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At what age do bikes retire?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by rbarge, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. This is one of those "how long is a piece of string questions" but here we go.

    I have been doing a bit of window shopping for something a bit larger,
    have seen what looks like good buys with higher k's (in the 70,000's) but not really sure when bikes start to need mayor work, I guess it also depends on how well the bike has been looked after and the type but is there a rule of thumb I can use as a guide.

    Thanks !
  2. Going to depend a lot on the bike too. A highly tuned supersports for example is going to have a much shorter lifespan than say a large capacity tourer which is built for reliability more so than outright performance.
  3. nope....


    70,000 should be no problem if a bike has been looked after and not thrashed. what kinda bike you looking at? a smaller sportsbike that hasn't been looked after at all in that time might be pretty munted by then, but larger bikes that dont tend to get thrashed as much might tend to last a bit longer even without proper maintenance. not real sure on cruisers, but i'd be thinking they wouldn't rev high enuff to be doing a lot of real damage at 70,000.

    luck of the draw i reckon, but i have heard of sportsbikes going well past 200,00 kms before any major work on the motor. all up to the condition of the bike tho, that'll be the deciding factor (if it looks ratty on the outside, chances are its similar on the inside :wink: )
  4. Looking at naked or sports tourer/tourer.

    I was thinking that the more complex the engine the more can go wrong :) And a smaller bike would have been revved more so the engine would have done more work per km.

    I might use the "bigger bike will last longer honey" line when it comes to getting the funding approved :)

    True but it's amazing what a dealer can do with a bit of polish !
  5. One factor which can be sort of useful is to look at how much power the engine produces per litre. Usually the more power an engine produces the shorter its lifespan - of course this assumes a similar level of build quality (more power = more revs = greater friction and wear).
    Edit: Basically if you want longevity look for the bike with the lowest redline.
  6. It would be good if the bike recorded the total about of revs the engine has done as well as the total number of k's that way you would know how hard it has been ridden :)
  7. Yes but in many cases riding around with too few revs can actually do more harm. The single worst thing you can do to an engine is put it under high load at low revs.
  8. Hmmmm
    Burt Munro's 1920 indian scout was running just fine into the 1970's
    So was Burt.
    206 mph.

  9. You learn something new everyday!

    Think I'm going stop looking now, too tempting :grin: Have seen a nice FJ1200 but that might be too much of a step up from a 250 :shock:
  10. That is a bit of a simplification (but I understand why you said it that way).

    The rev line isn't the only consideration... there is also the piston speed.

    Technically (other things being equal) it's the bike with the lowest piston speed that should have the most longevity.

    That means (as an example) that on average certain long stroke slow revving singles won't last as long as shorter stroke higher revving fours.
  11. i wouldn't say so. its a tourer, not a supersports. more angled towards comfort and usability than performance and back pain :LOL: it'll certainly feel 100 times quicker than your bike, but i doubt it'd get you into any trouble that you couldn't get into on a 600 :wink:
  12. If it has a full service history it could be quite a good deal....
  13. FJ's are a strong bike and I notice the ulysses mob love them and hang on to them too. Being a bit older, theyre a bit hefty, but the seat isnt too far off the deck so theyre not intimidating size wise. Would be good to get a well loved one, maybe check the ulysses site for one.
  14. So why would you buy a used bike from a dealer?

    It's no more likely to be in good condition than a privately bought bike. (and in the case of P*t*r St*v*ns, probably less likely)

    There is no warranty unless you want to buy one, and even those give bugger-all cover.

    The prices are generally higher.

    You have to deal with (ugh!) sales people.

    Dealers are useful for having a look at the different types of bike that are available, and for sitting on them, maybe test-riding to see how the different bikes feel. Then when you have worked out what you want, find a good used oner from a private buyer.
  15. As a sports/tourer released in the mid '80s the Kawasaki 1000GTRs have been known to run past 200,000km.
    From this it could assumed that most modern 1000cc+ non-sports bikes would be able to reach these mileages if not "flogged", as they would ridden at lower revs than sports bikes. But YMMV.
  16. Guess it depends on which part of the engine is going to fail first - higher crankshaft revolutions for a given mileage means a greater likelihood of having a bearing fail but I can see how something with a higher piston speed might have a greater chance of suffering conrod failure. Perhaps the real question is - which one is going to be the cheapest/easiest to fix.
  17. What age do they retire ( bikes) ?

    on netrider pretty bloody young at the moment :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  18. yes well, nothing like active service to force early retirement huh :wink:
  19. Has Vic got the Netrider Purple Hearts ordered yet? :wink:
  20. I just sold my '87 Kwaka ZX750 sportsbike with 71000kms on it
    (after I might add 13 years of ownership )
    It got looked after and would give modern sportsbikes a run
    for ya money.
    The engine is these has a good reputation
    maybe a camchain (and tensioner) at 110-120,000
    and a needing a rebuild at 220-250,000

    A guy I know rebuilt his last year at 220,000
    ...only coz he wanted more power :shock:

    Some bikes (the first VFRs for example) get a bad rep
    with their engines but others..Bimmers and Kwakas for example
    come to mind, seem to go on forever
    (and in some instances ..with abuse)