What Is High Mileage for a Used Dirt Bike?

Dirt bikes make spending time in the great outdoors worthwhile. Feeling the wind whistle through your helmet and hearing the sound of the engine makes everyone feel more alive. That feeling can’t happen though if you don’t have a bike or need another to support your growing hobby. While I’m in the market for a new or used dirt bike, I always look at a variety of factors to help me understand the general condition of the bike, one of the most important factors though is how many miles are on the bike.

Anything over 20,000 miles is considered high mileage for a dirt bike. The average dirt bike runs 3,000 miles per year, so multiply how many years old your dirt bike is by 3,000 to find out what average mileage would be for your bike.

Read our article on Rebuilding a dirt bike.

Is Mileage Important for Dirt bike?

Most people you talk to about mileage will assure you that mileage is not an important issue with dirt bikes. Those people are right, to a point. There is quite a big difference between a bike that has gone 20,000 miles on the sand dunes and a bike that has gone 10,000 miles over rocky cliffs.

The circumstances in which the bike was ridden have a lot to do with its current condition, much more than the number of miles. Looking the bike over will be much more helpful than just averaging the miles and hours on the dirt bike.

Because we live in a world full of cars, our brains automatically want to know the mileage of all vehicles. By default, we think that if a car or motorcycle has high mileage, then it has been overworked and is bound to break down in a few miles, and while this may be true in some instances, most of the time, a dirt bike’s condition cannot be properly gauged by the number of miles it has traveled.

Mileage is a question often asked by those new to the dirt bike world or those who are just curious, but as we can see from the above comments, mileage has yet to be a real factor for dirt bike riders because it doesn’t give you a clear picture of where the bike was ridden or how well the bike has been maintained.

Oftentimes, if the mileage is high, that will mean a slight price drop compared to a dirt bike that had a lower amount of miles. As a matter of fact, you will find that most dirt bikes don’t have an odometer at all. If there is no odometer, then how would you be able to gauge its condition? Often, you will see that dirt bike users use the measurement of hours instead of miles because it is easier to estimate how many hours someone has spent on a bike.

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Other Ways to Gauge a Dirt Bike’s Condition

A bike with a lot of miles can still be a quality bike if the previous owners took proper care of it. Did they ever do maintenance on the bike? Where did they ride the bike? What is the riding style of the person who rode the bike? All of these are valid questions you can ask—though some you may not be able to find solid answers for—and they are helpful in better understanding a dirt bike.

Sometimes, dirt bikes will have a log of all the maintenance done on them throughout their life. A record full of maintenance can mean both something good and bad. Is the maintenance just oil checks or tire checks? Or is it a long list of replaced parts and time spend in the shop?

If the maintenance record is the first option, then that is a showcase of good ownership. They were consistently ensuring that the bike was in good working condition and that more rides wouldn’t damage the engine. If a bike has had a long list of repairs in its history, it may be proof that while the previous owner fixed the bike, they were pretty rough on it in the first place and needed all those repairs.

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