My brother bought a motorcycle this past weekend (a black 1992 Honda Night Hawk 750cc) and after seeing him and my uncle riding together I suddenly had a huge desire to own a motorcycle. But this isn't the first time I've wanted to buy a motorcycle.
Last year when I got my motorcycle license I had planned on buying a bike shortly there after. I rode my brother-in-law's Honda CBR600RR a few times and went to a couple of Harley Davidson demo rides to compare sports bikes with the Harley's. I decided the Harley's were much nicer for long rides and since I expected to be doing a lot of riding, a Harley made the most sense. I quickly found the bike I liked the most: a 2008 HD 1200XL Sportster Nightster:
It's about $9,500 new, which isn't that bad for such a nice bike. However, due to financial constraints, I simply couldn't afford it at the time. I was still going through a bankruptcy and my bank accounts were empty. It was clearly more of a want than a need and even if I decided to buy one, I didn't have the money and I wouldn't be approved for financing. That made it pretty easy to dismiss the desire and bury it for future reconsideration.
After seeing my brother's bike this past weekend, the desire was unearthed and I found myself again wondering how I could buy a motorcycle. But I ran into the same problem: with my tight financial position it's hard to justify spending any amount of money on something that I only want and don't actually need. That's when I began subconsciously looking for ways to justify buying it: "I'll save money on gas!", "I'll save money on insurance!", "I'll be able to enjoy the open air!", "I can sell my truck and worry about winter and snow when it comes!", etc, etc. Inside, I knew I was trying to justify the desire for something that wasn't needed and I heard a tiny part of me quietly rebelling.
I felt a sense of déjà vu as I observed myself doing this and that's when I remembered going through the same exact same process of overcoming desire a few years earlier (in fact, almost exactly three years ago) when I wanted to sell my truck and buy a Jeep Wrangler. That got me thinking... what the hell would I really do with a motorcycle when the ground looks like this:
During the winter months, there would be absolutely no way to use the motorcycle and I'd need to spend more money storing it (or risk spending money on maintenance in the spring). I started thinking about the goals I set for this year and the things I've already decided I really want to do, all of which will require money: complete the AFF program, learn scuba diving (classes, gear, etc), spend lots of weekends camping (commuting gas money), plane tickets to fly to various fitness events, and of course simply saving some money!
It really comes down to priorities. When I stopped thinking about how cool it would be to ride around on a motorcycle and I started thinking about what my priorities were, overcoming the desire for a motorcycle became easier and easier. The motorcycle simply didn't fit anywhere within my priorities! This didn't obliterate the desire, but at least now I feel like I'm thinking more rationally.
"Maybe I can find a cheap $3,000 motorcycle that I won't be so worried about spending money on maintenance and that I would feel comfortable tinkering with (great learning experience!)." "Maybe if I find a good deal, I can resell it before winter." Suddenly my approach seems more practical and I don't feel this urge to just go out and spend money.
Three years ago, when I almost sold my truck a splurged on a Jeep Wrangler, my truck had 133,000 miles on it. Now it's got 190,000 miles and I've had it for 4 years 8 months. Here's to another 110,000 miles of overcoming unnecessary desires. 🙂