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Old 08-24-2014, 02:42 AM   #1
SAM7 OP
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What's the most UN-RELIABLE Japanese bike?

Well, I'm just curious! I've had quite a few Japanese motorcycles in my past but none of them gave me any major trouble...
So it made me wonder if Japanese have made anything 'remotely' close to being un-reliable???
I had a 70's Honda Cub and only I know how much abuse that little bike suffered... I learnt riding on it, crashed it into a car once, dropped it God know how many times!, once I forgot to change its engine oil (which I remembered later after clocking well over 1,500kms), the other time I put 2T premix oil in its crankcase but gave me no trouble!!! I always rode it hard, always revved its little piston (as opposed to 'guts') out, I always parked it outside in rain, heat or storm but that poor thing never missed a beat. Almost always started on first KICK. Yes, REAL MEN 'kick-start' their bikes! LOL.
The Japanese bike that gave me the most trouble is The Suzuki GS500. That was one 'cold blooded' bike and I always found it annoying having to heat up the motor for 5+min. But thats the only complaint I had about the GS!
So, tell me Whats the most "UN-RELIABLE" Japanese Bike???
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:27 AM   #2
kojack
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There is no such thing as an UN Reliable Japanese bike sorry to say. I have owned many bikes, and only the Japanese bikes were stone cold reliable.

My Harley is a ride then fix bike. I really don't know how they are still in business pumping out such crap. The European bikes are like anything European. Awesome when working, but when things go south, they get expensive quick. But for the most part they run good.

but the Japanese bikes you can ride hard put away wet, repeat and just keep fluids fresh and you cannot kill them.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:57 AM   #3
BossMaverick
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Any old or neglected Japanese bike can be unreliable. The worst bike I've ever owned was a Yamaha XS1100. It was so bad that I was spending at least two days fixing stuff for every day that I rode it. Things just go downhill with age and mileage such as electrical connections corroding, rubber parts cracking, bearings getting worn, carburetors getting finicky, compression getting low, seals leaking, fluids breaking down, etc. With that being said, I'm sure when that bike was new that it was a fairly problem free bike.

Thankfully, the majority of modern bikes are reliable, and not just Japanese bikes. Some brands (like Harley) just can't shake the reputation from the old days despite how much they've changed.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM7 View Post
Well, I'm just curious! I've had quite a few Japanese motorcycles in my past but none of them gave me any major trouble...
So it made me wonder if Japanese have made anything 'remotely' close to being un-reliable???
I had a 70's Honda Cub and only I know how much abuse that little bike suffered... I learnt riding on it, crashed it into a car once, dropped it God know how many times!, once I forgot to change its engine oil (which I remembered later after clocking well over 1,500kms), the other time I put 2T premix oil in its crankcase but gave me no trouble!!! I always rode it hard, always revved its little piston (as opposed to 'guts') out, I always parked it outside in rain, heat or storm but that poor thing never missed a beat. Almost always started on first KICK. Yes, REAL MEN 'kick-start' their bikes! LOL.
The Japanese bike that gave me the most trouble is The Suzuki GS500. That was one 'cold blooded' bike and I always found it annoying having to heat up the motor for 5+min. But thats the only complaint I had about the GS!
So, tell me Whats the most "UN-RELIABLE" Japanese Bike???
Oxymoron.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:19 AM   #5
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Last time I checked all the Japanese dealers had a maint shop and they usually have several bikes being worked on. Things can go wrong with anything mechanical. I have had several Harleys along the way and they were as reliable as the Hondas I have owned.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:42 AM   #6
kojack
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Originally Posted by hexnut View Post
Last time I checked all the Japanese dealers had a maint shop and they usually have several bikes being worked on. Things can go wrong with anything mechanical. I have had several Harleys along the way and they were as reliable as the Hondas I have owned.
My Harley is far from reliable. Every ride is bring it back and replace and fix something. How can something shake that bad and not rattle and bang everything loose.

