Will my motorcycle engine last forever?

Will my motorcycle engine last forever?

As riders, there is one thing we all crave for, we all want our motorcycles to last forever.

No matter if you are the kind of rider that doesn't distinguish a nut from a screw, or if you are one to spend afternoons in your garage covered in oil and surrounded by greasy tools, we all crave reliability.

However, we all know nothing last forever, so is it possible that our engines might be the crème de la crème of reliability and longevity?

Yes, but on all fairness no more than any other part of our bikes, although for today we will focus on our engines.

Different bikes will have different rates of engine degradation, nevertheless we can still assume all engines can last forever.

Allow us to explain.

Engines degrade for three main reasons:

  • Normal wear and tear

    No matter the brand or the bike, all engines - as the remaining parts of any bike - are not indestructible, meaning, they have a life span.

    The good thing? That life span is generally known.

    This means that if maintenance was done preventively, those parts were replaced/checked before braking, resulting in an engine that consistently remains healthy.

    Knowing this, as long as there are new parts on the market for your engine, and you have an active maintenance plan, it can run forever.

    • Type of use

      A bike that spends its days at 12.000 rpms, and one that runs at a cool 3.000 rpm, will have a very different abuse done to the engine.

      However, that additional wear and tear can be cooped with.

      If you know you are using your engine to the fullest, it may be smart to do oil changes more regularly, shorten the time between overall inspections, and replace parts more often.

      This means that as long as your maintenance is on par with the use you give to your engine, it can run forever.

      The more miles an engine has and the more abuse it suffers, the more you have to spend on it regularly, nevertheless in theory - and practical terms for the most part - an engine can last indefinitely.

      • Manufacturing defects

        Although nowadays brands have high reliability and manufacturing defects become less and less common, they might still exist.

        Doing some research on known problems and known fixes, as well as brand recalls will help you go around any possible birth defects your engine may have.

        • Final note

          No bike is perfect, so do research on your model and permanently fix or pay extra attention to the known problems for your kind of riding.

          This will allow your engine to last longer and your costs to be lower and more predictable.

          If you do modifications like exhaust lines, air filters or any other engine mods, account for that and shorten the time between maintenances.

          The known lifetime of parts is for OEM use, not modified engines.

        So will parts of our engine brake? Yes, but as our engine is a collection of elements, the engine can last forever as long as we keep the parts healthy.


        Will my motorcycle engine last forever?

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