American Motorcycle Brands Most Satisfying, Japanese Most Reliable, Says Consumer Reports
13 April 2015 - Autoblog
Consumer Reports started tracking motorcycle reliability last year through its regular reader survey, just like the magazine's well-known auto guide.
For the 2015 edition, CR now has data on over 12,300 bikes, compared to 4,680 in 2014, and the extra info means it can include more brands, like Suzuki, Triumph and Can-Am, to the list. However, the final results remain largely the same.
As with last year, Japanese bikes are the best choice for buyers who prioritize reliability. Yamaha comes out on top yet again and is followed by Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda. Victory and Harley-Davidson hold the middle of the list, and the European cycles from Triumph, Ducati and BMW sit at the bottom. The major outlier in this regional distinction is the Can-Am Spyder from Canada's Bombardier Recreational Products that comes in dead last in the dependability survey.
Still, even the most dependable model is occasionally going to break, and the average repair bill across all brands is $342, according to CR's readers. Kawasakis are the cheapest to keep on the road at a median of $269 for fixes, versus BMW as the most expensive at $455. Through all of the companies, electrical gremlins are the most common issue, causing 24 percent of problems, but faults with the cooling system, pistons or transmission are the smallest concerns at 4 percent each.
While Japanese cycles might be the easiest to keep on the road, they aren't the most beloved by riders. In CR's gauge of satisfaction, the Americans reign supreme. Victory owners love their bikes the most with 80 percent reporting that they would buy another. Harley riders are known for having a close bond to the company's models, and the brand comes in second with 72 percent. Finally, Honda rounds out the top three at 70 percent. Head over to Consumer Reports to see more results.