Investing in precious metals 101

Need to finish off my list of items I NEED to have in an emergency…but is using credit a good idea?

Login or register to post comments Last Post 9097 reads   29 posts
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 29 total)
  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 05:43am

    #1

    TommyHolly

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 10 2010

    Posts: 55

    count placeholder

    Need to finish off my list of items I NEED to have in an emergency…but is using credit a good idea?

Hey guys,

OK second time writing this.  The garbage forum software this site uses doesn’t work with Internet Explorer 9 so I can’t post or copy and paste…My main question is: Is it a good idea to make a small short term (24-48) month purchase on credit if you are really concerned about an economic collapse?

 I am finishing up the last of my list in order of priority to prepare for some of the most drastic emergency scenarios.  I’ve taken care of purchasing the rest over the last few years with cash.  I have all the basics, food, heat, multiple forms of energy, water, protection, money and barter items, back up plans to back up plans…  I have no loans of any kind except for my mortgage, everything else, I paid in cash.

One of the larger items I think I will need in the event of a major emergency is a good all terrain motorcycle that has a long range.  (Dual-Sport or Enduro for those of you that know what they are… Either a BMW or Yamaha)  Since I live within an 1/8th of a fuel tank from Chicago, if there was an extreme emergency, people would be flooding the highways trying to get away from the big city.  The highways will be impassable by any car or even a jeep.  Only a motorcycle is a sure bet.  I can’t count on fuel being delivered to gas stations along my back-up escape route so I need something with enough range to get me where I need to go, about 500 miles straight South.  Motorcycles like this don’t come cheap.  You can’t find them used and you need to spend roughly $15,000.

$15,000 isn’t something I have available right now.  I am worried that my options may be limited in the future as what I can purchase and I know exactly what I need.  That means purchasing a $15k motorbike with a loan.  This worries me because I know the dangers of getting into debt during an impending crisis…  What would you guys do?  Risk not being able to purchase the exact kind of bike you need and later on settle for something that may end up leaving you stranded in a bad situation?  Or would you bite the bullet and go for the loan to buy the bike you need while you still can but quickly trying to pay it off over the next 2-3 years?

  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 08:37am

    #2

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 326

    count placeholder

    OK, TH, are you sure you’re

OK, TH, are you sure you’re not using TEOTWAWKI for an excuse to buy that luscious new Beemer?   I think your escape plan has merit, but I see low mileage Kawasaki KLR650s for sale often in the $3-$4K range.  Those are probably one of the most-used globe-girdling bikes out there.  Rugged, reliable, and cheap.  Three years ago, I’d say “go for it” in regards to any motorcycle purchace (I own about 14 bikes….).  but in the current times, spending that much borrowed money on such an item, with cheaper alternatives available, doesn’t make sense to me….but as I’ve indicated, motorcycles don’t have to make sense.   At least they didn’t have to.  But things change…..Keep in mind that travel on a bike leaves one pretty vunerable to “outside influences” as well.  You’ll have to work hard to keep that nice new bike yours in the scenario you describe…..Aloha, Steve.

  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 10:17am

    #3

    pinecarr

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2008

    Posts: 1088

    count placeholder

    thatchmo wrote:OK, TH, are

[quote=thatchmo]

OK, TH, are you sure you’re not using TEOTWAWKI for an excuse to buy that luscious new Beemer?   I think your escape plan has merit, but I see low mileage Kawasaki KLR650s for sale often in the $3-$4K range.  Those are probably one of the most-used globe-girdling bikes out there.  Rugged, reliable, and cheap.  Three years ago, I’d say “go for it” in regards to any motorcycle purchace (I own about 14 bikes….).  but in the current times, spending that much borrowed money on such an item, with cheaper alternatives available, doesn’t make sense to me….but as I’ve indicated, motorcycles don’t have to make sense.   At least they didn’t have to.  But things change…..Keep in mind that travel on a bike leaves one pretty vunerable to “outside influences” as well.  You’ll have to work hard to keep that nice new bike yours in the scenario you describe…..Aloha, Steve.

