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What happens to high-k bikes?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by demuire, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. From speaking to people, most people seem to be fairly reluctant to buy a bike with more than say... 50-70K k's on the clock, and definately rather reluctant to buy a bike with more than 100K k's on the clock. From what I can gather, most motorcycle engines will need a bit of a refresh by about then... Does this cost much? What's involved? A change of rings and the valve seats redone? Much more?

    Anyway, looking at ads etc, it looks like most of the bikes on the market have about 50K k's or less, what happens to bikes with more? That get used to commute etc? There aren't ever many on the market, do people just decide they're going to use it to commute and never sell them? Ride them to the ground?

    I'm half thinking of starting to commute by bike (I take the train at the moment, which funnily enough takes longer, and is more expensive than if I rode to work...), and with the distance I have to ride, I'll be putting just under 20K k's on the clock a year, and that's *just* going to work and back.

    With that in mind, if I were to buy another bike (thinking of replacing my XV250 with something a tad bigger - although on the other hand fuel economy won't be as good and would probably negate the benefits of riding instead of train'ing), should I be overly concerned about the number of k's on the bike?
  2. i would think a lot of them end up sitting in peoples sheds unused, or turned into track bikes or end up a wreckers, not because they are busted but because the owner just wanted something newer.

    I sold my last blackbird with 180,000km on it, and my current one is up to 130,000km. Both of them have never had any more than a truckload of tyres/filters/coolant/chain and sprockets and the odd valve shim and new battery.

    Like all mechanical items, maintenance is the key. If you look after it religously it should do more km than you think it has a right to.

    PS, as for your first question, yes a new set of rings and valve seat regrinds plus new guide seals is usually in order if you pull the engine apart, even if it doesn't need them. Because the labour is just do damned expensive, one more reason there are not many high milage bikes is that people would prefer to put the thousands of dollars involved towards something newer.
  3. Wow, 180000k's and 130000k's with just general consumables? Cool. Maybe it's a misconception that bike engines don't last many k's then...

    Does being air cooled vs water cooled make a difference in longelivity? I would assume that a water cooled engine, not seeing as much variance in temperature, would last longer?

    Are bike engines (and not really talking about high performance 4 cylinder engines like in an R1 etc, more talking about simpler v-twin's and parallel twins in cruisers/tourers etc) very difficult to overhaul? I know with older simpler cars it isn't overly difficult, just time consuming, is this the same with a bike?

    Hmm. If it costs that much to overhaul an engine, then maybe it's best to stick to the lower k's...
  4. No idea on air/water cooled, although i doubt there are any true air only cooled bikes left in general circulation (they all have oil cooling), but don't quote me on this.

    Water cooling does require more maintenance and cost than an air cooled bike, and only really comes with higher performance as the bonus.

    Don't really understand your third paragraph, but are v-twins and parallel twins simpler to look after than the hipo fours?

    not really - twins have two cylinder heads to check and therefore require more work than an inline, and older and smaller engines tend to come with screw and locknut valve adjustment that is easy to do and requires no parts, but is less reliable than the shim-under-bucket that the hipo engines have - although the downside requires you to remove the camshaft to change shims.

    The point i was making with my bikes, and many others with more than the magic 100,000km on their bikes is that they don't require overhauls if the maintenance has been adequate and it hasn't been raced all its life, but high km bikes have other problems than the engine - fork seals usually dead or dying, rear shock doesn't actually do anything anymore, hoses should be replaced as they'll be hard or cracking, swingarm bushes will need replacing, etc...
  5. So in generaly does it work out cheaper to trade in bikes every few years rather than let them depreciate and increase in service costs? I know it's a general question, but one I've always wondered about...
  6. High-K bikes get whisked off the streets in the dead of night, taken to a secret factory, and recycled into Special-K :LOL:
  7. how long is a piece of string?

    you would have to do a cost comparison wih all the things mentioned above plus the service manuals and then decide if you want to do the work yourself or pay someone else.

    I would not think that it would be cheaper to trade on new every couple of years, but it is a lot of piece of mind for some to do so. If you are trading on couple of year old second hand the comparison gets a lot better. The first two years depreciation on a sportsbike will pay for an awful lot of extra servicing, much of which the new one would have required anyway.
  8. bonox: thanks for the replies :) I guess what I meant with the v-twin/parallel twin vs hipo 4's is if they use simpler technology with more allowance for variance in specs, plus it has less cylinders...

    But yes I think I know what you mean. Hmm...
  9. i assume you aren't talking about hipo v-twins? :p
  10. No, was sorta talking about v-twin's in things like Virago's and V-Stars and other such cruiser-like things.