What is a high mileage scooter?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by JerseyBiker, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. techguy

    techguy Scooter Trash

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    I was thinking about this "high mileage" question. Is it better to buy a high mileage scooter that the owner used the scooter on a regular basis and properly maintained the scooter or a scooter that the owner bought, rode it a while and then stopped riding it, parked it under a tarp and is selling it?

    I know if you go the extremes of these two the garage queen is a better scoot. Machines that are used and properly cared for by a passionate scooterist may not have the dry seals and gaskets due to disuse by a non-passionate owner.

    I think there is no cut and dry answer to this question.
    #21
  2. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    Now, regarding the Elite 150 I was buying... LOW mileage 1987 (1200 miles), the bike was properly stored, and only ridden on dry Sundays (no rust or corrosion to be found anywhere!), after a thorough inspection, I found the following; all oil seals leaking, coolant seal leaking on water pump, and the crankcase was FILLED with gasoline from a stuck fuel petcock. So, the moral? even time has its toll. And to add insult to injury, the seller was a TOTAL dickhead about it.
    #22
  3. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life! Supporter

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    Forget mileage - personally I don't like bikes that have been sitting any length of time. Too much dries out or the oil sinks leaving areas with no lube and no protection. Internal metal could be rusted.

    I see ads on CL all the time - 10 year old bike with 1000 miles on it. People wanting top dollar claiming it "like new". No way. 10 year old tires got to go, rubber hoses and seals - probably gone. Wouldn't want it for free.

    In 2000 I bought a 1990 Honda Pacific Coast with about 5K on it. Then I decided a 10 year old bike was too old and would have too many problems. My friend from California wanted it so he flew to NJ and rode it home. Today it has well over 100K on it. lol You never know but all you do is go by the odds. To me, high mileage scoots aren't worth owning. But each of us has a different opinion on what a high mileage scoot might be.
    #23
  4. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer Supporter

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    The Pacific Coast is/was one hell of a motorcycle. I had two 1990 PCs that ran and ran forever.
    #24
  5. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Ok that makes sense I just thought an air compressor that used 5 gallons of oil would have to be huge.


    And yes, regarding old bikes with low miles I tend to agree. The old Elites that sat need a big restoration before becoming decently reliable again.
    #25
  6. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life! Supporter

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    So, on this topic - I put my 2009 HD200 on CL for sale. It has 5500 miles and the first and only response I get is from someone saying "Gee, that's an awful lot of mileage for a 2009". :rofl

    Point - what's low mileage to you and me may be high mileage to others.

    Think I'm put my Silverwing up for sale soon. (17K miles), and buy another one with lower miles.

    One of my friends buys a low mileage, used SWing every other year in the fall, when prices are lower. Then, come the next Spring he sells his older one. This way he is always riding a lower mileage scoot and it doesn't cost him much.
    #26
  7. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Wow! Thats nothing for a 2 year old scooter! I put over 10,000 miles on my Elite 150 in the last 1 1/2, and that doesn't include the full summer without a good engine, and the 2 months and other weekends of downtime!

    But I don't see a reason not to do what your doing. I wouldn't do it myself, but if thats what works for you do it! I guess if you ride a lot and your good with buying and selling it won't be a bad idea.
    #27
  8. Crna63

    Crna63 Adventurer

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    Jersey biker, let me know when you are ready to part with the s-wing.
    #28
  9. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    I ve put 8000 miles on my scooter in a year. Most bikes died not from mileage but from sitting and someone shitting on doing the upkeep. That and getting hit by cars. I ve seen bike that are worth cash todate buy someone just left it outside and now they aren't worth even the sum of the parts.
    #29
  10. THE_SHRUB

    THE_SHRUB Potted plant

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    In the 25 years My poor little Elite 150 has existed, it has seen a mere 1720 miles put on her... The things been neglected for so long. In fact, I'm sure it has been in storage for longer than I've been alive!! Fortunately the fact she's seen little to no action simply means that I now get to enjoy the 150 all for myself! I'll be doing a 100 km round trip daily on the bike 3 times a week to get to and from campus, but first I need to get all the mechanical gremlins sorted out before ANY riding can be accomplished!

    I'm interested to see how long my elite 150 goes before it's time for an engine swap! Only time will tell!:D
    #30
  11. JerseyBiker

    JerseyBiker Living the life! Supporter

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    PM Sent
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  12. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    Mine lasted for 16,000 miles or so before the engine started rapping... and that was only because of a disintegrated crankcase ventilation filter, which allowed dust and dirt into the crankcase.
    #32
  13. THE_SHRUB

    THE_SHRUB Potted plant

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    Hmmmm... Note to self: rebuild crankcase vent filter....
    #33
  14. btcn

    btcn Long timer

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    Same here, my Elite 150 is older than me too! Strange to think that thing was around before I was! Damn, almost all my bikes bikes have all been from the early 80s so therefor are a little older than me!

