An 18-year-old’s dilemma: New Interceptor 650 or family’s old WagonR?
Would it be beneficial for me to start working on our 19-year-old Maruti or go ahead with my booking of the beautiful Royal Enfield motorcycle?
BHPian Bubango recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
I am thinking a lot about many things that I can do rather than buy an RE Int. 650. We have a 2003 Maruti WagonR Lxi and it’s already been deregistered (even the car is an adult now). It has just more than 1 lakh kilometres on it and has never had any major accidents, just one when in 2016, we were sandwiched while waiting in traffic to see the Auto Expo in Greater Noida. Still, could be worse.
I come from an Army family so every two years we keep moving due to my father’s transfers, so the car spent its first two years in Jamnagar. The reason why this is relevant to me is that the car has acquired a lot of rust in the underbody and side skirt area. My father says that the onset of that rusting began when we were in Jamnagar, i.e., in 2005 (I think). As Jamnagar is a coastal area, very humid in nature, with salty sand (??) and rain, so maybe he is right about it.
I am a young lad and really excited to get my hands dirty in the automotive scene. Actually, I am too young, I’m only 18 years old but I don’t know how to start. I do not know how to work on a car but I want to do that. My first and only choice would be the current old car that is the Maruti, to which I want to make some very minor changes:
- Cleaning the engine bay would be a first.
- I want to fit new 13-inch wheels on the car, subtle rims if possible. Nothing flamboyant.
- Headlights would be the next target as I have a malfunctioning left high beam.
- Finally, a big step, especially for me would be the rear suspension. It is absolutely blown and makes a huge noise when we get over a speed bump.
- If at all I am able to tackle these goals first by some miracle then I would love to get the engine checked, serviced comprehensively, and then think about some minor performance mods.
The biggest problem for me right now is that I don’t have any tools to work on the car so that is a drawback. I don’t really know where to get them or what would be good to start with.
So I come to the conclusion (or rather a question), is it beneficial for me to start working on my old car or continue with my booking of that beauty of a bike that is the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650? Opinions would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:
Since you are keen on getting your hands dirty, I’d suggest doing an internship – even if part-time – at a local garage. Or even better, a tuner / modification shop. That’s the best way to learn the mechanics of a car.
Because of the dangers, I don’t condone motorcycling in India. If you were my kid, I’d make you cancel that Interceptor booking and get you a cheap hatchback instead.
Here’s what BHPian TROOPER had to say about the matter:
While every person is different, I would say at 18, one would take some time to learn the perils of the Indian roads and motoring in general.
Bikes were banned in my household. Took 9 years of driving, in which the latter years were when driving maturity hit, only after that did I face little or no resistance to buy my first bike. I would also add that I have zero regrets it took me so long to get into motorcycling. All the extensive driving has helped me gain an insight which I wouldn’t have had at the ages of 18-22.
While one needs to be responsible with both a bike and a car, with respect to the safety of other road users, there’s an additional responsibility for one’s own safety with bikes.
So here’s what I would recommend. Get your car to be roadworthy by doing some DIY. Let the tougher work be done by a competent mechanic.
Soak in the driving conditions of Indian roads. There are tons of threads here. While driving/riding is a practical activity, you wouldn’t believe how reading up on various threads here from the road safety section will help you.
Lastly, please cancel the booking of the Interceptor 650 and get a less powerful bike. I would personally recommend a 150-200 cc for starters. It may sound boring. I presume you may already know how to ride a 350 cc considering you are from an army family. But knowing how to keep calm and tackle Indian roads is a different ball game, and I wouldn’t recommend starting out on a 650 cc. At the most, you could stretch to a CB 350 or the RE 350 twins.
Hope you take my suggestions positively and and wish you millions of safe miles!
Here’s what BHPian Axe77 had to say about the matter:
I don’t think the budget for the car repairs (going by some previous posts) rules out the bike.
On that basis, I’d say – do both.
- Simultaneously driving a bike as well as a car means you will be more aware of the issues / hazards / concerns of the other road users (i.e. while driving a car being aware of both dangers as well as limitations of two-wheeler riders and vice versa). With the right civic sense approach to driving, this means you will hopefully have more empathy towards each type of road user.
- There may be many times when a car is just better suited for a trip. So it will be handy to keep this option alive.
- This is a perfect age (although IMO any age is perfect) to ride a nice bike. An Interceptor is a lovely machine – big enough to be fun while being enjoyed responsibly and not an outright superbike. Invest in some good riding lessons to enhance your skills.
Here’s what BHPian GutsyGibbon had to say about the matter:
Have you looked at the tool kit that comes with the car? You would see that there is a jack and tools needed to replace wheels. Buy a set of tire irons, and you are all set to replace the wheels – one at a time. You can read up on wheel balancing with lead weights, or go get it done at a tire shop. Also, consider buying used wheels, from people who are upgrading their wheels.
The headlights usually have a rubber housing, and a spring-loaded clamp. These are designed to be removed easily without tools. Not sure about WagonR, but it has been this way for the cars I am familiar with.
The next thing would be the engine oil, oil filter and air filter. You would need minimal tools to perform these jobs. Do not buy the tools before deciding on the job, it would become an endless endeavor. Scope out the job, then look for tools needed. When you are doing these jobs yourself, the costs would be minimal, you would have all the money to buy your bike.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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