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Interesting article on what motivates people to buy and cherish products:

BBC - Capital - How the ?Ikea effect? subtly influences how you spend

Perhaps Suzuki, shrewdly, is selling us bikes that intentionally need some work. By the time we get them customized to our liking, our investment in money, time, and labor causes us to value them more highly than if we were given a turnkey solution.
 

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Interesting...

no doubt the amount of work I've put into my bike makes me love it like no other!

I even sat on a GS1250 recently, and started thinking about all the things I've done to my bike that I would miss.
 

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That's an excellent point. Suzuki certainly has a certain engineering "personality" that lends itself to the laying on of hands.

Low prices (especially used), solid and reliable basic engineering, and some maddening flaws (wiring, mostly) add up to a bike that you can and must make your own. And you need to put in more than money; it's about sweat equity as well. You put in time, you overcome frustration, and in the process you develop a bond.

You see the opposite with, for example, high-priced BMWs. There are plenty of folks who watch "Long Way Round", buy a BMW, slather it with the Touratech catalog, then scare themselves silly the first time they head down a gravel road. A few months or years later, the low-mileage bike appears in the flea market on ADVrider, or becomes a trade-in. All they did was put in money; there's no attachment.

With vintage bikes, you see this as well. With a few exceptions, there's simply no such thing as "flipping" a vintage motorcycle for profit. You're going to spend a lot more than it's "worth" to get it safe and reliable. Over on the vintage Suzuki forum, we have to break this reality to newbies all the time. Starting with a running bike and the standard assortment of neglect, you're in for $800-$1,200 or so plus a large whack of time and likely frustration to bring it up to snuff mechanically (never mind cosmetics). There aren't any shortcuts, but the path is well-understood and well-documented.

At the end, you get more than just a neat old bike; you get a real sense of accomplishment and you learn a lot.

Financially, it makes no sense. For that matter, motorcycles don't make any sense in the first place, financially or otherwise. We ride simply because we love it, and no other reasons are required. And making a motorcycle your own can be an important part of that enjoyment.
 
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