Consumer Reports Survey: Harley-Davidson and BMW Less Reliable Than Japanese Motorcyc

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by KHuddy, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. KHuddy

    KHuddy Big Sky Country

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    From the Motor Sports Newswire

    http://motorsportsnewswire.wordpres...s-reliable-than-japanese-motorcycles-3281311/

    YONKERS, NY – March 26, 2013 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Harley-Davidson may be an iconic American maker of motorcycles but its bikes have been repair-prone, according to Consumer Reports’ first-ever motorcycle reliability survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

    About one in four owners of Harley-Davidson motorcycles reported experiencing a major problem in the previous four years. The full report is available at ConsumerReports.org and in the May issue of Consumer Reports, which hits newsstands on March 28.

    BMW motorcycles were even less reliable than Harley-Davidsons with about one in three owners reporting problems in the previous four years. Only about one in ten Yamaha owners experienced issues during that time, followed closely Kawasaki and Honda.

    “Reliability is one of many factors consumers might consider when purchasing a motorcycle. However, other factors like sculpted lines and rumbling engines also strike the right note among motorcyclists,” said Rik Paul , Auto Editor, Consumer Reports.

    Despite the higher number of problems, Harley and BMW owners were among the most satisfied with their bikes. When asked whether, considering everything, they would buy their bike again if they had to do it over, 75 percent of Harley owners said definitely yes, closely followed by 74 percent of BMW owners and 72 percent of Honda owners. By contrast, only 63 and 60 percent of Yamaha and Kawasaki owners, respectively, were as emphatic in this subjective measure.

    Among the bikes that needed repairs, survey respondents reporting having the most trouble with accessories, such as lights, instruments, switches, and radios (21 percent), brakes (20 percent), the electrical system (16 percent), and the fuel system (15 percent). Fortunately, most repairs were fairly inexpensive. Three quarters cost less than $200 out-of-pocket.

    A welcome trend in motorcycle technology is the growing availability of antilock brakes (ABS). Bikes equipped with ABS are 37 percent less likely to be involved in a fatal crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This critical feature is now standard on many high-end models and adds only a few hundred dollars to the price of more basic bikes – an investment Consumer Reports believes to be worthwhile and potentially lifesaving.

    About Consumer Reports

    Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

    SOURCE: Consumer Reports
    #1
  2. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    I love my Honda. Never had any issue. Except normal wear and tear
    #2
  3. Garp

    Garp Long timer

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    Behold, the power of Kool-Aid.
    #3
  4. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Hmmmm, may be a worthy quote. :huh :lol2 Guess it's another good reason I went "pirate." :lol3

    Mad Moto Marko :D
    #4
  5. Brendon@TMS

    Brendon@TMS The Motorcycle Shop

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    That's a stat I like.

    Everyone has a reason to like what they like. For me I enjoy wrenching, tricking out, and riding. Something that needs a little more maintenance isn't necessarily a bad thing, lets me get more familiar with the beast beneath the clothing, so to speak.

    I think the big takeaway, from what I've seen up here, is statistics be damned, we'll ride no matter what! With a smile on our face no less!
    #5
  6. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Awesome, you and your "like everybody and everything" attitude. That's why we have such high hopes for the shop now. :wink:

    Mark H.
    #6
  7. mitch

    mitch Long timer

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    You are going to have too get out more Kevin :lol3 instead of sitting around reading :D
    #7
  8. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    To most BMW and HD riders if the clutch needs adjusted it qualifies as a major problem.:rofl
    #8
  9. friar mike

    friar mike IronButtGruver

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    Ain't that the truth and I ride one.:lol3 but a old one.
    #9
  10. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Brownie

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    Guess it makes sense. The few American made cars I had years past were headaches. The one German car I had found itself in the shop often with electrical and some engine problems. However the Honda I had and the Toyota I've owned the past few years have been running perfect. YMMV
    #10
  11. mrphotoman

    mrphotoman Long timer

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    A lot of people preach "buy American" but until the American products are as good or better I am no longer wasting my hard earned money on being patriotic. I bought 2 brand new Chevrolet's, one in 2007 and one in 2010 and both were full of electrical and mechanical issues. We had to call the tow truck so many times that we ended up taking our 12 year old hyundai with 200k miles on it for trips since the new USA made cars we had were such garbage. Never again.

    I now have no American cars and no American car headaches. Just 4 trouble free, reliable, comfortable joys to own cars not made by overpaid union nuts that only care about $ instead of innovation and quality.
    #11
  12. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    ^ true . Too many people are just "buy USA product. "
    #12
  13. AKmud

    AKmud Muddy Gruver

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    Consumer Reports has been known to sway their results favoring manufacturers who pay for various comparisons. The "grain of salt" thing would probably be appropriate in this instance.
    #13
  14. friar mike

    friar mike IronButtGruver

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    I only truck I would own for years was a chevy till at a shop I was working at we had a couple of year old one come in with a dead battery we replaced it and could not start it we worked on it for days no go come to find out if the truck lose's power it has to go back to the dealer and be hooked up to there computer to get it systems up and working again:bluduh and we had some of the top diagnostic computers but this had to be done by a GM system that cured me ever owning another GM car.
    #14
  15. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it?

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    Never owned a Chevy. And my many OLD USA built Fords just keep on going.
    Last year I finally had to replace the 41 year old clutch in the one that started life as a fleet vehicle & became my plow rig about 36-37 years ago. Only reason I replaced the clutch is because the head of this bolt snapped off.

    [​IMG]

    The clutch replacement was overdue anyway. The rivets on the disk had just kissed the flywheel.

    [​IMG]

    That was the original 1971 clutch. I didn’t have to replace or even surface the flywheel. Didn’t replace the pilot bearing either.

    To say that my 1971 rust bucket Bronco plow rig has had a hard life would be an understatement. As a fleet vehicle everyone ran it very hard. Hell, I jumped the thing once back then. :lol3 Then as a plow rig it really gets beat. I just use it & abuse it.


    As far as I am concerned my low mileage overly complicated computer controlled BMW built Mini Cooper is a POS. Only thing I like about it is that it does drive/corner like a go-cart. First car I ever had that I actually hate. Along with some other expensive or hard to fix problems it has NO winter traction at all.
    I really screwed up. :baldy No more Euro built cars for me. :nono
    #15
  16. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Brownie

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    I've heard that as well. However the used car rating (the red and black circles) are based on consumers reporting the issues to them. Everything listed in those sections has been spot on with the problems I had. The major flaw in my 2003 Passat was the electrical system and that's what caused all the issues I had with it. Can you really tell me that US made cars last longer and have less problems? To me I can see similarities with MC. The few Honda owners I know never bitch about a final drive or leaking oil everywhere :lol3
    #16
  17. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    My Cbr, had never had any issue. Normal wear and tear.
    And if it did had any, it was cause of me doing something :(((
    #17