[/quote]

Good post, TH, and good reply thatchmo. 

I’ve been going through similar brain-strain as TH describes, except in terms of a car that would get much higher mpg than what I now get with my current car.  There are a lot of different angles to look at such a purchase (via  a low interest loan): get better mpg if gas goes way up BUT what happens if job is lost and can’t keep paying loan, etc.  Even though I really want to position myself to ride out higher gas prices better, I am still trying to decide if taking out the loan to position myself there is a smart move.  And then, as thatchmo points out, I also start to realize there may be cheaper alternatives (used small, reliable car with low mpg vs new high-profile car that gets high mpg).  OR…do I only plan insurance/resiliency for the worst case scenarios (e.g., as TH suggests,, roads blocked).  That imposes another/different set of requirements on what you’d purchase.  Then high mpg alone may not get you where you need to go.  Hard to sort things out, to even determine what the right criteria are for making such a decision.  

  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 01:16pm

    #4

    Jager06

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 03 2009

    Posts: 94

    count placeholder

    Thatch….Pinecarr

Might make a small recommendation?

The XR650L, with a lowering link if you need it. The motor is based on 20 year old technology, plenty of refinements in there to make it one of the most bulletproof. No liquid cooling, it is air cooled. Easily reached and adjusted valves. Common parts in large numbers due to it’s production levels, with specialty houses for more exotic modifications (Al Baker’s XR Only). No chains inside the transmission to break (KLR) and one of the winningest designs for the Baja 1000.

Obviously I have one, and I like it. Mine is slightly modified in the airbox and carburetor and gets approximately 55 to 60 mpg. Much better when I am being good with the throttle and not chasing deer cross country with it pinned wide open.

I have driven this bike all over the SIerras from 7k feet down to the Bay Area, all over Northern California as far North as Fortuna. With a larger after market gas tank and a rack on the tail, I have about 220 miles between fill ups and can carry extra bits on the rack. Wire cutters to get out off highway if TSHTF and you are bugging out, along with bedding, food extra gas, tools. My wife calls it my “Jeep” because I have even towed trailers and pulled other bikes/ quads out with it.

You should be able to find a good used one for around $2500 to $4500. No debt needed.

Best Wishes,

Jager06

  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 06:34pm

    #5

    thatchmo

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2008

    Posts: 326

    count placeholder

    XL650R

Agree with your assessment of the Honda, Jager.  One of the few bikes I’ve ever sold- just didn’t use it much here in Hawaii.  You’re definately spot-on with your assessment of the mechanical and design advantages of the Honda over the Kaw.  I think most of the M/C magazines liked the KLR over the Honda for world touring ’cause it was a bit more road-oriented- perhaps another reason why TH may be better served by the Honda.  Keeping it simple is always a good plan.  I can only imagine the amount of complexity in a $15K “dirt bike”: anti-lock brakes, traction control, computer this and that, fuel injection.    Tommy- I’d take Jager’s advice and experience to heart.  Going over an older bike to service it and make improvments also has benefits…If you don’t know bike mechanics, take along a friend who does to check out any used bike.  Aloha,Steve.

  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 07:17pm

    #6

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    count placeholder

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~ by Robert M. Pirsig

Tommy,

Very nice thread!!!

I figure one of my all time favourite books would be a total crime if there weren’t a link to a pdf copy of it on this thread, so …

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~ by Robert M. Pirsig (PDF)

“In a motorcycle this precision isn’t maintained for any romantic or perfectionist reasons. It’s simply that the enormous forces of heat and explosive pressure inside this engine can only be controlled through the kind of precision these instruments give. When each explosion takes place it drives a connecting rod onto the crankshaft with a surface pressure of many tons per square inch. If the fit of the rod to the crankshaft is precise the explosion force will be transferred smoothly and the metal will be able to stand it. But if the fit is loose by a distance of only a few thousandths of an inch the force will be delivered suddenly, like a hammer blow, and the rod, bearing and crankshaft surface will soon be pounded flat, creating a noise which at first sounds a lot like loose tappets. That’s the reason I’m checking it now. If it is a loose rod and I try to make it to the mountains without an overhaul, it will soon get louder and louder until the rod tears itself free, slams into the spinning crankshaft and destroys the engine. Sometimes broken rods will pile right down through the crankcase and dump all the oil onto the road. All you can do then is start walking.

