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View Full Version : How many miles do any average bike last



Danzman
08-06-2005, 07:42 PM
Hey i dont own a bike yet (i dont even have a motorcycle license yet) but i was wondering how many miles does an average harley last. like any new softail or sportster?

FX
08-06-2005, 08:49 PM
As far as you want to go as long as you take care of it. The old BS about harley's is just not the case anymore. It's a good product and about the only one on the market that does hold it's value. That's a fact!

Danzman
08-07-2005, 12:13 AM
Thanks but i really dont even know how many miles any motorcycle lasts, not even a clue. I dont know if it could be 50 k or 100 k i dont have the smallest idea.

1Scorpion
08-07-2005, 06:07 AM
Most bikes will go 100,000 without a problem with decent care . But I've seen many bikes go beyond that with proper maint. I've seen a couple over 200,000 miles no major repairs. But consider the way you ride, abusive or not,stop and go.Where you ride, dirt roads high traffic areas or highway. Plus if you buy a used bike was it properly broken in. Also consider the smaller engines work harder if you are traveling fully loaded a highway speeds. Here are a few examples I know of a yamaha virago with 90,000 still running, a Honda st1100 over 200,000 still going, A Susuki katana 1100 78,000 totaled in a crash, A honda 250 nighthawk 90,000 + however 2nd motor. And I've seen a few Harleys with 100,000+ miles and their owners were still riding them.And if your willing you can keep them all going it just takes $$$$$$$$ p.s. The newer bikes are built with better metals and newer technology you can expect more with less repairs.

bigwater
08-07-2005, 07:23 AM
Yep, asking about mileage on a bike is like asking when you are going to die. You just never know, all you can do is take care of it and hope it lasts forever... which it won't.

The longest lived motor I ever had was about 90,000 miles, but I bought the bike used and didn't know the prior maintenance history. It finally slung a pushrod through the head and I dumped it rather than rebuild the motor.

I once had a Triumph that had mechanical lifters in it, and that beast would throw valve guides out the tailpipe at a rate that would have made James Bond proud for it's ability to disable vehicles behind you. I rebuilt that engine about 15 times before I totaled the bike when a cage pulled out in front of me.

My worst mileage bike ever was... get this... Zero. Last winter I bought a brand new S&S 113. Bored it out to 125, modded the heads, put a high lift cam in it to rase the compression to 13:1. This was gonna be my ride this summer on the AMRA Top Gas circuit. I loaded her down with 108 octaine fuel. Conected the starter dolley and hit the switch. She fired right up, and proceded to tear herself apart in about 30 seconds.

I was unaware that you can actually bend a hardened steel camshaft... but I figured out how to do it. I didn't install it properly, and the head bearings siezed, bending the camshaft, slamming the valves into the pistons, and generally just destroying the motor. I never got 1 inch of motion on the bike with that motor. The block's not even salvagable, big ass crack in the rear cylinder.

For some reason S&S wouldn't honor the warranty on it. Something to do with unauthorized modifications. :idunno:

Mike_Tx
08-07-2005, 03:38 PM
I'm not an expert nor have I ever road a bike long enough to wear it out. So the following is my opinion: Everything being equal, and air cooled engine will not last as long as a water cooled engine. It also depends on how well the the bike is maintained, how a person treats the bike, and where a bike is stored.

If the bike is adult owned, has all maintennace records, stored indoors, and air-cooled you could easily get 100k out of the engine. In the same situation, take a water-cooled engine and you could easily get 200k. Keep in mind I am refering to the 1990 and beyond bikes.

My 2cents,
Mike

Danzman
08-08-2005, 01:31 AM
Thanks alot for answering my question, good to know!

sailor08
08-14-2005, 11:48 PM
Mike and Scorpion hit it on the head. I ride about 10k to 14k a year and have well over 50k on my 2 current bikes. I have never had a problem and take care of the rides pretty well. I ride with a fellow that has near 200k on his Harley and I rode with a guy that was over 250k on his gold wing. Both people were very picky on their maintenance and preventive maintenance. Take care of the ride and the ride will take care of you.

MuguRider
08-15-2005, 11:35 AM
But how long will it last if you aren't a dentist or accountant and can afford the dealers maintenance charges?

BadAzzValk
08-15-2005, 02:31 PM
Spend the money to get a good Ship Manual for your bike. Many of the procedures you can do yourself, -and save bigtime. You really have to decide what you are comfortable doing yourself and have the shop do anything else. If you give them specific jobs, rather than saying "give me the 24,000 maintenance" you'll cut your costs considerably too.

FX
08-15-2005, 02:46 PM
Good advice.

nidan
10-12-2005, 09:24 AM
The longest I've heard of on an HD was 365.000 , and the guy never rebuilt, just solind maintenance . HD bought the bike and gave him a new one. BMW's boxers have logged more than a million. The key , like anything mechanical is don't abuse it and regular service.

Mezambo
10-12-2005, 11:48 AM
Oh my God, what a fucking nightmare, bummer dude.

hogsteeth
10-27-2005, 07:56 AM
Spend the money to get a good Ship Manual for your bike. Many of the procedures you can do yourself, -and save bigtime. You really have to decide what you are comfortable doing yourself and have the shop do anything else. If you give them specific jobs, rather than saying "give me the 24,000 maintenance" you'll cut your costs considerably too.

True. Besides saving $$, you'll probably do a better job on the oil change, for example. Which is probably the most important part of maintenance. I ride mine for at least ten miles or so right before I drain the old oil, to get the engine up to normal operating temp. Then, you get more of the contaminants out when you drain the old oil. The local dealer does not do this. I've asked already.
Bob(a dentist)

Carminemw
12-09-2005, 03:06 PM
I have 92,000 on my 2000 Fatboy. Still strong, no oil burning or leaks. Have had no motor work at all. Have replaced the stater, and some bearings, a belt and continuously changed all the fluids. I use Mobil1 20w50 vtwin and my mechanic says I'll probably go till the wheels fall off...

hogsteeth
12-09-2005, 06:19 PM
I have 92,000 on my 2000 Fatboy. Still strong, no oil burning or leaks. Have had no motor work at all. Have replaced the stater, and some bearings, a belt and continuously changed all the fluids. I use Mobil1 20w50 vtwin and my mechanic says I'll probably go till the wheels fall off...

That's good to hear. I have 51k on my '03 Deuce and so far just wear out items and routine maintenance(same oil you're using). Had to replace the heated grips and the factory siren, but no motor work. It's good to hear of a TC with high mileage and no motor problems. I keep listening for the main "bugaboo", the cam chain tensioner pads to go south.
Bob

SofaPilot
12-09-2005, 10:33 PM
Something to consider if you want a high mileage bike.

Water Cooled engines will last longer because the operating temperature is more constant. This in turn allows the engine to be built to much tighter tolerances. Tighter tolerances will provide longevity.

As it has been said many times maintaining your bike has a lot to do with how long it will last.

FX
12-09-2005, 10:56 PM
As it has been said many times maintaining your bike has a lot to do with how long it will last.

That's it in a nutshell. There's always help to make sure it's done if ya ask usually too.

vpats
11-17-2006, 03:47 PM
That's an interesting question, but like anything mechanical it depends on if it was built on a Wednesday or not, and how well the owner takes care of it and maintains it.

But over the years, I've discovered the best thing to keep a bike looking good and running good, is to keep the shinny side up.