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Ask an Expert HIGH MILEAGE CB500 Buying & selling bikes

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Jan 12

Posts: 5

Dshillz says:


I am currently looking at getting a CB500, and have found 9 from a dealer which were all previously used for emergency blood deliveries. 

Some have up to 98K on the clock, so I was wondering if this is too much for a bike to have? If so what effect would the high mileage have on the performance and fuel consumption?

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  • Posted 3 years ago (31 January 2012 09:11)

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Feb 09

Posts: 320

bryfor59 says:

high mileage

This is certainly high mileage for a bike (its even high mileage for a car!!!) the positive thing would be that as the bikes were used for blood deliveries I would guess that they have had full and thorough servicing all their days and so should still be in good useable condition, sure there will be a good few thousand miles left in them yet, have heard of some Honda Pan Europeans with 100k+ miles and still going strong

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Jan 08

Posts: 285

steven.hood7 says:


Dshillz, Having put over 100,000 miles on a 97 RRV Fireblade a while back i would say the wear within the engine would be down to how it was ridden and service history. Chances are the engine would show no signs of smoking although it could still burn oil.

 My concerns would be about the clutch basket. The fingers on the basket would be nibbled badly if not replaced.My Fireblade clutch pack was changed at 56,000miles and the basket was showing fair wear by then. Dipples on the plain clutch plate having been worn smooth would cause the gears to engage with a "smack" as these dipples help to slow the clutch down in the oil when changing gear.

 First to second gear changes on any high mileage gearbox would show signs of wear on the engagement dogs. A good clutch basket and good clutch pack would help with gear changes but often get neglected.

 Steering head bearings/ Wheel bearings/ Swinging Arm bearing and bushes take a battering on our crusty roads, so need to be checked carefully.

 Front forks, Check for pitting and stone chips that could damage the fork seals and dust seals.

 You must go through all the service history of any intended purchase and make sure all ive just mentioned has had attention at some point.

 Also consider buying a lower mileage CB500 as there are plenty out there with only nominal miles.

 Performance and fuel consumption: I would say the engine would still have a healthy sound to it when revved and depending on whether the bike is a carb model or fuel injection, would still return 45 mpg+.

 Good luck with your decision. 

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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Apr 08

Posts: 3042

AdieR says:

If they've been used for blood deliveries

chances are they'll have been pretty well looked after.

In many ways, its how they've been ridden for those miles which is more important than the mileage itself - a higher mileage bike with a careful owner is probably a better bet than a low miler that's been neglected or abused.

There was an article (I think it were RIDE mag a couple of months back) about a 100k mile BMW which was stripped, and had hardly any significant engine internal wear (thing like bushes, shocks and front forks / springs may be tired).

Have a look over the service history (I should think it'd be pretty comprehensive), get a test ride if need be, and if the price is right, go for it.

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Oct 10

Posts: 180

flookyk says:

As has been

mentioned, it's more about how a bike has been ridden and maintained.

If looked after they can go on round the clock a few times.

There is one ST1100 on a Pan forum that shows their odometer at over 532,000 kms (over 320,000 miles) and still going strong, with quite a few of them over 200,000 kms.

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

It is really cheap?

Since even a brilliant condition low mileage newest model CB500S is not worth a huge amount (probably about £1200 as it is 10 years old) and a basic condition CB500 with lower than 30K would be worth about £800 this CB500 should be much less than  this...
Also remember that if you ever want to sell it it will be worth nothing...
Watch gearbox selection, clutch, electrics etc as they are quite weak on these. Also the condition of the tyres, forks and chain etc starts to become critical to its value. If it needs a new set of tyres or chain and sprockets they might cost more than the bike and a little bit of fork pitting will mean you need new ones before your MOT...
Unfortunately the advice to buy CB500s, ER5 etc for new bikers is probably beginning to get dated. There are so few out there in a good state that a more recent CBF600, ER6F etc is probably a better bet even if they will cost more to insure.

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Jan 12

Posts: 5

Dshillz says:


Would just like to thank everyone for their advice! After all the things which you mentioned I decided it would probably be too much for me to worry about as a novice rider. 

Luckily a CBF250 popped up in my local garage today, and after a test ride I decided to go for that. I was surprised just how well it would keep up with other traffic. It sat at 80mph quite happily (obviously not on a public highway)

Cheers anyway

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