Motorcycle Life Expectancy [Mileage & Maintenance Tips]

how many miles can a motorcycle last

If you’re wondering how many miles your motorcycle can really go, or you’re in the market for a new bike—this is the post to read. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the life span of a motorcycle. Is it true that a bike is a disposable machine?

It’s a common misconception that motorcycles are meant to have a short life. This is not true, however. Some motorcycles on the market have the potential to be used for a very long time—but what is the typical motorbike lifespan? Let’s find out.

How Many Miles Do Motorcycles Last?

The longevity of a motorcycle is a tough one to predict. While a single factor can impact how long a bike will last, it’s not the only one. A motorcycle’s lifespan is greatly influenced by how it is treated, ridden, and where it goes.

If you used a car as a reference, you could say that motorcycles don’t last as long as cars do. The most obvious reason is that cars have better engines and better housing. They have several features that make them strong, durable, and more tolerant of years of operation.

The truth about motorcycles is that mileage count is a minor issue — any motorcycles are out there with thousands of miles on their belt (so to speak), yet they are still operational decades later. The reason behind this is care and maintenance. 

The Secret Is in Maintenance 

white and orange KTM sports bike selective focus photography

For any piece of equipment – from a car to a kitchen appliance – the best way to extend its life is to be sure it is well maintained. It may take some time and money, but it will also reduce the chances of unexpected breakdowns. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of money and enjoy your equipment, or in this case, a motorcycle, for a more extended period.

As you ride your motorcycle, you’ll find it necessary to spend valuable time wiping off the grime. This includes cleaning the carburetors, gas tank, air filters, and anything else that can get dirty, plus changing the oil and filter.

Surface parts can be a pain to keep clean. They’re exposed and prone to rusting. But as they break down, you could be spending a fortune on repairs. Investing in some of the best products on the market now can be money well spent.

Replace the Broken Parts, Not the Bike

When a light bulb is defective, you replace the bulb. You don’t buy an entire house. The same is valid for motorcycles (and even cars). A good bike is worth repairing instead of buying a new one.

Owning an old motorcycle isn’t something you do out of reason. It’s a matter of passion; sometimes, a matter of necessity. 

A motorcycle will last so long as parts are available to repair and replace worn-out or broken parts. The problem happens when you’re riding vintage, and the parts for your motorcycle are no longer in production. In that case, there are two alternatives, get it custom-made, or join a group of riders who has the same bike as yours. 

Modern Bikes Have Become Reliable 

Modern motorcycles use advanced engineering to combine technologies to make them more efficient, safer, and quieter. These modern motorcycle engineering advancements can be credited for the growing popularity of these machines today.

As technology advances, we can offer more power, incredible speed, and longer service intervals. In addition, the designs of these vehicles have become more attractive and desirable.

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Motorcycle

Selective Focus Photo of Man in Black Jacket Parking Black Honda Cafe Racer Motorcycle

We will go into specifics in a bit. However, if there is one general tip we can share about extending the life of your motorcycle, it is this: be proactive about regular maintenance. There are many steps you need to take to maintain your bike, but we will focus on the most essential in these tips:

Change Your Motorcycle’s Oil 

When talking about changing your motorcycle’s oil, there are three things you need to remember:

  1. Oil
  2. Temperature
  3. Miles driven since the last oil change

If you’re using a high-test synthetic oil, make sure you change your oil more often. Note the mileage reading from the last oil change and consult your mechanic for the correct schedule. 

Always Check the Tire Pressure

Regularly checking your tire pressure ensures two things: (1) your motorcycle will be in great shape, and (2) you will avoid flat tires while riding. The Motorcycle Industry Council recommends that a bike’s tire pressure be 36 for the front and 40 for the rear for solo riders. However, PSI largely depends on the motorcycle you’re riding, so be sure to check the manual for the correct tire pressure. 

Store Your Motorcycle Correctly During the Winter Season

Keep your bike inside a shed or garage (or a water-proof cover). However, note that if the bike is stored in the garage for a long time, although gradual, this can also shorten the life of your motorcycle. You must use a fuel stabilizer and run the engine for a few minutes daily. Doing this will reduce the risk of having multiple problems with your motorcycle. 


The only way to tell how long a motorcycle will last is to maintain it. Good maintenance prolongs a motorcycle’s life, and poor maintenance causes the opposite. A poorly maintained motorcycle will fail sooner than one that is appropriately maintained.

Motorcycles are designed to travel at high speeds. As a result, they are exposed to a great deal of wear and tear. If motorcycles are stored poorly, they will soon wear out.

While a bike’s overall condition can be a good indicator of its lifetime, that is only part of the story. The condition of a motorcycle does not tell the entire story. Many bikes have been abused but still hold plenty of life in them. Other bikes, especially older bikes, tend to have less mileage. Yet, they can still be dependable and long-lasting if maintained correctly.

Happy riding, everyone!