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Old 02-17-2007, 08:28 AM   #31
TrulyUly
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10 manufacturers and 6916 responses in a 11 month period. This averages about 600 responses each. Wouldn't base a buying decision on such a small sample.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:01 AM   #32
Gtano
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87 R80GS with 235K miles, one RTW trip, no problems
95 R11GS with 140K miles, 4 South America Trips, no problems
02 Adventure w/ 80 K miles, 2 South America Trips and from Algeria to the Cape, no problems.

I saw a lot of GS' along the way, a few Tenere's and some Triumphs. No Suzuki's, V-Strom or others. Hmmmmmmm

JD Powers whatever....
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:05 AM   #33
Marvin the Martian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 805gregg
It's funny I bought my V-strom because of dealer network, but with the built in realibity I don't need no stinking dealers.
I bought mine because I want to ride with little or no strings attached. Gas&Go.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:13 AM   #34
ulendo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard_
In the quality rating category:
Suzuki and Honda both received the highest rating of 5.
I like suzuki in general ( owned 4 so far) but quality or not, this put me right off the current generation...
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:19 AM   #35
Uncle Pollo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eaglemike
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
A bigger tank, a better seat, heated please, heated grips non an option but standard, better wind protection, more electric outlets as in readibly tappable power, better stock suspension, factory crash bars, and ditch that motor and get something that can hide away the oil filter and we are good to go.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:59 AM   #36
ShortOnSkill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandRover
I would offer that most buyers of BMW's and H-D's would probably be a bit more particular, and therefore critical, of their chosen mount. The typical buyer of the Japanese bike *would* be less so. Not to say that they are less caring or understanding of their machine, just less involved I guess.
Are Japanese bike owners less involved?

I counter that owners of Japanese bikes are move involved. As a miser and quasi-nerd, I pay lots of attention to my machine and the market in general. During yesterday's rain, I changed air filters, did a throttle body synch, adjusted the throttle position sensor, adjusted the chain, and aligned the wheels. Of the five BMW owners I work with, only one does his own maintenance. I had to show two of them how to turn off their ABS in the dirt. A majority of BMW riders seem relatively uninvolved.

Are Japanese bike owners newbies who don't report problems?

Actually, the bikes should break down more because we're newbies. I purchased the 1000cc V-Strom as my first bike for two reasons. First, the Strom was cheaper to repair when crashed. Second, it had a wet clutch and that would last longer while I learned. I stalled the bike repeatedly while mashing gears and stuttering around. I spent 5,000 miles learning to properly blip the throttle while downshifting. Then - the dirt. From petrified in first gear to relative competence today, the bike's been thrashed in ways most BMW's never see. The only "breakdown" came after filling with a water/gas mixture in a small town.

Do newbie Japanese bike owners fail to notice deficiencies?

In my case, many deficiencies were noticed only after the initial six months of terror wore off. However, I was capable of noticing major things from day one (burning oil, rough running, etc).

Since the new rider issue is an obvious issue, the folks at JD Power would be idiots not to account for it. I couldn't find methodology details at their site: http://www.jdpower.com/autos/ratings/motorcycles.

I do troll through the G-Spot regularly and am aware that many BMW owners upgrade their suspensions. Both bikes have considerable room for improvement.

The bottom line.

Every review I've read finds that in stock form, the 12GS is superior to the Strom in overall performance. However, every published study and bit of incidental data indicates that BMW is less reliable.

My question: Why don't BMW owners demand better reliability instead of denying the obvious?
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:04 AM   #37
ShortOnSkill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrulyUly
10 manufacturers and 6916 responses in a 11 month period. This averages about 600 responses each. Wouldn't base a buying decision on such a small sample.
A course in basic statistics will show that small samples can represent a population very well.

I depends on how the sample was chosen. Election polls are incredibly accurate with only a small number of responses. Sample selection is much more important than the number of reponses.

What makes you think the JD Power study used poor methodology?
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:11 AM   #38
BMR
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[QUOTE=ShortOnSkillFrom petrified in first gear to relative competence today, the bike's been thrashed in ways most BMW's never see. [/QUOTE]

From you first being a self proclaimed Noob, to making a brash statement claiming the above....you are hilarious. I will suggest you are riding with a small percentage of the biking population..
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:40 AM   #39
Albie
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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
Well, in the Fugly catagory, BMW would be hard pressed to find competition. The whole line is pretty much Fugly. The Strom and Busa are fugly, but plenty of other SUzuki's are damn good looking.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:12 AM   #40
ShortOnSkill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMR
From you first being a self proclaimed Noob, to making a brash statement claiming the above....you are hilarious. I will suggest you are riding with a small percentage of the biking population..
Sorry. My logic was not stated in detail. Perhaps this will lend clarity:
  • Assumption 1: Most BMW riders have considerable riding experience
  • Assumption 2: New riders are likely to buy Japanese.
  • Assumption 2: Experienced riders maintain proper RPM and do not lug or over-rev the engine.
  • Assumption 3: Experienced riders synchronize clutch, throttle, and shifting.
  • Fact 1: During the first 10,000 miles, my bike was regularly lugged and over-revved.
  • Fact 2: During the first 20,000 miles, my clutch, throttle, and shifter rarely worked in harmony.
  • Fact 3: Between 20,000 and 30,000 miles, my bike suffered a repeat of the above while I sought out dirt roads to learn on. At 35,000 miles, my dirt riding is relatively smooth even though I'm in a steep learning curve. Nearly suffered catastrophe last year when overconfidence resulted in catching air twice.
  • Conclusions: My bike suffered thrashing beyond that delivered to most BMW's (especially engine and drive train). My situation is not unique given that new riders will likely buy Japanese. By rights, the Japanese bike should experience more break downs. Newbie or not, break downs will be reported.
Where does the logic resulting in my "brash" conslusion go wrong? Perhaps the BMW riders I enjoy riding with are a local anomaly. With few exceptions, GS riders I've ridden with are highly competent and on their umpteenth bike. Are you suggesting that BMW riders are incompetent with a tendency to whine? My experience suggest entirely the opposite. The bikes simply aren't made to Japanese reliability standards.

