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#385292 - 09/02/08 03:08 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: Whip]
ArthurKnowles Offline
Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 744
Loc: Southern California
Well let's see ...

Most BMWs go for 100,000+ miles. But my 81 Honda CB750K was a goner at 25,000 miles. I rode it until the shift lever fell off and at that point the engine needed to be rebuilt. I will say that this was all in-city (rush hour) traffic and I did ride it hard, but I maintained it well too. My 76 Kawasaki KZ400 needed an engine rebuild at about 10,000 miles. Mostly due to the previous owner. Can't say what my Yamaha XA-750 would have done as an idiot ran me over in an intersection and totaled the motorcycle. My 87 Honda Magna I sold and the new owner totaled it. So, can't help much with that one either.

But what I can say is prior to the 90's the average lifespan was between 25,000 and 50,000 miles for most motorcyles. Or at least that was what was considered acceptable.
_________________________
2005 R1200ST Piedmont Red/Graphite Black
2009 R1200RT Titan Silver Metallic (Sold)
1996 Cirrus Blue Metallic R1100RT (Sold)
2006 Magnesium Black Metallic K1200LT (Sold)

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#385361 - 09/02/08 04:59 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: leikam]
JayW Offline
Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 2487
Loc: Western NC
 Originally Posted By: leikam
Did your source happen to mention what happens to the parts when the motorcycle "dies"? Do they evaporate? Get used in other bikes? End up on the scrap heap?


All good questions, and I am not sure of the answers. I would think that most motorcycles die in one of several ways. They may be destroyed in an accident, or stolen and disassembled for parts (a not-uncommon demise for Japanese sport bikes). Another scenerio I can imagine is one of neglect. Imagine a bike that simply won't start or develops some other relatively minor problem that results in it being moved to the back of the barn, or worse placed under a tarp outside. The owner fully intends to "get around to fixing it" but other matters take priority. Eventually he remembers the bike again, but by that time the oil has congealed, the rubber parts have dry rotted, rust is forming, and perhaps the wiring harness has been chewed on by mice. At that point the bike is considered "dead" and will likely to be junked or sold for parts. Of course, if the bike is valuable or rare then it may eventually come to restoration and live on.

When I have traveled overseas, especially in poorer countries, I see many older motorcycles with lots of kilometers which remain in service every day. These are usually small-displacement machines and in some cases the bike is the primary family vehicle.

The shortest lived bikes I can recall were those crated BMW motorcycles that fell off the cargo ship and later washed up on shore. Those bikes were essentially "still-born". The longest-lived bikes (in terms of years) may be those in museums, though they are not necessarily fulfilling their intended purpose.

Jay

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#385364 - 09/02/08 05:08 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: JayW]
Tapatio Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 509
Loc: California
So my bike only has 2,000 miles left in it? What a shame, the engine finally broke in. \:\/


_________________________
Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive - Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
'05 Honda CRF450X
'06 BMW R1200RT
'83 BMW R100 (Gone but not forgotten)

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#385394 - 09/02/08 06:10 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: JayW]
lawnchairboy Offline
Snuggie Jesus
Member

Registered: 11/14/05
Posts: 2894
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia
wow. I am 7k past the "average"



\:\)

chris
_________________________
06 R12RT 05 DR650 11 R12GS


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#385398 - 09/02/08 06:15 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: Tapatio]
CoarsegoldKid Offline
Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 3103
Loc: Coarsegold, Ca, USA
A few months ago I was talking to a salesman at the local Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki dealer. I was checking out the technology on the GSXR1000 that sprung up while I wasn't watching. ANyway he began talking about noobs buying sport bikes like this one and others in the livery. He said the life expectancy of a sport bike in the hands of a noob was about 2 months. That's the bike not the rider. They come back on a truck mangled and twisted. 2 months is not much.
_________________________
Joe
NorCal Meets SoCal in the Middle 2015 is April 24-26.

'05 R1200RT 107K miles, takes me down the highway.
'13 KTM 690 Enduro R takes me through the woods.

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#385402 - 09/02/08 06:27 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: Whip]
bakerzdosen Offline

Dislocated Member
Member

Registered: 07/06/06
Posts: 4980
Loc: Provo, UT
 Originally Posted By: Whip
My time is way too valuable to have to change alternator belts in parking lots in the Texas panhandle(twice) while passin through.
Not to mention PowerPoint presentations.
_________________________
'05 R1200ST
'03 F650csa (departed because of the ST)

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#385445 - 09/02/08 08:03 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: stevej]
marcopolo18 Offline
Just Joined

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Quebec
Hi:

I likewise have an R80/7 that I haven't been riding since a got teh 1200RT some 18 mos ago... I agree... the bike was smooth, the seat's just as comfortable, if not more than the RT.

Though the suspension lacks a bit as well as upper end speed and torque, it's still a great bike that I plan to keep.

Marc

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#385446 - 09/02/08 08:04 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: bakerzdosen]
Matts_12GS Offline
Member

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 9098
Loc: Saint Johns, FL
2 Kawasaki cruisers (1 46,000 1 35000)
1 Kawasaki ZX11 (45000)
1 Suzuki GS850G (56000)
3 BMWs (50, 65 and 76000 miles)

I think they'll pretty much all run that long these days.
_________________________
Matt


2005 1200GS (Traveller)
IBA 37694
"When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set." --Chinese writer Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

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#385466 - 09/02/08 08:37 PM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: JayW]
Quinn Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 3550
Loc: Durham, NC
28k on a 125cc would certainly be lot. I can see the 28,000 being good up to about 350cc's. Up to 650cc's thirty years ago.

Death by accident, death by neglect, or worn out? Probably most bikes don't get worn out; unless you count a repair that would be too expensive for the amount of riding the owner was planning.
_________________________
Maybe a chicken is just an egg's way of making more eggs.

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#385544 - 09/03/08 12:00 AM Re: What is the average life span of a motorcycle? [Re: Whip]
eddd Offline
Administrator
Member

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 5060
Loc: Hurricane, UT
 Originally Posted By: Whip
 Originally Posted By: Francois_Dumas
Short-lived, ask Whip ! Long-lived, ask Whip


I'll keep any bike as long it only needs regular maintenance and remains reliable.....and Mrs Whip likes it.

Once I need to carry more than a plug kit, I'm gonna replace it. My time is way too valuable to have to change alternator belts in parking lots in the Texas panhandle(twice) while passin through.


"Hi" Jamie





Whip




I think he finally got that belt eating problem under control.

How about it Jaime? Enquiring minds want to know? Was it the alternator, pulley, or both that were out of round?
_________________________
12 Kawasaki EX650
02 Kawasaki KLX300R
99 Suzuki DR650
96 R1100RT - forced retirement at 175,000

Parting out '99 R1100RT and a 2002 R1150RT ..... Need anything?

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