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About 20 years ago a guy told me 10,000 miles on a motorcycle is high. This has always stuck in may head sorta like when looking at used cars I look at 100,000 as the time things start needing repaired or rebuilt. Well, I know alot of you folks have alot of miles on your bike. What do ya'll think. When is it time to start the repairs and rebuilds? When I bought my bike back in Sept., it already had 6000 miles on it and it was 10 months old. This was the only thing that really bothered me. So help me get this 10,000 thing out of my head!
 

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Thats nuts. Even back in the 70's 10k WASN'T high ! I had bikes with 3 times that and were like new. Todays bikes are even better, and mine is like new with 10k on it. A triumph today will easily go 60k minimum i'm sure. Probably more like 100k. Some twin owners already have 80k and more with no rebuild or anything like that necassary. Ease your mind..........your bike has many years left.
 

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Forget it! Your friend in the 1980's was probably recalling how often bikes required valve jobs, etc back in the 1950's and 1960's.

I rode a 1963 BSA that needed valves refaced at somewhere between 12-15k miles, and when I got back into riding in the mid 1980's I purchased a Virago 750, and asked the dealer the same question you're asking. When will this bike need the top end rebuilt? 15K? 20K? He gave me this look like 'where have you been' for the past 20 years.

I'm mostly familiar with BMWs, and have traded K bikes with 65000 miles on them, and the next owner ran it up another 40-50K.

My little W650 Kawasaki has 52K on it, and runs as good as new. My old GS has turned 102K. Now this old air cooled bike could probably do to have the heads pulled, valve guides replaced, and valves ground or replaced. But that's a far cry from 10,000 miles. And the Beemer still run good, makes strong power, and burns little or no oil.

Better materials and lubricants have made a huge difference in how long bikes hold up today.

If your bike had it's initial service and an oil change or so in between, it's a puppy. Triumph doesn't even call for the valves to be looked at until 12K, and that's just to check the clearances.

Ride it and keep up the routine maintenance and you should be able to add thousands more miles on the bike. I suspect the Bonnevilles are way overbuilt.

[ This message was edited by: ohiorider on 2006-12-01 16:40 ]
 

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Got 113 K on my 72 CL 450.




Shorty
 

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I've put over 15,000 miles on mine since I bought it brand-new 11 months ago.

No problems, been beating the hell outta it since day one (and maintaining religiously...) and not a problem except for a small oil leak, more like a seep, at the valve cover gasket.

relax, and enjoy!
 

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Large population out there even today have a motorcycle for years and not put many miles on it. Look in Cycletrader and in the paper and you see it all the time, bikes less than 5 yrs old with less than 2 or 3k and up to decades old hovering around 10k. I think it's hard on a machine to sit for days/weeks/months and then be expected to go for a few miles and then sit for d/w/m again, and then get cursed at when something goes wrong. I got my 04 new in Apr 04 and am pushing 36k miles. I do a short commute (30miles a day) to work 5 days a week, rain or shine. From northern VA went to Dallas for a long weekend (3k+ w/rain evey day), went to Vegas and back in a week (5k+), rode to PEI in Canada and back in 10 rainy days (3k+), and a couple of weeks ago rode to Alabama and back on a weekend (1500 miles). On the 3rd set of tires and 2nd sprocket and chain. I change the oil/filter irregularly, longest was fresh oil/filter before and after the 5k mile Vegas trip, didn't want to risk a leak in the middle so the oil went the distance. Oil analysis says it's doing fine. Now wondering when the battery (OE) is going to go.
10k? That was a long time ago.
 

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My friend has a beemer with 102,000. It still rides great.

Someday I'll be saying that about my bonnie. About 80,000 to go. I should be there in about three years.
 

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Come to think of it there WERE some bikes to which 10k was rather high. Some of the "throw away" 2 strokes from the 70's were like that. My kawasaki H2 was one of them. get 10k on one of those things and you could figure it's probably 70 years old in himan years. They were made to go fast for a short time them be disposed of and you buy another. there were others too but that one was about the worse. I had a few that develped bad piston slap before the 10k mark. But thats 2 strokes.......most 4 stroke bikes even back then could do far more miles than your friend said. remember tho......it's ALL about the oil, and todays synthetics are incredible. If they had this stuff back then i bet those old hondas from the 60's and 70's coulda gone as long as todays bikes can. I believe the current triumph twins could probably do 100k standing on thier heads if you change the oil often. Theres literally almost no wear with good synthetic thats changed often. And most of the wear you get is from starting. Once it's warm and running theres hardly any wear that takes place. So figure if you're a guy who usually does a good amount of miles each time you ride you're gonna go a loooooooooooooong ways before that thing need rebuilding. especially if you don't beat the ***** out of her often. You find the rest of the bike needing attention long before the engine does.
 

