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Thread: What bikes put on the most miles?

  1. #16
    Rally Rat Roc-Roc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I have over 300,000 on K-bikes. I had a 1985 K100RS 230,000(I wish I kept it), and a 1998 K1200RS 110,000 that I'm still riding today.


  2. #17
    The bikes that get ridden the most are the bikes that the riders who ride the most happen to have. Voni has ridden over 900,000 miles on BMW's - split fairly evenly between assorted K bikes and Airheads; and Oilheads - with about 140,000 Airhead miles earlier in her riding life. The most miles on a single bike is just over 350,000 on one R1100RS and about 135,000 on another R1100RS. Last year her touring bike of choice was her F650 and this year she is riding her K75S. (We travel all over all summer, leaving home in April and returning in September.)

    I have about 650,000 miles on assorted BMWs but my long term favorite was Old Smokey, my K75 that I rode 370,000 miles. Last year I also toured on my F650 and this year am on my R1150R.

    The bikes are all capable: some are better than others for some trips - eg. our F650s to Alaska last year. Big mile bikes are the result of big mile riders - whatever they happen to like.
    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

  3. #18
    From the K-BMW mail list;

    Just for the record, I't now 712,000+ miles on my K75. I just completed by second trip to Death Valley, CA, this year three days ago.
    Reno A. Del Ben
    Tenafly, NJ
    1993 K75; 2005 R1200GS
    I've got 65k on mine, guess it's good for a few more...

    This was posted as a follow up;

    Since you asked:

    1) The original cylinder head was replaced at 327,404 miles with a salvaged head. This was done because I was down to a 2.05mm shim on exhaust valve #2, snd while I would be down to minimum clearance with the smallest shim available in about 20,000 miles, that would have been in the middle of the summer, so I chose to replace the head in January, 2001.

    2) The salvaged head was not really that good, since, while my original head started with exhaust valve shims of 2.45mm, the salvaged head started with exhaust valve shims of 2.25mm, or half of the shims available as the original head (the smallest shim size is 2.00mm), so the salvaged head only lasted for 132,000 miles before I was out of available shims (valve clearances decrease as the engine ages, with the exhaust valve clearnces decreasin at a rate that is about 4 times the rate that the intake valve clearances decrease.

    3) At 459,449 miles in February, 2004, I had the orignal head rebuilt, with new injectors and valve seats and the salvanged head was replaced. The valve seats on the build were cut so that I started out with valve shims of 2.80mm, much more than originally. At the time the rebuilt head was installed, new cam shafts were also installed.
    A new timing chain was also installed -- but I consider the timing chain to be a normal maintenance item and it gets replaced about every 150,000 miles. The original head (albeit rebuilt) is what is now on my K75, and I expect it to last at least another 200,000 miles, based upon what size shims I currently have installed.

    4) At 507,746 miles, in March 2005, I considered that my K75 had probably reached half-life, and that I should do some work on it. New pistons and piston pins were installed, and all bearings in the engine were replaced. At that time the fuel pump, brake hoses, thermostat, and throttle cable were replaced. Also replace was the water pump, which I again considerer to be a normal maintenance item, and the water pump gets either replaced or rebuilt every 150,000 miles. The piston skirts showed some wear. The cylinders were like new, with the manufacturer installed cross-hatching still clearly visible, and nothing was done to the cylinders.

    5) The starter motor brushes were also replaced at 507,746 miles for the first time. The original alternator brushes and regulator were also replaced -- but the brushes and regulator I consider to be normal maintenace items which get replaced about every 150,000 miles.

    So at this point the original engine and the original cylinder head (both rebuilt) are in my K75, and I don't expect to be doing any major work on the engine (other than normal maintenance items) for a long time.

    Reno A. Del Ben
    Tenafly, NJ
    1993 K75 with 712,000+ miles; 2005 R1200Gs
    BMW oil filter, Mobil-1 synthetic motorcycle specific oil (20W-50 in summer, 10W-40 in winter)--available at Walmart superstores at a decent price, 4000 mile change intervals (oil and filter).
    Last edited by rdalland; 07-02-2009 at 03:46 PM. Reason: added additional information.
    ride what you've got; enjoy the ride!

    Turbo Fluffy Motoclub - IBA 50182 - BMW MOA 69187

  4. #19
    Don't rule out the new bikes... I have 20,000+ on my 5 month old 09' f800gs, and 45,000+ on my 07' R12R. While it's nothing compared to the high mileage folks around here, I'm on my way... I would expect the R to last much longer.
    I'm not even close to retired, I just have my priorities right.

  5. #20
    Just along for the ride JeffMunn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Petersburg, Virginia
    Glad someone pointed out Reno's bike. It is amazing what he has done with it.

    The other major mileage guy that I know of is Dave Swisher. He is a member of our local club. He has well over a million miles on BMWs (1.3 now?) and I believe a huge amount of that has been on K-bikes, with that porta-potty styled custom body work I know he loves K-bikes.

    I personally have a 1984 K100 with 145,000 on it, and a 1996 K1100RS with 121,000. The K11 has been set on fire, submerged in the Altantic Ocean, and T-boned by a red light runner in northern Italy, yet is still running today. That bike is a tank.

    My R1150GS now has 125,000 on it and is the current Alpha bike in the garage, but she is way higher maintenance than the K's.

    In the end, it is not the type of bike that is important for big mileage, it is the rider, and the maintenance. IMHO.


  6. #21
    It is the rider, not the bike, when big mileage is accounted for; witness the one million mile plus, Harley, that has been recently featured in the motorcycling press, and is now in the Harley museum. Albeit on a lot of engine work. Still, Harleys are reliable enough to get the job done.
    Reno A. Del Ben's K75 I have no doubt, will see a million miles if he does not sell it,which I am certain he will not. Now, I ride quite a bit, but if his bike came into my possession I do not think it'd ever reach the million mile mark. So agree with others here; it is the rider and not the bike. Paul ,as a big mileage rider, knows of what he speaks!

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