Honda made its first motorcycles in 1949 and they’ve brought bikes into the United States since the 50s.
Their ingenuity and rock-solid engineering have shaped the motorcycle industry around the world and changed the way bikes were made.
The Japanese brand established a reputation for affordable, reliable motorcycles, making them one of the most popular moto choices.
If you’re thinking of buying a Honda motorcycle, you might be wondering about its average lifespan.
We’ll cover that in full in this article, read on to find out…
Here is the short answer to how long Honda Motorcycles last:
A well-maintained Honda motorcycle can last for well over 100,000 miles, the average being 150,000 miles. Honda’s touring models like the Goldwing can last even longer, over 300,000 miles in some cases. The average motorcycle is ridden 4,000 miles a year; a well-kept Honda motorcycle can last well over 25 years.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Honda Motorcycle?
A Honda motorcycle will last over 100,000 or even 200,000 miles if it’s been:
- Appropriately stored
- Ridden regularly and responsibly
- Serviced within the maintenance schedule outlined by Honda.
Hondas manufacturing, engineering, and design techniques are unrivaled in reliability among mass-produced brands. Japanese motorcycles have a reputation for lasting longer than bikes designed in other countries, and Honda is at the top of that list.
Still, a myriad of factors can affect the longevity of even the most reliable Honda motorcycles out there, and the bike’s owner and their riding and maintenance habits play a significant role.
A Honda motorcycle can quite literally outlive its owner’s desire to ride it if you appreciate your Honda from the moment you acquire it, service it regularly, use high-quality motor oil as per Honda’s suggestion, and store it properly.
Another contribution to a Honda’s longevity is using high-end replacement parts when things inevitably wear out.
If you’re using aftermarket upgrades, these too should be:
- Thoroughly researched before installation.
- Installed properly by a competent person
Modern Hondas are built to such high-grade standards as the engineers have over seventy years of research at their disposal.
The modern Honda motors are designed and fabricated using technology and engineering knowledge that has been acquired throughout their rich history.
As a general rule – older Hondas won’t last as long as modern Hondas do, simply because the technologies and parts used today are more developed.
Still, there are Honda motorcycles that have been on the road for over 30 years and have never had an issue; these owners road their Hondas responsibly.
You can expect more miles out of Hondas ridden as a highway cruiser at three-quarters of the bike’s potential than that of an older Honda that’s ripped and roared to the redline daily.
What is High Mileage for a Honda Motorcycle?
The used market considers a Honda to be high-mileage after 50,000 miles; a Honda’s mileage reading has little significance to its longevity -attentiveness to storage, riding habits, and service frequency will have more of an impact on its lifespan.
The lifespan of a motorcycle depends more on the overall treatment of the bike than the odometer reading does.
In the case of a Honda motorcycle though, whether or not a bike is considered high-mileage depends on what type of bike it is.
For example, touring bikes like the Goldwing will be considered low mileage for longer than a hard-ridden Honda sportbike, primarily if its owner used it for stunting.
Large-displacement motors are generally assumed not to have to work as hard.
A Honda motorcycle with a 1850cc six-cylinder motor will be easier to sell than a 750cc Shadow, as the market would assume the previous owner pushed their shadow to its limit more frequently.
However, the truth is that any Honda is capable of a long lifespan if it’s adequately maintained and treated with respect.
Keep in mind that Honda has one of the most diverse lineups on the moto-market.
Used Honda sportbikes, in particular, are considered to be high-mileage after just 25,000 miles, as the market assumes they were redlined at top speeds at mid-range, around dangerous corners.
This assumption is unfair, though, and the best way to judge how much life a Honda sports bike has left is to question the previous owner about his riding habits.
Honda also offers a wide range of price grades.
Even though Honda’s engineer team pays close attention to the development of all their models, a lower-priced Honda will be considered high-mileage sooner than a high-end bike at the expensive end of the Honda moto-spectrum.
The fact is that well-maintained Honda motorcycles that were stored in ideal conditions and serviced and ridden regularly have and can continue to outlive cars.
Honda motorcycles last a long time past the point of being considered high-mileage.
Do Honda Motorcycles Rust Easily?
