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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by kaspilo, Nov 4, 2016.
You know what this discussion needs?
What a woman!
Very interesting to read the different opinions and points of views relating to the reliability issue. No question that a BMW F650gs twin is a "super ride", I named my bike the "flying carpet", just because its smooth ride, but that does not give me the confidence i need to ride it off-roads, especially alone. I lost that confidence, that trust. When I ride it I ask a friend to join me; or, to stay on roads that have some traffic, this is just to make sure I have access to some assistance, just to make sure I get back home.
However, that's not so critical when I ride my " BMW funduro - f650 Thumper", it is carbureted and never let me down...
That's terrible. I would never own a bike that made me feel that way, unless it was an antique of some kind.
Isn't this question no more complicated that what are your priorities? If its 1, 2, 3 reliability then sure do the ride on a Kawasaki Versys 1000 or something like that. If its a bit of reliability traded off for 'European style' then get a GS or something like that. If its I expect it to break down but shit it sure looks nice (and supposedly goes like stink) then go buy a MV Agusta Turismo Veloce like I'm very seriously considering.
I've gotten to an age where I don't want to be rational anymore.
P.S. and who said it was ok to post up a picture of my wife?
Note that the demographics for this Consumer Reports Survey contains only subscribers to Consumer Reports, and the responses were low. You'd need to profile the average CR subscriber to get a feel for, and set the bias. It was also their very first (maybe the only?) motorcycle related survey they had ever done. Read the survey report very carefully, and note the response numbers, etc. It should have been shelved.
That said, this survey contains the results of what a very small sector of Consumer Reports subscribers think of motorcycles. We've had this debate a thousand times,
as have almost every Motorcycle Forum on the Internet. The general consensus is that it is . But serial bashers love to bring it up every 2.74 weeks to get their rocks off.
The survey is not inherently bad - no survey is. You just need to understand it in context
Prophet phrased it well. This survey basically tells you what a handful of Consumer Reports subscribers felt about their bikes. That's not going to translate directly in to what your experience will be.
Yes, you can normalize for bike age and mileage, but you certainly cannot normalize for other factors that are impacting this data: What counts as a failure? How much objectivity is lost by the fact that the magazine is asking people who just made a life-changing purchase how they feel about it? As we know, bikes can be used in lots of different ways. How many of these responses came from people who actually use the bike like you will? Those people who responded on BMWs - are they blasting through the backcountry, or putzing to Starbucks?
All that aside, even if those factors are all accounted for, you have to ask the question of scale. If we had one brand of bike that had a catastrophic failure every 5,000 miles, and another brand that had a catastrophic failure every 20,000 miles, the fact that one brand failed more often might actually change your decision. But I think it's worth pointing out that most modern bikes are reliable, in general. We're probably talking more about the difference between a brand that has a major failure every 80,000 miles vs another brand with major failures every 100,000 miles. For most of us, that's probably not going to be enough to change our decision.
Not the first survey they have done. It is their second. They are currently working on a third one.
The current survey includes 11,000 responders reported on 12,300 motorcycles and the motorcycles ranged from model years 2008 to 2014.
Milage was also factored in.
What is most important is that the survey was done with subscribers who pay every year because they are interested in consumer protection and information. It is in their interest as members to report accurately so their subscription is worth having.
It will be interesting to see the next report.
Head up your own butt? Looking for sand in there. Unless you ride the sand dunes I doubt there is any.
It good to know that 3/10ths of ONE PERCENT of all motorcycle sales (3.854M) during that timeframe responded. That makes this very scientific study even more reliable. I guess the rest of us 99.7% are out riding?
They don't like the results?
Either one will do the job.
It's more like they/we don't like the methodology they use to get the numbers they try to peddle as results.
Arguably, if the goal is for the sample to be representative of the total population, that sample size in and of itself isn't a problem, at least if as accept the defect rates they're quoting. More important than sample size is lack of bias in the sample. And in this case, that's a clear problem, because there was absolutely bias in selecting the sample - the sample is entirely made up of people who subscribe to a specific magazine and who volunteered to be included.
Ride them ALL then buy the Triumph because it made you smile more than the others.
Respondents didn't rate all motorcycles, only the ones they owned. Therefore, the margin of error rests in the sample size for each brand, not the total sample. Still, at 11,000 respondents, I'm sure the results are statistically valid in most instances. What's important to understand is what was actually being measured.
I'm not really sure what you're talking about. But I'm starting to understand why some folks here get impatient with you.
From a piece in the LA Times last winter, when the results were published:
"Bartlett said multiple factors went into analyzing the results. The publication's readership skews older and more affluent, he said, and among motorcycles prefers Harley-Davidsons and BMWs. Those big bikes tend to be ridden more miles, too, than do smaller size Japanese bikes.
Curiously, despite these statistical results, the most reliable motorcycles were not the best loved by their owners. Harley-Davidson owners rated their machines second-highest, after the smaller Victory brand, among those who were asked whether they would buy the same motorcycle again.
An impressive 72% of Harley owners said they would, as compared to 70% of Honda owners, 68% of BMW owners, 66% of Ducati owners and 63% of Yamaha owners.
Of major brands, Kawasaki and Suzuki scored lowest, with slightly more than half of owners saying they'd buy the same bikes again."
So you see, it really doesn't make much sense to position this either as objective science, or as some kind of victory for certain brands over others, or to otherwise make it more than what it is.
Absolutely. Regardless of the magazine's readership skewing relative to the population as a whole, there's a bigger issue. The only people who responded about Yamahas are people who just bought Yamahas. Current owners are clearly a biased sample of the entire population. It's people who just chose to buy one. If you don't like anything made by Yamaha, or the brand as a whole, it shouldn't really matter how satisfied the Yamaha owners are. Satisfaction is a fickle thing, and trying to measure it is incredibly subjective. Further, the actual question asked ("would you buy brand X again") is not necessarily linked to satisfaction - I have friends who buy and sell bikes indiscriminately - they might own a Yamaha now, but will probably go to a different brand next. Not because of anything wrong with the Yamaha. Compare that to guys we all know who swear by a specific brand. Clearly, those folks are showing up in this poll, given the affinity people have for HD, BMW, Ducati, etc. compared to where these brands ranked in terms of reliability. Some people are ardent defenders of a given brand, and some brands attract lots of these kinds of people. These people might not be so critical of things others would consider faults. Meanwhile, other brands attract people who are more interested in practicality, and those people might be more inclined to switch brands based on the choices available at the moment and/or perceived issues. Again, I don't think this survey is inherently wrong or bad, I just think it's misinterpreted or misapplied.
Bottom line: This survey is as much (or more so) a statement about the respondents, as it is a statement about the bikes. Go find a bike that speaks to you, one that excites you, and ride it. if you're worried about reliability, learn about typical problems and address them.
While the CR survey unavoidably has the "streetlight problem" of self-selection bias-- you can't search for your keys only where the light is good :)-- the fact remains, it *is* data, scientifically gathered, that is helpful when understood in context.
This alone makes it far superior to anything written or read by any one of us in this, or any other, forum, where at best we deal in anecdote and assumption.
That said, again, it's most useful when placed in context. I'm reminded of people who still quote the Hurt Report in discussing motorcycle safety, as if a 40 year old study is all that relevant to the roads, riders, and rides amidst the texting, distracted drivers of 2016. But the dilemma again is, absent equally scientific data, it's the best baseline we have to start from.