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Old 05-07-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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Motorcycle Engine Longevity

Folks,

I'm about ready to buy a new Yamaha 2007 FZ6 for a daily driver get to work bike. The round trip is 140 miles per day, 5 days a week for a total of 36,400 miles per year.

Now this bike will cost around $7,000 out the door, so how many miles should I expect the engine to last. Assume I will take excellent care of the bike.

The motor is water cooled, 600cc, 4 cyliders, fuel injected, 6 speed tranny, will be garaged every night, and I will ride it for high MPG and not speed.

If the engine gets too tired after 20,000 or 30,000 miles then this is not going to be cost effective for me....I don't want to have to replace the engine every 12 months.

So any ideas out there? Also, any guess on the MPG I can expect to get?
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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I'm guessing you would be replacing the engine quite often...You could prolly pick up a bit older of a bike and do a bit better with it...it might also be worth while in this case to cut some lower gears for cruising to reduce wear...
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:51 PM   #3
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The old air cooled, single cam Honda 750's were good for 80,000 miles before the roller bearing cranks went. Considering you have a water cooled, plain bearing engine, I don't think you'd have problems going well over 80-100K. I used to road race motorcycles and some of the guys in the box stock class had over 5000 race miles on their bikes and they just kept going. And there's no comparison between race miles and cruising on the freeway.

You may want to get a different rear sprocket to bring the rpms down.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:53 PM   #4
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Doesn't look like a touring bike: http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/pr.../273/home.aspx
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:05 PM   #5
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Some of the Gold Wing riders get over 200K on their bikes. An FZ6 may not duplicate that, but if taken care of, I would think 100K wouldn't be out of the question.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:29 PM   #6
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It was always a shock to me how often the motor oil needs to be changed on a motorcycle.

Honda recommends changing the oil and filter in my XR650L every 600 miles. I use Mobil 1, and change it every 1000 miles, but still, that's a lot more often than any car. I have 13K miles on the bike and the engine is still tight.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:41 PM   #7
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Besides getting run over by an SUV, I think one of the biggest problems commuting with a motocycle is the cost of tires. The touring tires might be able to get 20,000 miles on them, but the sport bikes will go through a rear tire about 8-10K miles if you are nice to it. These are ~$200 tires and cost about $50 to mount. The front tires might last 10-15K. Any money you might be saving on gas (which some cars can do better) you are eating in tires.
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:49 PM   #8
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Would the engine last longer if I got a bigger engine then the 600cc? What if I got a 1000cc...sure MPG would go down, but wouldn't the engine last longer?

I don't want to spend the big bucks on a true touring bike...I need just a standard get to work bike.

As for tires, since I won't be racing it, or riding very aggressively, and the fact that I will only be using medium/low grade tires, I'm not too worried about the cost of tire replacements.

Everyone, thanks for your comments!

MPG aside, I need a bike in order to get home in under 1 hours...driving a car would mean 2-2.5 hours each way! In southern California, bikes can use the Diamond Lane, and lane splitting is legal, so these two things will conspire to get me home 1-1.5 hours faster then grinding through the stop & go in a car...
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:36 PM   #9
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I say, go get yourself a Rebel or Nighthawk if you're concerned about reliability and gas mileage. 1 year warranty, a 230cc engine, which can probably be geared down once the warranty expires, ~$4000 for everything you'll need, and more than enough power for lane splitting/cruising in the carpool lane during rush hour imo. The difference in mileage between the two in the conditions you're describing should be ~$1500-2000/year, so it'll definitely be frugal in traffic compared to everything but an EV.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:44 PM   #10
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I am looking for a used rebel for the same reason, reliability and mileage, not to mention it's a bit of a smaller bike...
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