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Old 02-16-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
Trail Boss OP
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Suzuki beats BMW in Quality

There have been some spirited discussions here recently about the quality of BMW GS motorcycles vs. Suzuki's V-Strom motorcycles. In light of these recent discussions I found the following study interesting.

The 2006 J.D. Powers Motorcycle Competitive Information Study rated 10 motorcycle brands in 5 key areas: product, quality, cost of ownership, customer's sales experience, and service. The brands were rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. 6916 owners who purchased new motorcycles between Sep 2005 and May 2006 participated in this study.

In the 3 areas that rated the actual products the mfgs produce - product, quality, and cost of ownership - Suzuki beat BMW.

Product: BMW 4, Suzuki 4 = tie

Quality: BMW 4, Suzuki 5 = Suzuki wins with a 20% higher score and ties Honda as the highest of all 10 rated brands

Cost of Ownership: BMW 2, Suzuki 4 = Suzuki wins with a 40% higher score.

Combined Score for these 3 product areas: BMW 10, Suzuki 13

A clear win for Suzuki in the quality dept and combined score.

Only Victory Motorcycles beat Suzuki in these 3 key areas, with a combined score of 14 vs. Suzuki's 13.

In the 2 human areas - sales and service - BMW tied for first with Harley Davidson and Victory. Suzuki suffered in these areas badly.

The study noted that there was a 21% improvement in quality over last year's study. Quality "is becoming the price of entry" says Tim Fox, research supervisor at J.D. Powers.

In summary then, the results of this study show that if you can stomach the "less than the best" sales and service experience at a Suzuki dealer, you will be buying a motorcycle with the highest quality rating in the industry and a very low cost of ownership.

If sales and service are more important to you than quality or cost of ownership is of least concern, then BMW is the better choice.


Source: Motorcycle Consumer News, March 2007, pg 8
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Trail Boss screwed with this post 02-16-2007 at 06:09 PM
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:57 PM   #2
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That's interesting. I've never owned a BMW but I would have expected that BMW would be the winner on quality because of the price. I am a big Suzuki fan and own 3 SuziQ's right now. The main reason I bought the Suzuki brand was simple - performance at an affordable price. I also have owned Honda's, a KTM and several Kawasaki's which I had no troubles with either.

I've never had reliability issues with my Suzuki's. However, I admit that the quality of components on the SV650, DR650 and DRZ400 are not the best but I usually replace many parts (handle bars, sprockets, seat, grips, tires, etc) with my favorite aftermarket items anyway.
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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Just because you pay a premium doesn't mean that you are getting high quality equipment. I'd be willing to be there aren't too many Ferrari's runnin' around with 150k miles on them. But I could show you quite a few Honda Civics with more than that on the clock.

What's funny is the BMW riders swear they are buying the absolute best bike on the planet just because it's extremely expensive. To me, that's funny.
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_Warrior
What's funny is the BMW riders swear they are buying the absolute best bike on the planet just because it's extremely expensive. To me, that's funny.


or



or maybe




in either case, it aint gonna be pretty...






Talk about having the right tag line.


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Old 02-16-2007, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_Warrior
Just because you pay a premium doesn't mean that you are getting high quality equipment. I'd be willing to be there aren't too many Ferrari's runnin' around with 150k miles on them. But I could show you quite a few Honda Civics with more than that on the clock.

What's funny is the BMW riders swear they are buying the absolute best bike on the planet just because it's extremely expensive. To me, that's funny.
I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.. now that I have that out of the way, I thought I heard/read that BMWs across the ocean from us in America are more reasonably priced and they are just more expensive here in the USA cause we buy into the whole 'BMW' thing (i.e. thinking its a Honda)
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamos2000
I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.. now that I have that out of the way, I thought I heard/read that BMWs across the ocean from us in America are more reasonably priced and they are just more expensive here in the USA cause we buy into the whole 'BMW' thing (i.e. thinking its a Honda)
yes but out of the big 4 jap mfg. honda is almost always priced the most expensive. i believe their engineering finese & reliability does justify the premium price.
problem is bmw is even more $ yet less reliable. oh gee sign me up.

too bad no one in honda has the balls to design and bring a kick-ass adventure tourer to the US. a modernized africa twin would rule.
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:34 AM   #7
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More data

In the quality rating category:

Suzuki and Honda both received the highest rating of 5.

