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Old 10-05-2013, 10:25 AM   #31
joexr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
CR has been wrong before ....
Not that I care for BMW's or Horribley's , but if you check out CR's findings on just about anything , it looks like NOTHING is any good.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:57 AM   #32
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almost 65k on my zrx with nothing more than oil, filters, valve shims and the usual maintenance.


8k on my bmw and I am on my second engine.....

I will always have one japanese bike in the fleet....just in case.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:44 PM   #33
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I was glad to see someone at least attempt a motorcycle reliability study.

I would also say I wasn't surprised by the results. German cars often score poorly.

Having owned a Road King, the only reliability problem I had was caused by the tank vent system. The hose barb for the vent was braised to the tank,, but no hole in the skin of the tank.

My current BMW suffered a fuel strip failure, and that's it so far.

Even though BMW and HD might be at the bottom, they still seem to be remarkably reliable. HD has a robust feel and character that Japan can't seem to capture. The BMW has excellent handling, IMHO excellent suspension, and again character that Japan makers haven't been able to duplicate.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against the brands from Japan, and I've owned Hondas and Suzukis that were excellent.


Anyway: With any luck, this might prod BMW and HD to look at what fails and make improvements.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:44 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by JeffinTD View Post
Having owned a Road King, the only reliability problem I had was caused by the tank vent system. The hose barb for the vent was braised to the tank,, but no hole in the skin of the tank.
What year is the Road King?
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:40 AM   #35
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It was a 99. If I recall I think they later had a service bulletin for wide glides for the same problem.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:26 PM   #36
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I do find it weird that you see a lot of very high mileage Harley's and BMW's but only a smattering of high mileage Japanese bikes. The only thing that I can figure is that people tend to buy Japanese bikes as their first bike and then graduate to Harley's and Bimmers. So the Japanese bike stay with the less experienced riders, and thus are crashed and totaled before they ever get the chance to become senior citizens.

BMW's and Harley's exude a certain quality about them that attracts seasoned riders.

Now with that said, I'm a dyed in the wool Japanese motorcycle man. Spent my whole life on Yamaha's which ran flawlessly, but now find myself the proud owner of a couple big Kawasaki's...ZZR-1200 for the street, and a KLX650 for playing in the dirt.

When I ride BMW's I'm always struck how solid they feel and stable the ride is. But they never accelerate, brake, or turn as well as the Japanese bikes. And there's nothing smoother than a Japanese inline 4. I consider it the perfect engine...especially the one in my ZZR; magnificent.

Harley's just have class and a nearly perfectly executed finish. But the iconic 45 degree engine just puts off too much vibration. And at some point that vibration will cause some problem.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:49 PM   #37
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Consumer Reports: BMW & Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Are Less Reliable than Japanese

Hmmm...

http://www.ducati.com/cms-web/upl/do...torrad_eng.pdf
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #38
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I've seen some very low mile HD's on the market, I think from people who bought them as a status symbol.

Years ago I remember there was a letter to motorcycle consumer news complaining that they do a lot of articles on BMW, where they are a small % of motorcycle sales.

They replied, saying that although BMW is relatively small in the market, their survey showed a large percent of their subscribers ride BMW.

I think BMW owners and a big part of HD owners tend to be motorcycle enthusiasts, as opposed to casual riders.

Also most of their models are suitable for long rides- not many race replica and smaller around town type bikes.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:52 AM   #39
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I'm seeing the opposite as expressed here in terms of milage. Most of the Japanese bike owners I know ride much more than the Harley owners. I've tried the poker runs,and organized rides,but stopping every 15-20 mins isn't for me.

Most Harley owners never sell due to the cost of getting into another, most Japanese bikes are flipped for something new to ride. I've heard Harley owners wishing they mouth a cheaper just as good Japanese bike,and Japanese bike owners wishing they spent more for a Harley.

Maintenance is a whole lot of what ifs,how it's ridden,and what's done for basic maintenance.
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Old 10-07-2013, 03:20 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HanShotFirst View Post
I do find it weird that you see a lot of very high mileage Harley's and BMW's but only a smattering of high mileage Japanese bikes. The only thing that I can figure is that people tend to buy Japanese bikes as their first bike and then graduate to Harley's and Bimmers. So the Japanese bike stay with the less experienced riders, and thus are crashed and totaled before they ever get the chance to become senior citizens.

