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Thread: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

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    member firefly's Avatar
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    How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    I am wondering how many miles can a motorcycle motor last without having to rebuild it? provided that it is not abused and is well maintained.

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    ~*~Crazy Lady~*~ FishWitch's Avatar
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    The way I rack up miles it had better be alot! I've heard of bikes getting 100K+

    This might offer a bit of insight >> CLICKITY

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    Senior Member DaleC's Avatar
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    Quote Originally Posted by FishWitch
    The way I rack up miles it had better be alot! I've heard of bikes getting 100K+

    This might offer a bit of insight >> CLICKITY
    100,000?? That's nothing on a good motorcycle. There are many out there with several hundred thousand miles and they have never had any engine work on them. Emilio Scotto had a Goldwing GL1100 that he rode around the world twice and accumulated over 485,000 miles before retiring the bike.

    After 8 years of constant travel to 142 countries, traveled 291,000 miles using 10,000 gallons of fuel, 140 gallons of oil, replaced 61 tires, gone through 7 passports with 64 pages each, taken 5000 photos and spent $300,000. He still had 72 countries and approximately 140,000 miles yet to be traveled. The website “EmilioScotto.com” tells the rest of the story.
    My GL1800 has only 121,000 and still has the new bike smell to it. I'm hoping to break it in by next June... and then I can start really riding it.

    DaleC

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    member firefly's Avatar
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    Thats encouraging to hear, since Jan 04 I put ~ 30k on my bike but mostly intense surface street use (short trips, stop & go) I maintain the bike the best I can, synthetic oil every ~ 2k, differential oil change every other engine oil change all scheduled maintenance done, brake and clutch fluids changed every 6 month, coolant every year.
    I am hoping for 150k of trouble free miles (engine or transmission)

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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    The two big engine killers are heat and lubrication failure. Keep your cooling system in top shape and replace the lubrication regularly. Other than that, keep the valves in adjustment...in general make sure all moving parts are within spec and don't flog it too much.

    The older air head Beemers were known for 150,000 to 200,000 before needing a valve job. Newer bikes, with improved cooling, should last much longer.
    Matthew 7: 21-27

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    The Lost Tourguide kluts's Avatar
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    LawDog has a point.

    You have a V-Max? You are in luck! Its motor is one of the most reliable, period. It will definitely outlast YOU if cared for. Just follow the mtnce schedule.

    Older Max's had second gear problems. Should that surface, you have so much power you can just ride around it and use 1st and 3rd.....

    BTW, most of the oil reading I've done tells me that synthetics barely get broken in by 2K miles and they get more slippery between 2K and 4K and should be changed by 5-6K in a bike. At the cost of this stuff nowadays, you'll do no harm by going 4K on every change.

    Rule of thumb-- if it's clean and not old, why change it?
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    My new favorite picture from a 2001 GSXR750


    I've got a ways to go. 2001 ZX6R back in July right at the CO state line. It's got another 4000 miles on it since then. It's needed all of its routine maintenance (valve adjusts at all but one inpsection) but has otherwise had only one broken taillight and one torn rubber pad on the footpeg. No other mechanical issues.

    Nice thing about sportbikes is that it is easy to stay well under redline and still have power on the street. I cruise under 6500 rpms and redline is 14500 rpms.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    The Lost Tourguide kluts's Avatar
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    Motors are built very tight nowadays. They have to be, because there are pollution constraints that are very strict in some countries (Japan AND the People's Respooblick of Falicornia in particular). This is good news because overall, most bikes built since 1990 are reliable as stones.

    I only had one issue with a Suzuki motor, a 1988 Katana 1100 with soft cams. Suzuki fixed that problem in later models, but not until after I replaced the cams. Don't talk to me about transmissions and drivelines, tho. Every brand has its klunker in that department. Particularly BMW, who can't seem to get a clear vision on reliability beyond the motor itself.
    "Not all those who wander are lost."
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    Quote Originally Posted by firefly
    I am wondering how many miles can a motorcycle motor last without having to rebuild it? provided that it is not abused and is well maintained.
    That depends on the care it gets, and to a lesser degree on the engine. The high-revving sportsbike engines obviously have a somewhat reduced TBO compared to the large unstressed tourer engines. It's not unusual to see BMW K, Honda ST and the like with multi-100K engines, generally clocked up in commuting, law enforcement use or long distance touring.

    School bikes can also clock up serious mileage but tend to get overhauled frequently due to abuse.

    Bram

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    Senior Member CONDOR's Avatar
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    Re: How many miles can a motorcycle motor have

    Quote Originally Posted by firefly
    I am wondering how many miles can a motorcycle motor last without having to rebuild it? provided that it is not abused and is well maintained.
    There are quite a few Yamaha Venture V4's pushing 200K, and I've even heard of one in the 250 range. That equates to lots of tire changes!!!

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