There you are, at the motorcycle showroom, gawking in amazement on all of the new motorcycles with all types of bells and whistles that will make you feel like a kid at a toy store. As you browse through the nice bikes, a salesman suddenly appears and starts to ask questions and poke at your interest. After narrowing down your riding preference and budget range, the salesman then gave you the list of motorcycles that fit your needs. And just by that, you get slapped with the prices that are far beyond what you expected.
The salesman noticed your shock and disappointment and immediately pulled his back up plan, financing. After a healthy exchange of persistence and negotiation, you suddenly realize that its better to just acquire an older model, although with less modern gadgetry and conveniences, it’s far cheaper and you can just call it a day. You then gave the salesman the “I will think about it” response, shake his hand, and leave the showroom.
The next step now is for you to set your expectations for acquiring a used motorcycle and find a good deal that will best fit your budget and will not give you problems in the long run. So what are you supposed to look at in a used motorcycle? There are a number of things that you should consider, most common are the year model of the bike, engine noise, fluids, tire wear, body damage, working gauges, and a few more.
But one of the major factor that you should consider is engine mileage. Like in any motor vehicle, its common to see a mileage meter or an odometer to measure the total distance that your vehicle has travelled, it also serves as a reference on how long the vehicle has been used.
How Many Miles Do Motorcycles Last
In most, or sometimes all cases, lower mileage means that the vehicle was fairly used and its still free from major maintenance. However, it may not necessarily mean that having a low mileage vehicle is risk-free. Some vehicles with low mileage may have tendencies to manifest signs of problems, especially with fairly old models that sat in the garage for a long time without proper maintenance. On the other hand, there are some bikes with high mileage that are still performing well internally and externally, with the body still in pristine condition, are signs of having a good owner as it is regularly maintained and well taken care of.
With that being said, what would be the ideal mileage that we need to consider for a used motorcycle? Is there a specific mileage that raises a ‘red flag’ on buying a used bike? What is considered high mileage for a Honda or Harley? We will be discussing all the necessary information you need for a high mileage motorcycle, and if you would consider purchasing one regardless of mileage.
Is 20,000 Miles A Lot For A Motorcycle?
A majority of people believe that after reaching 20,000 miles on a motorcycle or any other vehicle, will be a reference point where motorbikes start to show signs of wear or is not functioning well. However, that is not true as we cannot fully base the condition of a bike by just simply referring to one source, its mileage. Some motorbikes display signs of wear even at very low mileage due to abuse and no maintenance.
Here are the determining factors on how you can check if the motorcycle is well taken care of, and a few ideal questions you can talk through with the owner.
Ask the owner if he/she is the first to own the motorbike. First and only owners of high mileage bikes tend to take care of their bikes regularly. If not, ask for the number of previous owners did the bike passed through. In most cases, bikes that had been owned multiple times, are often cared less, or may have hidden issues that previous owners failed to or won’t mention. Also. older or experienced owners are most likely better in taking care of motorcycles as they have the knowledge and respect on how to own a bike, rather than young, unexperienced new riders, who would care less of the maintenance part of owning a motorcycle, and would just ride recklessly until something breaks.
Choosing the right type of motorcycle will not only save your back, but will also save you money in the long run. Cruisers or Touring bikes tend to last more, and that’s due to better fuel efficiency. It is mainly factored by low revving engines that will create less stress to engine parts or wearing itself out. The mileage may accumulate faster in a touring bike since it was mainly built to traverse long, smooth and paved highways.
With little to no stress on the bike while travelling, it is more likely that your engine and suspension will receive any major wear. On the other hand, Motocross bikes don’t last that long due to how it is utilized. Motocross bikes are usually ridden hard and require a lot of revving which in turn is not good for their type, or any engine.