Honda motorcycles rust as quickly as any other motorcycle that is exposed to road salts or corrosive weather conditions such as rain, moisture, humidity, snow, sleet. Storing, cleaning, and drying off your Honda twice a month will help prevent rust from setting in.
I wish I could say that there was a motorcycle brand out there that isn’t susceptible to rusting in the conditions mentioned above, but that’s not the case.
Rust is the oxidation of iron, and therefore any alloy containing iron is susceptible to rust.
Most other metals are prone to similar types of corrosion, even if not rust.
The only natural way to detur rust from forming on your Honda motorcycle is to minimize salt, chemicals, and moisture exposure.
How Long Do Hondas Last Compared to Other Bikes:
In this section we’ll compare Honda motorcycles to some of its competitors.
Honda Vs. Indian Motorcycles
Polaris acquired Indian in 2013 and has turned the brand into one of the most reliable American brands. Honda has more experience with motorcycle design and manufacturing and has bikes on the road with 400,000 miles clocked. Polaris Indian hasn’t been around long enough to know if they’re a contender however they can last for well over 100,000 miles.
Indian is as old as Honda in theory.
Still, during the 3 – 4 decades of hiatus they took, Honda researched, experimented, broke new ground, and cranked out new bikes, giving them the advantage of experience.
That said, Polaris is the engineering force behind Indian, and they’ve been a reliable vehicle manufacturer since the ’50s.
But, for better or for worse, Indian is loyal to their historic V-twin design, and Honda isn’t afraid to make bike blocks reminiscent of a car motor, making their engines more reliable.
Indian has superior suspension, more ergonomic seats, and bars, and that aggressive V-twin throttle action.
At the same time, Indian takes the medal for comfort and style.
However, Honda bikes have a reputation for lasting longer.
You may also be interested in our article: Are Indian Motorcycles Worth the Money?
Honda Vs. Harley
The average Honda lasts for 150,000 miles, but there are Honda’s out there with up to 400,000 thousand miles on the odometer, meaning they tend to last longer than Harleys which are capable of lasting over 100,000 miles.
Harley is the first brand we think of motorcycles in the States, but Honda has done more for the bike manufacturing industry than they have for cars.
Honda makes more bikes a year than any other brand, with numerous funds dedicated towards research and development.
On the other hand, Harley has made bikes since 1903, with the ethos of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
For better or for worse, this demands less critical thinking from their engineer departments.
Experience, practice, and cutting-edge engineering make Hondas last longer than Harleys.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Harley-Davidsons Last?
Honda Vs. Triumph
Triumph and Honda are neck-in-neck in the engineering and reliability departments. Still, the accessibility and affordability of Honda’s parts give them a leg up in reliability that could make them last longer.
Triumph has a groundbreaking engineering department, with funds allocated for research and development just like Honda.
In this case, it’s simply the scale of Honda’s operation that gives them the advantage. Honda has factories and dealerships around the world.
With Triumph, you may be waiting a week or two for those parts to ship.
The small and noble Triumph operation forces the brand to charge more for parts as well.
And as far as aftermarket parts go, there are myriad options for Honda moto-upgrades, while the market for aftermarket Triumph components is a little slimmer.
More options and cheaper parts mean that Hondas are getting fixed promptly when an issue arises.
This was a hard call, but the fact is that Honda makes the Goldwing, a bike that routinely crosses 300,000 miles without a problem.
You may also be interested in our article: Are Triumph Motorcycles Any Good?
Are Honda Motorcycles Reliable?
A Honda motorcycle is highly reliable, providing that you keep up with its routine service maintenance, store it properly, and ride it regularly and responsibly. Consumer Reports surveys have found Honda bikes to have one of the lowest percentage rates of failure.
The lower a moto brand’s repair rate is per a certain amount of miles, the more reliable they’re considered to be.
According to Consumer Reports, the most vulnerable part of a bike is its electronic systems.
- Electronic failure is the cause of 24% of all motorcycle repairs.
- Accessory repair accounts for 19%
- 18% for braking systems
- 13% of repairs result from fuel-system failure.
Using this data, one can say that maintaining your electronics, accessories, brakes, and fuel systems will set your Honda ahead of the crowd in terms of reliability.
The Japanese motorcycle brands are all placed high in the reliability category of this study, including Honda.