BMW & Victory were rated at 4.

Ducati, Kawasak, Triumph, and Yamaha were rated at 3.

Buell and Harley-Davidson were rated at 2.


A key finding of the study was that 41% of the problems reported were engine-related.
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamos2000
I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.. now that I have that out of the way, I thought I heard/read that BMWs across the ocean from us in America are more reasonably priced and they are just more expensive here in the USA cause we buy into the whole 'BMW' thing (i.e. thinking its a Honda)
You heard wrong mate. They are more expensive over yonder. There was even a salesman at a dealer in Plymouth UK that was considering coming here to get one and bringing it back to the UK because it would be cheaper.

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UK - 9895 pounds - $1.96 to a pound = $19,394.20
GER - 13,840 Euro - $1.32 to a Euro = $18,268.80
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:53 PM   #9
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I could point out here that BMW has won far more awards for their bikes than Suzuki but the only thing that really matters is what the people say with their dollars. Suzuki brings up the rear end in motorcycle sales. So much so that they had to enter into the alliance agreement with Kawi to keep things going. They make a couple of great bikes, but for the most part, they struggle to keep up with the Honda and Yamaha sales and they are not even in the same market as a BMW. As someone mentioned earlier, BMW markets to a select population, just like the HD guys do. They are not competing with Suzuki. If the Suzuki bikes are so much better, why is it that everyone on here is always comparing their bikes to the BMW? It seems by the posts of people on this forum that BMW is obviously the standard to which al other bikes are compared.

As far as my personal opinion, each bike category has a clear leader and that is how I choose my bikes (not by brand). If I were buying a sport bike, I would buy a Suzuki 'busa before a BMW.
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFW_Warrior
Just because you pay a premium doesn't mean that you are getting high quality equipment. I'd be willing to be there aren't too many Ferrari's runnin' around with 150k miles on them. But I could show you quite a few Honda Civics with more than that on the clock.

What's funny is the BMW riders swear they are buying the absolute best bike on the planet just because it's extremely expensive. To me, that's funny.
Why does BMW offer a 36 month warranty versus the 12 month type of some others?
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komet
Why does BMW offer a 36 month warranty versus the 12 month type of some others?
BMW 3 year warranty is standard. But considering the price of the unit BMW has built the cost of that in for sure. The others do offer an extended program at extra cost and unlimited mileage. I have a 3 year unlimited milegae transferable warranty on my DL 650 and it was at no extra cost as Suzuki was running a promotion for this at the time.

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Old 03-25-2007, 11:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komet
Why does BMW offer a 36 month warranty versus the 12 month type of some others?
36 month 36,000 mile warranty. 12 month unlimited milage. Far as i'm concerned they're pretty much equal.
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Old 03-26-2007, 09:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komet
Why does BMW offer a 36 month warranty versus the 12 month type of some others?
Interesting issue this. Some BMW owners/dealers trot this out as a another great reason to buy a BMW. 3 year warranty (in the USA at least)!!

I looked up extended Suzuki factory warranties recently online. Any dealer can sell you an extended warranty on your bike if you are still within a year of original purchase date.

You can buy an additional 36, 48 or 60 months of warranty coverage....all through Suzuki, not an insurance company. Cost? IIRC, about $260 for 36 months additional coverage. Not bad. These are the same as the factory warranties in terms of coverage. Wear items not covered (like most warranties).

Fact is, on the Vstrom at least, you really don't need a warranty at all.

Both my GS1200 riding buddies bought BMW extended warranties for an additional 3 years for like $500 a year, IIRC.
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:12 AM   #14
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So....
JD Powers ranks Suzuki over BMW in "quality", and the response by some BMW enthuists is to re-define the meaning of the word.

It's an interesting approach, but if any company knows how to apply the word "quality", I would think it would be JD Powers.

+1 for Suzuki
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:14 PM   #15
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I suspect that BMW's high price has something to do with expensive German labor laws and an over valued dollar.

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