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Justa anutta Human......
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About every brand will have their good model that they been making 4ever with no problems.
U just need to do ur homework n find out what one it is.
Never buy a new model till it's been out 3 years.....
They get recalls fixed by then.
One reason i went with the Ninja 650R.....
They made it 4 ever........
33,000 miles now not one single problem....
Do ur maintenance n ur good to.....ride.....
Every brand will have something they have made 4 ever n that's the reason the keep putting it out....
 

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Gone.
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17,857 Posts
Consumer reports did a survey by asking subscribers to their magazine which bikes they thought were the most reliable.

Now there's some really good research.:coffeescreen:

I can see the replies: "Well, I heard those Harleys all leak oil....."
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
"Well, I heard those Harleys all leak oil....."
So you're not denying it, only questioning their methodology???

All I have is anecdotal evidence as well; Warren has broken HD's bank with his "Unlimited" warranty even if he's out more than $1200 in $50 co/pays over 5 years/ 100k miles

That's a LOT OF visits to the shop even including replacement of normal wear items

Currently he's getting a new ECM although they have FAILED to adequately diagnose WHY it failed. So the replacement may fail in short order too if my experience with AUTO ECMs is of any measure..,

And since his HD-blessed and installed tuner is hard-coded to the original ECM...

In addition his bike FEELS "tired" IMHO despite numerous upper engine work / rebuilds.

Two other acquaintances with HD's have oily floors... Again anecdotal...

The only reliable HD's are the garage queens.... But that's just my OPINION.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Allow me to clarify; ONE of the HD owners ONLY has an oily floor if he doesn't go out and start her up once a month during winter months.

Unlike Japanese bikes whose seals seem to continue to keep garage floors dry for years on decades without monthly winter startups...

Now how about speaking TRUTH TO POWER, Eye, and telling us just how reliable or unreliable YOUR ride has ACTUALLY been.... and how much time YOU spend doing repairs to avoid COSTLY dealership repairs that a non-tech would be forced to pay..

Many, MANY owners consider HD's "worth it" regardless of the costs or efforts required to keep them running but claiming they're reliable, compared to metric bikes...

Yeah....NO!
 

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Consumer reports did a survey by asking subscribers to their magazine which bikes they thought were the most reliable.
I think they said they asked owners about their bikes, not bikes in general, though asking only Consumer Reports subscribers probably skews the data one way or the other.

It's been my experience, which is completely unscientific, people who pay more than average for a product, tend to be more fussy about it. That may account for the lower scores of Harley and BMW being those two brands I would think sell for more than a typical Japanese bike.
 

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I've noticed that too. :coffeescreen:

I have a few theories...
The more time goes on, the less l really know. I find that many things l really believed to be true are different than l believed them to be. I have had very strong opinions over the years about brand loyalty. The longer l live, though, the less l believe the crap that has been coming out of my mouth this whole time. I am actually considering looking at BMW adventure bikes when the time comes to get a new scoot. I would also like to maybe get an Indian, or a cruiser of some type. These are two things l never thought l would say. More than anything, l am finding that life is no longer a competition for me. My bike is faster than my brother-in-law's Harley...his Harley is cooler than my bike, and more comfortable. In the end, we rode together to get lunch and had a great time, and none of that mattered. We were just a couple of guys out for a ride, having fun and forgetting that it was Sunday and we had to work tomorrow :) The stuff l own is becoming less important than what l do with the stuff l own, and the people l share it with.
 

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The more time goes on, the less l really know. I find that many things l really believed to be true are different than l believed them to be. I have had very strong opinions over the years about brand loyalty. The longer l live, though, the less l believe the crap that has been coming out of my mouth this whole time. I am actually considering looking at BMW adventure bikes when the time comes to get a new scoot. I would also like to maybe get an Indian, or a cruiser of some type. These are two things l never thought l would say. More than anything, l am finding that life is no longer a competition for me. My bike is faster than my brother-in-law's Harley...his Harley is cooler than my bike, and more comfortable. In the end, we rode together to get lunch and had a great time, and none of that mattered. We were just a couple of guys out for a ride, having fun and forgetting that it was Sunday and we had to work tomorrow :) The stuff l own is becoming less important than what l do with the stuff l own, and the people l share it with.
You're changing from a "motorcycle enthusiast" into a Biker. :wink:
 

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Gone.
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Allow me to clarify; ONE of the HD owners ONLY has an oily floor if he doesn't go out and start her up once a month during winter months.

