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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In the interests of sharing this information, I decided to take the checklist I wrote in another thread for a T-CLOCS inspection and break it out into the respective areas to cover the costs in each area for maintenance. Feel free to add details (I didn't cover things like bushings, fairings, hydraulic fluid, spokes, pedals, rims, bearings, seals, hoses, lenses, reflectors, etc.) More just high level..

Anyway, here's my initial assembly:

T-CLOCS costs:
  • Tires can run anywhere from $50 a piece to $200 depending on what type you get...e.g. a front tire for a V-Star 650 from Dunlop (Geomax) currently runs $62.33 and the rear runs $105.54 at JC Whitney...
  • Brakes can run anywhere from $20-$100 and even higher for pads, while disc brakes are even pricier. If you want to DIY, you can save money, but if you are not comfortable with mechanics, expect a shop to charge anywhere from $100-$150 for labor in addition to materials.
  • Lights - Depending on the bike and the light, costs can be as low as $5, and go upward to $150 for headlights. Labor can vary from DIY levels (aka free) and onward up to $100 for a shop to do it for you.
  • Oil changing if you DIY can run as cheap as $10, and having a shop do it can go anywhere from $50-$100
  • Chassis - This can get dicey as cracks in the chassis frame, pressure in the forks, chain/belt tension and checking nuts and bolts for breaks, and tightness can determine a wide array of costs. A chassis replacement could be in the thousands of dollars, whereas forks usually are between $100-$500. Nuts and bolts are cheap - it's just a matter of due diligence in your checklists...it might help to have a supply of these available from your local hardware store. A pack of 20 for any given size runs around $5-$10
  • Side stands usually run around $100 and can easily be changed out with some basic skills. You should not have to replace these under normal operating conditions - just check to be sure it's secure and angled properly.
 

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In the interests of sharing this information, I decided to take the checklist I wrote in another thread for a T-CLOCS inspection and break it out into the respective areas to cover the costs in each area for maintenance. Feel free to add details (I didn't cover things like bushings, fairings, hydraulic fluid, spokes, pedals, rims, bearings, seals, hoses, lenses, reflectors, etc.) More just high level..

Anyway, here's my initial assembly:

T-CLOCS costs:
  • Tires can run anywhere from $50 a piece to $200 depending on what type you get...e.g. a front tire for a V-Star 650 from Dunlop (Geomax) currently runs $62.33 and the rear runs $105.54 at JC Whitney...
  • Brakes can run anywhere from $20-$100 and even higher for pads, while disc brakes are even pricier. If you want to DIY, you can save money, but if you are not comfortable with mechanics, expect a shop to charge anywhere from $100-$150 for labor in addition to materials.
  • Lights - Depending on the bike and the light, costs can be as low as $5, and go upward to $150 for headlights. Labor can vary from DIY levels (aka free) and onward up to $100 for a shop to do it for you.
  • Oil changing if you DIY can run as cheap as $10, and having a shop do it can go anywhere from $50-$100
  • Chassis - This can get dicey as cracks in the chassis frame, pressure in the forks, chain/belt tension and checking nuts and bolts for breaks, and tightness can determine a wide array of costs. A chassis replacement could be in the thousands of dollars, whereas forks usually are between $100-$500. Nuts and bolts are cheap - it's just a matter of due diligence in your checklists...it might help to have a supply of these available from your local hardware store. A pack of 20 for any given size runs around $5-$10
  • Side stands usually run around $100 and can easily be changed out with some basic skills. You should not have to replace these under normal operating conditions - just check to be sure it's secure and angled properly.
OK, here we go. The best price I have found on line for tires that will actually work on my bike are a whole lot more than $50. The best price I found was darned close to $200 delivered to me, not mounted.
I recently did a DIY on my front brake pads for a bit under $100. I have no idea where to find them for $20.
I just did a DIY oil change last week. If you ignore the price of the filter it cost me $46, not ten bucks. I run a K&P filter so I clean, not replace mine.

Where are you finding such good deals?
 

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Aging & Worn
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Thus the reason for finding a bike with the kind of maintenance record (historical reputation if nothing else) that supports owning one.

My first bike (the 1986 Honda Shadow) went for 10 years without any failure to any component on it.

Other than tires, (no, I don't remember the cost at the time) and oil changes, I didn't have any other expense that I can recall.

