How many miles is too much? - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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How many miles is too much?

I am looking into buying a used motorcycle but I was wondering how many miles is considered a lot for a used motorcycle? I'm sure there are other things that factor in such as type of riding done and routine maintenance but generally speaking how many miles are considered high?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 07:33 PM
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Compared to what age?

It ain't my age or my mileage - it's them damn rough roads that I've been drug up and down

Would you be worried about a 85 Gold Wing with 70k miles or a 2005 Gold Wing with 70k miles?

This should keep us busy!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 10:15 PM
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I bought my 02 Vstar 1100 last August with 77,000 miles. I know that's high for a cruiser but my local shop knew the history of it. Said always had synthetic fluids and previous owner was very meticulous. It now has 83,000 miles and all I've done is oil changes and a starter clutch which it was due for from what I understand, and an intake valve that I bent when not lining up the timing marks right.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamgumby View Post
Would you be worried about a 85 Gold Wing with 70k miles or a 2005 Gold Wing with 70k miles?

This should keep us busy!
Not really...

The 85 is good for at least 350K original engine and drivetrain. The 2005 sounds like it's halfway thru the drivetrain and a third of the way thru the engine.

Plus, the GL1200 is more fun to ride!

Miles depend on the condition of the bike, as well as what type it is. They are NOT absolute in determining the viability of ALL bikes.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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What about routine maintenance done on a motorcycle. For example, when a car reaches 50,000 miles various belts and other parts should be changed. What are some of the similar maintenance milestones that should be done?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 01:31 PM
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I think you should go by the tune-up cycle. Manual recommended my bike a 24K tune-up, so if I'm selling it to you at 23k without a tune-up that's too much, but 25k with tune-up done that's good. Of course like a car you don't want to go for way too high mileage stuff, use your common sense on that.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 02:16 PM
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New vs. Used

Sadly, I have to say based on my own past experience of 36+ years of both new but mostly used bikes, even ONE mile on a used bike may just be too much. I just don’t know what it IS with most people and bikes – but overall my experience has been the majority of people will abuse and pull schitt on bikes without even thinking twice about it, that they wouldn’t even consider doing to they’re car or even a dog! The bottom line is this: If you’re buying used you ARE buying someone else’s problems (and whatever they DID to the poor scoot). And there’s got to be a reason BEYOND whatever trumped up story they mange to come up with to tell you. IF your bucks down OR your wanting an older bike they don’t make no more, you got NO choice.

However IF you have the option, always bite the bullet and buy new – JMO. NO guarantees it will be better, but based on the ODDS they’ll be in your favor. Most of the bikes I’ve bought in the past few decades have been used. Mostly because they were out of production models that had come and gone. And also because I’m willing to spend the time, money, energy and dog-gone-it sheer HEARTACHE to try and nurse them back to health, despite the complete and utter total abuse these fine rides went though the hands of IDIOTS before me! But most people surely don’t have the time or stomach for these kind of activities today. You’ll save yourself a ton of time, money and pain by going for new these days, IF you can swing it. However if NOT, that’s what forums like this one are seriously for these days, to HELP you out. ;-)

As far as total service life, my contention is IF you could buy a bike NEW, take proper care of it, and NOT abuse it, you’re then looking at making the 100,000+ mile bugaboo EASY on original rings, valves and bearings. That at least has been my experience of 400,000+ miles worth of bikes. And I’m talking just about ANY bike…. IF it’s treated with respect. Gold-Wings are of course a given – they seriously were made LIKE cars and so sure, they last accordingly. My 1978 GL1000 (purchased new) had 134,000+ miles on it when sold – mechanically it was still in AAA+++ condition! BUT even older Harleys could make the grade: My former 1981 Harley (purchased new) Shovelhead had 37,000+ miles on it when sold – it was in Perfect condition (compression, no smoking, etc.) when sold. These were proclaimed to need a rebuild at 45,000. Others HAD been known to get up to 80,000 to 100,000 without a rebuild. I’m sure mine would have been the latter.

And dozens of other examples I could post. But the point is, it’s pretty much up to YOU. Respect the machine, treat the bike like a friend instead of a ‘thing’ and I promise it will run and LIVE a good long time. Nuff’ said.

LRG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nhuerta View Post
I am looking into buying a used motorcycle but I was wondering how many miles is considered a lot for a used motorcycle? I'm sure there are other things that factor in such as type of riding done and routine maintenance but generally speaking how many miles are considered high?
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-25-2008, 09:58 PM
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Most people treat their equipment like dogsh)(*t. Understanding this is the first step to considering a used vehicle. Lots of idiots have probably worked on it. Don't trust anybody's word on anything - have a mechanic thoroughly look at anything you consider.

As a "rule of thumb", anything with over 40,000 miles on it is too much for a sportbike, maybe more like 60 or 70k on a cruiser and more like 10 or 20k on a dual sport. Most old harleys are just a bad investment to make if you're not planning on spending a serious amount of dough. Nothing against the H-D marker, but their old pre-evolution series designs kind of sucked. Many BMWs and most Goldwings will go over 100,000 miles reliably.

Anything built before 1985 you should probably re-evaluate those rules as they get a little smaller. Bikes just didn't go as far in the old days and there is no getting around that. There's always exceptions to the rule though.

Most motorcycles don't have timing belts or the like. You'll be syncing carbs, changing plugs, air filters, and all that stuff at intervals, but nothing like a car. Of course some bikes do use timing belts and you'll have to figure out which (rare) ones do and what the interval is if you should find such a machine.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 01:05 PM
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Yeah, it is hard to tell, but some great points were brought up here. It is not the miles that is as much an issue as how those miles where put on there and if it was maintained properly.

To be quite honest, engines, no matter what they are in, are designed and built to last "forever"; but, and that is a BIG but, it has to be maintained very very well, and, let's face it, the large majority of people do not do this. I mean, I am always conscious of maintenance, but never do it as I should. Maybe one day...

Mike
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