View Poll Results: How long do you think a motorcycle should last?

Voters
131. You may not vote on this poll
  • Forever: I'll fix anything that breaks

    51 38.93%
  • 20 years and 500,000 miles. Round trip to the moon

    24 18.32%
  • 10 years and 250,000 miles. One way trip to the moon

    48 36.64%
  • 50,000 miles just like Dads Oldsmobile

    2 1.53%
  • Doesn't matter, I stay new and under warranty.

    6 4.58%
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 36

Thread: How long do you think a motorcycle should last?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Lucky MotorradMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,280

    How long do you think a motorcycle should last?

    With all the spline lubes recently completed and underway, FD issues etc. I thought it would be interesting to find out what everyone expects from a BMW motorcycle lifewise.

    The tire/oil/brake pad manufacturers have us all conditioned to replace those things periodically because they don't last forever yet some of us seem to think the rest of the bike should.

    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  2. #2
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Central WA
    Posts
    526
    I can't see why a motorcycle shouldn't last as long as a well cared for car. I have my doubts about some of the newer vehicles out there, but my 22 year old Benz has ~300K on it, and it runs great.
    Too damn many bikes to list

  3. #3
    Registered User 175887's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    77
    That would depend on the bike, Mike. I would expect a touring bike to be in the 200,000+ mile category. For a commuter, closer to 50K-100K.

    I find that I might tire of the bike before I wear it out.
    08 F800ST, 07 R1200RT
    blog
    - Owen

  4. #4
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,952
    Quote Originally Posted by flymymbz View Post
    my 22 year old Benz has ~300K on it, and it runs great.
    Yes, and my 5-year old Benz--with the most technically sophisticated engine sold in mainstream cars in the USA--is now in the shop for some $1300 pump or sensor or whatever. Still not interested in anything from the 1990s and mine runs better than anything from that era. And, I've got traction control (including trailer sway control), diesel particulate filter, SAT radio, hands-free phone, GPS, IR reflecting glass, 400 ft-lbs torque from 180 cu in and likely better fuel economy.

    Wherever anybody is is OK, but no amount of rationalization makes old stuff better than new stuff. To promote that is an insult to engineers everywhere.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  5. #5
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352
    I have members in the Badger Motorcyclists of Wisconsin club that have:
    500,000+ on one Airhead, 70's vintage
    380,000+ on one R80 Airhead, 80's vintage
    220,000+ on a K100RS, mid-80's vintage
    157,000+ on a R1150R

    I myself have 163,000+ on my 94 R1100RS, and plan to make it to 200,000 min.

    So, with proper care, no reason a BMW motorcycle, or any motorcycle for that matter, should last as long as the rider enjoys the bike. Just that some brands take more care, maintenance and parts that others.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Marion,Ar.
    Posts
    5,098
    Older BMW's car and bikes were designed and built to be regularly serviced and maintained, then rebuilt and restored. No end in site. New bikes and cars are component equipment. Component checks bad, out it comes and new one installed. Times have changed.

  7. #7
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Camas Valley Oregon
    Posts
    1,055
    Inasmuch as I drove a 1979 SAAB turbo coupe for 400,000 miles in 13 years with minimum repairs I expect at least that or more from my BMW RT. If it breaks I'll fix it. We now have two SAABs in the family, a 1990 and a 1995 both of which are nearing a quarter million miles with no end in sight.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  8. #8
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,313
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Yes, and my 5-year old Benz--with the most technically sophisticated engine sold in mainstream cars in the USA--is now in the shop for some $1300 pump or sensor or whatever. Still not interested in anything from the 1990s and mine runs better than anything from that era. And, I've got traction control (including trailer sway control), diesel particulate filter, SAT radio, hands-free phone, GPS, IR reflecting glass, 400 ft-lbs torque from 180 cu in and likely better fuel economy.

    Wherever anybody is is OK, but no amount of rationalization makes old stuff better than new stuff. To promote that is an insult to engineers everywhere.
    With hind site I think my '58 Chevy was a better car than any '85 Yugo. Did I rationalize that okay?
    MOA #46783
    2015 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    2,576
    Quote Originally Posted by flymymbz View Post
    I can't see why a motorcycle shouldn't last as long as a well cared for car. I have my doubts about some of the newer vehicles out there, but my 22 year old Benz has ~300K on it, and it runs great.
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Yes, and my 5-year old Benz--with the most technically sophisticated engine sold in mainstream cars in the USA--is now in the shop for some $1300 pump or sensor or whatever. Still not interested in anything from the 1990s and mine runs better than anything from that era. And, I've got traction control (including trailer sway control), diesel particulate filter, SAT radio, hands-free phone, GPS, IR reflecting glass, 400 ft-lbs torque from 180 cu in and likely better fuel economy.

    Wherever anybody is is OK, but no amount of rationalization makes old stuff better than new stuff. To promote that is an insult to engineers everywhere.
    I don't see anywhere where flymymbz said his older MBZ was better than a new MBZ.

    Many products today are not engineered to hold up as long as their predecessors. Also, electronic parts cannot be replaced as inexpensive as mechanical parts, and some may not be available. Although engine blocks, transmissions, etc. may last longer, the electronic components often fail long before the mechanical parts do. Heat and vibration are terrible for electronic components, and vehicles have plenty of both. As such, many newer cars are often junked because it is not cost effective to repair them.
    Jeff in W.C.
    1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
    "I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer

  10. #10
    K-bricks forever!
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Shaw Missouri /Boone County
    Posts
    18
    Well, for the next season or two at least!!

