What is considered high mileage on a Harley Davidson motorcycle engine?

As a comparison, a car is considered to have "high mileage" if it averages I believe 15,000 miles per year, based on the year of the car. In other words, a 4-year old car should have no more than 60,000 miles on it otherwise it’s considered as being a high mileage vehicle. What’s the average mileage on an engine for a Harley Davidson motorcycle, per year?

11 Responses to “What is considered high mileage on a Harley Davidson motorcycle engine?”

  • polarbear says:

    Lets get a couple of things straight here,… 15K on a car per year is not high mileage. Perhaps it is for other states where driving is not a necessity. In Texas it is not uncommon to drive around 20-25K per year. The same goes for Harley riders in Texas,…I have 30K on my ’06 and its only halfway through 2009. To answer your query, high mileage on a Harley (engine) would be more than 15K per year. The guys that buy the bike and then NOT ride it shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.

    I see Bart is spewing vacuous, obtuse "facts" again. (the HD engine is not even broke in @ 6-8K)….

    (edit) too bad that in alot of eastern states you can’t even get your bike wound up in top gear without hitting the state line….or a stop light.

  • MoonBear says:

    More than the mileage total for 100 trips to the nearest bar and back?
    just kidding.
    My guess would be more than 4-5000 miles a year.

  • Heavy_Cavalry_Sgt says:

    I can’t speak to averages, but there are several Harley-centric clubs (including the Hell’s Angels) that require their members to ride 10k or 20k (depending on the club) miles each year, "this means in rain, snow or sunshine."

    I would not consider a 4 year old Harley with 60k miles "high mileage" if the maintenance had been done.


    Averages on Harley’s are about 2k per year, mostly due to the guys that buy them and don’t ride them. But a normal rider would put around 5k on his bike, depending on the climate you live in.

  • hd rider says:

    I ride about 10k a year.Harley’s don’t die you can rebuild them.

  • Bart S says:

    6000 to 8000 miles is normal engine life of any HD

  • bikermog says:

    Because of the amount of people who buy and own Harleys that they seldom ride. The most common mileages seen are 5-10,000 on a 3-5 yr old bike. that really doesn’t tell you what high mileage is, though.

    I would consider 60 to 70,000 miles to be high mileage on any harley under 6 years old. That doesn’t mean the bike is not in good shape, only that it has been ridden. If maintenance is kept up, a harley engine can easily reach 100,000 miles. Thats true of all modern motorcycles, as long as they are properly maintained and ridden. If you "ride it like hell" then the wear and tear accumulates quicker than if you ride normally.

  • ninebadthings says:

    Those things will run like crap forever. Sure they require constant maintenance, but harley guys love that. They see major overhauls as a golden opportunity to make that huge low horsepower antique into a huger slightly higher horsepower antique.

  • randy says:

    the average "lifespan" of a well maintained motor is 100,000.
    But the yearly average is tough to figure. Some riders buy for the "prestige" of owning a Harley, but never ride them more than 500 miles in a year. Others, like myself, ride them everyday, and make several long rides each year. We "average" 11,000 miles per year on our ultra, and 10,000 was the average on our Dyna wide glide. Our electra glide was lucky if it saw less than 15,000 a year. Some years we do almost double that, but we are behind this year with all the bad weather, so we may not make the average, but then again we are taking off for 9 straight days of riding in 2 weeks. so we could still exceed it.
    ride safe

  • curmudgeon55 says:

    Million mile Harley dresser going to Sturgis Museum was owned by local politician in Wisconsin–Ed Zein. 9 rebuilds, 2 new engines for million miles. 3 engines means average 333,000 miles, 3 rebuilds to the engine gets 4 service runs-starting with fresh engine- so 80,000 miles between rebuilds is about right. Zein put on a lot of highway miles each year.

  • reddishpa says:

    My friends 89 Ultra just turned over 175K. So far he replaced the cam, nothing else not even the lifters. He replaced the pushrods because he cut the original out and replaced them with adjustable ones ( makes it easier to replace the cam) He did that at 150K.

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