Unlike Japanese bikes whose seals seem to continue to keep garage floors dry for years on decades without monthly winter startups...

Now how about speaking TRUTH TO POWER, Eye, and telling us just how reliable or unreliable YOUR ride has ACTUALLY been.... and how much time YOU spend doing repairs to avoid COSTLY dealership repairs that a non-tech would be forced to pay..

Many, MANY owners consider HD's "worth it" regardless of the costs or efforts required to keep them running but claiming they're reliable, compared to metric bikes...

Yeah....NO!
Not counting normal wear items, such as tires and brake pads, and routine maintenance:

10 year old Roadking, about 40,000 miles on it in the 5 years I have owned it, one speedometer failure. No other problems. I consider that bike very reliable.

19 year old Springer, about 95,000 miles in it's original configuration, two starter motor failures. (The second motor that failed was an inexpensive import brand, so we won't count that against Harley.) No other problems. In the roughly 55,000 miles since I rebuilt the engine to make the bike into a hot rod, I have had several problems, but I can't think of a one of them were Harley's fault. At roughly 150,000 miles I consider that bike to have been very reliable, until I got to phuqing around with it. :biggrin:

7 year old Heritage. (Wife's bike.) I think about 60,000 miles. One turn signal light failed. Replaced under warranty. No other problems. I consider that bike very reliable.

59 year old FLH. Unknown miles. Currently not running. Leaks oil. I consider that bike very unreliable. :coffeescreen:

13 year old Suzuki LS 650 Savage. 12,300 miles, with about 3-4,000 in the last year. (Previous owner.) 1 sheared head cover bolt. 4 head cover bolt holes stripped out from vibration. (Needs a new head which costs about the same as a Harley head! WTF?) Decompressor shaft hole wallowed out. Many, many oil leaks. I replaced 10 gaskets and o-rings, not counting what I'll have to replace if I change out the head. Front brakes seized and not retracting. I consider this bike not very reliable.

And frustrating. I had to wait almost 2 1/2 weeks for parts to get here as the local dealer doesn't carry many parts for a bike, "that old." Unfortunately it looks like I'll take a loss on this bike, as what I paid for the bike, plus the parts needed to make it safe to ride, are going to probably be more then the bike is worth. Oh well, sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.
 

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http://imgur.com/2ribTAn

summary:
BMW / HD = greatest brand loyalty

Per Consumer Reports 2012
I wouldn't put any stock into what CR says, yrs ago the money trail was followed, CR owned by CU which is owned by a Japanese company.

It was really apparent when the Japanese car manufacturers decided to cut into the Corvette market. Japanese models were rated as highly reliable even though they were in their first year and had no data.......Corvette was rated as extremely poor reliability(I've never seen a dead Corvette)

They made a big deal of how bad the Vette ran at 55mph in high gear(and it was barely over idle at 50mph in 5th gear).........odd trying to run the Japanese models at under idle wasn't performed.

My 04 Sportster never had anything wrong, regular maintenance was it.

I no longer own a Harley, I like my Kawasakis better. I've got nothing bad to say about an HD motorcycle. Talking about reliability I don't have enough data to say about the Kawasakis.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
The more time goes on, the less l really know... the less l believe the crap that has been coming out of my mouth this whole time.... l am finding that life is no longer a competition for me. The stuff l own is becoming less important than what l do with the stuff l own, and the people l share it with.
ding ding ding! Ve haff a Vinner!

I'm not here to beat up HD or BMW, or the people who ADORE these bikes.

I am here, however (IMHO) to get a DISCUSSION going on reliability... an HONEST discussion.

The simple fact is a warranty is NO DAMN GOOD if your local dealership is UNWILLING or UNABLE to fix a problem correctly.

AND you can't get it escalated, get a factory tech 'called out', etc.

So when Hyundai began offering 10 year warranties on their cars a few years ago, I ...sneered! I'd had (ancedotally) friends who COULD NOT GET their Hyundai's properly fixed even under a 3 year warranty. Virtually every one of them went BACK to driving Hondas or Toyotas.