It is also noted that since it is an off-road motorcycle, it is commonly affected with environmental elements such as mud, water, sand, dirt, and other elements which can easily clog up the engine and other important chassis parts that will shorten its lifespan. The downside however for owning a Cruiser is that they are expensive, even with older models, compared to any other type of bike. But if you think about the spending you make for maintenance and repair on owning a cheaper Motocross bike, then you are just better off with a Cruiser.
Of course we are not talking about if the bike is new. What we wanted to know is if the bike was used once in a while and not just stocked in a garage and accumulating dust. Most of the low mileage bikes in the market are due for not being used at all. They may be used for about 5 miles since they were bought brand new, then it stayed in the garage for years without maintenance. Like in any other vehicle, if it’s not in use for a long time, parts slowly start to degrade.
If you put these bikes on the road, they will show some problems. This is because moisture, from precipitation, will start building up and degrade vital parts, seals in the engine may get dry and start to crumble, and even the tire would deflate. If the motorcycle is prepared properly for long storage, this issues may not occur, however, in cases wherein it was just parked, and was not used for a long time, then problems will definitely appear in the future.
Motorcycle Parking And Storage
Ask the owner where the motorbike is usually parked, or if it is not used for a long time, ask how it is stored. If the bike is exposed to elements for a long time, then signs of degradation like rust, paint bubbles, rubber crumbling are very much visible to these types of carless handling of bikes. The temperature of the place where you keep your bike after each ride would also affect its longevity. Factors like dirt, precipitation, and moisture can all have their adverse effects. Always check where you park or store your motorbike, especially for a long period.
What Is Low Mileage For A Motorcycle?
Typically, motorcycles with less than 15,000 to 20,000 miles on it is a good indication that it is in a well state. However, this is not the only factor that you will consider on purchasing a used bike. Do some further checking like an external run-through, check for any dripping fluids, tire wear, body damage, etc. Also, ask the owner where do he usually use the bike and how frequent does he use it, this is specially important for older bikes, or bikes with 5 or more years on it.
Older bikes with low mileage that are poorly stored, is a common red flag. With poor storage and with little to no maintenance, moisture will start to build up on the engine, causing parts to degrade and deteriorate overtime.
Run through the checklist that is indicated above and ask a few more questions. At the end of the day, your persistence and observance will definitely end you up with a safe and reliable used motorcycle, and will not give you problems in the long run.
What Is High Mileage For A Motorcycle?
How many miles do motorcycles last? Some say its between 20,000 to 50,000 miles. However, high mileage alone is not a determining factor in purchasing a used bike or not. This decision will be based upon the list of items that we have factored above. Some low mileage motorcycles with analogue gauges, may have issues with the odometer not accurately reading, or worse, it has been tampered and manipulated to show low mileage. Always do your research, ask for further information such as riding history, length of storage, and bring your trusted mechanic even if you know how to check a motorbike thoroughly. There are instances that you might miss something, but since your mechanic is with you, he may able to spot it for you.
What Is High Mileage For A Honda Motorcycle?
We cannot generalize high mileage for a specific manufacturer alone like Honda as they have a variety of motorcycle models ranging from the small scooters and u-bone type, mid range models such as motocross, motards, and entry racing bikes, to the big bikes such as full racing 1,000cc, touring and cruiser models. Since cruisers and tourers are the most efficient motorcycles even at high mileage, models such as the Honda ST(Super Touring) or Pan-European have the most mileage clocked in them by owners with little to no major repair. Data gathered showed that ST owners still regularly use them during the weekends with more than 100 miles clocked in to their odometers.
What Is High Mileage For A Harley Motorcycle?
Generally speaking, since most Harley-Davidson models are Cruisers and Tourers, even the Sport variants, have the capability of high revving and high horse power engine, but they are not meant for racing and abuse. Hence most Harleys, for those who take care of them, are guaranteed in great condition regardless of mileage. But as always, do your research, ask questions, and bring your trusted mechanic, all of which are standard before purchasing a used motorcycle or any vehicle.