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Old 03-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #1
Eddy Alvarez OP
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Groundbreaking News that will turn the motorcycle world upside down!

Prepare to be shocked!
Consumer Reports magazine: May 2013
Most reliable motorcycles: Japanese bikes have fewer problems than BMW and Harley models
Yes, the artfully sculpted lines of a BMW motorcycle and the throaty rumble of a Harley V-twin motor can stir your senses. But they’re often accompanied by more problems than Japanese motorcycles from Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. Those are the findings from our first motorcycle reliability survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, in which we asked subscribers to tell us about any serious problems or repairs they had experienced with their bikes in the previous four years.
As more people take up motorcycle riding, whether to save gas or simply pursue a new or rekindled passion, those new findings can help you avoid problems when you shop for one.
What your mechanic wants you to know: Motorcyclists could easily prevent many of the problems they encounter. That’s the unvarnished message we got from motorcycle mechanics from around the country who discussed common problems they see in their shops. Here’s how to prevent unnecessary expense and downtime:
  1. Stay on top of maintenance. What makes mechanics shake their heads are the regular and egregious examples of neglected maintenance: brake pads worn down to the metal, drive belts and air filters with holes from rocks worn in them, and long-overdue oil changes.
    "Preventive maintenance is definitely the key to motorcycle longevity and keeping your maintenance cost down,” says Joe Dane, master Harley-Davidson mechanic at Motorcycles of Manchester, in N.H. In addition to engine oil, that includes changing brake fluid, which can absorb moisture; lubing chains; aligning wheels, steering heads, and drive belts; and cleaning or changing air filters.
  2. Keep your tires properly inflated. Each mechanic mentioned low tire pressure as a consistent problem. When tires are underinflated, “handling gets really hard, steering gets hard, and the bike doesn’t want to lean,” says Mike Franklin, owner of Mike’s Garage in Los Angeles. “It causes all kinds of problems.” Check the tires’ pressure weekly.
  3. Check the brakes. Motorcycle brake pads cost as little as $50, says Dane, but once they’ve worn too far, “you have to replace the rotors and everything else, and the bill jumps up enormously.” Franklin adds, “When the [brake pads] get down to metal-on-metal, they make an unholy grinding noise. And yet people just continue to ride them.”
  4. Inspect your bike regularly. “Really check your bike over before any long trip,” Dane says. A lot of maintenance is simple stuff that you can easily see: lights, forks, and belts or chains. “Make sure you have no leaks,” he adds.
    Jon Roppe, chief Harley-Davidson instructor at the Motorcycle Maintenance Institute in Phoenix, says, “Everybody wants their bike to look amazing, but they tend to really lose the safety aspect.”
  5. Store the bike properly. Motorcycle storage is a big issue. “It’s the guys who let their bikes sit for weeks and months at a time that run into problems with failures,” Roppe says. His advice: Use fuel stabilizer to keep filters, pumps, carburetors, and fuel injectors from clogging. Lift the tires off the ground to prevent cracking and flat spots. Put a tender, or trickle charger, on the battery to keep it charged. And if you can, store your bike in a garage or under a cover out of the wind.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
Mr_Gone
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I was shocked!!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
Coachgeo
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left out too many manufactures to be a valid article. Esp. concerned that BMW in this article is read as "Europe's bike manufactures are not reliable" when one's like Triumph were not even in the evaluation.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:39 AM   #4
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" in which we asked subscribers to tell us about any serious problems or repairs they had experienced with their bikes in the previous four years"

Just wonderin' how many Harley owners subscribe to Consumer Reports?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:42 AM   #5
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I ride KTM and Buell! What is this reliability you speak of?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #6
Blue&Yellow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy Alvarez View Post
Yes, the artfully sculpted lines of a BMW motorcycle and...
BMW? Artfully sculpted lines?

Indeed Groundbreaking and Shocking News!
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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>>>Preventive maintenance is definitely the key to motorcycle longevity and keeping your maintenance cost down,” says Joe Dane, master Harley-Davidson mechanic at Motorcycles of Manchester, in N.H. In addition to engine oil, that includes changing brake fluid, which can absorb moisture; lubing chains; aligning wheels, steering heads, and drive belts; and cleaning or changing air filters.<<<

Sheesh... You'd think the HD master mechanic would have mentioned the most critical performance maintenance duties: straightening the handlebar tassels, polishing the chrome, and practicing your down low two finger Moto brother wave for hilly curves where that performance is the top of mind skill needed.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
blk-betty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamloopsrider View Post
" in which we asked subscribers to tell us about any serious problems or repairs they had experienced with their bikes in the previous four years"

Just wonderin' how many Harley owners subscribe to Consumer Reports?
Harley owner here....I subscribe to Consumer Reports and have filled out the annual surveys for the past 3 years in a row. None of them have ever asked any questions about motorcycles.

Not questioning their findings, just wonder who they solicited for that reliability "survey".
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #9
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I use a guardian bell to prevent oil changes.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #10
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I've been riding for 35 looooong years.
I've known lots of riders.
Personal experience with reliability?

Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki in that order.

The nothing for a long time.

Then KTM and BMW, HD and everything else.

I have had 12 Yamahas, and currently own 4: WR250R, TTR90E, Rhino, 242 Limited S. Not one has ever, once, in all these years, EVER broken down in any way whatsoever, besides 1 flat tire, but I don't blame the bike...

I have not once, not ever once, met someone with a KTM or BMW or HD that hasn't told me about some kind of problems they've had, and some of them have had huge issues.

Maybe I'm just a mechanical master genius, but I doubt it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #11
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In other ground breaking news, the sky is blue and water is wet.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:37 AM   #12
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...in which we asked subscribers to tell us about any serious problems or repairs they had experienced with their bikes in the previous four years.
Including crash damage?

Some bikes tend to be kept in immaculate state, while others don't care about a few scratches. Some bikes only get outside a few sunny days a year, while others travel around the world.

I would have expected a slightly more scientific approach. Would have been cheaper to quickly look up some star charts or google

Probably was the latter, as the results seem to somewhat reflect reality I guess.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:39 AM   #13
hooliken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duck View Post
I use a guardian bell to prevent oil changes.
Is that what that's for?
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusinCA View Post
I've been riding for 35 looooong years.
I've known lots of riders.
Personal experience with reliability?

Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki in that order.

The nothing for a long time.

Then KTM and BMW, HD and everything else.

I have had 12 Yamahas, and currently own 4: WR250R, TTR90E, Rhino, 242 Limited S. Not one has ever, once, in all these years, EVER broken down in any way whatsoever, besides 1 flat tire, but I don't blame the bike...

I have not once, not ever once, met someone with a KTM or BMW or HD that hasn't told me about some kind of problems they've had, and some of them have had huge issues.

Maybe I'm just a mechanical master genius, but I doubt it.
Maybe the guys on KTM's wring their bike's necks regularly, and you ride...umm....more "sedately"
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:46 AM   #15
hooliken
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Originally Posted by bobnoxious67 View Post
Maybe the guys on KTM's wring their bike's necks regularly, and you ride...umm....more "sedately"
While riding offroad near Durango CO I came up out of a wash riding the 950 and needless to say I was "on the gas". Running twin un-corked Leo's at the time. At the top sat a guy on a DR400 and his wife riding a quad. I stopped and shut down to shoot the shit....

Guy on DR says to me:

"Holy fuck, I thought someone was bringing a protruck up the mountain"

Needless to say the 950 makes some beautiful sounds when you get in her ass. And I haven't been able to break her yet.
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