I honestly think the HD dealership techs working on Warren's bike are INCOMPETENT, especially when they propose to simply REPLACE a fried ECM without diagnosing WHAT caused it to fry -- usually a shorted input or output. True module (ECM) failures are rare, rare, rare. Can't say for sure I've ever seen a single one in hundreds of automotive MODULE failures I was tasked to diagnose / deal with.

They also doen't seem to be able to rebuild an upper end correctly; last time I rode his bike all I could say was..."SOMETHING ain't right in there...

The BMW dealership (motorcycle OR car) "horror stories" know no end, neither on this forum or any other MC forum. And the consumer INEVITABLY ends up paying for dealer mistakes, mis-diagnosis, etc.

So perhaps instead of discussing "Which bike is the most reliabile --- or NOT!" the discussion should really be:

"Which brands have competent techs at their SERVICE departments and can correctly diagnose and resolve TOUGH problems."

Cars OR bikes.
 

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Justa anutta Human......
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728 Posts
I have a Hyundai.....
The dealers could never fix things right after trying many times...
Specially the tranny transfer-case leak....
No gasket...just use a sealer.....
Me and my sun ended up fixing it with a Heavy duty black like silicone sticky stuff made for the same thing....
Never leaked after....
No more Hyundais 4 me.....
Far as bikes......
I haven't had a bad one yet.....
Lucky me.....
 

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ding ding ding! Ve haff a Vinner!

I'm not here to beat up HD or BMW, or the people who ADORE these bikes.

I am here, however (IMHO) to get a DISCUSSION going on reliability... an HONEST discussion.

The simple fact is a warranty is NO DAMN GOOD if your local dealership is UNWILLING or UNABLE to fix a problem correctly.

AND you can't get it escalated, get a factory tech 'called out', etc.

So when Hyundai began offering 10 year warranties on their cars a few years ago, I ...sneered! I'd had (ancedotally) friends who COULD NOT GET their Hyundai's properly fixed even under a 3 year warranty. Virtually every one of them went BACK to driving Hondas or Toyotas.

I honestly think the HD dealership techs working on Warren's bike are INCOMPETENT, especially when they propose to simply REPLACE a fried ECM without diagnosing WHAT caused it to fry -- usually a shorted input or output. True module (ECM) failures are rare, rare, rare. Can't say for sure I've ever seen a single one in hundreds of automotive MODULE failures I was tasked to diagnose / deal with.

They also doen't seem to be able to rebuild an upper end correctly; last time I rode his bike all I could say was..."SOMETHING ain't right in there...

The BMW dealership (motorcycle OR car) "horror stories" know no end, neither on this forum or any other MC forum. And the consumer INEVITABLY ends up paying for dealer mistakes, mis-diagnosis, etc.

So perhaps instead of discussing "Which bike is the most reliabile --- or NOT!" the discussion should really be:

"Which brands have competent techs at their SERVICE departments and can correctly diagnose and resolve TOUGH problems."

Cars OR bikes.
Yeah, and discussing common problems with certain models is also very productive. There seems to be something that commonly goes wrong with every bike, car, or whatever. Knowing what these are and whether or not they are major or minor is a huge bonus when it comes to buying a ride.
 

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Driftless Rider
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wadenelson said:
"Which brands have competent techs at their SERVICE departments and can correctly diagnose and resolve TOUGH problems."
That may be answered more by certain dealerships than across the board of a manufacturer list.
One of my local dealerships is a multi-brand shop that carries Polaris, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Victory and a few other smaller manufactures. When I had my Vulcan they had awesome techs for most Kawis and Suzis. When they first took on Victory, the techs didn't have enough experience with them and I had issues with the belt when they put new tires on once. They have gotten much better in the past few years as they gain knowledge of the different bikes.
The Victory/Triumph dealership that I bought my Vegas at has 2 excellent techs, they have talked me through small repairs or mods over the phone.

There is one area HD dealer that everyone I know goes to with any mechanical issue, simply because the techs there are so competent. The local HD dealer is usually avoided if there are repair or warranty issues for just the opposite reason.
 
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