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PColaFl V2K LT
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3,224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does the question make sense? The last thing I want is to start a HD vs metric thread but a buddy of mine is completely convinced that metric bikes are made to run 80k and through them away while HDs can just be rebuilt after 100+k miles and run forever.
We all know of HDs that died an early death and those that ran forever. I'm sure that's true with metric bikes, too. I'd really like some real info on how long the majority of late model metric V-Twins are lasting.
 

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Every day is a good ride
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I've met guys with over 100K on their bikes. More important is that there should be no need to rebuild an engine after 100K or more. A well maintained vehicle will last. Many of today's engines are built with thinner walls and or have sleeves vs the "old days". There is usually no need to re bore the cylinder.
 

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I'm your Huckleberry
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3,317 Posts
How long a bike lasts will mostly depend on maintenance, as others have stated. Another factor is how often the bike is ridden...something ridden often will be more reliable than something ridden sparsely. But an HD is no more likely to last 100,000 miles than a Japanese or European bike.

HOWEVER...from a 'parts availability' standpoint...pretty much all HD's have great parts support...only very very popular metrics and/or those with long production runs have decent support. So from that perspective, you probably can keep an HD on the road a bit longer.

But honestly, how many people 1) keep a vehicle long enough to need a rebuild and 2) actually take the expense of rebuilding the thing? I mean I would, but how many others? ;)
 

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My 1500 Classic has close to 100K and is still going strong. Uses a little oil, but very acceptable amount. With good maintenance, I would think they would go 150-200K. I would imagine that parts are harder to find than HD, but I have not had a problem as of yet.
 

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I go here with rfb92345.
Personally I would compare a japanese bike with a japanese car.
In my eyes (correct me if I'm wrong), A maintained japanese 1500 or 2000 cc engine should be able to reach 130 to 150 to even 200K miles without problems.
I don't see why it should run less miles.
 

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2x the bike for 1/2 the $
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1,175 Posts
My kawi mechanic says there are 2 mean streaks that they service which have over 250K miles on their original engines. Providing you properly maintain the engine, and are not pushing the engine to its limits all the time (i.e. redlining though every gear every time you ride it), it should run for a very long time.

My 94 Acura (honda engine) has over 253K on it, and she still runs as strong as the day I bought her and has had zero engine repair required. People these days seem to feel like they need to get a new car when their approaching 150K miles because their engine is going to die, but providing you properly maintain the engine, it should last quite a while.
 

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PColaFl V2K LT
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3,224 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good replys so far. Remember, the question is about learning how many miles we are actually getting. I want to fill him with facts. It's easy to say "should".
 

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Giant Biker
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2,323 Posts
I think the "throw away" part has a lot to do with the depreciation of the bike. A nicely treated metric loses value very fast, one with a higher miles even faster. HD historically has held its value better.

So, when it is time for a rebuild----are you going to invest $3000-$5000 in a bike with a value of $2000? The metric parts are generally less available, and often more expensive because the only route is OEM.

On the other hand, and equal age and mileage HD might have a value 2-3 times that of the metric, and using aftermarket parts can be rebuilt for a little less than the metric.

I think that is where the entire debate comes from.
 

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ULTIMATE Forum Supporter
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7,748 Posts
I think the "throw away" part has a lot to do with the depreciation of the bike. A nicely treated metric loses value very fast, one with a higher miles even faster. HD historically has held its value better.

So, when it is time for a rebuild----are you going to invest $3000-$5000 in a bike with a value of $2000? The metric parts are generally less available, and often more expensive because the only route is OEM.

On the other hand, and equal age and mileage HD might have a value 2-3 times that of the metric, and using aftermarket parts can be rebuilt for a little less than the metric.

I think that is where the entire debate comes from.
Bingo! We have a winner. ;) and as Bubba said, who usually keeps a bike long enough to require a rebuild? I know we all dream of that 100,000 mile bike but a large percentage of us have already moved onto the next bike. I fully expect that each bike I buy I will keep till I have 100,000 miles on it but so far the most I have ever put on a bike was 40,000 kms on my MeanStreak.

I average 20,000 kms a year riding so at that rate it would take me over 8 years to put 100,000 miles on the bike. 8 years in bike years is a really looong time. :mrgreen: My problem now is owning multiple bikes my mileage gets split pretty much equally among them so with 3 bikes in the garage I'm now looking at 24 years! :eek:
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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Bingo! We have a winner. ;) and as Bubba said, who usually keeps a bike long enough to require a rebuild? I know we all dream of that 100,000 mile bike but a large percentage of us have already moved onto the next bike. I fully expect that each bike I buy I will keep till I have 100,000 miles on it but so far the most I have ever put on a bike was 40,000 kms on my MeanStreak.

I average 20,000 kms a year riding so at that rate it would take me over 8 years to put 100,000 miles on the bike. 8 years in bike years is a really looong time. :mrgreen: My problem now is owning multiple bikes my mileage gets split pretty much equally among them so with 3 bikes in the garage I'm now looking at 24 years! :eek:
Easy, just ride more.;)
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
I met a guy one time with 250k on his concours and he told me it was his second one with over 200k on it. I had 58k on my 01 1500 classic and it did not have any signs of wear. I had to have repairs done due to a stuck header bolt. I have the shop take the top end of the motor apart and they reported to me that there were no signs of wear with the hydraulic lifters or anything.

I view that air cooled engines do not last as long and water cooled.

I think your HD buddy has a lot of OLD information. Just like Metric guys, we tend to assume things based on the "old days" instead of having conversations about what it's like today. :)
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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A bikes engine thats not abused and is maintained right in my humble opinion is good for at least 300,000 miles or more.
Exceptions being a few models that had weak motors.
 

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My hat is made of tinfoil
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20,826 Posts
I know a guy that recently bought a used honda vfr thats still in great shape and runs perfectly, despite its 463,000 kms on it.
It neded a new clutch, chain, sprockets, a couple bulbs, tires, etc. but the stock motor is just fine.
 
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