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Buying a Used Motorcycle: How Important Are the Miles on a Bike?

If you’re looking to buy a used motorcycle, it can be difficult to know if you’re getting a good deal. And when you’re looking at a used motorcycle, you may think its mileage is important. But how important are a used motorcycle’s miles? And how many miles are too many? Here’s what you should be looking for in your next used motorcycle.

Do miles on a used motorcycle really matter?

The short answer? No. Mileage isn’t always the most important thing to look for in a used motorcycle. While mileage may be used to understand a bike’s “value” when purchasing it, mileage doesn’t necessarily make or break a good used motorcycle.

According to RevZilla, while mileage does matter when factoring in the value on a late-model bike. Of course, the longevity and reliability of a used motorcycle are based on a number of factors.

While mileage is one of those factors, it probably isn’t the most important. Mileage, along with other factors, will help you determine the best motorcycle for yourself. Miles certainly aren’t everything but can provide you with a good indication of the age and health of the motorcycle.

What’s considered high mileage on a used motorcycle?

According to Best Beginner Motorcycles, a low-mileage bike may be more expensive than one with high miles, simply because of a “newer” motor. But low mileage doesn’t necessarily mean the motorcycle is in better condition.

This is why it is important to check not only the total mileage of the motorcycle but its service history in entirety. And if you can’t acquire a bike’s full history, it may not be worth the purchase.

Motorcycles with more than 40,000 miles are considered to be high-mileage bikes, but if it has been well maintained, the mileage could still make it a good purchase. Sports motorcycles are typically driven more aggressively and experience more engine wear.

Anything above 25,000 miles on a sports bike is considered high. But when compared to just a mileage number, other factors are more important in buying a used motorcycle.

Key things to look for when buying a used motorcycle

It’s not just miles that matter when you’re looking for a used motorcycle. According to Ride Apart, high miles may mean nothing when the bike has been taken care of perfectly. Conversely, low miles may mean nothing with an owner who hasn’t care for the bike properly. Other important factors to think about alongside the motorcycle’s mileage include the following:

Owner habits

Who owned the motorcycle before you? Motorcycles that have been owned by the same person tend to be treated differently than bikes that have been passed through many hands.

In addition, an older owner may be more likely to perform regular maintenance and take the bike on easier rides. Younger owners may be more likely to be aggressive riders, who may ignore maintenance.

Did the owner store it properly? Was it taken out every day, on the weekends, or simply rarely? Ownership is in fact, one of the most important factors in buying a used motorcycle, since how it was treated before you will matter once it’s yours.

Service records and history

You’ll want to know what exactly the used motorcycle was used for, as well as how often it was driven. You will also want to get a complete service record history for the motorcycle, to see where it’s gone in for scheduled maintenance or had problem areas in the past.

And if you’re unfamiliar with looking a motorcycle yourself, you’ll want to have an expert look at the motorcycle. They’ll be able to spot signs of abuse and neglect.

What was the motorcycle intended for?

Different types of motorcycles, used for different things, will produce differences in the quality of a used motorcycle. A bike’s make, model, and year will play a large part in its longevity, according to Bike Bandit.

Motorcycles designed for beginners may not be designed to last as long as bikes designed for the “seasoned rider.” Off-roaders may not last as long as weekend vacationers, for example. It is essential to know the type of motorcycle, what it was used for, and how long it was used for.