Buying a Used Dirt Bike? How to Determine High Mileage

The most common question for first-time buyers of a used dirt bike is: “What is high mileage for a dirt bike?”. Even though this might seem like a straightforward answer, there are a lot of factors that determine a high mileage. After reading this thorough article on dirt bike mileage, you will have no trouble determining the best second hand option for you.

As a general rule, high mileage for a dirt bike is around 15,000 to 20,000 miles. However, depending on the driving conditions and the driving style of the owner, even 6,000 miles can be considered high mileage. Mileage can be a very telling factor about a dirt bike’s condition, but it does not offer the full picture. In case you use the dirt bike for competitions or difficult terrain, then your bike will need more frequent mechanical checkups at around 3,000 miles or so. If you keep your dirt bike in good condition and you don’t exhaust your engine, your high mileage threshold can even be 25,000 miles.

If you are planning on purchasing a second hand dirt bike, I recommend learning more about mileage and what it says about the vehicle. Keep on reading to get the full rundown on high and low mileage on dirt bikes and other important factors to consider when buying a used dirt bike.

What is High Mileage for a Dirt Bike?

dirt bike riders competing

High mileage for a dirt bike is vastly different from other types of motorcycles, such as touring or cruisers. This is because they are created for vastly different uses. While a typical motorcycle sees a lot of smooth road miles, a motocross is used for tough terrains and harsh riding. Because it is made for off-road trails, a dirt bike will also sustain other injuries that will affect its longevity. For this reason, dirt bikes are both the most difficult vehicles to maintain in peak condition and have the least life expectancy out of their motorcycle siblings.

If you have heard that a motorcycle with 30,000 miles is still worth a buy, for dirt bikes, this purchase is almost always a bust. Depending on the previous owner, the condition of the bike, the make and model, and the terrain it was used on, even 3,000 miles can be high mileage for some used dirt bikes.

What is vital to understand is that while you should ask about mileage when buying a second hand bike, it is by far not the most important factor you should consider. It’s not all about the number of miles you see on the odometer, but the quality of those miles. Ask the seller about how they used the bike before and check out the wear and tear on it to see if it checks out.

If you are dealing with a young owner that loves off-road adventures but doesn’t have the budget for regular mechanical check-ups, you will more than likely have a worn-out dirt bike on your hands. On the other hand, many experienced buyers will choose older sellers that use the dirt bike more responsibly and are more likely to take good care of it. Still, this is not a set-in-stone rule but just another indicator of wear and tear you should keep in mind when meeting with your seller.

Besides asking about their driving style and the terrain the bike has seen, you should check out the service history. Maintenance is what truly determines if 10,000 miles is high mileage on a dirt bike or not. If the previous owner has made regular oil changes and has taken the bike to the mechanic more than a few times, then you can trust that the bike is in good condition.

Last but not least, you can ask to test out high mileage bikes to see how they ride. After all, you can, later on, use a large number of miles as a negotiation advantage on the final price. Don’t be afraid to ask the reason why they are selling the bike too.

What is High Mileage for a 125 Motorcycle?

If you are a beginner or you are looking for a casual dirt bike to explore nature, then a 125cc motorcycle will do just perfect. This is a great choice if you are on a budget as well, especially if you are buying second hand. In this instance, you want to make sure there are fewer miles on the 125cc you are getting than the general rule.

As I’ve mentioned, there are a lot of factors that determine the state of a dirt bike. This of course includes 125 motorcycles as well. Regardless, these smaller engines typically have a high mileage of around 10,000 to 15,000 miles. If you want a quick way to weave through all the bike options on the web, you can shoot for 125cc dirt bikes that have less than 10k mileage.

Are you a new dirt bike owner trying to learn the proper way to do maintenance? You might be interested in an article I wrote about how to clean a dirt bike without a pressure washer while avoiding any potential electrical damages.

Is 1000 Miles A Lot for a Dirt Bike?

kick start example

As you can probably assume from what I’ve told you until now, my answer is: “it depends.” Even 1,000 miles can be high mileage if the dirt bike is a cheap model that was used aggressively and wasn’t maintained properly. Still, this is a very rare case, and you will probably be able to tell from the condition of the dirt bike way before you get to discuss the mileage. In short, my final answer is… No, 1,000 miles is considered low mileage even on a dirt bike.

How Long Does a 4 Stroke Dirt Bike Engine Last?

Most second-hand buyers are interested in high mileage because they want to determine the longevity of their new dirt bike. If that’s the case for you too, then the next question on your mind is probably: “how long does a dirt bike engine last?”.  Well, to keep the answer short, on average, a 4 stroke dirt bike engine will last 4 to 5 years.

This might seem like a short time, but the average is based on very intense riding on rocky, sandy, and muddy terrain a few times a week. However, if you maintain your bike well and you don’t redline it every chance that you get, your engine is bound to last much longer than that.

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at if you want to get in touch.

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