The answer seems easy enough. Mainly, you say, it depends on how many kilometers you travel in a year. In part, but it’s not quite that simple. It also depends on the type of driving and uses, on how you maintain it, and also, in some cases, on the type of motorcycle. It is really difficult to respect all the interventions and intervals that are written in the use and maintenance booklet, also because they are often difficult to notice and identify with the naked eye and that does not seem to compromise, at least not immediately, the dynamic and reliability qualities of our half. But, to be picky, there would be those too. I cite some examples: rear wheel coupling, wheel bearings, tightening to be checked, valve adjustment, complete suspension overhaul.
This article will certainly not go nit-picking but will limit itself to those essential and necessary expenses to circulate safely and keep the bike efficient, the rest are jobs that are part of the long-term interventions for which it is difficult to do an estimate, more here yourmotobro.com.
Leaving aside the cost of the road tax and insurance that are part of putting any registered vehicle on the road and which is therefore a “fixed” expense but also very variable from vehicle to vehicle and person to person, many think that the main problem of owning a motorcycle both buying and removing that, and more or less like maintaining a scooter. Nothing more wrong. A motorcycle maintained by a motorcyclist who cares about his vehicle and who wants the best from it, needs a series of ordinary periodic interventions that can have a cost that, added to the fixed costs, make the motorcycle an object certainly more expensive than what if you think.
I tried to identify the routine expenses , the minimum necessary for the bike to be in good condition and above all safe.
Taking as an example a motorcyclist who travels 8 / 10,000km a year, the costs he has to face once a year are mainly the tires and the complete service , i.e. oil, oil filter and air filter.
They are the biggest burden of any motorcyclist. The duration of a road / touring, sport / road tire ranges from 8 to 12,000km . generally every year, a motorcyclist who uses the bike all year round has to change them. On average it ranges from 250 / 300euro depending on the brand, including assembly. The years become 2 if you do a few kilometers. After this time the rubber loses most of its properties. Hardening.
Necessary to do every year regardless of kilometers, oil, oil filter plus air filter. The cost ranges from 60 / 70euro if you do it yourself to 100 / 120euro if you consider the work of a mechanic.
The brake pads of a motorcycle can last from 15 to 20,000km, this figure also varies from how the motorcycle is driven, to the type of motorcycle, to the type of compound of the pad. Aggressive driving, especially on winding paths, can greatly shorten their life. Even this expense is faced on average every 1.5 / 2 years with an average cost that ranges from 70 euros if you change yourself ( read here for how to do it ) to 100/120 if you consider the work of a mechanic (an honest one can take an hour of work, front and back) perhaps combined with the bleeding of the system to be done/done preferably every year. Read here for how to purge yourself.
CROWN CHAIN AND PINION
This component is essential for the proper functioning of the vehicle and essential for safety. It is a delicate job and it takes a certain manual skill as well as experience and a good grip to close the false link. Do-it-yourself is not recommended if you are a beginner, the risk is to make a wrong assembly or a fragile closure as well as a non-optimal draft with a consequent decrease in duration and danger for safety. The average life of the well-maintained and lubricated final transmission is about 30 / 35,000km, the cost for replacement on average ranges from 200 / 250euro if done in the workshop (a good mechanic will take about an hour to assemble). Read here about how to check transmission wear.
Making a rough estimate and calculating an annual mileage, as already mentioned, between 8 to 10,000km (which is what most motorcyclists do anyway) they are between 310 and 420 euros practically fixed every year . Every two must be added from 70 to 120 for the brakes and every three from 200 to 250 euros for the transmission.
In the end, the costs could also be much higher if we consider a possible unexpected event due to the replacement or repair of some pieces due to breakage or to the long-mileage works mentioned at the beginning of the article that must sooner or later be faced if we keep the same bike for a long time. But for this, I leave you the benefit of the doubt, up to now for my motorcycles I have always made an Excel table showing all the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance interventions made to the bike with relative costs and mileage, and up to now some unexpected expenses. I’ve always had it on all bikes.