Wants vs. needs

Time to be a grown-up... | 30/4/2020

I've been writing about my aspiration to own a Zero electric motorcycle, and the potential barriers to achieving that aim.

Well, it looks like I can drop the word "potential"...

Yesterday I contacted the insurance broker to check what this small print (with my emphasis) would mean in practice: 

there will be security requirements that must be met whenever the bike is not actually being ridden - even if it is in a locked garage. As a minimum, these will require the bike to be secured with a disc-lock, D-lock or armoured chain, but there may be other requirements.

As I'd nervously speculated, the "other requirements" in question are an approved alarm and immobiliser.

The addition of which - as I've discussed elsewhere - is impossible on a Zero, because there's no always-on 12v power supply available on these bikes to power such devices.

In essence the bike is uninsurable for me, and it looks like I'm stuffed as far as two wheels is concerned. There's nothing else I'd be interested in riding, bearing in mind that I would be riding the Zero on a CBT: the Super Soco TC Max might have been a useful compromise - it has factory-installed security - but it just doesn't have the range.

Ah well, maybe it's for the best. I want a bike, but I need a car, so I think I need to focus (no pun intended) on getting four wheels under me. The bike was just going to be a toy, and I don't really need any new toys.

Probably a better long-term solution anyway - I'll be too old to ride a motorbike a lot sooner than I'll be too old to drive a car, I guess.

Ho-hum. Disappointed, but looking at the bright side.

For the amount of money I was going to chuck at getting the bike (over £18k by the time I was done, I reckon) I can get quite a lot of car. 

Specifically, I've more or less settled on an a late 2018 or newer Suzuki BoosterJet 1.4 AllGrip Vitara - automatic transmission, naturally:

Small for an SUV (at 2500mm, its wheelbase is only 50mm - 2 inches - wider than that of the Suzuki Swift supermini), it still has more than enough room for me, my fishing kit and anything else I might wish to carry; maybe not the most overtly stylish car in its segment, I actually like the somewhat "content over style" design; the AllGrip 4 wheel drive is certainly useful enough off-road for anything I'd choose to drive over (on-road, it'll help keep me out of trouble in the Winter); and - ridiculous as it might sound - I can insure it fully comp for half of what I'd been quoted for the bloody bike - and all without any unachievable security requirements.

 Most importantly of course - no helmet hair..!


It's the smart decision. Rather than spend a ton of money on a new toy, I'll just spend it on something to carry my old toys around in...

Categories: Personal