But all this can be prevented by a few thousandths of an inch fit which precision measuring instruments give, and this is their classical beauty … not what you see, but what they mean … what they are capable of in terms of control of underlying form.”

“Precision instruments are designed to achieve an idea, dimensional precision, whose perfection is impossible. There is no perfectly shaped part of the motorcycle and never will be, but when you come as close as these instruments take you, remarkable things happen, and you go flying across the countryside under a power that would be called magic if it were not so completely rational in every way. It’s the understanding of this rational intellectual idea that’s fundamental. John looks at the motorcycle and he sees steel in various shapes and has negative feelings about these steel shapes and turns off the whole thing. I look at the shapes of the steel now and I see ideas. He thinks I’m working on parts. I‘m working on concepts.”

Jager, Thatchmo, great recommendation’s both. A reasonably priced and well maintained classic without all the diagnostic electronic gizmo is a sure fire way of getting oneself out of a sh*t-storm when one needs it the most …

~ VF ~

Maintainer of Classic’s in all guises, thirty years man and boy … Smile

  • Wed, Apr 27, 2011 - 09:59pm

    #7

    Nacci

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 23 2009

    Posts: 15

    count placeholder

    Vanityfox451 wrote: I

[quote=Vanityfox451] I figure one of my all time favourite books would be a total crime if there weren’t a link to a pdf copy of it on this thread, so …

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~ VF ~ [/quote]

I am a carpenter and mason by trade.  Building is also how I express my art.  Phaedrus’s quest for quality throughout this book had great influence upon my work.   I am secular and at a young age this book helped me chart a course in this wicked world.  It is also a stark cautionary tale about falling into mental rabbit holes and the price you pay to get out.  Nacci

  • Thu, Apr 28, 2011 - 12:16am

    #8

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    count placeholder

    A State of Zen …

Nacci,

You’ve set a beautiful president that I fully adhere to, much in a similar way as to the traps of being a regular writer on this forum for over two years, up to about 6 weeks ago when I finally realised what I’d been missing. I missed twirling a spanner (wrench), and even though Peak Oil is imminent and I can talk reams and reams of facts on the subject, I figured what the hell and bought a wrecked ’74 VW Beetle (Bug) in Clementine orange. I’ve spent the last weeks welding a floor and heater pipes back into it. The sense of self I’ve qualified back into myself in this time has been both substantive and rewarding. The project is set at a budget of £700, and will sell for three times as much when finished. It’ll go toward my passage to New Zealand from England when I set a date.

In itself, I’ve seen the sticky fly paper of the traps of this forum in all of its gory detail. After falling down the rabbit-hole that it created, I’ve finally summarized that no amount of pontificating about the effects on the future; nothing is going to fix this f*cked up world if even 10% of the people in it woke up tomorrow suddenly wizened, and with their head and both ears fully removed from the dark tight brown tunnel they’ve had it stuck up for millennia!

2008 and the supposed imminent crash that never came taught me something crucial. That 15% has been wiped off of houses and wages in purchasing power in the last 18 months or so, and still the public are asleep at the switch as though nothing has happened. Here I am in the UK and I can stress as a personal opinion that it’ll be more than three years before the effects that everyone talks and worries about on this forum are at all visible on the horizon as a solid fact in the minds of my neighbour’s. This will be the real beginning of the time I need to worry any.

