Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Bike engines durability compared to car engines?

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' at netrider.net.au started by OscarA, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Not sure if this is the place to ask this question but it seems the most appropriate.
    I will be looking for my first bike in a few months have have been doing my research as best I can but one thing I'm not sure about is KM's done on bikes and the effects it has on the engine.
    For example if I was to buy a 2000 model car with 80,000 on the clock it'll be considered low milage but for a bike it's considered high milage.
    Now the question is why?
    Is it because bike engines rev harder therefore generally don't last as long as car engines or is it because a lot of bikes aren't ridden much so you can usually find a nice example with lower K's?
    I know there's more to it than that and things can change depending on service, models, how it's ridden etc etc but on average do bikes engines and cars have similar life cycles or are car engines more robust.



    Thanks.. Oscar
     
     Top
  2. more revs means more wear and it's not a linear scale.

    It's not just engines either. bikes are harder on all suspension bearings and bushes.
     
     Top
  3. They are generally stressed alot more, having to produce more hp per cc. Eg most 4 stroke 250cc bike makes about 30-35hp ish. Multiply that for a standard 3.8L commodore, should have 530ish hp at that same ratio. But they dont. Tuned down, so will last longer.

    However, the biggest reason you dont see high km bikes around is that they are often more leisure than for commuting, so people do many less kms on them compared to cars (as a general rule). Further, bikes are written off far more commonly than cars which effects the amount of high kms ones you see around. Also bikes with 70k + kms are considered 'used up' and 'too high kms' by many. Whilst this is completly untrue if the bike has been taken care of, its still a common perception which means most people wont touch them = kills their resale -> not worth selling them at high kms, better off just keeping them, so they stay off the market generally.

    Modern 600cc/+ bikes should do 300k kms + with propper maintenance.

    For a 250, they should do 150k if maintained properly, also 250s generally are as they are often owned by inexperienced riders who just neglect maintenance.
     
     Top
  4. Thanks iblast and phizog

    Thanks that clears things up.

    Great site.
     
     Top
  5. A different way of looking at it is how many km's do you require the bike to do?
    Most large cars have a planned service life of 500,000km or more. Bike much less obviously.
    If you pick up a bike that has 50,000km (not a lot for most serviced bikes) and you expect to do 30,000km in 6 yrs you would still be doing ok.
     
     Top
  6. A different way of looking at it is how many km's do you require the bike to do?
    Most large cars have a planned service life of 500,000km or more. Bike much less obviously.
    If you pick up a bike that has 50,000km (not a lot for most serviced bikes) and you expect to do 30,000km in 6 yrs you would still be doing ok.
     
     Top
  7. Let's get this in perspective. An 80,000k bike is considered pretty high mileage nowadays, but that doesn't mean that the engine won't last a helluva lot longer. There are plenty of documented cases of bike engines doing well over 200,000k. Nevertheless, only a small percentage ever get that many done before they either wear out their other components, crash, or just get too unfashionable and end up in the back of the shed.

    I don't buy the 'high revs mean short life' argument. Most big bikes spend 90% of their lives at the bottom of the rev range.
     
     Top
  8. Depends on the engine. 80,000kms would actually be high for a highly tuned car engine like a Honda S2000, whereas a Honda Goldwing would be just barely run in at that mileage.

    The simple rule with engines is that you can basically choose any 2 from the following 3 options:
    -Affordability
    -Performance
    -Longevity

    Bikes are usually designed for performance which means if you want longevity it'll be expensive (like a BMW), or if you want cheap it'll probably break (like a Hyosung).
     
     Top
  9. While cars do last a long time, 500,000km is a bit optimistic. The engine might still be gasping for life, but the transmission will be long gone. Especially the POS ford 4-speed which so many falcons use. The engine will have had a head gasket & head machined well before 500,000km, on a normal car with normal stop-start cycles (i.e. not a taxi).

    These sorts of repairs are uneconomical even on a car with 300-350,000km.

    Our AU falcon is nudging 240,000km and we have been chasing oil leaks everywhere (engine, transmission(repeatedly), powersteering, differential etc). I coudn't imagine trying to double the mileage on that thing :LOL:
     
     Top
  10. once case in both two and four-wheeled makes no guage, but the Hornet had 55,000 kms on it when I bought it, a ;98 model in 2005, and it now has 130,000 and hasn't even had the rocker cover lifted, just normal servicing.

    My '94 model Magna had 270,000 kms on it when I got it in November 2007 and it's now over 330,000 kms, and absolutely everything on it works (just replaced the rear muffler this week, but they're consumable parts anyway).

