How Many Miles Does A Harley-Davidson Last: Make Your Bike Last Decades With Proper Maintenance


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How Many Miles Does A Harley Davidson Last

At any point, have you found yourself scrambling around for the answer to how many miles does a Harley-Davidson last? If yes, then you’re in the right place.

A Harley-Davidson lasts for more than 75,000 miles on average. If you properly maintain it and took good care of your bike, then it might give you over 100,000 miles. 

In this article, you’ll not only get to know how many miles does a Harley-Davidson last, but you’ll also find ways to increase that number. Moreover, you’ll also get to know how Harley-Davidson bikes compare to competitors in terms of how many miles they last.

The average lifespan of a Harley-Davidson bike

Harley-Davidson bikes can easily last for more than 75,000 miles in normal situations. If maintained properly and responsibly, a Harley-Davidson bike can easily eclipse the 100,000 miles mark. Say that you have an annual mileage of 4,000, your Harley-Davidson can last for over 25 years. While these bikes are incredibly reliable, Consumer Reports released a study breaking down the motorcycle brands, and it included Harley-Davidson. In the comprehensive survey, Harley-Davidson ranked as the 6th most reliable brand. However, in the survey, almost 75% of the owners stated that they’d buy the bike again if given the chance.

How many miles does a Harley-Davidson last?

There are some Harley-Davidson bikes that aren’t maintained properly, and they struggle to eclipse the 50,000 miles mark. Meanwhile, there are some Harley-Davidson bikes that go well past the 120,000 miles mark. Granted that the latter would have gone through rebuilds, it is a milestone number that your bike can potentially reach.

According to industry and market data, the average number of miles that Harley-Davidson bikes last is between 75,000 and 100,000. The figure will depend on a number of variables, such as –

  • How well your Harley-Davidson bike is maintained 
  • How aggressively or conservatively you drive your Harley-Davidson bike
  • Whether the bike is stored indoors or outdoors
  • Whether your bike is covered or does it get exposed to any potentially harmful elements
  • The climate in which you drive your Harley-Davidson bike
  • How often does your Harley-Davidson bike sits unused
  • Whether or not you get it serviced according to the intervals outlined in the owner manual 

Used Harley-Davidson bikes normally last for fewer miles than a newly purchased Harley-Davidson bike. The market considers a Harley-Davidson bike to be a high mileage bike after 50,000 miles. A Harley-Davidson bike’s odometer will have little bearing on the lifespan of the bike. You can get a more practical assessment of the longevity of a used Harley-Davidson bike by finding out how well the previous owner of the bike maintained it. Get routine service maintenance, just like how it is outlined in the owner manual. This way, your Harley-Davidson bike will last longer than 50,000 miles. You shouldn’t let numbers scare you away from purchasing a used Harley-Davidson bike, as long as it is well maintained.

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Woman Riding Harley Davidson Bike

A used but properly maintained Harley-Davidson can give you more than 75,000 miles. If the bike was kept outdoors in the winters and driven like a stunt bike without regular oil changes, it would be smart not to invest in that bike.

How many miles does a Harley-Davidson last compared to competitors?

It is important to compare how many miles does a Harley-Davidson bike give as compared to competitors. This section will compare the miles covered by Harley-Davidson to some of its closest rivals.

Harley Davidson vs. Indian

Harley Davidson and Indian bikes can last for well over 100,000 miles if they’re maintained and taken care of properly. The engine life is comparable as they come with similar big-twin engine designs. However, the Indian’s integrated shaft-driven gearbox outlasts a Harley-Davidson bike’s chain-driven primary. Both brands come with similar American small-large cruisers and baggers while featuring bounced technology.

Polaris is at the helm of Indian bikes, giving the brand access to high-end engineering that wasn’t possible before. Indian bikes make use of an integrated, shaft-driven transmission that doesn’t work as well as the Harley chain drives. In Harley-Davidson bikes, the chain drives are much easier to shift. However, shaft-driven gearboxes outlive them, nudging Indian bikes ahead in terms of transmission reliability.

Harley-Davidson vs. Honda

While a Harley-Davidson can last for over 100,000 miles, an average Honda exceeds that by lasting for over 150,000 miles. There are a few Honda models that can give up to 400,000 miles on the odometer. With such numbers, Honda bikes considerably outlast even the best Harley-Davidson bikes.

While Harley-Davidson bikes are far more recognizable thanks to their sound and style, Honda bikes are arguably the more reliable option. Honda allocates a large chunk of budget towards research and development, making these bikes some of the longest-lasting options. Honda makes more bikes per year than any other brand in the motorcycle industry.

