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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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BMW came in at 9th place? Ouch!

I use Consumer Reports all the time for appliances and stuff, had no idea they tested bikes. If they put BMW in 9th place then there's something to it. Good thing my bike came with a warranty.
 

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I would've put my money on Honda as being the most reliable. It's surprising to see them tied with Suzuki for the second spot.
 

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I would've put my money on Honda as being the most reliable. It's surprising to see them tied with Suzuki for the second spot.
That really doesn't surprise me; Honda's seem to have a little more fuel related issues and Suzuki seem to have more electrical.

But "Ouch" is right; European bikes at the bottom and Japanese at the top. Even Harley has a better reliability rating than BMW. Funny how here on this forum, a recent thread was bashing the Japanese bikes (especially the GSXR) calling them junk.
 

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That really doesn't surprise me; Honda's seem to have a little more fuel related issues and Suzuki seem to have more electrical.

But "Ouch" is right; European bikes at the bottom and Japanese at the top. Even Harley has a better reliability rating than BMW. Funny how here on this forum, a recent thread was bashing the Japanese bikes (especially the GSXR) calling them junk.
Whoever called them junk must not watch motogp or do any kind of club racing where japanese bikes dominate.
 

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Shared this with my wife. Responce: What? Number 10 is a tri-cycle...this article has no credibility...

Fun stuff aside, I read more about how they came up with those figures here:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/05/motorcycle-reliability-and-owner-satisfaction/index.htm
Unfortunately, it's still a vague article and way too many factors play into how these repairs are reported. I am on my 12th bmw, and all I can say is that they have been like a Honda car I had, just solid and passed down to a college kid.

I have a hard time respecting these types of articles as they entice deep emotions, and don't provide solid evidence to back much of the hype. From my own experience, quite a few repairs can be avoided, and yes, sometimes you end up with more issues with certain bikes off the assembly line, which does not make the brand "unreliable."
 

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I have long viewed Consumer Reports with some skepticism.
But owner satisfaction—i.e., happiness—is an entirely different measure from reliability. Eighty percent of Victory owners said they would definitely buy the same bike if they were to do it all over again.
How does Victory's "owner satisfaction" square with their going belly-up?
To me, it invalidates the findings entirely.

Some might say that the owners were soooo satisfied that they never had to buy another bike. Ever. Again. :)

How's that working out for you, Polaris?
 

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I tried to find where these 40% stats came from, but I came up short. I think they just surveyed people instead of taking dealer stats.

I mean, 40% of BMW motorcycles requiring major work within the first 4 years...is a bit odd. I'm surprised that ducati beat BMW.
 

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My experiences rarely match that of CR, so I gave up giving them much credibility.
No way do I believe BMW is really in 9th place here.
 

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I've found Consumer Reports and other poll
type product reports to be like Fake News.
They report what they like, not necessarily
what people like or what the real reliability of
products is.

I bought my S1000RR in 2010, have over 16,000
miles on it and NO REGRETS. :grin2:
 

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I'd rely on Consumer Reports.......if I was buying a toaster. for cars and trucks, I'd rely on JD Power or similar, not sure about them for bike reliability. And no friggin' way do I believe BMW isn't as reliable as a Hardley.
 
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