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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, 04:14 PM   #4
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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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Old 02-16-2007, 04:22 PM   #5
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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, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_
...
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.
...
Source: Motorcycle Consumer News, March 2007, pg 8
Dear J.D. Powers,
Thanks for going to all that trouble to help us in the motorcycle world. For your next study, especially if you are gonna compare BMWs to Suzukis please consider adding one more key area: FUGLY.

Thank you,
a cranky bike snob
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms
Dear J.D. Powers,
Thanks for going to all that trouble to help us in the motorcycle world. For your next study, especially if you are gonna compare BMWs to Suzukis please consider adding one more key area: FUGLY.

Thank you,
a cranky bike snob
Why? That would just be another tie. No effect on outcome.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:15 PM   #8
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yea, i'm going to run out now and buy a Suzuki 1200GS
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atoms
Dear J.D. Powers,
Thanks for going to all that trouble to help us in the motorcycle world. For your next study, especially if you are gonna compare BMWs to Suzukis please consider adding one more key area: FUGLY.

Thank you,
a cranky bike snob
To be honest really none of the current ADV style motorcycles are "good" looking. Fuction seems to be the style and fuction is seldom pretty. That being said, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life...... she sure can cook.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:27 PM   #10
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If Suzuke made a V-Strom with a better fairing, shaft drive, and ABS, maybe a bigger tank, I'd be all over it. They don't have anything to compete with a R12RT for 2-up comfort and traveling that I know of.

I did own a 1K Strom, and an FJR. I like the BMW best - not because of the money. I like it because of the bike it is. If the price was 3K lower I don't think they could keep them in stock. Maybe I'm worng, though, because there is a good chance some people buy for reason(s) noted above.....

all the best,

Mike
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Old 02-16-2007, 06:49 PM   #11
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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 02-16-2007, 07:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortOnSkill
I suspect that BMW's high price has something to do with expensive German labor laws and an over valued dollar.

Whoa, whoa, whoa... let's not think about this logically.

People used to bitch constantly about the price of Ducatis. Then the Honda 599 came out and for some weird reason, it was about the same price as a Monster. Funny thing was, it was built in Italy.

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Old 02-16-2007, 07:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Orpheus
Whoa, whoa, whoa... let's not think about this logically.

People used to bitch constantly about the price of Ducatis. Then the Honda 599 came out and for some weird reason, it was about the same price as a Monster. Funny thing was, it was built in Italy.


Huh? Aren't GMs and Fords manufactured with UAW labor here?

Why are they lower priced than their import brethren?

Could it be that there are more produced.....here?
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:06 PM   #14
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Strong Euro and weak dollar mean higher prices for the US on imports but we actually pay less for BMW and Ducati than Europeans. The USA is a huge market. In fact, look at the price of the 1098 it's a bargain.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:36 PM   #15
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I read this too and I think its an interesting survey.
I often wonder about the methods used to conduct these types of things.
It would seem to me if it is done by asking owners to compare their product to a theoretical "best" then I have a bit of an issue with it, particularly if the survery participants are drawn from owners of all Suzuki and BMW models.
Imagine you survey Suzuki owners, everything from the GS500 to Hayabusa. You get an extremely wide variety of owners, everything from the very experienced to those on their very first bike. Does a person on their first bike have quite as critical an eye as a person who has been riding 5, 10 or 20 years? Possibly, possibly not.
On the whole I would say BMW buyers tend to not be first time buyers and may rate their bikes more critically.
I believe this line of thinking would also hold true even if it were limited to the V-Strom lines and GS. When I had a 650 Strom I noticed that many of the owners were first time buyers and many others were hesitant to criticize anything about the bikes because " they're a good value for the money." (which they are).
I have no idea if owner experience is a factor in these surveys or even a valid isue. I would think so or at least something that has to be corrected for.
Having owned a R1150GS, 650 Strom and my current Tiger I can say all are good machines. IMHO, the Suzuki has the lowest quality fit and finish, lacked in detailing, but was quite reliable. I felt that BMW had the best fit and finish and was certainly the most fully refined and developed package although my particular bike gave some trouble (much of it related to dealer issues IMO). The Tiger is somewhere in the middle on finish and has so far been stone reliable and the most fun to ride of any of them (subjective of course). Its fairly well developed as a package but shows a lack of detailing (for example, why three locks for each saddlebag, not keyed to the ignition key)
I
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