirt and I also like touring and riding with the misses. That's two bikes. I currently have one, a wr250r (almost bought a 1290 last week) and will probably replace it with a T7 or ktm 790 when it becomes available.

    I will own 2 or 3 bikes in the future, but currently all excess income is going into my business.
    ACR and srelegante like this.
  11. Tall Man

    Tall Man Priest, Temple of Syrinx

    Jul 14, 2007
    The Occident
    As it concerns motorcycles, I am a Materialist and I enjoy every experience that it provides. This is linked in no small part to the comparatively frugal manner in which the rest of my life, so to speak, is lived. E.g., I used a prepaid flip phone until last year, and the only reason I have a [prepaid] smart phone now is because it was received as a gift.

    So, rather than fight Materialism, I strictly limit and manage it within my means, and savor the adventure.
    nk14zp and Chaostrophy like this.
  12. clintnz

    clintnz Trans-Global Chook Chaser

    May 17, 2004
    Rotoiti, North Is, New Zealand
    I've just had my 640 for 14 years & almost 100K miles now. It's not too often I think seriously about getting anything else, the 640 is really versatile & suits the sort of riding I do. I did give it a lot of thought when buying the bike what I would be wanting it for, comparing various spec sheets & riding different stuff. It helps that the 640 was a very up-to-date bike for it's time & the adv-thumper class hasn't advanced in technology or variety at anything like the rate of the big adv beasts.

    Don't underestimate the value of knowing your machinery either. It makes riding & owning a motorcycle much more enjoyable & stress free when you can fix & service it easily & spot problems before they happen.

    DKCJ, Dad, snglfin and 2 others like this.
  13. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 PITA but useful

    Aug 1, 2004
    Moneyapolis, MN
    I got my 2005 SV new. Though about selling it a few times but it's still in the garage.

    Wonder who has the record for first owner, new bike, still owns category?
  14. RowBust

    RowBust Been here awhile

    Sep 6, 2013
    Motorcycle manufacturers spend huge amounts of time and money designing and building new and better bikes for our enjoyment, thank you all very much, why would you want to deny yourself the pleasures that they are providing us with? As for everything else couldn't care less
  15. TS888

    TS888 Deer dodger

    Nov 9, 2013
    White Salmon WA
    It's easy. Get divorced, you will find having even one bike a privilege... :pep
    BvilleBud, e.t., nk14zp and 4 others like this.
  16. Big Tall Bastard

    Big Tall Bastard Voice of Reason

    Jun 11, 2008
    Vantucky, WA
    Why would I want to do that? There are always more interesting, different rides out there. I'm not a big fan of technology but I'm also not close minded to improvements. Comparing my 87XR to my 18 500 EXC. I'll take the 500
  17. PNWet

    PNWet Been here awhile

    Nov 2, 2014
    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    For me, the DRZ400S was the answer. It does everything I want it to, and then some. I think this is a highly personal question though.
  18. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

    Jul 21, 2006
    I sold my 2007 Tuono, also bought new, in 2016. I bet there are riders and bikes here that have us beat by decades.
  19. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

    Jul 21, 2006
    Of course - but I think having a thirty year old bike qualifies as "for a long time".
  20. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

    May 10, 2014
    To me it's essentially a question of the following:

    1) Does your bike work for your purposes
    2) How high are upcoming maintenance costs approx.
    3) How flush with cash are you...

    I've got a R1150GSA from 2002 with 125'000km (approx) on it.
    aside from the usual things in maintenance it runs charmingly well and has never let me down.
    my only area of complaint is its weight... I woulndn't mind the bike to be 40-60kg lighter especially when the terrain is rough.
    But aside from this - the bike does everything I really want:
    - I commute on it (I ride daily unless there's snow/ice or I need the car to transport bigger stuff
    - I tour on it (anything from several hour around home to multi-week trips to remote places)
    - I ride for fun because I prefer riding over driving.
    - it often transports me and my gf to the local mountains for some hiking, climbing etc... that's where the R1150GS with panniers and a duffle on the rack is amazing, two up & sports gear for a few days ... no problem.
    - I go shopping with the bike (again, panniers are cool for that).
    - I use it at work to quickly drive into towns to fetch stuff I need... much more practical than the car.

    The bike has been extremely reliable aside from the low battery issues with the ABS-II... (it doesn't like a weak battery).

    Sometimes when I'm at a BMW dealer to get some parts or clothes or stuff or at another bike shop I can get a bit of a lusting after a new model with all the bells and whistles...
    but you know what? as soon as my arse is back on my trusty R1150GSA, I don't really think of replacing it.

    there will be a point when there's a good bit more miles on it and bigger maintenance would be needed (expensive) where I'd ponder to replace it...

    but owning multiple bikes ?? nope. not for me.,
    As simply put, the bike does everything I want it to do, really well.

    I don't know, if I'd be strapped with cash... loaded to the brim... I might look at it differently, but alas, I'm not.

    and frankly I'd rather put the money down to another trip than on a secondary or third bike I won't really need.
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