A 2015 Consumer Report survey found Honda Motorcycles to have an impressively low failure rate of 12%, making them one of the most reliable motorcycle brands on the market.
Honda motorcycles have been around since the late-1950s, and in addition to their high-performance and state-of-the-art tech features, Honda’s are known around the world as one of the most reliable motorcycle brands – if not the most reliable.
What Are the Most Common Problems on a Honda?
The most common complaints from Honda motorcycles owners include the lack of an engine kill switch on various models, inconsistent dealership service centers, and hard shifting or rough gearbox action. Overall, Honda remains one of the more reliable motorcycle brands on the market and among the most recall-responsive when a problem arises.
That said, the three most common complaints about Honda motorcycles are:
1. Models Without Kill Switches
According to some Honda naked motorcycle enthusiasts in India, where the brand has a big market, their naked bikes don’t come with a kill switch.
An ignition “kill switch” is the switch that shuts the engine off immediately, regardless of the ignition key’s position.
It’s more than just convenient; it’s a safety feature.
Still, the killswitch is used for emergencies only so that you won’t miss it during daily rips.
Note: This section refers mainly to Honda’s small-displacement naked-bikes.
2. Inconsistent Dealerships and Service Centers
Honda is a big brand spread out across the world.
According to Honda’s international customers, some regions hold their mechanics to higher standards than others.
If you’re traveling with your faithful Honda steed, do some research on the service before you check your bike into a dealership.
There might be a more proficient Honda service center to take it to.
3. Hard shifting:
Again, this only applies to specific models however we’ve encountered some complaints about hard shifting on particular year Honda models.
Hard shifting can result from poor maintenance, namely running old or low oil through your transmission.
Be sure to keep up with the service schedule Honda outlined in your owner’s manual.
Related: How Long Do Yamaha Motorcycles Last? (12 Important Facts)
Are Honda Motorcycles Expensive to Maintain?
Honda makes some of the easiest and most inexpensive motorcycles to maintain. The ownership cost of a Honda motorcycle is lower than that of many of its competitors. Honda dealerships and service centers are widespread, making it easy to maintain your bike while touring. They’re also one of the most responsive brands when it comes to recalls and upgrades.
Bear in mind though – motorcycles can be more expensive to maintain than cars in some cases.
Why are motorcycles more expensive to maintain than cars?
Motorcycles require a more frequent service and maintenance regiment due to lower oil capacity and a more straightforward engine design.
That said, the type of bike dictates how expensive and frequent maintenance and service will be, and Honda makes every type of motorcycle under the sun.
How you ride is also a factor. If you pack miles quickly, you’ll be changing your oil more often, for example.
A quick guide to Honda Motorcycle Maintenance costs:
- Tires: $400-$600
- Drive Belts: $140-$250
- Valve Adjustments: $800-$1200
- Oil Changes: $80-$125
Another pro that Honda has over its competitors is that because of Honda’s car-block-inspired motorcycle engine concepts, many of their bikes can run on standard unleaded, as opposed to the 91 octane minimum required by the simple V-twins and such.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Engines Last?
A Honda motorcycle engine is expected to last well over 150,000 miles if the motorcycle is ridden conservatively, stored away from corrosive elements, and serviced following Honda’s instructions.
Some Hondas have been on the road for 30 years, with over 300,000 miles that have ever had an issue.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Tires Last?
A rear Honda tire is expected to last around 9,000- 10,000 miles if ridden responsibly. A front Honda tire is expected to last between 15,000 and 20,000 miles, though no Honda tire should be ridden after five years, regardless of the bike’s mileage.
The rate at which your tires wear out can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as riding habits, climate, and road conditions.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Batteries Last?
A Honda battery is expected to last between two and five years, depending on how often the bike is ridden, climate, riding habits, and battery type.
- Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrating can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
- Limit short rides: Quick moto rides prevent your Harley’s Stator from fully charging the bike’s battery.
- Storage: Keep your Harley stored indoors away from extreme changes in temperature and corrosive chemicals that can become airborne and corrode your battery.
- Control Corrosion: Using a toothbrush dipped in a mix of water and baking soda, clean your Harley’s terminals to keep corrosion from forming and building up.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Wheel Bearings Last?
Honda wheel bearings are expected to last over 100,000 miles if serviced as per the owner’s manual.