I suppose that, like a car or any other thing you own that needs periodic attention for some basic list of checks, it's the luck of the draw on some level.

-Soupy
 

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If you're including side stands, then price up mirrors and clutch and brake levers. Maybe gear change and foot brake levers too. And indicators.

If your bike is water cooled, then the coolant should be changed every year (normal coolant) or 5 years (long life coolant). Brake fluid, should be changed every year - incidentally, it's always best to buy brake fluid in small bottles and throw out what you don't use as brake fluid is hydroscopic, it absorbs water out of the atmosphere and brake fluid left in a bottle that has been opened shouldn't be used.

If you're talking about maintaining the bike for use on the road, then what about registration and insurance.

I've found that a bike costs around about as much as a car to own and keep on the road. You get slightly better fuel economy. But infinitely more pleasure riding it.
 

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I always hear people say that owning a bike is cheap. I'm like bull crud- just go pick up a quart of motorcycle oil and a quart of regular car oil - tell me which one you pay more on....I nearly crapped my pants the first time I brought a quart of motorcycle oil......But the joy of riding, certainly makes up for the additional costs involved..Plus the fact I can throw 10 bucks in my bike and ride three times as far as throwing in 40 in my car.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
OK, here we go. The best price I have found on line for tires that will actually work on my bike are a whole lot more than $50. The best price I found was darned close to $200 delivered to me, not mounted.
I recently did a DIY on my front brake pads for a bit under $100. I have no idea where to find them for $20.
I just did a DIY oil change last week. If you ignore the price of the filter it cost me $46, not ten bucks. I run a K&P filter so I clean, not replace mine.

Where are you finding such good deals?
Tires:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/dunlop-motorcycle-tires-universal-geomax-mx71-tire/p3086360.jcwx?filterid=c51713d59633y2007u0j3

Oil Filter:

http://www.knfilters.com/search/product.aspx?prod=KN-145

Oil:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/16777819

Brake Pads
http://www.jcwhitney.com/bikemaster-brake-pad-set/p3047133.jcwx?filterid=d59633y2007j1
 

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Well, a side stand is not really maintenance. Oil changes, coolant changes, some bikes have transmission fluid changes I think, tires (tubes), chain, sprocket, brake pads, discs, brake fluid, light bulbs, lube the cables, eventually change them, gas and don't forget your insurance. If you have a shop do regular maintenance for you it's going to get pricey. Learn how to do some of this yourself and it won't get so expensive.
The hard part of not spending too much money and what people don't consider who are just getting into bikes is all the bling. That's where the money really starts adding up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, a side stand is not really maintenance. Oil changes, coolant changes, some bikes have transmission fluid changes I think, tires (tubes), chain, sprocket, brake pads, discs, brake fluid, light bulbs, lube the cables, eventually change them, gas and don't forget your insurance. If you have a shop do regular maintenance for you it's going to get pricey. Learn how to do some of this yourself and it won't get so expensive.
The hard part of not spending too much money and what people don't consider who are just getting into bikes is all the bling. That's where the money really starts adding up.
While a side stand isn't normally something you need to "maintain", that does not exclude it from a PMCS check. The T-CLOCS checklist even has a full category for it under the "S". That said, if there is a need to inspect it, then it means it may be defective ore require maintenance, no matter the frequency of maintenance, so I included it as a part of the standardized checklist and then listed what one would expect to spend in the event it does need replacement.
 

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All of this depends on how many miles you put on a bike.

Next to tires, the biggest cost is valve adjustments if you can't do them yourself.

If you have a bike with hydraulic lifters, it's basically just oil and filter/ final drive or chain/ belt maintenance.

My Goldwing has 8,500 mile oil change intervals with the filter being changed every other time. (I do both at 4,000 with all Amsoil and K&N products) It also has a 34,000 mile valve adjustment interval. I forget what the final drive interval is but all of this is simple, aside from the valves, for any beginner.

For ease of Maintenance, from one end to another, it's Harley Davidson that is probably cheapest if you do the stuff yourself: No valve adjustments ever, primary chain adjustment is very easy as is the oils and filter. The drive belt needs to be adjust initially at maybe 1,000 miles and maybe again at 25,000 or so and it's a very easy task.

There have been studies done that show that bikes overall, are no cheaper than economy cars since the cars can get almost the same fuel mileage or more than some large bikes and the tires last much longer and DIY maintenance is easy too.

