Skip to content

Ask an Expert Bike mileage Buying & selling bikes

You are in... Forums > Ask an Expert > Buying & selling bikes > Bike mileage

Got something to say?

Got something to say?

Go to most recent reply



Apr 04

Posts: 17

Dadbob says:

Bike mileage

I'd think nothing of buying a car with 50, 60, 70+ thousand miles on the clock.  But as far as bikes go, anything over 10k is a bit of a no-go and I don't like to keep one above 20k.

Am I being paranoid or should I start to think differentley about bike mileage?  There's been several stories in MCN about bikes with mega-miles and the owners seem happy enough so maybe my 'fears' are un-founded.

Reply to this Topic  
  • Posted 3 years ago (04 March 2012 19:11)

Post a message in Buying & selling bikes

Fields marked with an asterisk * are required


Please note. You cannot submit more than 4000 characters as a message.

Upload image(s) from your computer (up to 3 images)


Terms of use

Use of our community areas and forums is subject to important terms of use. By joining our community and using the features you agree to be bound by these terms. See terms of use below. 



Feb 09

Posts: 550


bikes are capable of huge mileages compared with older ones, just like cars.
Traded my 88,000 mile R1150RT in last year for the 1200 and still got £3000 for it. Ran like a dream, probably had another 80,000 in it. It stopped burning oil at 30,000 when I guess it was run in.
My Daytona 955i has 25000 and runs like new.

Servicing, quality oil etc probably better indication than mileage.


Reply to this Topic


Aug 09

Posts: 2712

MarcusMarsh says:


You say you would not buy a bike with more than 10K on and get rid of your machines before 20K - the question you have to ask yourself is why?  If the bike is in good condition and had been properly looked after it should remain reliable and enjoyable to ride.  I am sure that a bike will not keel over and die just because it's exceeded 20 thousand miles.  My 40,000 mile VFR800 hasn't and it still hauls my butt all over Spain each year, is utterly reliable and fun to ride.     

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

Reply to this Topic


Mar 09

Posts: 8919

jaffa90 says:


Around the clock no problem for couriers,

went downhill in the zephyr for some reason. 

Reply to this Topic


Nov 08

Posts: 879

my last

GT550 rode like new at 70k miles and 27 years.  Okay, the valve seals had probably hardened off a tad (as much with time as with miles?) so it smoked a little when starting, but a top end rebuild would've probably set it up for another 70k.

The CBF500 engine was supposedly designed for 250k without rebuilds.  Not many end up doing that though.

Any bike would get through a good few obvious consumables in that time - tyres, chains, sprockets, and maybe less obvious consumables like wheel bearing seals.  Seals especially seem to have gone down hill now that car and bike makers all seem to have ditched garter sprung lip seals in favour of crude plasticky jobs - neglect the seals and/or get keen with a jet wash and you're looking at wheel and head bearings from as little as 10-15k.

My gixxer has seen off one set of head bearings already, but not through seal failure.  Suzuki fitted unique and rare ball races better for feel (not sure anyone but a racer could tell) but just not tough enough long term.  I don't know if the other gixxers have gone down the same route.  Now mine has tapered rollers instead so I'm hoping not to have to touch them for at least another 30k...

Yes, some bikes will give folk some hassle if kept beyond 20k, but it's mostly avoidable.

Reply to this Topic


Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:


You can start thinking differently about mileage.
The problem with high mileage bikes is that they are difficult to sell. Most bikes accumulate an average of less than 4000 per year so buyers tend to get a bit scared with any more than a total of 30k and there is a lot of choice of others. That said the longer you keep a bike the more money you save so trading in just to avoid an arbitrary mileage target is silly...
I am very confident that mileage by itself is not an accurate indication of future life or even the amount of work needed. There are a lot of very low mileage bikes out there with rust in their tanks, tired wiring, rusty forks, worn out suspension, broken rectifiers and batteries, needing new chains and tyres etc (and that's not even mentioning that a bike that has been used a lot has had time to be off the road for a major rebuild)
There are some bikes which are hard to buy with low mileages (Pan Europeans, FJR 1300, BMW R1100/ R1150 etc seem to be difficult to buy with less than 50K). I have seen Pan Europeans with 150K+ and FJRs, CBR600Fs, NTV650 etc regularly hit 100K within 10 years. Ride have been doing an article on a R1100/1150 that they bought of ebay and took over 100K. They took it apart and looked at the engine and its main internals were fine - however when you read between the lines they struggled with a lot of irritating breakdowns which were a measure of its age...
To summarise I think when buying a new bike you need to use cost and age and mileage and servicing and condition to assess the value and likely reliability. When getting a trade in remember that if you don't like the cost of changing you can choose another dealer, another bike or try and sell privately.  Whenever you change bikes you lose money:upset:

Reply to this Topic


Apr 04

Posts: 17

Dadbob says:

Bike mileage

Thanks to everyone who's replied.  It's certainly helping me with my 'phobia'! 

Now I need to start thinkin seriously about what I'm getting next.....

Reply to this Topic


Compare Insurance

Save money by comparing quotes. It's quick and easy

Motorcycles for sale


It's only £13.99 to advertise your motorcycle on MCN

Sell your Motorcycle

Motorcycle pricing tool

New! Find used bike prices