  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    "Big Bend" TX
    Posts
    8,934
    It comes down to how much are you willing and able to spend. If that is a considerable sum then you can make them last a very, very long time. Some models need more, others less. Some BMW models need a top end rebuild about every 100K miles, and lots of carburetor and ignition parts over the miles. Other models need only routine wear parts like brakes and shocks and clutches for 500K miles. Some models have vulnerable high dollar parts like final drives and ABS units that might go $2K at a pop to fix/replace. Some folks do all their own work which can often reduce out of pocket costs to 25% or less of what full take it to the shop costs might be. Some folks like certain bikes and are willing to keep them on the road. Others think in pure dollars and cents terms and reach a point they quit with a certain motorcycle and part it, trade it, or dump it off an some poor unsuspecting buyer.

    So, for some people with some bikes 50K miles is too long, and for others with other bikes 500K miles isn't enough. And there are lots of folks in between.

    For the right bike I vote forever. For other bikes, get it out of here!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  12. #12
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    1,769
    My personal experience says they'll last until the first deer jumps out in front of you and destroys the bike.

    As long as you can avoid that, they'll keep going for as long as you maintain them, or at least are willing to do so. I don't think I've ever run a vehicle until it was past useful life and I've put quite a few miles on several of them. I'm usually tired of it and lured on by something newer, fancier and shinier. What the subsequent owner(s) do may or may not contribute to the vehicles continued longevity.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,952
    It's a pretty silly question. Not a particuarly valid sample here, either.

    The folks in marketing usually have a good handle on things, and I expect their goal is to sell toys. It certainly is not to sell long-term, reliable, generic transportation.

    The "toy" market that BMW operates in in the 21st century is called "cutting edge" toys.

    You can note from other posts here that BMW's 2011 best seller was the S1000RR. How long do you think buyers think that's supposed to last?

    It's no longer the 1950s when Germany was recovering from WW2 and BMW bikes, likely with sidecars, were "basic transportation." It's nice to have that in the history, but continuing to build that sort of thing would be suicide.

    Not only would it be suicide from a marketing point of view, the fact is governments have been pushing auto/bike makers on things like emissions and efficiency and safety, and for one thing to achieve that, bikes are no longer going to be cast iron.

    So not only are you confusing personal opinions with what those in the business of selling/designing bikes see as their goals, you've quite likely also not a good grasp on the statistics of FD failures, etc. I'm not concerned about mine in the least. No, I'm instead pretty happy I've got ABS, ASC, CAN-bus, etc., etc.

    A little more on the FDs and splines ... you'll note BMW survived the 1985 K-bike fiasco just fine. GS sales weren't killed by the R100GS driveshaft thing. No need for hysteria.

    Yeah, I'm old, too, but I don't subscribe to "the older we get the better we were" notion. I'm not in the market for an S1000RR, but there's no reason BMW should care about that. BMW ain't making old guy cars or bikes for old guys. I like my iPhone better than rotary dialing. See URAL for all that.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  14. #14
    Lucky MotorradMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,280
    Maybe I can help.
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's a pretty silly question. Not a particuarly valid sample here, either.
    Oh dear, that won't do as an opener. Two negatives in your first line.
    If you want to classify it as silly, which is fair, you might simply ignore it, or you could say something like "That may be one of those questions with no clear answer".
    You can still vote without posting, which is a fun thing to do on a chilly February morning.


    The folks in marketing usually have a good handle on things, and I expect their goal is to sell toys. It certainly is not to sell long-term, reliable, generic transportation.
    Opinions are good but risky to present as fact.

    The "toy" market that BMW operates in in the 21st century is called "cutting edge" toys.

    You can note from other posts here that BMW's 2011 best seller was the S1000RR. How long do you think buyers think that's supposed to last?
    Hmmm, that last is a bit of a problem, you've gone and asked a silly question in your post denouncing silly questions.

    It's no longer the 1950s when Germany was recovering from WW2 and BMW bikes, likely with sidecars, were "basic transportation." It's nice to have that in the history, but continuing to build that sort of thing would be suicide.
    Reasonable.

    Not only would it be suicide from a marketing point of view, the fact is governments have been pushing auto/bike makers on things like emissions and efficiency and safety, and for one thing to achieve that, bikes are no longer going to be cast iron.
    Too political, see forum rules.

    So not only are you confusing personal opinions with what those in the business of selling/designing bikes see as their goals, you've quite likely also not a good grasp on the statistics of FD failures, etc. I'm not concerned about mine in the least. No, I'm instead pretty happy I've got ABS, ASC, CAN-bus, etc., etc.
    These statements are abrasive in nature and best avoided or re-worded as questions.

    A little more on the FDs and splines ... you'll note BMW survived the 1985 K-bike fiasco just fine. GS sales weren't killed by the R100GS driveshaft thing. No need for hysteria.

    Yeah, I'm old, too, but I don't subscribe to "the older we get the better we were" notion. I'm not in the market for an S1000RR, but there's no reason BMW should care about that. BMW ain't making old guy cars or bikes for old guys. I like my iPhone better than rotary dialing. See URAL for all that.
    If you refer to these notes in future posts you might find you're thought of as an interesting guy with valuable input, rather than annoying and abrasive.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  15. #15
    Registered User Motodan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,313
    Quote Originally Posted by MotorradMike View Post
    Maybe I can help.


    If you refer to these notes in future posts you might find you're thought of as an interesting guy with valuable input, rather than annoying and abrasive.
    Ditto what you said MotorradMike. What a pompous attitude and writing style. Must work in marketing, no doubt a customer relations representative.
    MOA #46783
    2015 R1200RT

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •