Consumer Reports: BMW & Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Are Less Reliable than Japanese o

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by ta-rider, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    If I'd been doing my own maintenance, I wouldn't have needed a new engine.

    I'm a long-time VW owner, therefore generally disqualified from discussions about reliability..... :1drink
    #61
  2. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Perseverance of an enthusiast?

    High mileage on a bike is all about the rider. People buy HD, BMW, European for different reasons than others buy UJM. When summer ends and the weather turns bad, the remaining bikes are an eclectic mix of everything, its the riders not the bikes.

    At 85,000 my 07 Ural has has more mileage on it than your typical UJM, my 01 V-Star has 1/4 the mileage. I purchased both new. There is no doubt the Yamaha is the better bike, but the Ural fuels my passion.

    Metric cruisers Vs, HD is the perfect example.
    The metrics have the style down pat now, their engineering has so surpassed HD that they need to use fake covers to hide the superior engineering and make them look more primitive, they do everything so well and smoothly within their limitations they are almost sterile.
    Metrics may be "superior", but they lack some of the endearing characteristics that make them engaging to enthusiasts as sales numbers show.

    Harley's are like a good, well trained dog, a companion.
    Metrics are like a dedicated, motivated assistant, a means to an end.

    A dog is a friend, a member of the family that you love, and you forgive its faults.
    An assistant is an employee, if they start messing up, you fire them and get a new one.

    A "reliable" bike has little value if you don't ride it because its boring. A bike with "character" has little value if you dont ride it because its annoying.

    Edit,
    I don't mean to imply Harleys are in any way inferior, they are just built with a different philosophy, no need to break out the pitchforks and torches..
    #62
  3. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Quick, look up! Right above you!

    Shit, it's gone already :lol3
    #63
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    You must have failed that class!:deal

    Jim :brow
    #64
  5. mrphotoman

    mrphotoman Long timer

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    LMAO you harley owners keep telling yourselves that :lol3

    a bike that breaks down and is primitive has "character" :rofl
    a significantly more refined and reliable bike is "sterile" :lol3
    #65
  6. Red9

    Red9 Been here awhile

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    you think...

    Get's a little angry when he's run out of excuses too...
    #66
  7. Dilligaf0220

    Dilligaf0220 Miserablist

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    Track miles take a tad longer to accumulate than Interstate parade miles. Just say'n.

    :deal


    And it's not just BMW that do odd things...just because. Take Suzuki's oil filters, I can walk into any NAPA, Autozone, or even Walmart and get an oil filter for a Kawasaki, Yamaha or Honda. But Suzuki has to use their own special thread size on their filters. Meh.
    Then again it could be part of the brand loyalty program...if you bought all the tools you need to work on a BMW how many latte's worth of new tools would all these high mileage Bavarian DIY'ers have to buy if they went Nippon?


    Oh and as a frame of reference, I ride a ZX-6 with 180k'ish on it. 150k I have put on in the last six years, and the only time it has left me stranded by the side of the road is when it snapped a throttle cable I knew I should have replaced.
    Then again, I've ridden with guys that put monster miles on their sportbikes, but change them like their underwear (bonus points goes to the retired steelworker that had a Bandit when I met him, and over six seasons has gone through a dozen bikes).
    #67
  8. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Common sense is not an excuse :lol3

    Let me guess, you're a BMW owner?
    #68
  9. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    You seemed to miss that I own a "sterile" reliable metric, a V-Star 650 classic, not a Harley, but I do get the attraction, it just wasn't for me, I prefer smaller bikes.

    I also own a Ural, its very basic like a farm tractor or a flat fender jeep, and enjoy it for that reason, but it has been reliable and very functional for everyday use.

    I don't consider breaking down or poor function character.
    #69
  10. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    For all of the bitching about fasteners in this thread, you guys sure have a limited view on the world.

    Torx is a standard fastener developed to reduce damage to the tool insertion point due to overtorquing. They are great. Why not use them is a better question.

    Also, for those unschooled in German vehicles, I can see why you think the toolage is weird, but it is quite standard across all German vehicles. I joke that I keep buying VWs because I already have all the tools - they all work on the BMW, too. In fact, the basic tool group for all German vehicles is pretty standard. 5, 6, 7, 8mm Allen, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 32mm hex head, and T20, 25, 27, 30, 45. There are a few oddballs here or there, but this stuff is all pretty easily accessed from the tool shop.....

