Superbike vs SUV dilemma: Should I sell my Kawasaki Z900 & buy a Thar

The more desirable a lifestyle vehicle is, the more impractical it will be. But the Mahindra wouldn't be my only car. I currently drive a Toyota Innova Crysta.

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I have two cars in the family (of 4). One is used by my dad (Corolla Altis), and the other one is for me (Toyota Innova Crysta ZX, MT. Yes, TBHP helped me in this judgement). To spice my love for automobiles and to get my adrenaline fixed, I got a Kawasaki Z900 back in 2019, and it was a childhood dream come true! It's a true blue Inline-4 and I threw in a complete exhaust kit so it sounds the part it looks, too. For most, a litre class inline-4 is the final stage of fun in biking.

I've had my fair share of biking and mingling with the biking community, and let me tell you: the more desirable a lifestyle vehicle is, the more impractical it will be. I've read a couple of really good ownership threads on TBHP, with pho3nix's thread coaxing me really hard to get the Thar.

The question is: from one lifestyle vehicle to another, is the jump valid or I'm just bored? There are a lot of pros vs cons that keep me awake at night due to "buyer's anxiety".

Thoughts in favour of the bike, against the bike, for the Thar and against the Thar:

On the Z900

  • Z900 is a really well made international product, produces roughly the same power as a Thar and gives you a lot of attention and rush with one simple twist of a throttle.
  • It's fairly powerful for our roads and the aftermarket options are massive owing to the demand and supply Z900 enjoys in the inline-4 segment.
  • The quality is top-notch and a superbike nearly has the same road presence/snob value as expensive imports. People will talk to you about the "Dhoom" bike at every red light and parkings, and you'll be clicked every now and then by young enthusiasts.

Things about the Z900 that make me want to move to a Thar:

  • As fun as it is, the bike is pretty impractical. Heavy clutch in traffic, coupled with the temperate Indian climate and the heat generated by the bike makes it fairly difficult to go anywhere without dirt and sweat on your clothes. Enjoying the vehicle for more than 4 months a year is a perennial battle between my passion and the climate Gods.
  • You have to make some pretty visible lifestyle changes to enjoy this vehicle (wake up in the morning on weekends, only stick to good roads and pamper/treat it with the same anxiety as your first relationship) which I feel wouldn't be the case with the Thar. Just pick up the keys and hit the roads, dirt, your hometown, whatever. I could care for the Thar half as much as I do for the superbike and not be a careless owner (why does this sound blasphemous?).

For the Thar

  • The way it looks. It is half the battle won, oh lord, it's a looker. I could look at it all day, sing praises about it, write a few poems and wage wars and build museums about Thar's looks.
  • The Thar potentially gives loads of happy miles, I get to explore a new hobby segment and for a dude coming from a superbike, it's even comfortable for me.
  • While I did not drive the Thar extensively, which I should, I found the car acceptable. The interiors aren't as spartan anymore and the rear seating space looked good for a trip with my wife or friends. Oh, and cars are immune to the wrath of Sol. The aftermarket options for Thar are vast as well, and I can also hit up a local overlanding group (IIRC I found Northern Overlanders's YT channel from TBHP).

Things about the Thar that make me feel okay about being with the Z900:

  • Expensive. Other cars at the same budget give you tech, ride quality and interiors that pamper you, but I guess that's the part of impracticality that comes with pursuing a hobby. Had it been my only car, I'd probably never think about it. For a daily driver, I would like more creature comforts.
  • The Z900 is an internationally proven product vis a vis Thar. Mahindra comes with its own set of minor niggles. The quality of Japanese litre-class bikes is far ahead of satisfactory, and there's nothing you have to "live with" when it comes to quality.
  • The 10 year Diesel ban. I'm not very informed about how good this actually is, but I have an inch of feeling that it came as a knee jerk reaction.

I feel (and hope) that if I get a Thar, it will grow on me and it is largely more practical, even as a lifestyle vehicle, than a superbike. I'd love to hear TBHP's more seasoned thoughts, as I'm corrupted by Thar's beauty.

Here's what GTO had to say about the matter:

You said it. Even with just 2-doors, the Thar will be immensely more practical than the Z900. You could use it on a daily basis, including for the commute to work. I say sell the Z900 and buy the Thar:

  • You'll use it more. Like 10X more (work, play, offroading, highway trips, late nights, social activities). It is a useable Jeep.
  • You'll enjoy it equally. Instead of high-revving a superbike, you could offroad in your new 4x4.
  • Customise it to please the enthusiast in you & to make your Thar unique. One of the best things about owning a Jeep is customising it, making it like no other.
  • Biggest reason for my post = Safety. Not just the Thar's 4-star GNCAP rating, but a motorcycle's negative safety rating on Indian roads. I love motorcycles, yet have resigned myself to never owning one as I've seen way too many scary / sob stories due to motorcycle crashes.

Get the Petrol AT if you intend to keep it for 10+ years. Equally competent, although I personally like the Diesel AT more.

Here's a pic of BHPian vvb8530's Thar to get you tempted. It's a hard-top, which he was able to take off without much stress:

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say about the matter:

This is clearly a hobby activity for you (whether it's the bike or the Thar). And hobbies are VERY personal. Only you can answer which vehicle you should go with.

But since you have put the query out I’d take a stab regardless and you can see if it resonates.

Intuitively, I’d say the fact that you’ve even asked this question leads me to believe you’re not really a motorcyclist at heart - you’re really just seeking a fun hobby and finding your way around what would engage you the most. To that extent, do actively consider making the switch to the Thar and see if it works for you. It's perfectly fine to move from one interest to another and it seems to me you’ve hit that transition mark with your riding.

Both are FUN in an incomparable way although the Thar will be easier to enjoy on a daily basis, of course. Personally, in a perfect world I’d have both, but for me, the twist of the throttle even once a week is not something I’m able to give up on yet.

Perhaps see if you can rent a Thar for a weekend or even a bit longer (I know Chandigarh definitely has self-drive rental options) and see if you have a more engaging connection with it than the bike. That might help in making a more informed decision.

Good luck!

Here's what BHPian drift87 had to say about the matter:

Hold your motorcycle, you may regret selling it for anything other than a new motorcycle that is equally competent or content worthy. And I personally don't think a car can replace a motorcycle in terms of exuberance.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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