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

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

  1. #16
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    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.

  2. #17
    Retired from riding rad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Before I give an opinion, please note: every motorcycle I have purchased for decades I was sure I would keep forever......never happens with me, I get bored.

    Anyway, back to the question. If I ever kept one long enough I would want at least 100,000 miles out of it with only basic maintenance costs. After 100k I expect repairs to include only minor components, not major items like transmissions, top ends, bottom ends, etc. About 200k I would then be ok with having to work on top ends, etc.

  3. #18
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    mattituck new york
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  4. #19
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    New Braunfels,Texas/Taichung, Taiwan

    OK, I'll play.

    This pertains only to a good quality motorcycle. As long as the motorcycle is taken care of properly, it should last as long as the owner. I had one such bike, a 1980 r100rs that I owned and rode for over thirty years. I really think that it would have lasted me another 25 or until my demise, but it burned in a garage fire and I didn't. So, now I got another that has taken it's place. I think the older bmw's will be around far longer after the newer ones have gone to the bone yard. My opinion, don't beat me up.
    1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco , 180cc Kymco Racing King
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

  5. #20
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Washington, Illinois
    Since I sold my still working /7 with 150 K miles on it to another Airhead member -- who's freshened it up for another XXX K miles, the answer to the question might well be: another question.
    How much are you will to do to keep a (BMW) motorcycle running for X number of miles?
    For the record, Bike magazine (UK) just published their teardown of their long term test Oilhead. After 100-thousand miles, there was very little wear. It was on its second clutch plate.
    1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
    Livin' Large On The Lake

  6. #21
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fly Over Land
    Longer than my next ride, my wallets capacity and my interest.

    But this is a trick question and you want a mathematical answer...42 ...
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

  7. #22
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Fenwick, Ontario Canada
    Bought my 1977 R100RS with 68,000 miles on it in 1986.

    501,515 miles so far.

    As long as I can still get parts for it I will ride it!

    there is no end in sight!
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  8. #23
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Braintree, MA
    It should last until I'm ready for the next one.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 And DRAT! Missed the last one in 2015!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  9. #24
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Clovis, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Some BMW models need a top end rebuild about every 100K miles, and lots of carburetor and ignition parts over the miles. ...... For the right bike I vote forever.
    That pretty much speaks to my 73 R75/5. Two top ends, one bottom end and a handfull of diaphrams in 387,000 plus miles. I loved that bike and planned to ride it forever. I did the bottom end just a few thousand miles before I sold it. I sold it, and a number of other motorcycles about a year after I had a stroke and was told I'd never ride again, when it really looked like that was true. Now - I'd like to be able to have my old friend back.
    Nom de Plume:
    Steve Aikens, Clovis, NM
    BMW MOA #6218
    IBA# 442

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's a pretty silly question. Not a particuarly valid sample here, either.
    excuse me, will you please watch where you point that thing? i think you just got some on my shoe.


  11. #26
    I tend to buy and hold, and do my own maintenance and any other repair work I can.

    but I know when I'm out of my paygrade and these bikes get to the point where yes, they'll last because they're ultimately rebuildable... especially the airheads... or bulletproof like the early Ks, so I don't think I'll ever see 500k in any bike that I personally own.

    I sure do admire people who can keep them running so well for so long.

    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '97 F650ST || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e || '07 Xchallenge || '14 Grom

  12. #27

    Talking They will last forever with proper maintenance

    BMW's that is!!!!!!


    My personal experience says they'll last until the first deer jumps out in front of you and destroys the bike.


    The garage burns down!!!

    Now continue
    1974 R75/6 W Sidecar
    1989 R100GS

  13. #28
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    How long should a bike last? Good question, too many variables. My 2 Airheads should outlive me and they are willed to my boys. They can ride them, sell them, put them in their living room. But.... that is what I am thinking right now.... My Airhead guru may die and he has a lot to do with my Airhead experience; I might get sick; I may need the money; I may loose my mind; like I said too many variables. Interesting question though... If I can I will ride them forever and only add bikes to the garage, not sell them.... (and of course keep them up to par)

    No need for harsh words though, but some folks have a sharp tongue...
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It comes down to how much are you willing and able to spend.
    Ditto this and add that it also depends on how much of an emotional attachment you have to the bike.

    Another factor could be the state of the art of engine management technology and will it be supplanted by new and maybe incompatible technology. Who out there is using a 30 year old computer?

    '06 BMW R1200RT
    '74 Moto-Guzzi 850-T

  15. #30
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    It's an interesting question, and highly subjective of course.

    The limiting factor to me is parts, or ability to fabricate parts. My buddy just restored a 1937 Lincoln and it looks and runs like it was new, including the interior. Of course he spent about $40k to do it. But PARTS are available.

    My 2005RT: Will the computer chip be available in 40 years? I sort of doubt it. Maybe, since BMW is pretty good about parts for old bikes, but I don't know.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

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