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Thread: Mileage on a used machine

  1. #1
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK

    Question Mileage on a used machine

    If I'm looking at a used machine that is four or five years old, at what mileage would you start to be concerned? Or...I suppose another way to look at it would be, how many miles would you expect to get out of a well-maintained ATV under normal riding conditions before you have to start pouring more money into the machine than its worth?

  2. #2
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Just go by the condition...

    Brian, I'm not sure on mileage. I've seen quads with tons and tons of miles that were kept and maintained immaculately, and then I've seen the brand new quads that have been ridden one weekend rolled and beat and sunk in the mud. I don't think mileage is the best indicator.

    Just check the overall condition. Is there obvious damage? Plastics broken or discolored? Racks bent and beat? Does the quad sit right or does it hang to one side (Frame or suspension could be bent from a rollover)?

    See how well it starts from cold, you can touch the exhaust before the guy lets you start it to see if he had started it already to warm it up and get it to start easy for you. I'd just check to see what color the oil is, you'd be surprised how many people leave that oil til its nasty black crude! Look over the whole machine and see what kind of care has been taken. An ATV should last a LIFETIME if it is maintained and not abused. I have a 1986 Kawasaki that runs like a champ, rebuilt the top end of it in 2000 basically just because I thought it needed it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Mileage

    I have an 03' Honda with 1045 miles. Although I don't think I ride very much. (not as much as I would like) I have to trailer from Anchorage. A friend of mine has a 05' Bomb with the same mileage and he is able to ride right out of his driveway. So I also think condition/maintenance is your best way to find a good machine. I know when I look at buying used, I also try and look at how other things the seller owns are maintained, vehicles, where they live. If the home or cars and trucks are not taken care of, good chance the toys are in the same condition. Might not always be true though.
    Good luck!

  4. #4


    Some things to check before laying down that hard earned PFD or paycheck. Check the enging oil, diff's for water contamination. If it has a pull start make sure the rope recoils back in after pulling it out, if it doesn't, it's got issues with water/mud getting inside the pull starter. Check the cv boots for rips, steering knuckles/tie rod ends for excessive play, air filter for gas or excessive dirt. I would stay away from anything that has an engine that has been bored over stock. First impression's are everything.

  5. #5
    Member wolfkiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    north pole ak

    Default 4000 - 6000

    I get 4000-6000 miles and then replace. I am not as good at maitnence as I should be but I do change fluids. I only buy new and I sell or scrap at 3-4 years. This is usuallly 4000-6000 miles. The only machine I have kept longer was a sportsman 700 I put 7800 miles on. Yes I replaced a lot of parts on that machine.
    B.T.W. I think the best value in a hunting machine right now is the suzuki 450 kq. It is $5900. with a winch. Three of my friends have bought these and although no powerhouse they seem to be very well made.
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  6. #6
    Member jkb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Big Lake


    I usually buy machines a year or two old. I talk to the people selling it and find out what kind of riding they do. Most people have no Idea what their machine is capable of. If they ride the way I do I look for another machine regardless of mileage.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

  7. #7

    Default How it looks, clunks, starts

    easy, everything works, skidplate wore through?
    It is really easy to put 1000 HARD miles on a machine.
    It is easy to work out an average speed with the digital display machines, most have an hourmeter also.
    I averaged 10 MPH over the last 5000 miles and consider myself a moderate user, higher average MPH would indicate more open trail riding (should be easier on the machine) and lower means slogging through something!
    You might have some buddies check theirs for a good ballpark to look for.
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.


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