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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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The 10 Most Reliable Motorcycle Companies



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Here at Motorcycle.com we get to ride all of the newest, latest, and greatest motorcycles on the planet. However, more often than not, our time with each bike spans the course of weeks, maybe months (but definitely not years), as new bikes are constantly flowing through our proverbial garages, waiting to get tested. This means we have reviews of almost every motorcycle on the market, but it also means that we lack firsthand experience learning about long-term durability and maintenance. So, when our readers ask about the reliability of a certain make or model, it’s a difficult question to answer, as reliability testing requires ownership for several years – something we simply aren’t in a position to provide.

Thankfully, the folks at Consumer Reports have compiled a motorcycle reliability study, gathering information from more than 11,000 riders, sharing their experiences on more than 12,000 motorcycles purchased new between 2008 and 2014. With this data, CR adjusted for mileage ridden over a 12-month span and estimated failure rates. Like golf, the lower the number (or percentage, in this case), the better the score. CR’s language in the link above is vague, using words like “trouble prone” and not defining what constitutes a failure. Nonetheless, the results are still relevant. Here they are, from worst to best.
Read more about The 10 Most Reliable Motorcycle Companies at Motorcycle.com.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 07:05 AM
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the most useless report I've ever read. for Triumph it states that the triples are unreliable due to major engine failure, but with improvements to metalurgy they are now a better. ***?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:06 AM
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Total BS
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:01 AM
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I did find it interesting that BMW ranked pretty low due to electrical issues. The article does not specify exactly which electrical systems are most faulty but I'm guessing that it is likely related to all of the rider aids/creature comforts that BMW offers. It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers, like Triumph, will be plagued with more electrical issues with all of the new standard/optional equipment (ABS, heated grips, etc.). I love Triumph so I sincerely hope that their new models continue to be solid.

P.S. I still firmly believe that things like ABS and adjustable rider modes and the like have no place on motorcycles. These are just more things to go wrong.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:07 AM
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The fact that Ducati are even in there tells me they are pandering to the advertising etc revenue, & also that
Harleys have been put as more reliable than Triumph;s is utter BS!!!!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:27 AM
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I don't trust Consumer Reports for much of anything. I certainly won't go to them to help me choose a motorcycle.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:28 AM
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As far as BMW, same ratings go for their cars and other high end cars with mega complicated computer systems. My friend who has been riding BMW bikes for at least 40 years and their cars as well, has not had any major issues with his bikes. His latest 1200RT did need the start switch gear replaced which is somewhat common for some of their models. That's a vendor issue and not part of the electronics package. Failure rates as posted for the various brands aren't exactly high, even if it's 25% over the warranty period. I'd say rather typical for any mass produced item. I don't pay attention to these surveys. It's like J.D. Powers and their awards. Ever read the fine print and see how small the survey size is. Utter nonsense. Those awards are not worth the material they're made from.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 08:47 AM
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Consumer Reports does not accept advertising revenue to dispel any conflicts of interest while evaluating various products. While, I too have some issues with this report, that is not one of them.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2017, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfspencer View Post
I don't trust Consumer Reports for much of anything. I certainly won't go to them to help me choose a motorcycle.
I am in complete agreement... I have always found their information to be un-reliable, and would never use them, despite their independence.

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The fact that Ducati are even in there tells me they are pandering to the advertising etc revenue, & also that
Harleys have been put as more reliable than Triumph;s is utter BS!!!!
I hate to admit it, but my silly Harley has been much more reliable than either Triumph I have owned. Don't get me wrong, I prefer the Triumph in every way.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017, 05:26 PM
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It is such an individual thing. Reliability I mean. Honda is rated, tied for #1 I believe. Yet my experience with Honda goes two ways. A 1990 Blackhawk 750, bought used, riden hard and long got me hooked on Hondas. I wanted to do a lot more road touring so went to a 1999 ACE Tourer, used with 9,000 miles. An 1100 v twin. Was highly rated. Water cooled, self adjusting valves (I REALLY liked that), I took meticulous care, changed oil every 3,000 miles new plugs every 6,000 (overkill) changed coolant every spring. Imagine my surprise when at 50,000 miles the coolant connector tube between the cylinders blew out. Was that ever a joy to fix. After that in quick order the rings started allowing oil around and then within 2,000 miles the engine needed a rebuild. By the way it was never run with the coolant leak I caught it before it ever did anything but show. So much for "legendary" honda durability. 2 bikes, same manufacture, two decidedly different experiences.
The America is the first bike I have ever had that was bought brand new. So far I am a happy Colorado boy. First trip across country had a MINOR problem in Kentucky near the N.C. border but a great mechanic in N.C. who I called correctly diagnosed the problem, (loose bolt) and I was fixed and on my way in no significant time at all. I just erased the milage I am aiming for from the America that I had written down here because I got scared I might jinx it, so we'll just have to see. I think my Triumph is way better than "middle of the pack" when it comes to reliability.

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