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Well you can have it two ways I guess. Stop riding the Triumph, clean it up and put it on a pedestal, and keep it as a conversation piece. Or you can ride that bike until you and it turn to dust. I bet you can figger out which will be more fulfilling :) Vegas
 

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It's all about maintenance and using it. Take care of a new Bonnie and 10K is nothing more than 2K before your first valve check. JJgoodwin is right on the money--it's sitting that is hard on a bike, especially since most are not stored correctly. For your bike, 6K in 10 months means it was ridden, not sitting, and that's good. My concern would be about buying a five year old bike with 2K on it--that's a lot of time sitting, gas getting cruddy, rubber drying out, things not being checked.
 

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As others have noted, these numbers were somewhat relevant years ago, but not now. I put 25k on a two stroke 500cc twin Suzuki in the mid '70s before selling it. The new owner took off the head just to take a look and could still see the crosshatching on the cylinder walls.

Today I have a BMW K series with over 100,000 on it that still feels like new. The Bonneville has 28,000 and has had no problems. It also still feels like new.

In the '50s, the numbers applied, and it's a carryover from that most likely, handed down through the generations. It's how I was raised to think as well.

Suggest you tape over the odometer and enjoy the bike; it won't break if you follow maintenance guidlines.
 

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On 2006-12-01 14:53, 5bassman wrote:
About 20 years ago a guy told me 10,000 miles on a motorcycle is high. This has always stuck in may head sorta like when looking at used cars I look at 100,000 as the time things start needing repaired or rebuilt. Well, I know alot of you folks have alot of miles on your bike. What do ya'll think. When is it time to start the repairs and rebuilds? When I bought my bike back in Sept., it already had 6000 miles on it and it was 10 months old. This was the only thing that really bothered me. So help me get this 10,000 thing out of my head!
When it starts using a quart of oil, every thousand miles....then start thinking rebuild. Till then , ride.
 

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Kliff--just a comment on your quart/1000 miles. On a Bonnie, that would indeed be a sign of severe problems. I had a 1992 Yamaha Seca II that burned 12 oz per 1000 miles. When I contacted Yamaha USA about it, I was told that was within normal oil use limits! I later verified that in written info I found. I had broken the bike in from zero miles correctly, but that pattern of oil use persisted until I traded it in at 18,000 miles. My Bonnie uses loses virtually no oil between changes, meaning the oil level in the sight glass might go down by 1/8" over a change interval, but I do not add oil. I'll take a Bonnie any day.
 

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The biggest problem then, and maybe now, was a hamfisted owner who thought he could do all the maintenance and repair....and ended up doing a lot more damage and messing up adjustments, leading to premature failure. I have bought bikes with the gearboxes and mainbearings trashed from the owner overtightening the drive or primary chain, or both. I have rewired bikes because the extant wires melted into a glob after the owner decided to "fix" something.
And lube. Yep, that's the biggest difference. The limiting factor in producing high horsepower engines in WW2 was the limited ability of petroleum oil to protect the engines. The Germans had a dearth of oil, but a lot of coal, so went into synthetic oil production and were able to get more horsepower from a given displacement. Their jet engines were possible largely because of synthetics.
They carbonize at higher temperatures and when they burn, they produce less ash. In the forties and fifties, "decarbonizing" was a regular fact of life. Every 8-10K, with engines which were in otherwise good condition (more often as the engines wore.), you'd pull the head and get the carbon off the pistons, head, and valves. It was a regular maintenance event, like oil changes or valve adjustments.
All hail synthetics. And Ampco 45 guides. And Black Diamond valves. And new valve springs.....every time. Even today, valve spring failure is the leading cause of NASCAR engine failure.....when you hear the announcer say...."looks like so and so is slowing, must have dropped a cylinder", most of the time it's a broken valve spring that allowed a valve to become very well acquainted with a piston crown.
 

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Pat Owens, on what has to be the world's highest mileage Triumph Bonneville. Pat's bike has nearly a half-million miles on it!

 

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> Thats nuts. Even back in the 70's 10k WASN'T high !

Daz is absolutely right. And the other guys, for that matter.

I had a 76 Bonnie for my first bike. The Lucas electrics were just as bad as their reputation at the time suggested. Mechanically, however, the engine was primitive by modern standards... really marginal oil pump, a screen instead of an oil filter, bearing materials and cylinder wall & head machining techniques a bit antique even for that time... and yet it was perfectly reasonable to expect 50,000 miles before a rebuild if you changed the oil on schedule and weren't trying to rip it apart.

I knew guys who got more than that, actually, but my luck ran out with a burnt head gasket at 50K. Well, only halfway out. After a few not-that-expensive days in the shop, she was as good as new and stayed with me for nearly another 20,000 miles until a 1980 caught my eye.

Today's machines are so much better built that a lifetime in excess of a hundred thousand miles is a conservative figure.

Heck, you don't even change the chain at 10,000 any more, let alone the whole bike! :-D

At 6,000 miles, yours is just barely broken in if the previous owner even halfway followed the factory run-in recommendations and maintenance schedule. You've got 14 more months of unlimited-mileage factory warranty, too. Enjoy your new Bonnie and take reasonable care of her, and the two of you will probably be together for a very long time!
 
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