The 10 Most Reliable Motorcycle Companies - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 03:45 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 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 04:39 PM
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Read more about The 10 Most Reliable Motorcycle Companies at Motorcycle.com.
Typical hardley riders, middle of the pack in reliability, highest satisfaction rating.

07 FJR 38,000 miles 03 Yamaha FJR1300
1986 Yamaha FZX700 1977 Kawasaki KX250 1978? Yamaha TY250 1979 Yamaha YZ250 1970 850 Moto Guzzi 1974? Honda XL 100 1978? Yamaha XT500 1975 Yamaha RD350B 1964 Bridgestone 90S
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 04:50 PM
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Typical hardley riders, middle of the pack in reliability, highest satisfaction rating.
They scored above BMW, and most of the BMW riders I've known have absolutely loved them. I know we've got a few BMW converts here that would argue, but among my friends who ride them none would have anything else.

I sure can't argue with top spot

Just keepin' up with traffic, Officer.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:17 PM
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I've had two BMW's, an R1100RS and a R1200RT and no problems with either. The biggest problem I had with them was the owners attitudes. There are some really good people on them, would do anything for you but their no tolerance for anybody that isn't AGATT.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:15 PM
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I'd like to see a ranking based upon "miles ridden".

My gut tells me that the average BMW covers more miles in that four years than does the average Harley.

It might shed some more accurate light on a pretty meaningless list.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:18 PM
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I had a R1100RT and a K1200RS. The RT was great until it hit 36K, then everything started going bad. Most comfortable bike I have ever owned. The K12RS was nice, smoothest power and had cruise control in 2002. The d@mned electric assist power brakes ate batteries and had no feel. Now, they are just priced out of reach for me.

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PEACE, Something to shoot for.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 01:26 AM
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They scored above BMW, and most of the BMW riders I've known have absolutely loved them. I know we've got a few BMW converts here that would argue, but among my friends who ride them none would have anything else.

I sure can't argue with top spot
I also have several friends that love their BMW's. Since I have been riding for 55 years and they have been making the same opposed twin, shaft drive {mostly} for the whole time, you would think they would have it perfected by now.

07 FJR 38,000 miles 03 Yamaha FJR1300
1986 Yamaha FZX700 1977 Kawasaki KX250 1978? Yamaha TY250 1979 Yamaha YZ250 1970 850 Moto Guzzi 1974? Honda XL 100 1978? Yamaha XT500 1975 Yamaha RD350B 1964 Bridgestone 90S
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 01:32 AM
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I also have several friends that love their BMW's. Since I have been riding for 55 years and they have been making the same opposed twin, shaft drive {mostly} for the whole time, you would think they would have it perfected by now.
Yeah you're right about the engine BUT it's all the hitech fluff around it that farts and dies. I had an R1200GSA and had both the ring antenna go leaving me stranded then later, the engine management unit went poof. The EMU too over three months to be replaced. Was in the dealers shop all that time. During that time I decided to sell the BM and buy and FJR. Glad I did (touch wood). Just ended up not trusting it.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 02:06 PM
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My last bike was HD and it was professionally serviced by HD dealer. Exactly at 3,000 miles it started to leak oil from the rear cylinder rocker heads. Apparently the OEM gasket is point of failure and has to be replaced. The bike required 3 batteries at 6,000 miles due to a (unexplained by dealer and unresolved) current draw. It's not a good feeling when you are on the road and you have to hope your bike starts.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 02:29 PM
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The low ranking for BMW isn't a surprise to me. I had a final drive failure on my '02 K1200LT at just 22.000 miles. It was fixed by BMW under warranty even though, technically, it was out of warranty because it was over 3 years old. It was a surprise to me at the time because one of the reasons I bought BMW was the reputation for reliability. I started searching the internet and found that final drive failures were very common on that vintage BMW (don't know if it's still the case). In fact, when I did a search on "final drive failures" without any brand reference, all that came up was BMWs (no Hondas, no Yamahas).

On another note, I wonder what the reliability rating is for some of the brands that don't have a reasonably good reputation. Like Moto Guzzi, which I've heard requires an owner that really enjoys working on motorcycles.
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