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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Talking about reliability of Ducati's in the other thread made me curious to see if anybody has published any formal studies on motorcycle reliability.

I came across this one by Consumers Reports. I'm kind of surprised that they ranked BMW so high on the repair meter.



Most Reliable Motorcycles - Consumer Reports
 

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BMW's I would say tend to be more complex, and are typically bought with more goodies on them.

Many are also ridden a lot of miles

Plus, given the premium of the brand, *might* have pickier owners
 

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Thirdgenlxi on here has over 265k on his 2004 Honda F4i.
PhilB has over 200k on his Ducati Monster I believe.
Tripped1 has over 115k on his Triumph Speed Triple
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thirdgenlxi on here has over 265k on his 2004 Honda F4i.
That's impressive. Has he had to rebuild the engine or anything? I've asked various mechanics at different times and it seems like most have told me a properly maintained Japanese sportbike will go about 100k before needing an overhaul.
 

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i've owned a few different brands, so i'll list my experiences here:

2006 Kawasaki Ninja 250R: 12k miles, 0 issues

2005 Suzuki SV650S: 7k miles, 0 issues

2008 Suzuki GSXR 600: 17k miles, would lose power when cruising at 60mph in 6th

2009 aprilia Tuono: 5k miles, blown rear shock after 1k miles, expanding plastic gas tank, stalling when blipping throttle on downshifts occasionally, hard starting when cold

2005 Yamaha R6: 5k miles, 0 issues for me, previous owner had to replace 2 coil packs

2008 Ducati 848: 6k miles, expanding plastic gas tank, SUDDEN, dramatic loss of power while accelerating. happened twice.

2008 Honda CBR 600RR: 5k? miles, 0 issues, just really annoying on/off engine braking when trying to go constant speed down a hill

1993 Yamaha FZR 600: 1k miles, 0 issues

2008 BMW F800ST: 1k miles, 0 issues (but i hate how loud the engine is when cold)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Still can't do your own research, eh?
There's really not a lot out there. The CR "research" is about all there is. That and frequency of recalls published through NHTSA.

Opinions of reliability stem from anecdotal evidence, which as demonstrated in the other thread vary from person to person. So yeah, by getting everyone's opinions, maybe we can put together a better picture of who is reliable and who is less reliable.
 

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Yamaha probably lowest because the super long valve check intervals mean less trips to the dealership for them to "find" something "wrong". Not everyone goes to the dealership for valve checks but probably enough do to cause statistical difference.
 

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Thirdgenlxi on here has over 265k on his 2004 Honda F4i.
PhilB has over 200k on his Ducati Monster I believe.
Tripped1 has over 115k on his Triumph Speed Triple
add over 213k on my '99 ZX6R to your list. It's alot to do with your maintenance I believe
 

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The Consumer Reports article has been hashed to bits over on Sport Touring.net. The consensus was the article was so full of holes for the results to be meaningless.
 
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That's impressive. Has he had to rebuild the engine or anything? I've asked various mechanics at different times and it seems like most have told me a properly maintained Japanese sportbike will go about 100k before needing an overhaul.
Not a proper rebuild, no.

It was my understanding from talking to him that at about 175k, he went down on the bike and bent the crankshaft. He replaced said crankshaft with one from a 15k mile engine he bought, but that was it.
 

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^If i recall he tore it down this year to replace the gears because it was having trouble staying in 3rd. Still amazing mileage.
 

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A reliable bike is one you take care of. Even my schizophrenic 750 has been reliable, only leaving me stranded once, when the regulator rectifier went bad on the Cherohala, which admittedly had nothing to do with maintenance, but isn't all that uncommon either. It's only got around 38K miles on it, but given how finicky and fussy it is, that's still a pretty good record.
 

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The Consumer Reports article has been hashed to bits over on Sport Touring.net. The consensus was the article was so full of holes for the results to be meaningless.
Consumer Reports is usually full of shit. How do you rank the most reliable brand new models when hardly any of them are on the road yet and nobody has had a chance to put miles on them? They just rank shit based on brand reputation, which is why all of their best models are Toyotas even though they've had more recalls than anyone else.

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256,000 miles on a 1988 Ninja 600.

Working on bikes for a living I find Honda/kawasaki to be the most reliable and Yamaha the most problematic as far as non maintanence issues go.
 

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BMW's I would say tend to be more complex, and are typically bought with more goodies on them.

Many are also ridden a lot of miles

Plus, given the premium of the brand, *might* have pickier owners
Down here in New Zealand the big Bmw adventure bikes are extremely popular and clock up huge miles over all sorts of roads,as you say many are ridden a lot of miles,ive a good friend with an GS thats done 173 k with only mininmal problems and many of those miles are done on roads more suited to a goat.Very tough bike.That said ive a 15 year old Suzuki V-twin thats never left me stranded anywhere.
 

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That's impressive. Has he had to rebuild the engine or anything? I've asked various mechanics at different times and it seems like most have told me a properly maintained Japanese sportbike will go about 100k before needing an overhaul.
He has rebuilt it once, but not due to wear; he had a tipover and cracked his engine case. He actually bought a low-mileage used engine, took everything out of it, and put all the parts from his 265K engine inside and went on.

My Duc has never been rebuilt, at about 220K. I put in piston rings at 122K, and replaced the carburetors at 185K. I've had some clutch wear issues -- the original clutch basket had to be replaced at 140K; the second one just recently with only 80K on it. The bottom end and transmission haven't seen daylight since they left the factory 20 years ago.

For bikes over 100K, I've seen about a dozen Ducs, lots of Hondas (esp Gold Wings, but other models as well), a bunch of BMWs, a fair few Moto Guzzis, a couple Yamahas, a few other things.

Myself, in addition to the Monster, I've gotten three other bikes over 80K -- a 1989 Honda CBR600, which was basically indestructible; a 1979 BMW R65, which pretty much wore out entirely at that point; and a 1960 Heinkel 175cc scooter, which shows that you can put high mileage on just about anything if you put your mind to it.

The highest-mileage bike I've ever seen was a 1970 Triumph Bonneville, with well over 500K on it.

PhilB
 
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