On another note, has anyone looked at automobiles in Consumer Reports lately? BMW cars and SUVs universally rate average to below average in terms of reliability. Perhaps it's purely coincidence that their motorcycles appear to have average reliability as well.
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ShortOnSkill screwed with this post 02-17-2007 at 11:53 AM
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:52 AM   #41
markjenn
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These things always spin out of control as folks start commenting on their personal styling preferences, anecdotal experiences, or questioning the statistical validity of any sample, no matter how carefully/scientifically the sample is collected.

But with this said, I'll relate my own anecdotal experience too, with my only claim to authority being that I've owned a LOT of bikes over a LOT of years.

This survey exactly mirrors my own experiences in owning several BMWs and a gaggle of Japanese bikes. I absolutely love BMWs, but NOTHING can hold a candle to the current reliability and engineering thoroughness of today's Japanese bikes.

Suzuki in particular is doing a superb job right now of producing an extremely wide range of wonderful and reliable bikes at great prices - almost unbelievable great prices. How in heaven's name can Suzuki produce a full-featured, full size bike like the DL650 and sell it for only slightly more than kiddy bikes? How do they do it? Look at a DL650 with a $6700 MSRP and compare it to something like the new BMW 650X for $9K - in every conceivable way the DL is tremendously more bike for a lot less money. and I don't think the BMW is over-priced - I just wonder how Suzuki can do it.

I buy BMWs because I love their unique approach to building bikes. They have this knack of zeroing in on the key things that make motorcycles charismatic, user-friendly, and enjoyable to ride over long distances. And, as the survey showed, their dealers are a notch above the typical Japanese bike dealer, albeit sometimes with an attitude to match. But while I'd happily choose to ride virtually any BMW coast to coast tomorrow, I don't delude myself for an instant that they're as reliable as my cheap Suzukis.

- Mark
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:12 PM   #42
BMR
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Mark

a slight shift here, however:


the general consensus around the riders that I know well is that the build quality in regards to fit, finish, level of polish, anodizing etc is not good on Suzuki, of all major brands. The litmus test often quoted is....leave it in the rain for a day or two, then look at what has to be polished, de-rusted or generally made to look new again with some considerable elbow grease. Suzukis seem to be built with cheaper grades of external parts.

Again, I take all surveys with a block of salt, and I would hope others do as well, unless they have an axe to grind with a certain brand or marque.


ps.do you do any PNWMA events?
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:43 PM   #43
TonyT
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My 02c

I'm not surprised by the J.D. Power results at all.
My Strom has been problem free, except for the rough running (it's an '04, bought new in '05), which was fixed by Suzuki Canada with a remapped ECU. The dealership where I bought it is friendly and efficient, but cramped and distinctly down-market in appearance - like a lot of bike shops, but I have no problem with that.
The local BMW dealership is a "Combi" i.e. combined cars and bikes. The people there are also very friendly and efficient (except for the car salesmen, who look down their aristocratic noses at you - I don't have "Just made V-P" tattooed on my forehead) and the premises are a palace, they must burn the total output of a small nuclear power plant at night with all the lighting. The purchase experience, even getting parts, is way more sophisticated than the Suzy dealership, even if the results are the same.
I also admire the BMW bikes for what they are, but here's the point for me - the failures I read about on this forum are old tech, i.e. transmissions and final drives, not the whiz-bang stuff. This points to a problem with design and manufacture, and nobody seems to be more on top of that stuff than the Japanese.
Cheers,
Tony
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:02 PM   #44
PeterW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddlewis
typical..


(edit: checked your profile expecting a stable full of BMW's only to find a metric cruiser and Suzuki.. so maybe not so typical. I still think the entry-level / advanced riders comment is silly. )
My last bike was a BMW, my current one is a Suzuki and I've been riding over 30 years. Hardly an entry level rider either.

My personal opinion of this is that currently Suzuki put their $$ into engineering rather than styling - and I doubt that's an altruistic decision - because styling would appear to sell more bikes. My gut feeling is that they've cranked the numbers and with patchy dealer quality the way to make maximum profit is to make bikes that won't come back at least until the warantee period is over.

Cheers
Pete
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:33 PM   #45
ikonoklass
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Is the issue "quality" or "reliability"? I have no trouble believing a Suzuki is less likely to leave me stranded ... but it's a much simpler machine and there's less to go wrong. But in terms of quality of materials, I've heard that Suzuki is the absolute worst. Not from other riders, per se, but from the magazines. Two Wheels Only, the British mag, says Suzuki is always a step behind in workmanship, and that English weather takes a bigger toll on Zooks than other bikes. They've also said ... repeatedly ... that a Suzuki with a few thousand miles on it feels like a much older bike than it should. I've happily owned Kwaks and Hondas, but I've deliberately stayed clear of Suzukis for these reasons. As far as the survey goes, the Suzuki owners obviously over-report their satisfaction in order to mask their shame.
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