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Rabbit holes and expensive regrets.

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Droog
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PostPosted: 09:48 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Rabbit holes and expensive regrets. Reply with quote

Have you ever started a bike project that you though might take a few months but turns into a two year rabbit hole that you thought would never end and cost more than you expected?

Have you bought expensive helmets, leather jackets and other kit that seemed like a good idea at the time but you have come to regard as expensive, uneccessary and egotistical indulgences and that the money could have been spent on far more useful things like food and shelter?

This subject can of course expand outside of motorcycles and include jet-skis, home enertainment systems, plastic surgery, hair transplants etc.

Just asking for a friend.
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Robby
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PostPosted: 09:52 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a regret, not even a surprise, but my CB250RS has been an expensive rabbit hole.

I very carefully didn't keep a record of what I spent on it, but it has taken 3 years and a lot of money to restore. It probably owes me 5 times its actual value.

This is partially intentional. I wanted to make sure I never sell it.
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MarJay
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PostPosted: 10:12 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason people can afford to buy what they want to buy, is that they think carefully about what they spend.

Anything I've spent on bikes and ended up wasting I've not been too bothered by because I've had fun.

Other things? Yeah I'm bothered, but once it's done, it's done. What's the point in fretting about it?

With regard to kit, good kit is always worth spending on. Especially leathers which last forever unless you crash.
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Droog
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PostPosted: 10:20 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robby wrote:
Not a regret, not even a surprise, but my CB250RS has been an expensive rabbit hole.

I very carefully didn't keep a record of what I spent on it, but it has taken 3 years and a lot of money to restore. It probably owes me 5 times its actual value.

This is partially intentional. I wanted to make sure I never sell it.


Sounds like you know exactly what you are doing and how things would pan out - so all good - in contrast I've been on a bit of a learning curve.
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Droog
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PostPosted: 10:27 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarJay wrote:
The reason people can afford to buy what they want to buy, is that they think carefully about what they spend.

Anything I've spent on bikes and ended up wasting I've not been too bothered by because I've had fun.

Other things? Yeah I'm bothered, but once it's done, it's done. What's the point in fretting about it?

With regard to kit, good kit is always worth spending on. Especially leathers which last forever unless you crash.


Yeah - totally agree - I am in a contemplative mood at the moment - which is I guess part of the reason we take on projects and do stuff - to grow as people - the successes, the failures and the regrets are all equally valuable and necessary parts of the experience.

Getting less philosophical and getting back to bikes and kit I remember buying an expensive ROOF Le Mans helmet which looked and felt great in the shop but which I came to totally hate for various reasons. I've been happy with all my other lids though.
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Bhud
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PostPosted: 11:19 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. I always expect bike projects to be expensive (total loss), but I have a fixed figure set in stone beyond which I won't cross, and I never consider them to be investments. They are learning experiences which I take on because I really like them, and I don't have an engineering background so I need to get some knowledge somehow, and also because I don't want to be held back and forced to buy whatever BMW or Yamaha dictates that I have to have in terms of aids and features. I want to be able to pick any old bike in any condition and say, yes, I'll give that a try for a bit.

My last project was to be a hybrid 550 LTD with 550 GPZ engine, 550 GT running parts and custom fabricated battery hanger, side panels, mudguards, etc. I had to let that one go because my donor GT was caught up in a lengthy and uncertain insurance wrangle when someone drove into it, so I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to repair it, or repair and then cannibalise it for the project. I decided the first option made more sense, so I went for that and sold the LTD and GPZ stuff. It was bought by some rich kid who came along with his dad. He was polite, but he obviously thought that I was getting rid of it because it was too much for me as a project. This was false.

About the gear thing - no, absolutely not. I think this is because I don't fit the mold, really. The expected cycle: buy a middleweight road bike, run it around for a little while, do a track day, buy a sports bike, take it to track days, etc. before losing your taste for it because you have a family and a mortgage and it's a a lot of trouble organising it and getting there? All I see in that is £££ down the drain, because money has been shelled out on one-piece leathers, expensive helmets, etc.
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MarJay
But it's British!



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PostPosted: 11:26 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Droog wrote:

Getting less philosophical and getting back to bikes and kit I remember buying an expensive ROOF Le Mans helmet which looked and felt great in the shop but which I came to totally hate for various reasons. I've been happy with all my other lids though.


Helmets and tyres are fairily unique in that regard. They are things that you buy that you can't really trial properly, but once fitted and used, you can't take them back.

The trick is to put it down to experience and make sure you don't buy X again. In some ways tyres are worse as different manufacturers make different models that work for different people. Reviews mean bog-all in a lot of cases. Consensus seems to work well for tyres (if a lot of people say it's good, then it often is).