Sam:)
 

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No way is it cheap to maintain an HD. For oil changes we are talking about 3 holes. The engine oil filter cannot be changed without making a mess unless you have more than typical tools in your arsenal. All 3 holes have their own maintenance frequency and I just used to let the HD dealer do it for me at about $250 every 5000 miles. These days I do my own oil/filter changes on another brand for $46 but still at 5000 miles. When I owned a large displacement Yamaha it cost me about that same $250 but it was done at 4000 miles. There is no such thing as a 19.95 oil change place for any bike.
Today I can roll into my local dealer and get a routine 5000 miles service for just over $100, and I would do that if it wasn't such a simple DIY.

cbjason's response to my challenge:
Tires:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/dunlop-moto...59633y2007u0j3


I don't ride a dirt bike that will take those tiny tires.
Oil Filter:

http://www.knfilters.com/search/prod...px?prod=KN-145

Oil:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/16777819

That oil is not compatible with my bike. I get a good discount from list price but use oil that costs me close to $8 per quart and my bike needs 4 1/2 quarts for an oil change.

Brake Pads
http://www.jcwhitney.com/bikemaster-...=d59633y2007j1

The brake pads for my bike at that vendor are listed at $37 each on that same web site and it takes 2 sets to do my front wheel. I stand by my assertion that I was close to $100 to do my front brakes. It was actually $80 something total including shipping from the place I got them.
 

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Wow, 3 drain holes how terrible!!!! 2 for oil, one for the primary--big deal:)

A piece of cardboard used as a drain funnel assures not a drop gets on the floor.

Easy as a piece of cake--save $250 and do it yourself:)

Sam:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No way is it cheap to maintain an HD. For oil changes we are talking about 3 holes. The engine oil filter cannot be changed without making a mess unless you have more than typical tools in your arsenal. All 3 holes have their own maintenance frequency and I just used to let the HD dealer do it for me at about $250 every 5000 miles. These days I do my own oil/filter changes on another brand for $46 but still at 5000 miles. When I owned a large displacement Yamaha it cost me about that same $250 but it was done at 4000 miles. There is no such thing as a 19.95 oil change place for any bike.
Today I can roll into my local dealer and get a routine 5000 miles service for just over $100, and I would do that if it wasn't such a simple DIY.

cbjason's response to my challenge:
Tires:
http://www.jcwhitney.com/dunlop-moto...59633y2007u0j3


I don't ride a dirt bike that will take those tiny tires.
Oil Filter:

http://www.knfilters.com/search/prod...px?prod=KN-145

Oil:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/16777819

That oil is not compatible with my bike. I get a good discount from list price but use oil that costs me close to $8 per quart and my bike needs 4 1/2 quarts for an oil change.

Brake Pads
http://www.jcwhitney.com/bikemaster-...=d59633y2007j1

The brake pads for my bike at that vendor are listed at $37 each on that same web site and it takes 2 sets to do my front wheel. I stand by my assertion that I was close to $100 to do my front brakes. It was actually $80 something total including shipping from the place I got them.
You asked for pricing, I gave you samples. Now it sounds like you want me to research your specific custom needs. Okay, give me your specific custom bike specs and I'll get you something. I priced my bike (that I want), not yours that you have...
 

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cbjason, the point is that a dirt bike's prices and a street bike's prices are totally unrelated. I did my own research before spending my money, because it was my money, and got good prices compared to the average prices. A bike is, simply stated, not a cheap alternative to a car on the road which was really the point. Tires and routine maintenance are far more expensive and insurance is close to the same number. If you want to ride a bike just do it and quit trying to use costs as an excuse. I know up front that my bike costs more to ride than a car costs to drive for the same miles but I just don't care. I enjoy my ride and my car gets me around but I don't enjoy it nearly as much as the bike. That is reality, not some cost saving BS excuse for riding.
 

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I think in all fairness, there was a time a motorcycle was cheaper. But barely in the long run. But that was back when cars got just 12-15 miles per gallon and parts were cheaper but not as good. Today there are cars that get better mileage than a bike and actually need less repairs. Times change. Today you need to justify riding a bike because you want to. Choose the right car and it is just plain cheaper and safer btw. And to be totally fair, yes there are some bikes that might be cheap but is it the one you want. Most long distance road bikes are not going to be what you would call cheap to operate.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Both of these are good points, but our tangential to the original point. The original point was to define sort of general guidelines as to what the average person could expect to pay on average for one year cost of maintenance on a motorcycle. Not talking about insurance, not talking about ROI, not talking about custom rigs, not talking about… Etc. etc.

