How Many Miles Does the Average Motorcyclist Ride a Year?


Generally speaking, the average motorcyclist rides about 3,000-5,000 miles a year. However, the average motorcycle mileage varies widely from one state to the next. What’s more, different classes of motorcycles see different miles per year. While many sportbikes only run about 3,000 miles per year touring bikes are typically ridden significantly more.

If you want to find out more about the average mileage of motorcycles, you are in the right place.

We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled everything under one roof, from official statistics to real-life experiences!

What Is the Average Annual Mileage for a Motorcycle?

According to the official report of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the national average annual mileage for a motorcycle is about 2,000-3,000 miles. However, these average figures are based on the number of all registered motorcycles in the United States.

This means that these statistics include all of the motorcycles that have been registered but are being stored for the long term, or even abandoned. They also include vintage bikes that you very rarely see on the road!

What’s more, there are many owners who own a bike but don’t ride it for some reason. Lack of time, work, illness, family issues, or other interests can all take time away from riding.

Consequently, many bikes sit in garages year around and these machines lower the average annual mileage. Considering that the statistics contain all of these bikes, the actual average motorcycle mileage is certainly higher.

Let’s drill into the details and check how many miles the average motorcyclist rides a year!

How Many Miles Does the Average Motorcyclist Ride a Year?

According to MotorcyclistOnline, the average motorcyclist rides about 3,000-5,000 miles per year, which seems pretty realistic. Let’s face it, these days motorcycles are considered “toys” rather than vehicles for everyday use. This means most of them are only used on weekends and in good weather, so many of them go less than 5,000 miles per year.

For your convenience, we’ve listed the average annual motorcycle mileage (official statistic vs. estimated real mileage) in one chart.

Average Motorcycle Mileage Chart

Years Official National Average Mileage Real Estimated Average Mileage
1 2-3k 3-5k
2 4-6k 6-10k
3 6-9k 9-15k
4 8-12k 12-20k
5 10-15k 15-25k
6 12-18k 18-30k
7 14-21k 21-35k
8 16-24k 24-40k
9 18-27k 27-45k
10 20-30k 30-50k
11 22-33k 33-55k
12 24-36k 36-60k
13 26-39k 39-65k
14 28-42k 42-70k
15 30-45k 45-75k
16 32-48k 48-80k
17 34-51k 51-85k
18 36-54k 54-90k
19 38-57k 57-95k
20 40-60k 60-100k

To be used for informational purposes only!

Motorcycle Mileage in Each Motorcycle Class

However, the average yearly mileage varies greatly in each motorcycle class. There is no question that the touring and adventure motorcycle owners ride by far the most miles per year.

These machines are designed for longer tours, so they offer the most comfort for the rider. Most of them are equipped with storage boxes or saddle bags to accommodate gear. What’s more, many of these machines offer comfortable rides even with a passenger.

They are powered by reliable large-displacement engines, which last longer than any other bike engine out there. Consequently, touring and adventure bikes can be used for longer tours, so they typically cover the most distance.

Conventional wisdom says the average annual mileage of touring motorcycles is about 5-8k miles, but some lucky owners can ride 20-30k miles per year, some even more.

Cruiser motorcycles can also be used for long trips; however, they offer less comfort than touring class motorcycles. This means that cruisers typically go beyond the national average in miles but go fewer miles than touring bikes.

Let’s move on to another popular category, the high-performance sportbikes. These machines are mainly used on weekends, which leads to lower mileage. It’s safe to say that many sportbikes don’t go more than 3,000 miles per year.

These machines are typically powered by 600cc-1300cc, four-cylinder inline or V-twin engines. However, you can also find some lightweight sportbikes on the market with 125-400cc engines.

It also has to be mentioned that some bikes are still used for commuting, which also leads to higher mileage. In most cases commuter bikes run 10k miles or more per year.

Finally, it’s safe to say that you can see the lowest average mileage on lightweight motorcycles and scooters. These tiny bikes are mainly powered by 125-250cc engines, which allows the rider to ride at lower speeds and cover shorter distances.

Other Factors That Affect the Average Mileage of Motorcycles

It’s also good to know that the average mileage of motorcycles varies widely from state-to-state.

In the warmer southern states like California or Florida, it’s not uncommon for riders to ride all year round. This is the reason why the average motorcycle mileage is significantly higher in the south.

Just like geographic location, weather can also affect how many miles the average motorcyclist rides in a year. If the season is shorter due to a long winter or it rains more than usual, it is also reflected in annual mileage figures.

However, it seems that winters are shorter year after year, which results in longer motorcycle seasons. This is why many snowmobile owners switch to motorcycles or even ATVs!

Thanks to this (and many other factors) the number of motorcycles in the US has been significantly increased over recent decades. What’s more, new motorcycles also come with more powerful engines and offer more comfort than their vintage brothers.

Because of these factors, today the overall annual mileage on motorcycles in the United States is ten times higher than it was in the ‘70s.

Conclusion

Official reports say the average annual mileage for a motorcycle is about 2,000-3,000 miles in the states. But these statistics include many bikes that are registered but not used. Because of this, it’s safe to say that most motorcycle owners ride more, an estimated 3,000-5,000 miles per year.

The annual ridden miles vary from one motorcycle class to the next. For instance, sportbikes typically go about 3,000 miles a year as they are mostly used on weekends for quick adrenaline rushes.

In contrast, many touring motorcycle owners ride at least 5,000-8,000 miles per year, but some lucky riders can reach 20,000-30,000 miles, or even more!

References:

https://www.bts.gov/content/us-vehicle-miles

https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/tips-for-buying-and-selling-used-bike-motorcyclist-magazine-retail-confidential/

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