As a slight aside, I had a Roof R010 years ago, and I loved it to bits.
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Droog
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PostPosted: 11:32 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bhud wrote:
No. I always expect bike projects to be expensive (total loss), but I have a fixed figure set in stone beyond which I won't cross, and I never consider them to be investments. They are learning experiences which I take on because I really like them, and I don't have an engineering background so I need to get some knowledge somehow, and also because I don't want to be held back and forced to buy whatever BMW or Yamaha dictates that I have to have in terms of aids and features. I want to be able to pick any old bike in any condition and say, yes, I'll give that a try for a bit.


Yeah - totally concur with this Bhud - I have learned loads from my project - and that's why I did it - plus I get a working motorcycle out of it instead of a rusting old nail sat doing nothing and ready for the breakers - so I don't regret it - but there are definitely highs and lows - but that's all part of the learning experience. Very Happy
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Droog
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PostPosted: 11:37 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarJay wrote:


Helmets and tyres are fairily unique in that regard. They are things that you buy that you can't really trial properly, but once fitted and used, you can't take them back.

The trick is to put it down to experience and make sure you don't buy X again. In some ways tyres are worse as different manufacturers make different models that work for different people. Reviews mean bog-all in a lot of cases. Consensus seems to work well for tyres (if a lot of people say it's good, then it often is).

As a slight aside, I had a Roof R010 years ago, and I loved it to bits.


Yeah - agree - it's very subjective - it's a good idea to avoid impulse buys with expensive things like helmets - do some research and take your time.

As an aside I think I would have been happier with the Roof 101. The Le Mans has atrocious peripheral vision in my opinion - which was bad news when dicing through London traffic..
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pepperami
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PostPosted: 12:34 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Re: Rabbit holes and expensive regrets. Reply with quote

Droog wrote:
Have you ever started a bike project that you though might take a few months but turns into a two year rabbit hole that you thought would never end and cost more than you expected?

Have you bought expensive helmets, leather jackets and other kit that seemed like a good idea at the time but you have come to regard as expensive, uneccessary and egotistical indulgences and that the money could have been spent on far more useful things like food and shelter?
.


Yes, and yes.

Oh boy! Project Scrapper Hyosung Shocked , I should have remembered that as it is a 125, it has suffered all the L-plate/new rider abuse most 125’s suffer.
Still worth putting a bit more money into it, I think? Possibly? Shifty Eh?
Luckily I am a bit wiser and a little bit more adept at bodging things back together these days.

In the dim and distant past, I’ve payed way to much for kit because of the label, not anymore .
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Droog
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PostPosted: 12:57 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Re: Rabbit holes and expensive regrets. Reply with quote

pepperami wrote:


Yes, and yes.

Oh boy! Project Scrapper Hyosung Shocked , I should have remembered that as it is a 125, it has suffered all the L-plate/new rider abuse most 125’s suffer.
Still worth putting a bit more money into it, I think? Possibly? Shifty Eh?
Luckily I am a bit wiser and a little bit more adept at bodging things back together these days.

In the dim and distant past, I’ve payed way to much for kit because of the label, not anymore .


Yep - this type of experience seems to be the exclusive route to getting 'wiser and more adept' Very Happy
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 13:29 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a house...

But yes, I shudder to think what I've spent on the 612 bullet compared to what it's worth but I did go into that with both eyes open. It's NOTHING compared to what a mate has sunk into his harris GSXR.
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ThunderGuts
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PostPosted: 13:43 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really a project per se; bought a written off ER5 a few years back (cosmetic write off). It was running and seemed straight; because of the status I couldn't test ride it and got it for £800 so was happy enough. Got it delivered to a garage, passed MOT and I was all smiles. Rode it home and the first cracks appeared (literally) - the tyres were perished, but it took a few miles of riding before the cracks appeared. £150 straight away. Then the carb turned out to be mucked up plus a knackered petcock; cost around £40 to sort but took many many hours of my time to take it apart and rebuild. Brake line, hugger, home-made fender extender, heated grips, fairing etc. and ended up spending an awful lot of time on that bike and probably close to £500 ultimately. Then sold the bike for less than I bought it for as nobody wanted a bike with a write-off history. I had bought it originally planning to keep it as a hack but my circumstances changed.

However, every cloud and all that, I learnt a lot about bikes during my ownership of it as I did every job myself, it was a solid bike and although hardly exhilarating, it was satisfying having a great day out on a cheap and basic bike.
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Droog
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PostPosted: 13:55 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
I bought a house...

But yes, I shudder to think what I've spent on the 612 bullet compared to what it's worth but I did go into that with both eyes open. It's NOTHING compared to what a mate has sunk into his harris GSXR.


