What Is High Miles For A Motorcycle – In this guide, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about mileage and why it’s less important than you think!
20,000 to 30,000 kilometers is on the higher side for sports bikes. For larger bikes, anything over 40,000 kilometers is considered high mileage.
What Is High Miles For A Motorcycle
Unlike cars, many motorcycles are used only for recreation. Therefore, the average annual mileage for a bicycle is between 3,000 and 5,000 kilometers, compared to 10,000-15,000 kilometers for a car.
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There are even a handful of riders who have managed more than 1,000,000 kilometers in the saddle!
How often is the engine oil changed? Has the coolant ever been flushed? Are the valve clearances checked?
A motorcycle’s maintenance history is a much better indicator of reliability than the mileage number! As with any other mechanic, using quality lubricants and replacing worn parts as needed is the key to longevity.
If anyone knows your bike better than you, it’s obviously the manufacturer! Following the maintenance recommendations in the owner’s manual is a surefire way to keep your machine in tip-top shape.
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While some riders swear by the manufacturer’s recommended breaking, others are convinced that a more brutal approach is beneficial. Unless you are actively trying to destroy your engine, you will have a hard time doing any real damage in the first few thousand miles.
The key to breaking in the engine properly is changing the speed/rpm. Transferring a bike straight from the dealer is not a great idea, nor is fear of acceleration. In the end, striking a balance between engine load and low rpm driving is your best bet.
Motorcycles that are stored outside will almost always show more wear and tear than their garage counterparts. This is mainly due to fluctuations in temperature and increased exposure to dirt and moisture.
If that’s not a good enough reason to convince your significant other that motorcycles should be kept in the front room, I don’t know what is!
Should You Avoid A High Mileage Bike?
Small displacement engines are often heavily tuned for more power and driven harder to achieve higher speeds. As a result, larger displacement bikes, most conservatively tuned, tend to last longer.
Although there is no clear winner in engine configuration, each variation presents different problems. For example, V-twins tend to generate more torque than their inline-4 rivals, increasing driveline wear and tear. Inline-4s, on the other hand, tend to rev much higher, which increases engine wear over time.
Why do you think most of the high-mileage heroes you hear about tend to be low-mileage tourists?
Motorcycles that have not been ridden for a long time can often develop problems when returning to regular use. These problems include:
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In general, a high-mileage bike that has been used and maintained will be more trouble-free than a lower-mileage example that hasn’t.
It goes without saying that bikes that are used to the extreme (in any sense) are likely to develop more mechanical problems.
Has the bike been used on the track and spent most of its life on the redline? Has he ever been involved in an accident? If it’s a touring bike, does the suspension have to handle a passenger and luggage?
Even things like warming up the engine before riding will dramatically affect the longevity of your motorcycle.
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Along with how the bike was used, it is worth considering who used it. For example, motorcycles owned by novice riders are more likely to crash or have increased clutch and transmission wear. Motorcycles owned by older, more experienced riders are more likely to be ridden sensibly and well cared for.
As noted in our used motorcycle price guide, mileage has a big impact on the value of a used machine.
Lower mileage examples almost always command a higher price, but are they worth the money? Regardless of what influences your decision, keeping your bike well maintained should be a priority!
In summary, mileage itself is not all it is cracked up to be. Motorcycles are there to be enjoyed and we recommend that you do so without paying too much attention to the odometer! Typically, high mileage on a motorcycle is between 20,000 and 50,000 kilometers. For sports bikes, the high mileage will be on the low end (usually around 25,000), while cruisers and touring bikes tend to get high mileage in the 40,000 to 50,000 mile range.
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But if you’re looking for an easy answer, the simple fact is that a motorcycle’s mileage often doesn’t really give you much practical insight into the bike’s condition. Mileage is only part of the story with any car, as taking care of it is of great importance. With motorcycles in particular, a huge amount depends on the specific model, the level of care of the owner, and other factors.
Some types of motorcycles are made to go many miles before needing maintenance. Touring motorcycles are a clear example. Many owners of touring bikes put more than 10,000 kilometers a year on their bikes. As long as the owner is committed to good maintenance, this will usually not be a problem for a bike built for him.
Sports bikes are basically the opposite in terms of mileage. They run at a much higher RPM level than most cruisers and touring bikes and tend to accelerate faster and brake harder. That’s why sports bikes get the designation “high mileage” much faster than cruisers and baggers. However, a sports bike that has been lovingly maintained will often do better than a touring rider that has never seen the inside of a service garage.
In many cases, the owner’s level of care for the bike is the most important factor in determining how the machine behaves over the years. A motorcycle that has been well maintained can be good to go for 100,000 kilometers or more.
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Ideally, someone selling a used motorcycle should be able to give you at least basic information about how the motorcycle has been maintained and information about how it has been stored. Some particularly important things to look for include:
Keep in mind that a bike that has been in storage for a long time may not be a good thing. If the owner has not taken the proper steps to prepare the bike for storage, there can be damage to seals and gaskets, rust from moisture build-up, or any number of other problems.
Of course, if the bike has been through many different owners, this information can be difficult to find in the first place, which brings us to our next tip.
A lower number of owners is usually a good sign when evaluating a used motorcycle. The more hands a motorcycle has passed through, the greater the chance of an unreported accident, deferred maintenance, or other unwanted events. For this reason, one-owner bikes are something of a holy grail that every used bike buyer is looking for, as it is usually easier to find information about the bike’s service history.
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However, here again you have to consider the big picture. How many kilometers has the owner put on the bike? Are they an aggressive rider who pushes the bike to its limit on track day, or more of a relaxed weekend rider? The number of owners and the owner’s driving style preferences are ultimately just two factors to consider.
Nothing makes the miles fly like taking pictures of the wind with your friends or enjoying your favorite music. That’s why so many riders go with a motorcycle intercom from Cardo Systems. With hands-free access to all your favorite media and the ability to communicate directly with your pack, Cardo motorcycle communication systems are the gold standard for all types of bikers.
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