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Nothing beats the sensation of riding in the open wind. Sure, a fast sports car is also fun to drive. But there are a lot of people who prefer riding a Ducati over a Ferrari.
With that being said, people often ask: how long do motorcycles last? And is it true that cars last longer than bikes?
The answer is: it really depends.
Allow us to elaborate.
What will kill a motorcycle?
It doesn’t matter if you have a brand new cruiser or an old beater bike. Crashing your bike is the fastest way to kill it. People have this perception that engine failure is the primary cause of bike failure, but it’s not.
If you crash your bike often without totally wrecking it, then your motorcycle won’t last that long. It’s the same with cars. Even the most reliable and dependable automobile will turn into a useless heap of junk if you crash it often.
Modern bikes are very well made, but even old motorcycles can reach 220,000 miles given the proper love.
If you’re thinking about buying a motorcycle, and you’re concerned how long they’ll last, then don’t worry. Motorcycles can last as long as cars, but you have to give it a lot of tender loving care. This holds especially true if you’re planning to use your motorcycle on a daily basis.
What is the most reliable motorcycle brand?
New motorcycles are now safer, more comfortable, and more refined than ever before. But there are some brands that stand out from the rest in terms of reliability and durability.
Consumer Reports conducted a survey from more than 110,000 U.S. subscribers to find out the most reliable motorcycle brand. It seems that Japanese brands are the most reliable, namely Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki.
No surprise there, right? When it comes to cars, the Japanese also rule. Toyota, Lexus, and Honda vehicles are repeatedly crowned as the most reliable car brands (in no particular order), so the same holds true when it comes to motorcycles.
But hold your horses. The survey came out with something much more than just outright reliability.
When it comes to owner satisfaction, it seems that the American brands are leading the pack. Consumers voted Harley-Davidson and Victory as the most fun to drive motorcycles on the road. Approximately 80 percent said that they would buy another Victory, and 72 percent of Harley owners were truly satisfied with the performance of their two-wheeled machines.
What’s the reason behind this? Riding comfort. A comfortable rider is a happy rider, and a happy rider is a satisfied one. Victory is touted as the most comfortable by motorcycle owners, while Ducati, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and Triumph got the lowest scores in terms of comfort.
Based on this survey, if you want a motorcycle that will last a long time, buying a Japanese-made motorcycle is the wiser choice. But it doesn’t mean that Harley’s won’t last as long as Honda bikes or even Yamahas. If you keep your motorcycle in great shape and service it regularly, then there’s no reason why your bike won’t last a lifetime.
How to Make Your Motorcycle Last a Lifetime
Looking for ways to make your motorcycle last as long as you? Here are a few helpful tips.
Tip #1: Don’t crash it!
We said it at the beginning of this article. Crashing will kill your bike, whether American, Italian, or Japanese. The sheer violence of crashing or hitting something will inadvertently cause premature wear and tear on your bike. Most bikes are either trashed or totaled before they wear out, so people often have the perception that motorcycles don’t last as long as cars.
Tip #2: Proper storage will save your bike.
Most riders only use their motorcycles on the weekend, while others will simply store their bikes from November to March, in anticipation of the great riding weather in the summer. If you belong to this group, then you better know of the basics of storing your bike.
Keep your bike in a shaded garage, and cover it with a proper bike cover if you’re planning to keep it there for a couple of months. It is also a good idea to change the oil before storing your bike, so the motor will have clean oil the next time you start the bike. You should also clean your bike before storing it. This will prevent stains and rut from accumulating on those shiny chrome parts.
Tip #3: Give your motorcycle proper maintenance.
If you want you motorcycle to last, then proper maintenance is the key. Change the oil at regular intervals, and have the valves adjusted periodically. Check the service manual to determine the proper service procedures. This alone will guarantee that your motorcycle is always running on tip top shape, because it sucks when your bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
Tip #4: Clean your motorcycle regularly.
After riding in the rain, it is a good idea to wash off excess dirt and debris from your bike. You should also wax the finish at least every six months. A clean bike not only looks good, but it will also preserve the value of your investment.
Motorcycles can last as long as cars, and some can even last longer provided that the bike was treated like a member of the family.
The appeal of a shiny and souped-up chopper is unmistakable, but it won’t last long if you crash it or if you don’t service it regularly.
As long as you don’t crash it, you stored it well, and you adhered to proper servicing, then you can expect your motorcycle to last a long time indeed.