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What Is High Mileage for a Motorcycle?

Mileage is one of the many factors to consider when evaluating a used motorcycle. Age, service history, and riding habits are also important. However, how many miles a bike has been driven can be a good indicator of its condition and greatly influence the price.

Generally, the high mileage of a motorcycle is over 20,000 miles. By this point, many of the bike’s components begin to wear out and need to be replaced. This can be expensive, so it’s essential to consider the cost of repairs.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. A well-maintained motorcycle with high mileage can be very cost-effective. Similarly, a poorly maintained option with low mileage can be a money pit. That’s why in this article, we’ll take a detailed look at motorcycle miles so that you know how to care for your aging iron companion properly or you can have enough information when buying a used bike.

Even if you know when is the best time to sell a motorcycle, the poor condition of the bike can prevent you from making money.

What Is Considered High Mileage For a Motorcycle?

When it comes to motorcycles, high mileage is a relative term. For smaller models, such as sport bikes, 20,000-30,000 miles on a motorcycle is high mileage. For larger bikes, anything over 40,000 miles is considered high mileage.

How Many Miles Is a Lot for a Motorcycle?

It is difficult to say how many miles are too high for a motorbike because it depends on its type, how it has been driven and maintained, and a host of other factors. However, it is generally accepted that 25,000 miles are considered high mileage.

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when estimating a motorcycle’s mileage:

  1. Under 10,000 miles – a bike like this is considered low miles. It is still under warranty and should be in excellent condition.
  2. Between 10,000 and 20,000 miles – this is considered the average mileage on a motorcycle. This bike may run out of warranty, but it should still be in good condition.
  3. 20,000 to 50,000 miles – this is high miles. This motorbike is usually out of warranty and may it some wear and tear.
  4. 50,000+ miles – this is considered very high mileage. Such a bike may have significant wear and tear and require major repairs.

If the bike is not maintained correctly, it is best not to take one with mileage over 20,000 to avoid getting into expensive repairs.

What Is the Average Annual Mileage for a Bike?

The average miles for a motorcycle are about 3,000 miles. Some motorcyclists often don’t even get 2,000 miles in a year, and there are some who earn less than one mile. This is much less than the automobile mileage, usually about 15,000 miles.

There are several reasons for this difference:

  1. Motorcycles are usually used for recreation, not for commuting or other practical purposes.
  2. Bikes are most often stored during the winter months when weather conditions make riding them impractical.
  3. Motorbikes tend to be less reliable than cars, and thus, drivers may be more reluctant to use them for long trips.

How to Keep Your High-Mileage Bike Running Like New

Your high-mileage bike can last for years if you take good care of it. Here are a few tips to keep your bike running like new.

Break in the Engine Properly

When you buy a high-mileage bike, make sure the engine has adequately been breaking in. This will ensure its long life. If an engine rebuild was present, the breaking-in period should be the same as for a new engine.

Remember that it usually lasts for the first 500 to 1,000 miles, and you need to stick to the following recommendations:

  • aggressive starts, acceleration, and sudden stops should be avoided;
  • downshift to a lower gear before starting the engine;
  • use the highest gear most of the time;
  • never use more than 75% throttle for the first 500-1000 miles;
  • do not exceed engine speeds in any gear;
  • avoid towing a motorcycle engine.

Follow the Service Recommendations

This is important no matter how many miles you have driven on your motorcycle. Inspect and replace the primary chains regularly, service the brakes, and check valve adjustments. It’s essential to follow the recommendations in the service manual for maintaining your high-mileage bike. This will help keep your motorbike running smoothly.

Check the Air Filters

This is a basic but important maintenance task that all motorcycle owners should be aware of. A clogged air filter prevents regular engine operation and can cause severe damage. If you frequently ride in dusty or sandy conditions, be sure to flush or replace the air filter regularly.

Use a Coolant Instead of Water

If your motorcycle has a liquid-cooled engine, use coolant in the radiator. It lubricates the internal parts of the radiator and prevents the radiator tubes from rusting. Flush, drain, and replace your bike’s coolant every two years.

How Many Miles Can a Motorcycle Last?