    If you want to complain about tools, GM and Ford use security Torx in certain applications. Now that is stupid.
    #70
  11. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

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    Harley uses torx too.

    Fasteners weren't what I was talking about when I brought up BMW's don't seem to be designed for easy repair or roadside repair.

    Mainly I was referring to the computer which won't display diagnostic codes without being hooked to BMW specific equipment.
    #71
  12. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

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    Suzuki uses safety torx too. It's to keep people who don't know what they're doing from dicking with stuff that could fuck their bike up. It's a completely different purpose.
    #72
  13. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Torx bolts are fine.




    They don't take any longer to center drill the head out than any other stupid bolt.

    It does take a minute to d find which one on the swing set matches it though.
    #73
  14. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    Really? I call bullshit.

    The oil tank is cast aluminum and bolted to the bottom of the transmission. The vent is plumbed from the crankcase into the transmission filler spout which is also cast alloy and bolted to the side of the transmission housing. The fitting is tapped 1/8" NPT into the side of the filler cap spout and the crankcase. If the fitting is there the hole is drilled and tapped. You cannot braze aluminum and there was never any such TSB as the Dyna tank is of similar construction.
    #74
  15. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    :1drink
    #75
  16. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    What qualifies as a "major problem"? A bad final drive would piss me off, but it's not the end of the world. People ride what they like. So far, I've liked Hondas, Buells, and BMWs.
    #76
  17. JeffinTD

    JeffinTD Long timer

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    Negative- I was talking about the fuel tank, not the oil tank. The fuel tank vent attaches to a fitting on the tank under the dash, which runs down the left side to a roll over valve, then a hose runs to the bottom of the bike.

    With my bike, parked in the sun with a hot engine it would dump fuel out of the carb, and hydro locked the engine. Pulled the plugs and turned the engine over, and sprayed gas everywhere. After I washed that off, I was able to start the bike and ride it home.

    Took it to HD under warranty- they replaced fuel petcock (vacuum type) and checked the float valve in the carb.

    It did it again. I also noted a woosh of fumes under a lot of pressure whenever I removed the fuel cap. I mean a LOT of pressure.

    I bypassed the roll over valve so the tank would be directly vented to the atmosphere- and was puzzled when I still had the woosh of pressure.

    I checked the hoses, which were clear. I then looked into the hose barb brazed to the tank under the dash. After removing some flux, I could see there was no hole in the tank. Drilled that out and all was fine.

    Later I saw a thing, I think MC consumer news, about the hole for the fuel tank vent not having been drilled for some of the wide glides.
    #77
  18. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    Well then forgive me please. My mistake.
    #78
  19. Dilligaf0220

    Dilligaf0220 Miserablist

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    Well they are, until they get into the hands of Nort Americo Yanquis that use Imperial Allen wrenches on them. Yes, there are downsides to only buying in the used market. Ugh.

    Ding! Winnah winnah chicken dinnah!
    Ugh, if there's anything I hate more than a stripped bolt head...it's a stripped Torx head.

    Just for the record...it takes me longer to mouth out loud how many tools you need to work on a BMW/VW/Beemer Bike than it takes for me to take the TWO wrenches, and TWO Allen keys out of my tank bag & strip off the seat, fairing, tank & tail on my Ninja. Toss in two screwdrivers, two more wrenches...and I can literally strip my bike down to the frame on the roadside.

    What exactly does a 17mm wrench fit on a BMW anyway?

    Haa haa, my beater cage is a Saturn (GM), and it has more Torx bolts in one door than a GSA! To change a door panel after I had been sideswiped, T20 T25 T30 & T10 to take the mirrors off. All fastening cosmetic panels.
    #79
  20. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Nwere mirror mounts. And something else, but I don't remember.

    My point was that once you buy a set of wrenches, you have what you need. And for 90% of the BMW stuff, a T25 and a T30 will take you places.

    No, it's not the easiest thing to do roadside repairs on, but they are doable and you don't need a computer most of the time. I have a little Android thingy that does everything aside from swapping engines. Need to readapt for that.
    #80