Yeah - totally get this - I guess it's good that we are not car enthusiasts as I've heard that rebuilding an old Porsche or Merc is where the really catastrophic money pit action is at.
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Droog
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PostPosted: 13:55 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThunderGuts wrote:
Not really a project per se; bought a written off ER5 a few years back (cosmetic write off). It was running and seemed straight; because of the status I couldn't test ride it and got it for £800 so was happy enough. Got it delivered to a garage, passed MOT and I was all smiles. Rode it home and the first cracks appeared (literally) - the tyres were perished, but it took a few miles of riding before the cracks appeared. £150 straight away. Then the carb turned out to be mucked up plus a knackered petcock; cost around £40 to sort but took many many hours of my time to take it apart and rebuild. Brake line, hugger, home-made fender extender, heated grips, fairing etc. and ended up spending an awful lot of time on that bike and probably close to £500 ultimately. Then sold the bike for less than I bought it for as nobody wanted a bike with a write-off history. I had bought it originally planning to keep it as a hack but my circumstances changed.

However, every cloud and all that, I learnt a lot about bikes during my ownership of it as I did every job myself, it was a solid bike and although hardly exhilarating, it was satisfying having a great day out on a cheap and basic bike.


Yeah - I had a similar experience with my first bike - a 600 Bandit - I was a rookie back then and knew jack all about bikes and didn't even realise it had been crashed until my mechanic mate took the front wheel off and showed me the bent spindle . . .

But ah well - we both learned something Very Happy


Last edited by Droog on 13:57 - 16 Sep 2020; edited 1 time in total
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:56 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarJay wrote:


Anything I've spent on bikes and ended up wasting I've not been too bothered by because I've had fun.


Amen.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 14:40 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salvaged Superlight: very straightforward, got it roadworthy in a few months.
Salvaged Fazer: thought I could fix it, turned out the back engine mount had shattered, gave up sharpish and took the loss.

Good decisions come from experience, experience comes from [learning from] bad decisions Smile
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Droog
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PostPosted: 14:58 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
Salvaged Superlight: very straightforward, got it roadworthy in a few months.
Salvaged Fazer: thought I could fix it, turned out the back engine mount had shattered, gave up sharpish and took the loss.

Good decisions come from experience, experience comes from [learning from] bad decisions Smile


Yeah - when we look at success we often don't realise the amount of failure it took to achieve that success.
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Fisty
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PostPosted: 16:06 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

The TLR has turned into a labour of love rather than a rabbit hole.

I dread to think how much it has cost, the only parts left from when I bought it is the frame and the headlight.

I will see something on eBay buy it and swap it over, it may only be a few ££ but it does add up.

It has had 3 big bore engines of various sizes, only to return to a standard one as it is less trouble.

The 1080cc cost me £1900 to build......

EDIT:- Ive just added up how much I spent on dyno time. I could have bought the bike twice over.
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Droog
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PostPosted: 16:35 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fisty wrote:
The TLR has turned into a labour of love rather than a rabbit hole.

I dread to think how much it has cost, the only parts left from when I bought it is the frame and the headlight.

I will see something on eBay buy it and swap it over, it may only be a few ££ but it does add up.

It has had 3 big bore engines of various sizes, only to return to a standard one as it is less trouble.

The 1080cc cost me £1900 to build......

EDIT:- Ive just added up how much I spent on dyno time. I could have bought the bike twice over.


I totally understand this - particularly the labour of love part - it seems to be a pretty common experience with projects - the way the initial project brief tends to expand the further down the line you go - as you think of new ideas, spot new/better parts or have to fix mistakes.
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WD Forte
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PostPosted: 17:18 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon this 'rabbit hole' malarkey is why so many 'improved' or
custom/cafe/bobbers etc are going for such eye watering prices.

It's fun to tinker,mod and experiment, I'm all for that,
but by now I do ask myself if I'd truly improve it or just waste time and money.

I have simple but strict rules:
1 - Build a good, fit for purpose bike.
2 - Making it look pretty is an option
which must not compromise 1
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 18:12 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or have a very clear idea of exactly what you want to have and make that happen, but don't expect to get the money back from it if you move it on.
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ThatDippyTwat
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PostPosted: 18:19 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figure I'll get, at best, scrap value back, and anything more is a bonus. I usually end up on the good side of a project financially, but when I don't, it's not pretty.
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Fisty
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PostPosted: 18:55 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
but don't expect to get the money back from it if you move it on.


This oh so this.

Because you have sunk 5k into your Cafe/brat/hipsterfuckup bike by no means it is worth that.
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Polarbear
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PostPosted: 21:25 - 16 Sep 2020    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only made a profit on one bike, a GL1800 Goldwing. And that's only a profit from buying and selling because the dealer didn't know he had a very rare model. Saying that I would have spent more on servicing and stuff than I made so really I didn't make a profit overall. Laughing

Anyway, if you want to pour money away, buy a boat. Embarassed
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