    Once you get all the stuff on your Elite sorted out, it'll go long enough for you. BELIEVE me! It will. That little engine just won't quit.

    You will easily get 80,000+ miles before you need a top end job and probably new crank bearings if you take good care of it.
    #34
  15. SpannerX

    SpannerX Adventurer

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    My P200E has less than 2000 km on it, and it's 32 years old. It seems like there were some bodges done to it, but for the most part that stuff has been sorted out, and now it's running pretty decent. I have to do an oil change on the gear box, and if the weather holds out I'll do that today (just have to get it up to temp to get all the old crap out...) It's damn cold up here still!
    #35
  16. Ultravoyageant

    Ultravoyageant Been here awhile

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    My thoughts exactly. If you're using a good oil, once you set a baseline with an oil analysis you'll certainly be able to go longer than 1K miles.

    Although I will say that for me a "good oil" is a good synthetic. After an oil analysis showed I had plenty of life left on my oil in my '84 FJ1100 (74,600 miles, I run Amsoil motorcycle 10-40, with an Amsoil spin on filter) after 4,500 miles (a bit less than 4 or 5 months of riding for me) I typically change between 5 and 6K miles. A previous oil analysis showed the dino I previously used (honda 10-40) was cashed by 3K miles.

    So, I guess if you're using a run of the mill dino oil I guess I would be changing it after no more than 1500-2000 miles, especially given the smaller motor would certainly be harder on oil (even liquid cooled) than an air cooled large displacement mill would be. But I don't see why one wouldn't run a good synthetic at least 3000 miles. Changing it early is no different than going to jiffy lube every 3K for your car; Its a waste, of both oil and money. Both dino and synthetic oils have made leaps and bounds in their longevity and durability over a wide range of conditions in recent years, and to not utilize them to the fullest is silly.

    But back to scoots; I am contemplating a highway capable scoot for my commute to work in Philadelphia. I ride my bike in frequently, but its a pain in the ass to park and the neighborhood isn't the best. Plus I like the idea of 60 + mpg I could get with something like a Kymco Downtown or equivalent. I can't swing a new one now, so I'll be looking for something used soon. for me, I wouldn't want anything with over 5-10K miles on it, simply because most of the scoots around here see lots of city riding, and that's always harder on any vehicle. Plus I see a lot of scoots parked outside 24/7 and probably not maintained as well as your average motorcycle. This is of course a generalization, and the first thing I'm looking at is how a used one looks and was maintained when I'm shopping for one. But the possibility of a mechanically shot out scoot with only 10K on it is higher given the environment. This is of course, just my 2 sesterce, mind you.
    #36
  17. tastroman

    tastroman Long timer

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    That's funny, considering the bikes you have owned I thought you were a senior.
    #37
  18. Warney

    Warney Been here awhile

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    Water-cooled Scooters especially the Honda 250's (Elite, Helix, Reflex, Big Ruckus) will run a long time and go a lot of miles with normal maintenance.
    No need to go to a Dealer, they are a simple machine. Ever notice the number of 25 year old Honda Elite 250's and early Helix still reliable and delivering good service? The engines are understressed and the powertrain well designed.
    #38
  19. THE_SHRUB

    THE_SHRUB Potted plant

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    yup, the scooters honda made in the 80's are real tanks! Someone knew which direction to go in when they were designing these engines. In fact, its kind of funny because, I have a great distrust for motorcycles that were built in the 80's (dunno why, maybe because of their looks?) but when it comes to scooters, if it WASN'T made in the 80's then I won't touch it either!

    Personally, I think the 70's were the golden years for honda's motorcycle lineup, their engines were simple, with many universal parts, and even after 40+ years you can still find parts for many of the bikes they made in that era. Don't get me wrong, I think that Honda always makes (and always has made) great bikes, but to me their 70's motorcycles, and 80's scooters were just something to really marvel at! :D
    #39
  20. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    The good news is, many of Honda's "best" designs that were born in the 80's managed to live into the next millenium; the Helix was built from '86-'07, Elite SA50 from '87-'01 (or '02?) and the Elite 80 from '85-'07! Infact, the Helix was so well loved, you can still buy 'em (Chinese knockoffs, anyway) plus the CN250 engine is widely used in go-karts, ATVs, and god knows what else! If anyone could have made such an impression on the power sports industry, it had to be Honda!
    #40