Just on average, general guidelines, normal expectations… That sort of thing. That said, if you would like me to price out particular hardware for your particular bike I will need your… (wait for it) bike particulars.

No need to infer into this thread anything other than the text that was originally stated… Thanks
 

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OK, you sucked me back into this. An average bike does not exist. Every bike has its own costs and no statement will work for all of them. If you ride a 250cc starter bike that gets over 70 MPG you might break even with the annual costs of my Civic. If you are on a moped or a small Vespa you might do even better. If you ride one of the larger bikes that only get 40 to 50 MPG, my Civic gives me 38 MPG so where is the savings? 50 MPG is not all that bad for a "typical" bike. My '65 R-60 BMW (600cc) and my '81 Honda CX-500-C (500cc) both give me about that mileage. My 1731cc Victory Vision only gives me about 40 MPG. When you get right down to it the BMW means I must do custom work to fit something a simple as a brake pad because OEM replacements are no longer available. The same applies to that older Honda. Custom work is never cheap. I can buy off-the-shelf stuff for my Vision but that is the prices I quoted earlier that you didn't like to read about.
So tell me, what average or typical bike would you like to compare to owning a car?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How did I suck you in???

Every person makes their own decisions about whether to participate in an online community and no one is provoking you to respond to anything if you don't want to. Man up and just say you want to participate! Own it! ;)

As to motorcylce versus car comparisons - I never made any such claim...I am just trying to figure out my annual expected maintenance costs, so put together a simple chart with T-CLOCS as my baseline and started looking at the average cost of parts for my bike.

Then I figured that the chart might be a helpful baseline that others could use to begin their own specific calculations. Never claimed or suggested that it be a universal chart that would fit every person in every scenario...

But, for the sake of discussion...what would you say the annual cost of owning a 2007 V Star Custom 650 is versus a 2005 Ford Escape 4WD V6 with a 2.3 liter engine...{hypothetically speaking of course)? ;)
 

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It''s not a very realistic chart though. You are saying 10 bucks for an oil change. (8.47 with your link)That covers one quart of oil. Most bikes take two quarts, plus then the oil filter and o ring. 185 is the going rate around my part for a bike place to do and oil change and inspection. For that price they do adjust brakes, clutch, things like that. But if I can get it for 50 bucks in OH, it might be worth a road trip (insert laughter here, anything that could get me on my bike may be worth it). I think it's great if you can maintain your bike on as little money as that, but the majority of the riders can't. But the joy of riding makes what money we do spend on it very enjoyable.....

I can't comment on the Ford escape, I'm a Chevy girl......:biggrin: And we don't wanna get into the Ford vs. Chevy debate;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It''s not a very realistic chart though. You are saying 10 bucks for an oil change. (8.47 with your link)That covers one quart of oil. Most bikes take two quarts, plus then the oil filter and o ring. 185 is the going rate around my part for a bike place to do and oil change and inspection. For that price they do adjust brakes, clutch, things like that. But if I can get it for 50 bucks in OH, it might be worth a road trip (insert laughter here, anything that could get me on my bike may be worth it). I think it's great if you can maintain your bike on as little money as that, but the majority of the riders can't. But the joy of riding makes what money we do spend on it very enjoyable.....

I can't comment on the Ford escape, I'm a Chevy girl......:biggrin: And we don't wanna get into the Ford vs. Chevy debate;)
Good stuff - didn't know it's a 2qt thing, so it sounds like $50 would be a more reasonable estimation for the DIY route? As for the road trip, come on over - bikers welcome! :)

As to Ford vs Chevy - I've owned several vendors of cars so no loyalty there, I go where the winds of finance blow me (or is that a bad term to use here? ;) )

Trying to remember my ownership history here, but I might be missing a few:

  • Ford Escort
  • Chevy S-10
  • Chevy Malibu
  • Chrysler Town and Country
  • Volkswagon Jetta
  • Subaru Outback
  • Honda Civic
  • Dodge Dakota v8 (that was fun
  • Ford Escape
 
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