    And, as I've noted before, BIKE magazine reported a few years back on a bike courier in England with a VFR-750 which had done 800,000 MILES, engine replaced at 400,000 :shock:.
     
     Top
  11. Thanks for the reply guys it's looks like bikes that are well looked after can give many years of enjoyable riding to their owners.
    The Hornet is a Honda I believe and they are a nice looking bike indeed.
    Honda have a great record for quality so the VTR250 and Hornet 250 are bikes I'm keen to look at.
    If I can find one with little millage great if not I'll use the higher millage as a bargaining tool.
     
     Top
  12. VCM has one for sale, right here on Netrider
     
     Top
  13. Thanks hornet but I'm not ready to buy yet still have a few more months before I start seriously looking.
    I'm looking at June-July to buy and will be going for my learners in May.
     
     Top
  14. When you do start looking don't forget to look at the larger LAMS bikes. Given they generally don't have to work anywhere near as hard to produce their power a higher mileage GS500 may be in better condition than a VTR with lower kms. The GS however may be cheaper, since resale seems to drop sharply once bikes pass certain mileage milestones. A bike with 51,000kms for example may be a lot less than on with 49,000 simply because people tend to round numbers down in their head and there's some sort of stigma over anything with >50k (even worse when bikes clock over 100k).
    How well the bike's been looked after is usually far more important than the odometer reading - oil changes in particular are very important. There are some very good buys to be found with larger, older LAMS approved bikes that have been looked after - or had a full restoration (old Z series Kwakas are a good example). Stay away from older Hondas though - just in case everything PatB keeps saying about them is true (and I've no reason to doubt that it's not).
     
     Top
  15. yeah i've also got my bike up forsale too but which only have done 49000 and it still runs like a charm. its a honda 250rr complianced 99
     
     Top
  16. yeah i've also got my bike up forsale too but which only have done 49000 and it still runs like a charm. its a honda 250rr complianced 99
     
     Top
  17. my first bike was a 1980 cb250 rs honda( complete with blue gt stripe :grin: ).
    bought it at 90,000 kms and it ran fine til 160,000 when it died. (on the monash inpeak hour so i just removed the numberplate and got a taxi and never saw it again.)
    and that was a bike built in 1980 so surely bikes would last longer now?
     
     Top
  18. I don't believe it's just high rpm that wears out a bike motor, I believe the metallurgy of the engine is a big factor in longevity. As well, frequent servicing of a bike engine prolongs its life rather well. With a car, you go a hell of a lot further in terms of mileage if you perform regular maintenance on it, fluid changes etc.

    There was a reference on the first page about 500,000km on a Falcon being harder on the transmission than the engine but that's the nature of the original slushbox auto transmissions, especially when pushed hard. Those standard Falcon six cyl's ( pre- B-series ) tend to be hard on head gaskets and water pumps which is not indicative of every other large passenger car with comparable mileage. The Ford taxi's frequently top 1,000,000km's before the owners turf them due to wear and tear.
     
     Top
  19. Its all about maintenance.

    A friend of mine in Germany has my old K1 GSXR still and he’s clocked over 94K now and says that it still runs like a dream. And the bike is not babied. Went from the showroom floor and onto the autobahn in Germany through the whole rev range all gears, motoman stuff. No constant speed riding.

    Check this out. BTW it’s a good read as well.

    http://www.motohank.com/Machine.html

    Just have to keep in mind that the bikes are probably one of the harshest machines on oil. The oil has to deal with loads more hp per cc, high revs, gearbox and clutch. That’s why frequent oil changes are a must if you want your bike to last. And you need to use good quality oil, cos crap will sheer down to nothing in no time.

    Anyhow just remember have fun on it.
     
     Top
  20. Its all about maintenance.

    A friend of mine in Germany has my old K1 GSXR still and he’s clocked over 94K now and says that it still runs like a dream. And the bike is not babied. Went from the showroom floor and onto the autobahn in Germany through the whole rev range all gears, motoman stuff. No constant speed riding.

    Check this out. BTW it’s a good read as well.

    http://www.motohank.com/Machine.html

    Just have to keep in mind that the bikes are probably one of the harshest machines on oil. The oil has to deal with loads more hp per cc, high revs, gearbox and clutch. That’s why frequent oil changes are a must if you want your bike to last. And you need to use good quality oil, cos crap will sheer down to nothing in no time.

    Anyhow just remember have fun on it.
     
     Top