...
.
No, it's just that owners of Japanese bikes don't get as emotionally attached, they are the sort of people who made a sensible choice in the first place after all.

DL 650, cost around 10k new (local price) put 120,000k's on it, started to burn oil, had been trouble free, didn't owe me anything. I sold it and brought a new one.

Over the time I had it, a BMW would have cost me at least 3x as much. I probably could have kept the DL running another couple of 100,000k's, but, basically no need to. No emotional attachements, and I prefer a hassle free ride.

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Old 10-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by HanShotFirst View Post
The Japanese just know how to build a quality bike. The Star (Yamaha) cruisers look nearly as good as a Harley, ride better, perform better, don't rattle your nuts off, are more reliable, and significantly less money. With the exception of the GS series, the Japanese have BMW beat in every category but snob appeal.
Nope. The S1000 is a better liter bike than anything coming out of Japan.
The K1600GT is a "better" SPORT-touring bike than anything out of Japan.
The K1600GTL is a "better" luxury touring bike than anything out of Japan.
Reliability and cost are the two areas where the Japanese beat BMW. As the above examples, plus the GS series demonstrate, BMW can and often does beat the Japanese in performance, style, utility, and fun.

Quote:
Regarding the GS series, BMW just understands adventure bikes better than anyone else. The Yamaha Sup Tenere is a good bike, but it's no GS killer by any means. For me, I'll take performance and quality over image every time.
Well, if you take a Honda CBR1000RR aka Fireblade over a BMW S1000R, then you're going for image over performance and quality is about the same. On the other hand, if you take an F800R over a FZ-8, other way around. While reliability can be somewhat fairly judged across entire brands ("somewhat fairly"), other factors can't quite so easily be generalized. Of course, if they could be, then 25% of the electrons expended on m/c forums would never be called upon to pass their lit'l charge along for our arguing pleasure, eh?
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:37 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Nevada View Post
Nope. The S1000 is a better liter bike than anything coming out of Japan.
The K1600GT is a "better" SPORT-touring bike than anything out of Japan.
The K1600GTL is a "better" luxury touring bike than anything out of Japan.
Reliability and cost are the two areas where the Japanese beat BMW. As the above examples, plus the GS series demonstrate, BMW can and often does beat the Japanese in performance, style, utility, and fun.

Well, if you take a Honda CBR1000RR aka Fireblade over a BMW S1000R, then you're going for image over performance and quality is about the same. On the other hand, if you take an F800R over a FZ-8, other way around. While reliability can be somewhat fairly judged across entire brands ("somewhat fairly"), other factors can't quite so easily be generalized. Of course, if they could be, then 25% of the electrons expended on m/c forums would never be called upon to pass their lit'l charge along for our arguing pleasure, eh?
You may be onto something with the S1000, but what about the Gold Wing? The standard to which all other luxury tourers are measured against? Methinks you forgot about that one.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:55 PM   #43
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Interesting, being that as far as I know the GS is one of the best selling bikes in the world. Also, I've noted over the years that BMW owners are the cheapest bastards (self included) that you will ever meet, and fully expect that just because they paid $20K for their shiny new bike it should NEVER EVER break down. A lot of BMW riders do their own maintenance, and I wonder how this affects the reliability rating.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:43 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by steelerider View Post
Interesting, being that as far as I know the GS is one of the best selling bikes in the world. Also, I've noted over the years that BMW owners are the cheapest bastards (self included) that you will ever meet, and fully expect that just because they paid $20K for their shiny new bike it should NEVER EVER break down. A lot of BMW riders do their own maintenance, and I wonder how this affects the reliability rating.
Similarly, I wonder if and to what extent HD reliability is affected by all the tinkering with after market stuff done by the pirates and other faithful.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:54 AM   #45
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A tour operator here did a Trans-Africa eastern route (in just 2 months) a few years ago. Out of 8 bikes, 7 were 800/1200GS's and one guy was on a Honda XL700. That was the only bike with zero issues on the whole trip, the rest were being fixed here and there, and sometimes transported on pick-ups to get somewhere to be fixed. They only had a few days off from riding on the whole trip, and soon found out, that those were proper rest days only for the Honda pilot, and the rest were always trying to fix something.

That said, the tour leader still rides an 800GS, made a similar trip with it to the Stans last year, and thinks it's much more fun and more rideable on the dirt, than an XL700 (and I agree on that).
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