The frequency of service varies from model to model, but generally, bearings should be serviced around every 25,000 miles.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Drive Belts Last?
A Honda motorcycle drive belt is expected to last 100,000 miles in optimal conditions.
That said, failing to inspect and service a drive belt per Honda’s specifications will result in early belt failure.
The drive belts used by Honda are fabricated from resilient, stretch-resistant materials.
You may also be interested in our article: Are Suzuki Motorcycles Any Good?
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Clutches Last?
A Honda clutch is expected to last between 20,000 and 60,000 miles.
That said, a Honda clutch that isn’t serviced regularly or one that’s been ridden hard and slipped often may need replacing after just 5,000 miles, while a well-kept Honda clutch can last for over 100,000 miles.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Brake Pads Last?
Honda motorcycle brake pads are expected to last between 15,000 and 20,000 miles.
That said, aggressive riding habits and corrosive weather conditions can significantly shorten the lifespan of Honda brake pads; the owner or mechanic should inspect them during every oil change.
How Long Does a Honda Motorcycle Stator Last?
A Honda Stator is expected to last for 150,000 miles on a Honda motorcycle that’s never had electrical issues.
The lifespan of a Honda stator depends on the bike’s electrical load, the greater the electrical demand the faster it will wear out.
A bad regulator/rectifier will shorten its life as well.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Key Fob Batteries Last Last?
A Honda key fob battery is expected to last for 12 months-two years.
Always try replacing the battery before assuming the fob is the issue.
A new Honda key fob, on average, costs around $50.
You can easily replace both the key fob battery and the key fob itself at any Honda motorcycle dealership.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Coils Last?
A Honda ignition coil is expected to last up to 100,000 miles if it’s properly maintained and if the spark plugs are replaced before they burn out.
If your Honda’s spark plugs wear out, your ignition coil picks up the slack by performing at a higher output than intended, and it will wear early.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Motor Mounts Last?
Honda motorcycle mounts are expected to last between 60,000-100,000 miles or between 5 and 10 years.
Motor mounts can fail early with aggressive driving, poor storage, dry climates, and collision.
Also, over-revving your gears, excessive engine braking, or popping out the clutch lever before riding can cause an early motor mount failure on your Honda motorcycle.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Rotors Last?
Honda motorcycle rotors are expected to last between 50,000 and 80,000 miles.
Aggressive riding can cause Honda rotors can wear prematurely as a result of aggressive riding.
If brakes are applied hard and often, like during fierce rips at racing speeds, the brake-pad friction generates excessive heat, wearing Honda rotors early.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Voltage Regulators Last?
A Honda Voltage regulator is expected to last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, providing the battery is well-maintained.
A weak battery, or an unreliable ground connection, causes voltage that can cause a Honda regulator rectifier to run hotter than intended and fail early.
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Shocks Last?
Honda motorcycle shocks are expected to last at least 30,000 miles before they’re worn out.
By 40,000 miles, most shocks will need to be rebuilt at the very least, if not replaced.
Keep your Honda at peak performance by proactively inspecting your shocks every 30,000 miles.
You may also be interested in our article: Are Can-Am Spyders Reliable?
How Long Do Honda Motorcycle Spark Plugs Last?
Honda spark plugs are expected to last between 8,000 and 15,000 miles of riding.
Spark plug wear at this mileage is standard on most motorcycles, including Hondas, and you or your mechanic should inspect them during every service.
If your Honda is running rough or experiencing power loss, the spark plugs should be the first thing you examine.
Tips to Make Your Honda Motorcycle Last Longer:
- Store your Honda properly, away from corrosive elements when not in use
- Maintain your Honda per the owner’s manual as soon as you get it.
- Break-in your Honda motorcycle’s engine per Honda’s guidelines.
- DOn’t redline your Honda during every ride.
- Accelerate and stop your HOnda motorcycle gradually.
- Perform regular servicing and oil and fluid changes to Honda’s specifications.
- Use high-quality upgrades and replacement components.
- Don’t abuse your Honda motorcycle’s clutch; go easy on the gearbox during shifts.
- Keep your Honda motorcycle clean, lubed, and protected.
- Ride your Honda motorcycle regularly, in a responsible manner.