I’m going to go off and live a while longer. Oh I’ll still stick my head into the pages of this little enclave of prognosticators, but I sense there is so much more time to sit and watch the wonder of a sunset; enjoy the pressure of the waves lapping about my feet at a beach; be in awe at the beauty of this world for just a little while longer yet …

Breathing in – breathing out – repeat. The air is good … Smile

~ VF ~

  • Thu, Apr 28, 2011 - 02:28am

    #9

    darbikrash

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 297

    count placeholder

    Vanityfox451

[quote=Vanityfox451]

Nacci,

You’ve set a beautiful president that I fully adhere to, much in a similar way as to the traps of being a regular writer on this forum for over two years, up to about 6 weeks ago when I finally realised what I’d been missing. I missed twirling a spanner (wrench), and even though Peak Oil is imminent and I can talk reams and reams of facts on the subject, I figured what the hell and bought a wrecked ’74 VW Beetle (Bug) in Clementine orange. I’ve spent the last weeks welding a floor and heater pipes back into it. The sense of self I’ve qualified back into myself in this time has been both substantive and rewarding. The project is set at a budget of £700, and will sell for three times as much when finished. It’ll go toward my passage to New Zealand from England when I set a date.

~ VF ~

[/quote]

If you’re a fan of air cooled Germanic contraptions of ill temper (as I am) you’ll not rest until you read Harry Pellow’s treatise on rebuilding 4 cylinder Porsches. Harry (The Maestro) Pellow published a series of instructional books detailing, with a certain flair for the Zen component, the intricacies of rebuilding a German air cooled engine.

Some call this senseless affliction a disease, indeed, I was struck with a near fatal dose which I named the “Teutonic Plague” which beset me for several decades during which time I spent hours covered in German machine oil transfixed by the contradictions of German engineering. So elegant, so simple, yet so infuriating. Symptoms include babbling incessantly that the auto parts store guy is always smarter than you, your jeans rattle when you walk, bulging with micrometers and vernier calipers just in case you need to mic a part. (No self respecting practitioner would ever use a DIAL caliper, it must be a vernier for any street cred) You’ll argue the thermal expansion  of forged crankshaft journals and the correct temperature for measurement, you’ll use the living room for what God intended, a well deserved and heated respite for engine overhaul.

Your hearing becomes attuned to the strange whirring and clacking of a high performance air cooled engine, and you’ll while away countless hours debating the debasement of a “big bore” kit. You’ll learn the true meaning of expressions, mastered by The Maestro, as to what it really means to be “tighter than a bull in fly time”.

Gucci-shoed 911 owners need not apply, the domain of The Maestro was strictly 4 cylinder machinery, air cooled of course.

The Maestro’s first book, “Porsche Engines and the Future of the Human Race” was the definitive tome for the master race rebuild, followed by the penultimate volume “Secrets of the Inner Circle” describing in vivid and sarcastic detail, the various and sundry insidious failure modes common to the home rebuild.

Even if you’ve never owned an air cooled four cylinder, once you read these two books you surely soon will. Highly recommended.

 

Article on Harry Pellow

Carl R. Bengtson

A gold-plated dip-stick? I didn’t believe it!

I first met Harry Pellow, aka, The Maestro, on the recommendation of another mechanic. “He’s the only one,” he said, “who can put together your engine given the condition of it.”

Harry’s small shop right off the airport in San Jose was initially hard to find. I brought my 912 engine to him in a basket. I hardly guessed that this small man with somewhat beady eyes and a very dirty computer terminal had a master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT.

When he first talked to me, I could tell his mind raced a million miles an hour about engines, displacement, horsepower and foot pounds of torque.

“Here,” I said, handing him the engine’s crankshaft that had seen its better days. “Someone told me you could fix this.”

He grabbed it like a mother cuddling her first newborn. His glasses responded to a familiar nudge, forcing them to his forehead. Obviously far sighted, Harry inspected the unit with naked eyes.

“Humm,” he said. “Thirty under. But I think I have the right bearings for it somewhere.”

Well, that was some statement because parts were stacked throughout his shop to the point that their availability was accessed only through paths meandering through the piles.

“Man,” I thought. “I hope the engine looks better than his shop when he’s done with it.”

I left the parts with Harry, promising to return soon with what he needed for the job.

Unfortunately, this was at the time that my father was nearing death in Sacramento and I was making numerous trips there to see him. On occasion, I would email Harry promising to bring the parts soon.

Feeling guilty about not returning, one day I emailed The Maestro explaining that I was taking care of my father. He emailed me back: “Don’t worry about the motor; take care of your father.”