However, Harley-Davidson bikes are classics and the brand has made tremendous improvements over the past few years. This has helped the Harley-Davidson brand close the gap between the two brands. Harley-Davidson’s bikes are designed for a specific audience, and they consider Harley’s as reliable as needed to win their reliability. 

Harley-Davidson vs. Triumph

The average lifespan of a Harley-Davidson is between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles. However, Triumph bikes can last between 100,000 miles and 200,000 miles, making them the option that lasts longer. With some of the most innovative, state-of-the-art technology, these bikes are reliable and last long.

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While Harley-Davidson bikes have made several modernization over the past few years, dated staples like chain drive transmission cannot outlive the hi-tech designs of Triumph. Triumph has become one of the leading names by hiring some of the most talented engineers in the game.

The brand has been highly innovative at combining modern technology with the vintage style. The brand has started the “Modern Classic” wave with the times, while also upgrading its longevity and reliability with it.

Harley-Davidson bikes, on the other hand, are buff and rugged, which makes them resilient. However, Triumph’s reliability is because of the latest technology and state-of-the-art engineering.

Important tips to remember for prolonging the lifespan of a Harley-Davidson bike

As long as you treat your Harley-Davidson bike properly, there is no reason why it cannot last for well over 100,000 miles. If you neglect some of the basics, chances are that your bike might stop functioning properly after 10,000-15,000 miles or even less. Here are some of the practices you need to follow, as these tips will prolong the lifespan of your bike.

Be regular with the maintenance

This is one of the most important things that Harley-Davidson owners can do for prolonging the lifespan of their bikes. You don’t just need to be regular at oil changes, you should keep up with everything in the owner manual.

Harley-Davidson’s bikes have a breakdown of the maintenance schedule in every owner manual. Another way of finding out everything would be to go on the official website of Harley-Davidson. Then, type your VIN and you’ll get to know everything that you should do to keep your bike running smoothly.

Store your bike indoors and cover it

It is recommended that you should store your Harley-Davidson bike inside a garage. Keep it there whenever you aren’t driving in, as it protects your bike. However, if you use your garage for warming up the car before heading out, you shouldn’t store your bike there. In case you do, the fuel vapors in the exhaust might condense on your bike, leading it to rust. If you’re looking to store your bike outdoors, you should keep it covered, protecting it from external elements.

Wash your bike regularly

Washing your Harley-Davidson bike regularly will do more than just keep the bike clean. It will remove the potentially harmful chemicals and particulates that build up over time. This build-up causes your motorcycle to rust and wears down over time. But you should ensure that you’re washing your motorcycle the right way. If not, you might end up damaging your bike instead of cleaning it.

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Washing Harley Davidson Bike

Avoid riding it rough

While it is true, that sometimes, it can be fun to slam the throttle and ride like you’re in a game. But it is a problem as it is rough on your bike. Not only does it wear down the brakes, tires, and other wearables, the engine will not last as long either.

Break in your bike

If your Harley-Davidson motorcycle is new, remember to take your bike out and run it according to the guidelines. These guidelines will be mentioned in the owner’s manual. The manual will give you the necessary advice on how to drive the bike in the first few hundred miles and then the next few thousand miles.

Keep up with regular oil changes

Your Harley-Davidson bike will require an oil change every 10,000 miles. Always make sure that you’re keeping up to date with the necessary oil levels and oil changes. You shouldn’t assume that the Harley-Davidson is necessarily the best oil for every bike. The right viscosity (20W50) should be your priority when buying oil.

Keep the air filter in the bike clean

You should ensure that after every 10,000 miles, you should replace the air filter in your Harley-Davidson bike. This way, you will find it easy to keep the engine ticking over properly.

Check the tires

You shouldn’t let wear in the bike’s tires get away from you. Riding a Harley-Davidson bike is a significantly different experience from riding a normal sportbike.

Often, you’ll find that your position is more open and prone. You’ll need to have proper balance to have safe, stable riding. The tires will be the most important factor for that. This is why you need to check them and replace them whenever needed.

Never neglect any maintenance issues

You should never neglect or procrastinate on any maintenance issues. In case you encounter an issue, regardless of how small it is, get it fixed as soon as possible. You cannot have your Harley-Davidson bike be allowed to have a small issue that turns into a serious problem. Not only will this be more expensive to fix, but it’ll also shorten the lifespan of your bike.


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of how many miles does a Harley-Davidson last. How long your bike runs smoothly will ultimately depend on you. Make sure that you maintain it properly and take care of it to ensure that it lasts over 100,000 miles.

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White Star Rides is your go-to Harley-Davidson expert. We live and breathe these bikes. Our team has years of experience in fixing, riding, and loving Harleys. We know every part of these bikes and love sharing what we know with you. Whether it's about fixing a problem or just enjoying the ride, we're here to help. Trust us to make your Harley journey better and easier.

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