With proper care, a motorcycle can last you a long time. Many motorcyclists have managed to keep their iron friends over 100,000 miles, and there are even a few professionals who have gone beyond that with over 1,000,000 miles.

So, what exactly determines a motorcycle’s lifespan? There are several factors to consider when answering this question.

First, the type of motorcycle you have plays a role in how long it will last. For example, one designed for the roads is likely to last longer than one designed for off-road simply because it is not subject to as much wear and tear.

How you use and care for your motorcycle also has an impact. If you ride it a lot and don’t take care of it, it probably won’t last as long as it could. However, if you take proper care of your bike and maintain it regularly, you’ll be able to ride it much longer.

Ultimately, it’s hard to answer the question of how long a motorcycle will last, as there are many variables. However, if you take good care of it and maintain it regularly, you can expect it to last for years.

How Does Mileage Affect Motorcycle Value?

High mileage generally reduces the value of a motorcycle because it indicates worn parts. But, as we said at the beginning, that’s not the only factor to look at. A bike with high mileage that gets good maintenance is better with low but also with a lack of preventive care.

Here are some points to keep in mind as well.

How Has the Motorcycle Been Ridden

If a bike has been ridden a lot and put away in a damp place, it will show its wear and tear much sooner than one that has been ridden more carefully. If you are considering a used motorbike, find out how the previous owner rode it. Did he ride mainly on the streets or take it out to the track often?

How Well the Bike Was Maintained

This is related to the first point. If the vehicle is not correctly maintained, it will have more problems no matter how many miles it has been ridden. It is crucial to inspect a used motorbike carefully and have a mechanic check it before you buy it.

Brand and Model of Bike

Some motorcycles are known for being more reliable than others. Research the model and brand of the motorbike you’re looking at to see what others say about it.

How Do I Keep My Bike in Good Condition?

Here are some tips to help you keep your motorcycle in good condition:

  1. Perform regular maintenance. This includes checking the engine oil, coolant levels, brakes, and tires. You should also clean and lubricate the chain regularly.
  2. Be aware of weather conditions. Avoid driving in snow or heavy rain. If you must go in such situations, be especially careful to avoid puddles and slippery areas on the road.
  3. Do not drive beyond your abilities. If you are a beginner, don’t try to keep up with experienced motorcyclists. Likewise, do not ride out on difficult terrain if you are not prepared for it.
  4. Protect your bike from outside influences. Store your motorcycle in a garage or shed when you’re not riding. This will help extend its life. You can also buy the best motorcycle covers to protect your bike from moisture, accidental damage, or cold.
  5. Take out insurance. This will help cover the cost of repairs if you get into an accident.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your motorbike stays in good condition for years.


Are 20000 miles high for a motorcycle?

Yes, that is considered high mileage. But in practice, more often than not, the number of miles has little to do with its value or reliability. Many motorcycles can go over 20,000 miles without too much trouble if properly maintained.

What is the ideal mileage for a used motorcycle?

The ideal mileage for a used motorcycle depends on a number of factors, such as the make and model, how well it has been maintained, and what you plan to use it for. In general, a used motorcycle with under 10,000 miles is considered ideal.

Is it okay to buy a high-mileage motorcycle?

A high-mileage bike that has been well maintained can be just as good (or even better) than a low-mileage motorcycle that hasn’t been properly looked after. It all depends on the particular motorbike. If you do your research and thoroughly inspect your motorcycle, you can make a decision about whether or not to buy a high-mileage iron horse.


While some motorcyclists believe that high mileage is a sign that the bike is coming to the end of its useful life, this is not always the case. A well-maintained motorbike with high mileage can be a great buy because the previous owner likely accustomed it to use and rode it carefully.

Of course, when considering a high-mileage option, it’s important to have a mechanic inspect it thoroughly to make sure it’s in good working order. It’s also reasonable to check the motorcycle’s service history to make sure it’s been regularly serviced and maintained.

So, if you come across a good option with over 10,000 miles, don’t hurry to give it up immediately. You may lose the opportunity to buy an iron friend that will serve you faithfully for many years.

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