Harley Davidson Motor bike on a cloudy day

How Many Miles Does A Motorcycle Last?

Last updated on February 9th, 2024 at 11:11 pm

The first thing many buyers consider when choosing a motorcycle is its mileage. That’s because a motorcycle’s mileage indicates its lifespan.

So, how many miles does a motorcycle last?

There isn’t a specific distance that your motorcycle is supposed to last. This depends on the bike’s build and purpose. Usually, a motorcycle can last up to 50,000 miles.

However, this figure can change depending on numerous factors.  Keep reading this article to know all about these factors and how you can keep your motorcycle lasting longer.

motor cycle mileage 30,000

How Many Miles Does a Motorcycle Last?

All vehicles have a lifespan, including motorcycles. Yet, motorcycles’ lifespans aren’t based on how old they are. Instead, it depends on the mileage.

Typically, your vehicle starts to break down when it hits a certain number of miles.

Motorcycles last between 20,000 to 50,000 miles. A motorcycle that passes 50,000 miles is considered pretty old. However, it can still function.

In fact, many motorcycle owners report that their vehicles last way beyond the 100,000-mile mark. On the other hand, some bikes might fall apart before reaching 20,000 miles. This depends on your riding habits and the structure of the motorcycle.

Here’s the average mileage of different types of motorcycles:

  • Off-road: 20,000 miles
  • Touring: 50,000 miles
  • Sports: 50,000 miles
  • Cruiser: 50,000 miles
  • Adventure: 75,000 miles

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Motorcycle

While each motorcycle has a different lifespan, there are specific factors affecting the motorcycle’s state, including the following:

Engine

When we speak about a vehicle lasting, we typically mean its engine. Engines are basically the heart of your motorcycle. You can replace any other part, but if the engine fails, you might as well buy a new vehicle.

If you hit 50,000 miles with your motorcycle, but your engine is in good condition, your bike might last you another 50,000 miles.

It’s important to understand that a larger engine capacity or horsepower doesn’t equal longevity. Instead, each motorcycle has a type of engine that best suits it.

That said, riding your bike can take a toll on your engine, regardless of its type. So, schedule the necessary maintenance appointments to ensure everything is working correctly.

Riding

The way you ride your motorbike is the main factor influencing its lifespan. After all, you can’t frequently crash the bike and expect it to last a lifetime!

That’s because improper riding behavior can overstress the engine. Additionally, this will cause you to replace the motorcycle parts earlier.

So, not only will you reduce the lifespan of your bike, but it’ll also cost you a hefty amount of money!

Cooling System

Now that you know that the engine is the most crucial part of the motorcycle, it can be easy to understand how essential keeping the engine from heating is.

Accordingly, you should have the right cooling system based on your needs and the type of bike.

Usually, engines with higher horsepower have liquid cooling systems. That’s because liquid coolers can efficiently cool down even the hottest of engines.

Furthermore, liquid coolers work great whether you’re riding at high speed or stuck in traffic. In contrast, air coolers force outside air over the engine and pull hot air away. 

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Maintenance

There’s a reason why all manufacturers recommend servicing your motorcycles regularly. Even if you’re an exceptional rider who takes superb care of the bike, there are some issues that only a professional can detect.

In addition, a professional mechanic can deal with the upkeep of the bike for you. This way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to lube the chains or change the oil.

Alternatively, if you neglect to service your motorcycle, both the exterior and the mechanical parts of the bike can suffer significantly. Over time, this will affect your riding experience and the motorcycle’s lifespan.

man performing engine maintenance on motor bike

How to Keep Your Motorcycle Lasting Longer

Though each motorcycle has a specific mileage indicating its lifespan, you can take some measures, so the bike lasts longer. Here are a few tips to keep your motorcycle in good shape:

Store the Motorcycle Properly

Many bikers will toss their bike in the garage during winter, only to find it won’t work once the weather is warmer.

That’s why you should ensure the following when storing your bike:

  • Clean the bike thoroughly
  • Fill the tires
  • Empty the fuel tank or use a fuel stabilizer
  • Change the engine oil
  • Empty the carburetors
  • Charge the battery
  • Take the bike for a ride for a few minutes every couple of weeks

Change the Oil

Estimating when it’s time to change the oil in your motorcycle can be tricky. It depends on how often you ride. Typically, you need to do an oil change at least once every 2,000 miles.

The oil is responsible for lubricating, cooling, noise reduction, and protection from corrosion. Naturally, you don’t want the oil levels to go down.

If you notice any of the following, you should change your motorcycle’s oil:

  • Excessive noise from the engine
  • High temperature
  • The oil has darkened and thickened
  • Decrease in the oil volume

Monitor Tires and Brakes

It goes without saying that you don’t want a flat tire or broken brakes. Yet, if your tires are slightly under-inflated, or the brakes are somewhat rusty, the engine can suffer.

For this reason, you should always have the tires at 36 PSI, and regularly have the brakes checked by a professional.

man performing maintenance on motor bike tire and brakes

Ride Carefully

A motorcycle isn’t just a mode of transportation, it’s an incredibly exciting activity. However, while you might want to ride roughly, or on hard terrain, you must ensure your bike is suitable.

For example, you might use your cruiser motorcycle to get around town. Unfortunately, this bike wouldn’t be suitable if you want to go on an off-road adventure.

Pushing your bike to a higher speed, or alternating accelerating and slowing in short bursts, is unlikely to damage your motorcycle if done once or twice, though. Still, constantly abusing your vehicle will notably reduce its lifespan.

To Conclude

How many miles does a motorcycle last?

A motorcycle can last anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 miles. Yet, with proper care, your motorcycle can last double that distance.

It all comes down to the condition of the engine. So, if you’re gentle while riding, keep the engine from overheating, and schedule regular maintenance, your motorcycle can last a lifetime!

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