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You Won’t Believe Which Brand Received The Worst “Reliability” Rating

12-BMW-K1600GTL-0151Consumer Reports surveyed 4680 subscribers who are motorcycle owners about the reliability of their motorcycles.  Out of those who responded to the survey, BMW touring and dual sport owners reported more problems with their motorcycles than owners of other brands.

One in every three BMW owners (33%)  said they've had an issue with their motorcycle in the past year.  One in every 4 Harley-Davidson owner (25%) reported an issue with their motorcycle.

Honda CBR, and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R owners reported the least amount of problems.  The issues that were brought up the most by those who responded to the survey were problems with lights, switches, instrumentation, electrical or fuel systems.

Other brands such as  Kawasaki, Victory, Indian, Suzuki and Triumph were not ranked as the owners did not provide enough information as required by the survey.

Web Staff

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  12. Had owned and rode Hondas, Kawasakis, Suzukis and Yamahas. All of them had some issues (usually minor) but by far the Suzuki cruiser (only one with a shot engine at 7K miles likely the biggest POS of a bike ever) had the worst issues while the Suzuki sport touring bike had the least (so far not counting maintenance only spent $5 for unexpected repair which I sold fully functional after 88K miles on it). But something tells me they did not had enough responses to make a descent article since they needed to break down the at least on age of the bike, model type, miles per year, and climate type. I imagine if they did this many of the sections would be empty or had a small fraction of the brands. Also, the article included CanAm (that is not a bike is a trike, might as well include jet skies and hand gliders.

    The most fun bike I had was my Honda but it is likely because it was my first bike.

    I had always joined at least 1 bike clubs (and in my lifetime provably had membership on over a dozen of them) and one thing seems to always happen in all of them: a Harley or Triumph owner breaks down on the rides. Yes, others brand owners had break downs but either Harleys or Triumphs (individually) had more than 3 times the break downs than all the other brands combined.The funny part is that there were more Japanese bikes.


  13. Harley riders will always be convinced that their bike is the best, no matter how hard you prove to them that they're not. They just have the best sales team in the world to convince people that they are. I love America and all, but I just want a dependable bike.


  14. I wonder what the failure rate for the HD vrod is compared to other HD models or other makes. I'll bet it is very low. These reports should break down by model.


  15. I currently have a BMW and 2 Victory's. I can say BMW had problems but it sat for years (96 with 3300 miles when bought in Oct 07). One Victory sat new from 03 to 06 and runs just as well as the other 03 that has 80K on it. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.


  16. I put over 10,000 miles on my Yamaha stratoliner from August to August and never had one problem. This motorcycle is one of the best cruisers on the market. Love this bike.


  17. What a bunch of BS stats. How many where BMW owners, How many HD, etc, etc. BIG TIME FAIL Consumer Reports!!


  18. There is more to this than asking who has had trouble with their bike in the last year without taking into consideration how many miles were ridden along with the environment that the bike is ridden in. I know guys that ride from last snow melt to first snow fall. Many miles ridden in wide temperature ranges. The few sport bike riders I know don’t ride that many miles in a year so not much chance for the bike to breakdown so it does not surprise me that the two Japanese bikes listed showed no failures. BMW touring bikes, Harley touring bikes, or any touring bike probably has a better chance of covering a lot of miles in one season and therefore a better chance to need to service parts that breakdown. As a data point this article is worthless without further information.


    • It's no different than a report showing BMW, and HD weren't as reliable because they have more warranty work done. What wasn't said was that a large part of the warranty work being done was to things like the hinges on the hard bags of touring models which most of there competitors don't offer. A closer look showed most of the warranty work had nothing to do with the mechanics of the bike. To me that hardly says these brands aren't as reliable.


  19. Kind of difficult to complete a survey on reliability of your motorcycle when you haven't had any issues. IJS. 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa, no issues. 2008 Ducati 1098 no issues. 2013 Victory Cross Country (XC) no issues.

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