After my father’s death, Harry and I rejoined forces to get the engine done, but meanwhile he suffered a heart attack. The engine was again on hold.

Then one day out of the blue, I got an email that the job was done and I could pick up the motor anytime.

I emailed Harry again: “I’ll get there when I can; my mother died yesterday.”

“Geez!” he responded. “I’m sorry. The motor will wait. Take care of your mother.”

Around the New Year I finally got time to pick up the motor. I walked into the cluttered arena to see an engine perfectly put together and clean enough to eat off. A gold-plated dipstick adorned it with majesty befitting a king. After installing the engine into the car I also discovered that it ran as well as it looked.

With great sadness I learned from a friend that Harry had died. News of his death quickly spread through the Porsche community. I had talked to Harry about taking care of himself, and he said he knew he should. But, he said, he was spending too many nights up until 2 or 3 a.m. getting all his work done. I suggested he not worry about the work so much and take care of himself since he was so valuable to all of us.

Harry is gone now, but I am left with a beautiful engine, a memory of a man who really cared about me personally and a prayer to God:

“Don’t worry about my Porsche. Take care of Harry.”

 

 

 

  • Fri, Apr 29, 2011 - 05:27am

    #10

    TommyHolly

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 10 2010

    Posts: 55

    count placeholder

    There are only 2 options…

The main reason I NEED the bike and not just want a bike is for the worst of the worst kind of emergency.  During a financial meltdown, or any other kind of emergency where Gov can no longer provide for the masses (like too many people live their lives), even temporarily, the big cities like Chicago will be affected the most.  Just think about how bad it gets every snowstorm… the shelves of the local grocery stores are emptied overnight, gas stations run out of gas and even snacks, and people panic!  What I just mentioned happens for a simple snow storm where people know it will eventually stop snowing and things will get better… now imagine a true emergency where the future is uncertain?

I can go into these scenarios more but there is no need.  The history channel did a great job giving just a taste of what it will be like…  I highly recommend those interested check this out:

In a true emergency, gas will NOT be available.  Your cars will be useless, the highways will be blocked with thousands of people with the same idea as you.  Local roads will have problems and also be impassable in some places.  Your old Honda can’t go offroad or drive over 200 miles without fuel.  (Even less because that old Honda can’t carry much and the gas mileage will be way less.)  Don’t think for a second that you can just fill up at any gas station, because there will be no gas.  If everyone has the same plan as you, and figures they will just fill up at some highway reststop along the way, you are screwed.

So anyway, there is only 1 bike on the market that can theoretically drive almost 500 miles LOADED with a full pack (not even including extra fuel) and that is the BMW R1200GS Adventure.  Other people have come to the same conclusion as me and I’ve spoken to about 15 different BMW dealers recently and there isn’t a used one in the entire USA right now…  (Check for yourselves, they last about a day!)  Think about that, people have already come to the same conclusion as I have and there isn’t a single BMW Adventure out there used, anywhere!  To get one, you have to spend over $23,000 becaue you have to buy it new.

My second option is Yamaha just came out with a new Dual-Sport model called the Super Tenere which is similar to the BMW however it has a slightly smaller fuel tank and can only go just over 300 miles fully loaded.  It costs about $9,000 less similarly loaded but again, it’s not the same as the BMW.  Since the saddle bags are big I could carry extra fuel but that would cut down on how much supplies I can carry with.  Also, the bike can’t carry as much weight as the BMW.  I am kinda favoring the Yamaha due to price unless I can get a good deal on a used BMW somehow?  One bad thing is the Yamaha is special order only.  I can’t even sit on one just to see how it fits befor I put $500 down.  Even worse is the earthquake and Japanese Tsunami has shut down the factory so even if I put money down now, I’m not gonna see it until November at the earliest or maybe even next year the factory said.  =(

If anyone finds a used 2008 or newer BMW R1200GS Adventure for around $17,000 please let me know.  (I don’t care about the non-Adventure model because it has a smaller fuel tank.)

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 29 total)

Login or Register to post comments