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How Long Does A Motorcycle Last
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How Long Does A Motorcycle Last

Unless you have the disposable income to buy a new vehicle whenever you get tired of your old one, you are likely the type of person who wants to get the absolute most out of your vehicle. I know many people that can keep a car running well into the 300,000 miles range until they just can't drive it any longer.

Does the same hold true for motorcycles though? I often hear this question and concern from riders who aren't sure if they want to buy a bike because they are afraid that it won't be worth the money. This notion is often the reason why you see new riders and inexperienced riders constantly trying to buy and sell bikes and never go over their mileage "limit". This is not true and the longevity of a motorcycle all depends on how you treat it.

For starters, there is a number that almost every rider knows/fears: 20,000. This is the point of miles at which your bike is done. After 20,000 miles you can forget trying to sell it and you better plan on getting a new one soon because that one is done. Give me a break. If that was true NO ONE would ride a motorcycle.

The general rule of thumb for engine life is: the bigger (and more modern) the engine, the longer it will last. So for example, a smaller 250cc engine on a 1995 Kawasaki Ninja might only last you roughly 20,000 miles before it gives out whereas a 2011 Honda CBR1000RR (1000cc) might last you upwards of 100,000 miles! I have even read stories and seen pictures of people who have 200,000+ miles on their motorcycles and they are still running just fine!

Properly maintaining your motorcycle is a sure way to keep it's lifespan well past whatever you've been told in the past. By regularly changing the oil using pure synthetic oil and keeping the bike in proper condition you can easily extend the life of the engine. Another major factor that runs down motorcycle life is how aggressive you drive the bike and what it is being put through. A consistent drive back and forth each day on a smooth highway is much less demanding that those who rip through small city streets, constantly braking and accelerating in short bursts.

So a more realistic idea of how long your motorcycle lasts is going to depend on the year of the motorcycle, the engine size, and how well you take care of it. If you ride an older motorcycle like a mad man everywhere you go and never change the oil regularly then you will likely see mileage of less than 20,000. If you keep the parts clean, change the oil, use quality gas, and ride your motorcycle more sensibly you can easily get 50,000-100,000 miles or even more during the lifetime of your motorcycle.


Street Talk

I agree. I would much rather buy a used bike with 25,000 well maintained miles than a bike with 3,000 miles and neglected.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Brandon8  

It's sad, my dad has a motorcycle he has never used more then 20 times.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

great info Shannon I have gotten 20.000 out of an old Honda. One of the old 350 3 cylender ones.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Nice! These bikes have a lot more life in em than people would like to think. Thanks for the comment.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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