Harley needs to toss their current motor design and start fresh with something that's smooth and reliable. I am a member of cvo Harley forums. You should hear the guys there talking about having to fix their bikes all the time. from brand new motors dropping cyl from lack of oil because of their archaic oil pump design (and motor design in general), and ruined primary drives (which is the dumbest design ever put on a 2 wheeled vehicle) because their slider springs wore out and lunched the chain and cases. like a 2k fix right there.

Harleys are far from reliable as a Honda or anything that comes from the rising sun. Hell the 1500 Chinese bikes are more reliable than a Harley. I own one too btw. Not just going on the Harley is crap saying that lots of people say. I own one and have nothing but trouble with it. Can't wait to loose my shirt when I sell it.

Oh, BTW the maintenece shops in the Japanese dealers are doing oil changes, tire changes and brake work. Not replace 50 some odd gaskets in the motor because all of them are leaking, or replacing major engine parts because of poor design. (unlike my local Harley dealer).
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:57 AM   #7
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My '06 FJR left me stranded 1200 miles from home when the ignition switch failed. It was on back order, after three days the dealer finally removed a switch from a floor room model to get me back on the road. Two months later Yamaha issued a recall.

The head light harness on my Yamaha Super Tenere overheated and both the high and low beam failed on a dark night in a remote areqa. Yamaha replaced the harness under warranty with a new part number and a few weeks later issued a recall.

This is NOT an indictment of Yamaha. I believe they are as reliable as my other Japanese brand and the response I got from Yamaha customer service was excellent. No so much with the dealer that replaced my ignition switch, he needed encouragement from Yamaha customer service before he took action.

Paul
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojack View Post
My Harley is far from reliable. Every ride is bring it back and replace and fix something. How can something shake that bad and not rattle and bang everything loose.

Harley needs to toss their current motor design and start fresh with something that's smooth and reliable. I am a member of cvo Harley forums. You should hear the guys there talking about having to fix their bikes all the time. from brand new motors dropping cyl from lack of oil because of their archaic oil pump design (and motor design in general), and ruined primary drives (which is the dumbest design ever put on a 2 wheeled vehicle) because their slider springs wore out and lunched the chain and cases. like a 2k fix right there.

Harleys are far from reliable as a Honda or anything that comes from the rising sun. Hell the 1500 Chinese bikes are more reliable than a Harley. I own one too btw. Not just going on the Harley is crap saying that lots of people say. I own one and have nothing but trouble with it. Can't wait to loose my shirt when I sell it.

Oh, BTW the maintenece shops in the Japanese dealers are doing oil changes, tire changes and brake work. Not replace 50 some odd gaskets in the motor because all of them are leaking, or replacing major engine parts because of poor design. (unlike my local Harley dealer).
Well hell, then it wouldn't be a Harley would it. Maybe you arn't cut out to own a Harley.

I rode this old 1964 Panhead for several years in the 70s. It never quit on me once or left me stranded. I loved that old bike.



Amf Harley that never let me down as well.

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hexnut screwed with this post 08-24-2014 at 07:19 AM
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:26 AM   #9
kojack
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No, I don't think I am, I want a bike I can ride for days on end without issue. A hardly ableson is defenantly not that. They never left you stranded because you fixed them. haha.

Btw, I noticed your a Vietnam vet. Thank you. Eventhough I am Canadian, I own a home in florida and without the American forces Canada would be a sitting duck. No disrespect to our troops, have lots of friends, but our government does not spend the cash to have a great forces unit.

I would give my left nut to become a dual citizen to be able to spend more than 6 months a year in florida, and live there. I hate snow.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:43 AM   #10
GoonerYoda
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An abused one.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kojack View Post
There is no such thing as an UN Reliable Japanese bike sorry to say.
Why are you sorry to say that? I would think being reliable is good.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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An unreliable Japanese motorcycle?

What are you trying to do, get some poor Suzuki executive to commit Hari Kari because his bikes are 1% less reliable than Honda?
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:05 AM   #13
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Bone stock KLR650.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #14
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Well, there has to be a most unreliable bike. Even if it means that it is only 99.8% reliable and all the rest are 99.9%

I know the Honda v65 engine from the 80s had a tendency to smoke the cam shaft and rockers.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:15 AM   #15
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Doo hickey.
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