Mileage Talks: How Many Miles Can Your Motorcycle Last?

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At least 126 million households across America now own a motorcycle, according to a 2018 survey of the United States Census Bureau. That’s a record 8.2% from only 6.94% of all households in 2014.

From manufacturers offering more affordable entry-level motorcycles to the increasing number of millennial’s appreciating the benefits of riding a motorcycle, this trend is set to continue over the coming years.

Motorcycle Mileage

If you’re thinking about buying a motorcycle or even if you already own one, it’s very important to learn about mileage.

Although motorcycle mileage isn’t really as huge of a factor as car mileage when investing in a second-hand bike, it still pays to know a thing or two about it, especially when it comes to the number of miles a motorcycle can last.

What is considered high mileage in motorcycles?

The truth is, there really are no set rules when it comes to the mileage of a motorcycle. But in most circles, a motorcycle engine with at least 40,000 miles is already considered high mileage.

If you’re talking about sports bikes that have bigger engines and are driven more aggressively, a 25,000-mileage is already considered high. These numbers differ, however, depending on the type of motorcycle, its engine, and its model.

Is high mileage the most important consideration when buying a motorcycle?

Although mileage is an important factor to look into if you’re on the market for a second-hand motorcycle, it’s not the most conclusive. You’ll probably see a 10-year old bike with a 100,000-mileage, but it could still run as strong as a new motorcycle.

A lot of things contribute to the longevity of a motorcycle, the most important of which is maintenance. No matter how far a bike has run, if it undergoes regular service and oil change, it will last longer than a motorcycle that’s not maintained properly.

Experts also agree that water-cooled engines have better longevity than air-cooled ones.

Of course, sports bikes are expected to have a shorter life span than tour or cruiser bikes because they’re used more aggressively and their engines work harder than a regular motorcycle.

So, high mileage isn’t the only factor that you should look into. It’s also very important to consider a bike’s history, service records, and the owner’s habits when looking at motorcycles.

What are the things that affect an engine’s life?

Aside from mileage, there are also other factors that you have to look into when looking at the life of an engine. For one, poor maintenance can lead to a shorter life span for a motorcycle engine.

This is why it really matters to look into a bike’s service record to see if it’s religiously maintained or not. If it is, then a high mileage won’t really cause any problems with its performance.

Extreme weather conditions, whether hot or cold, can also affect a bike’s wear and tear. If the previous owner loved those long mid-summer rides, you can’t expect his motorcycle to run more mileage than one that’s not been ridden under intense heat as much.

When exactly does a high mileage matter?

High mileage alone can’t determine the quality of a second-hand bike. But when you pair it with other factors, it could be an important indicator that you are not making a good investment.

For instance, if you see a high mileage and know that the bike has been with several owners or it doesn’t have any service records, then you have to consider it as a red flag.

You can use high mileage, however, when negotiating for the price of the motorcycle. If you have your eyes set on a second-hand bike, you can cite its high mileage to ask for a lower price.

An older motorcycle with a high mileage also tends to have lower insurance costs than a new bike.

Is high mileage really the deal-breaker for a motorcycle?

At the end of the day, choosing the right second-hand motorcycle all boil down to several factors. Mileage may be one of the most important, but it shouldn’t be the deal-breaker because other indicators like maintenance, performance, and history will help you tell if a motorcycle is worth its asking price or not.

The number on the odometer will not really guarantee if you will enjoy a second-hand motorcycle for a longer time or not. So, it’s important to do your research, look at your options and check each and every detail before you make the final purchase.

You should also learn to keep an open mind and seek help from the experts if possible, so it’s easier to make the right decisions.

A motorcycle is definitely worth more than what you see from the outside.

Once you invested in the right one, you’ll surely have the grandest time cruising around and enjoying the convenience of having your own ride.