What Is High Mileage For A Motorcycle?

This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Read more.

If a buyer is considering purchasing a vehicle, they will almost always evaluate the mileage. While most people know that a car with 200,000 miles on it is almost certainly destined for the scrapyard, few are aware that the same is true of a motorcycle. In the case of a motorbike, what constitutes excessive mileage, and should a high number on the odometer deter you from acquiring a used bike?

You should read this if you’re thinking about buying a used motorcycle but are concerned about the miles on the odometer. What constitutes high mileage for a motorbike will be discussed in detail; however, and perhaps more crucially, the other aspects that will influence the value and durability of the motorcycle will also be discussed in detail. As you’ll see, those can often be more significant in the long run.

What is the average annual; mileage for a motorcycle?

Motorcycles are often driven for fewer miles per year than automobiles. Compared to a car driven between 10,000 and 15,000 miles per year on average, a bicycle is driven less than half that distance. What is the typical annual mileage for a motorcycle, and how long does it last? 3,000 miles – and while this is an average, certain cyclists can cover even less distance.

1. Be familiar with the numbers, but think beyond them.

Generally speaking, high mileage on a motorcycle ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 miles each year. Sport motorcycles will often achieve high mileage at the lower end of the spectrum (usually around 25,000 miles). Still, cruisers and touring bikes would typically achieve high mileage in the 40,000- to the 50,000-mile range, respectively.

However, if you’re seeking a quick fix, the simple fact is that the mileage on a motorcycle does not always provide helpful information about the bike’s overall condition. When it comes to any vehicle, mileage is only part of the story because it has been maintained. Motorcycles, in particular, are subject to a great deal of variation depending on the type, the quality of maintenance provided by the owner, and other considerations.

2. Take into account the sort of motorcycle.

There are several types of motorcycles that are designed to travel long distances before requiring maintenance. Motorcycles used for touring are an obvious example. Many touring bike owners ride their bikes for more than 10,000 miles per year on average. As long as the user is committed to good maintenance, this should not be a problem for a bike designed specifically for this purpose.

3. Take into consideration the upkeep and storage.

In many cases, the amount of care given to the bike by the owner is the single most critical factor in deciding how well the machine performs over the years of ownership. A well-maintained motorcycle may be able to travel 100,000 miles or more before needing to be replaced.

Someone selling a used motorbike should be able to supply you with at the very least basic information on how the motorcycle has been maintained, as well as information on how the motorcycle has been stored. Some of the most significant things to look for are as follows:

  • Whether the bike had frequent oil changes, air filter changes, and cleaning performed regularly.
  • It didn’t matter if the bike was kept outside or in a garage.
  • Whether the bike has been used regularly or has been left unused is irrelevant.
  • Service records for both large and minor things are kept.

It is important to note that a motorcycle that has been in storage for a lengthy period may not be a suitable investment. Damage to seals and gaskets, rust from moisture accumulation, and various other issues can occur when the bike is not properly prepared for storage by the owner.

If the bike has been through several different owners, this information may be difficult to come across in the first place, which takes us to our next point.

4. Take the owner’s consideration

When appraising a secondhand motorcycle, fewer previous owners are often regarded as a positive sign. The more the number of hands that a motorcycle has traveled through, the greater the likelihood of an unreported crash, neglected maintenance, or other negative events taking place. It is why single-owner motorcycles are considered something of a holy grail among used bike buyers, as it is usually easier to find information regarding the motorcycle’s service history when the motorcycle has only had one previous owner.

However, it is at this point that you must consider the big picture once more. How many miles did the motorcycle’s owner put on it before selling it? Which type of rider do they consider themselves to be: an aggressive track day rider who pushes the bike to its limits or more of a relaxing weekend rider? Ultimately, the number of owners and the owner’s desired riding style are only two more considerations to consider when purchasing a motorcycle.

Sportbikes, on the other hand, are essentially the polar opposite in terms of mileage. They function at a significantly greater rev range than most cruisers and touring motorcycles, and they tend to accelerate more quickly and brake harder as a result. For this reason, sportbikes earn the “high mileage” tag much more rapidly than cruisers and baggers. In many cases, a sports motorbike that has been meticulously maintained will outperform a tourer that has never been inside a service garage.


How many miles is not too much? However, if you love your motorcycle, you will add a few more miles. If you have any questions, you can ask us in the comment section. Ride Safely.

Share This Post!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.