This reminds me of a common misconception among cagers (car drivers) about motorcycle reliability. For some reason there’s an idea out there that 10,000 miles is a lot for a motorcycle. Perhaps it’s because North Dakotans don’t get to ride theirs as much, or maybe it was just something that has passed along from one uninformed non-biker to another. Maybe it came from those old AMF Harleys, I don’t know. But it ain’t true, folks.
I know people who have put lots of miles on motorcycles, even surpassing the 100,000 mile mark for some of them. All that’s required is simple maintenance. The fact of the matter is that a properly maintained motorcycle will run nearly forever; however, many motorcycles are simply neglected to death.
If you sat a brand new 2008 motorcycle out in the sun next to your shed and left it there, it would deteriorate just like any mid-70s enduro that you might see decaying in a trailer park along your daily commute. Cars left to sit soon rot as well, and even a house deprived of residents will soon fade and begin to lean. Everything needs reasonable maintenance.
As far as the relic in the picture above goes, I bet it would have some value with the rust buffed off. I can’t help but be really curious as to its make and origin. If I ever have some spare time again in this lifetime, perhaps I’ll compare it to some photos of vintage 1900-1910 motorcycles. Its true identity could be surprising, maybe even to its owner.