What do you consider “High Mileage” on a bike?
August 7, 2010 at 8:34 am #4157madjak30Participant
I am wondering how high of mileage I should let my bike get before I sell it…what do you think would be too high to still get okay money for my GS500?
It’s currently over 18,000 miles (29,000 kms)…should I be dumping it before it hits 20,000? Or will I still get money for it with 30,000 miles on the odo?August 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm #27986WeaponZeroParticipant
bikes can get just as much mileage as a car can. 20,000 is nothing. unless the bike in question is a pre-90s ducati, then i’d be surprised if that it even made it this far.August 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm #27966CBBaronParticipant
Depreciation on motorcycles and cars is a decaying function. The older and more miles on a vehicle the less it is worth. However each year and 1000 miles caused less depreciation than the previous.
So as long as you are enjoying the bike keep riding. The more you ride it the more you will get for your money.
The only exceptions to this are seasonal changes in value, especially in the North. Bikes tend to sell for a little higher in spring and summer than fall or winter. And classics that are now collectors items.
CraigAugust 7, 2010 at 6:16 pm #27969madjak30Participant
Yup, the pricing is very seasonal…where I live the riding season is quite short (5-6 months), you can ride later into the fall and start earlier in the spring, but the gravel from the winter is on the road late into spring…so the buying season is much longer than the selling season…Buying season: Late August to Mid May…Selling season: end of May to Mid August…you will get/pay about 20% more in the selling season due to demand…
I just seem to be racking up the miles on my bike…riding since May 15th and have put on over 3100 miles (5000 kms) so far, and I haven’t done any long distance tours…just riding every chance I get, and commuting on the nicer days…I seem to be adding about 1200 miles (2000 kms) everymonth, and I plan on going on a couple of longer “Day rides”…
Later.August 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm #27972RabParticipant
This is a great question and one that I’ve often pondered myself.
Based on my research, I agree with WeaponZero that modern motorcycles can easily run to 100,000+ miles if they are not abused or badly crashed, and are regularly maintained.
Because of a number of factors however, the inexperienced often get the impression that bikes are worn-out when they get to around 50K because they don’t see many higher mileage bikes for sale.
The reasons for this are, I think:
1. Many motorcyclists, want to try out other bikes and expense be damned, so they buy a new bike, ride it for a bit and then want to try something else; resulting in many low mileage, newish motorcycles for sale.
2. Motorcycles are generally looked upon as toys in the U.S.A. rather than as transport, hence we very often also see bikes for sale that are years old with very few miles on them (especially Harleys).
3. Unscrupulous sellers may replace the odometer (or wind it back on mechanical ones) making it look like the bike has done a lot less miles than it actually has (I don’t know how common this is, but it happens).
4. Many bikes get smashed-up or damaged so as to be not worth repairing before they get to 50,000 miles as parts are *very* expensive to replace with new ones.
5. Owners of high mileage motorcycles may decide that it’s better to hang on to old faithful as a second bike versus what they would get for it in terms of cash.
The generally accepted myth (that bikes are clapped-out by 50K), is also perpetuated by some dealers who want to sell you a new bike (of course).
So! Given the fact that there seems to be a plethora of used motorcycles on the market at the moment, I would say that for a “quick” sale, sell before 20K miles, otherwise, use it some more and be prepared for it to maybe take longer to sell. Alternatively, if your bike is still serving its purpose and you have no real desire to get something else, regularly maintain it and hang on to it. In terms of buying a new(er) bike, you either take the depreciation hit on your current bike now, or later.
As CBBaron said, “each year and 1000 miles causes less depreciation than the previous”.
Keeping the bike longer is probably the most cost-effective method, although you’ll have to find more money to buy your next bike when you do eventually sell it.
For buyers, the age of a bike can be much more of a safety factor than high miles though. The older a bike is, the more likelihood there is that seals will have dried out, rubber perished, and that metal fatigue and/or rust will have taken their toll. The more owners a bike has had, the more chance there is that it has been abused or neglected at some point in its life.
There is no simple answer that fits all, and the decision regarding when to sell your bike is one you’ll have to tailor to your own circumstances and wants.
All of that said, a GS500, being a popular beginner’s bike and a very worthy commuter, should still sell pretty easily regardless I would have thought.August 8, 2010 at 1:51 am #27976TrialsRiderParticipant
The odometer has been all around the clock and it’s back to 0
…or 7. the speedo was stripped off for competition
many bikes have low milage because their owners are wussies and won’t come out to ride !August 8, 2010 at 3:08 am #27979AParticipant
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