What is High Mileage For a Motorcycle?

Normally when buying a motorcycle, we seek out those that have great features and looks that suit our taste. Motorcycle mileage is one of the common and important features that most of us consider during our purchases.

Mileage for a motorcycle means the number of miles a motorcycle has traveled using a unit of fuel in specified conditions. However, it is not the same if we decide to buy second-hand bikes. In this context, mileage refers to the number of miles a motorcycle has been driven over a period of time.

Hence, although the design and features do matter, our eyes instantly look for the odometers whenever buying a second-hand bike.

The lesser the mileage, the higher the price of the bike. A motorcycle with low mileage either is in good working condition w.r.t to its performance or it is newer as compared. Thus, when buying a second-hand motorcycle, we are more likely to prefer bikes with lesser mileage.

However, this mindset is not 100% right. A motorcycle with reasonable mileage can certainly be beneficial, but a high mileage motorcycle does not always have to be wrong, old, or bad. In addition to checking the motor engine, it’s important to ensure everything else is in good working condition. 

Furthermore, it is equally necessary to check the service history of a motorcycle you are looking to buy as bikes with incomplete history are always a losing gamble.

Likewise, in order to narrow down our options to buy the best second-hand bike, we need to look at a range of factors. Let’s begin by finding out:

What is High Mileage for a Motorcycle?

There is no definite answer to it. The average annual mileage for a bike is around 33,00 miles/year. For some bikes, it can be less and more for others. To explain it simply, a bike with 20,000-50,000 miles is considered a high mileage motorcycle. The range is wide because it all depends on the type of bike we choose.

A sports bike is known for its high revving engines and aggressive usage. It offers high speed and performance but is known to have a shorter life expectancy. Therefore, the range of 20,000 to 30,000 is considered high mileage for sports bikes, leading to an average of 25,000 miles.

Whereas, for touring motorcycles, the range of 40,000 to 50,000 is considered high mileage. As the name suggests, touring bikes are used for long drives and touring purposes. They are used less aggressively and have a higher life expectancy than sports bikes. Consequently, their high mileage range shifts up.

For a bike, mileage is a factor that helps us to determine its health and life. By a general standard, a range of numbers on the odometer is considered high mileage. But having a high mileage is not the only thing that can affect the motorcycle. Whether it’s a sport or a touring motorcycle, mileage should never be the sole reason to buy a motorcycle. There are other factors too that affect the health of a motorcycle and the best way to determine them all is by referring to service records.

We recommend checking out our top rated motorcycle speedometers.

You Can Know Everything With Service Records! / Vehicle History Report: The Ultimate Guide For A Bike

The most important thing is to check the service records or vehicle history report of the used bike you’re thinking of purchasing. The service history can tell you everything you need and want to know about a motorcycle. It holds the complete maintenance records of the faults, defects, changes, repairs, and upgrades a bike has undergone over the course of its lifetime.

Despite having the considered high mileage, a bike can potentially be better than others if it is maintained well enough. A high mileage motorcycle needs to have timely servicing and maintenance as per the recommendation provided by the manufacturer. This is because each bike is different and has different ways to be taken care of. It is therefore the best way to maintain a bike by following the annual servicing program offered by the manufacturer.

If a bike has been serviced as per the manufacturer maintenance recommendations, it proves that the previous owner has maintained the bike with utmost care. Referring to such service records also helps you to maintain the motorcycle accordingly after the purchase. Such records give you an idea of the current condition of the bike and help you maintain its functioning accordingly. 

Thus, buying even a high mileage second-hand motorcycle can prove beneficial. It all boils down to the overall condition of the bike present before you buy it.

If you buy a high mileage motorcycle, you will need to maintain and service the bike from time to time. Otherwise, the bike’s life expectancy can shorten at a fast rate and your purchase will lead to a huge loss.

How To Maintain A High Mileage Bike And Increase Life Expectancy

  • Engine Break-In: The initial 500-1,000 miles is the break-in period for almost every bike. It is the period of a new engine conditioning. In this period, the engine gets time to adjust and operate evenly without putting any parts of it to excessive strain. 

We should set aside a break-in period for the engine to keep it running smoothly and perfectly. 

Whether we buy a new bike or have the engine rebuild, there is a lot of friction at the beginning. In order to condition the engine, we need to ensure the following things are kept in mind:

  1. During the break-in period, we should only use less than ¾ of the throttle.
  2. We shouldn’t ride the bike at the excessive speeds of the given gears.
  3. To ensure the engine breaks in perfectly, we need to resist starting aggressively and avoid jackrabbit acceleration.
  4. It is always advisable to avoid lugging.
  5. It is also advisable to ride the bike in the highest gear.
  • Follow The Bike Guide: As each bike is different from one another, the best way to maintain your bike is by following the service manual recommended by the manufacturer. By following their guidelines we can ensure our bike functions smoothly, without any worries for a long time.

The service manual includes regular lubrication, oil changes, oil leaks, and servicing brakes that ensure our safety and the safety of our bike. But, it also involves things that we often forget, such as inspecting the adjustment of all the valves and primary transmission chains from time to time.

  • Keep It Dirt Free: As we all know, we can’t let the engine suck even a speck of dirt. As it can lead to engine failure even before it breaks in. Therefore, inspecting the bike’s air filter is a must. It is a basic maintenance activity that every biker should know.

It is important to wash and clean the air filter of the bike from time to time. Because the engine can suck dirt and grit if the bike’s air filter is either clogged, damaged, dirty, loose, or missing from the bike. It can lead to breakdown and cause major internal and physical damage to your bike.

  • Cool It To Use It: As said earlier, the best way to maintain a bike is by following the manufacturer’s service manual. Such is the case with bikes that have liquid cooling systems. We run cooler to avoid problems like overheating.

Always use the coolant and water as per the given amount. So that you don’t harm the bike in any manner. With the help of the additive present in the coolant, it ensures that the radiator is lubricated from the inside. Furthermore, radiator tubes get protection from rust and corrosion that can get stuck inside.

It is necessary to change the coolant by draining, cleaning, and replacing it every two years. So that the bike does not suffer from overheating and water pump failure.

  • Chain Inspection: Timely inspection of your motor chain is mandatory. It’s the most fragile and important part of the bike. If it gets stuck or breaks during the travel, not only does your bike get physically damaged but also you risk your life and safety with it. By frequently checking chain adjustment and lubricating the chains, you can maintain your primary chains very well.

It’s Time We Change Our Mind About High Mileage

Surely, mileage can affect the condition of the bike. But many other factors do the same. A bike with low mileage and poor maintenance will perform worse than a bike with high mileage and proper maintenance. It is not about the mileage every time. So whenever you go buy a used bike, make sure that before buying you checkmark everything and not just mileage.

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