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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Looks like Consumer Reports has thrown their 2 cents in. The article linked is NOT the report- it's a paraphrasing of the report. It sounded more like a collection of trouble reports and surveys, not qualified riders doing real world testing & evaluation. If anyone has the real report maybe link it or paste it? Guess who was EXCLUDED completely from the survey?

CR does about as good a job rating most items as can be, I guess. They sure aren't as neutral as they love to preach, though. Their snarky take on sports cars and pickup trucks always came across as arrogant to me. I doubt anyone up there could competently grade a MC seat with those broomsticks shoved so deeply in their asses either... but nevertheless. ..


http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/17/is-harley-davidson-the-worst-motorcycle-money-can.aspx
 

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Intresting find ...:)
 

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The author's opening sentence got a chuckle out of me. I was surprised to see Honda land below Kawasaki for reliability, especially considering the VN1700 issues they seem to be having.

Now, my real question is whether CR really thinks Victory hasn't made a significant dent in market share or if they couldn't find enough Victory owners who'd had a problem to bother adding another value to their graph :D

I'm sure it's the former rather than the latter, but we can all pretend otherwise for fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I was puzzled by that too. I'm not sure of the window of time studied here, but I would suspect that if they are going to do this annually, that Ma Vic would probably not be exempt on the next round.

I *thought* I read somewhere where Vic had experienced quite a jump in sales not too long ago, so if I'm right they should be able to collect enough info pretty soon.

Like my audits here at work.. you guys looking over sh** we did 6-8 months ago? Srsly?
 

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Vic is a tiny fraction of the production of any of those other manufacturers. Consumer Reports is about reporting for the masses, not for specialty buyers like we are. The entire sample was just a bit over 4000 people reporting on their experiences. If Vic had been included we would be seeing a rating by far less Vic owners than there are active on this forum. Do you really want that to be the entire sample they use to rate a bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wasn't complaining about anything regarding the exclusion of Victory.

Like I said I think the majority of their methods are sound. I just think that anyone who disses sportcars because of the substandard backseat legroom, pickup trucks because.. well just because they are arrogant dorks who don't like pickup trucks probably shouldn't waste time rating them. And Velveeta- my GOD they trashed Velveeta!! Move! just move away! All your clipboards and calculators are belong to us!!! :D
 

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I ruminated on this a bit yesterday. I find and interesting topic and I'll turn it over in my mind for hours.

Triumph and Ducati were also not represented. Surely they have enough units on the road for analysis.

Don't get me wrong, I don't see Consumer Reports as the be-all end-all of product review. I find their automotive reviews to be a little...shall we say...Toyota-centric. But they provide good information. I'm curious as to why they'd leave out a couple major international manufacturers. Or if they were simply not included in the article overview...?
 

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Consumer Reports seems pretty informative until they do reviews on a type of product you are actually familiar with. Then you quickly realize that they have no idea what the heck they're talking about.

I remember back in my bicycling days, they did a review on mountain bikes. The recommended the recall of a particular model because applying the front brakes too forcefully could cause the rider to be thrown over the handlebars. Seriously? And I'm sure we all remember the fatal blow they delivered to the Suzuki Samurai...
 

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I recall years ago when I worked for a high end stereo store the owner told me, "Bose sued CR for an unfavorable review". At the time I used to sell a ton of Paradigm shelf speakers when I did an A/B comparison to the Bose satellite speakers. The Bose sound like crap, but since they sued CR there was always a favorable review after that.

I have worked for a few MC dealers as a service writer and I can tell you this. Ducati had more warranty claims than Suzuki/Kawasaki/Triumph/Enfield/SeaDoo combined for that particular dealer. Triumph's fell apart regularly. Ducati would take a month off in the summer so we could not get parts.

I had tour guides tell me HD's would constantly need attention and it is was mostly the stators. All my HD friends complain about there bikes.

My father in law lemon lawed a brand new $120k BMW 750. His current vehicle still has issues. BMW mechanic said he loves his job since there is so much work on that brand.

I don't know of a dealer around here that I would trust my Vic with. God help me if I need warranty work. The dealer I bought it from did little to no dealer prep since I got to the stop light when I realized the front rotor was warped.

I guess we all have something to complain about...

Guess I got off on a tangent. Sorry
 

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I did construction work at a CR facility and remain impressed with the time and effort put into apples to apples testing of household products. I don't agree that they are in anyones pocket any more than an NFL franchise is. An RB or an end sure, but the whole organization, I don't buy it.

What I do believe is that CR has no more idea what riding a motorcycle means to me than they do the cost of tea in Chinee. Their concept of product is a machine that has comparable levels of safety, convenience, economy and longevity to a variety of other machines and they measure accordingly.

That works fine for a lawnmower or a refrigerator and I do refer to their reports on items of that ilk. But motorcycles? Cars? Trucks? C'mon, maybe minivans and crossover shoeboxes, but they know bupkus about machines that represent.

While we're at it and without trying to ruffle feathers, consider the spectrum of Yamaha owners. I would venture to guess that more than a few have a less critical eye than say Beemer, Duck or Hawg owners. Not all Yammie riders choose their steed based on mpg and low maintenance but enough do to skew the kind of data that CR hangs it's hat on. There are a zillion Yammies of just about every persuasion and Yammie has a leg of it's marketing aimed at selling product as transportation, which is right in CR's sweet spot. Harley and Bimwa are not in the transportation business, they are in the realized dream business. Their buyers may subscribe to CR but in those houses it probably gets read on the john, not in the living room.

CR needs to stick to toasters and bottled water reviews. The less they try to apply their middle of the road sensibility to my lifes passion the longer Pop will be inclined to respect them for what they do well at.
 

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I did construction work at a CR facility and remain impressed with the time and effort put into apples to apples testing of household products. I don't agree that they are in anyones pocket any more than an NFL franchise is. An RB or an end sure, but the whole organization, I don't buy it.

What I do believe is that CR has no more idea what riding a motorcycle means to me than they do the cost of tea in Chinee. Their concept of product is a machine that has comparable levels of safety, convenience, economy and longevity to a variety of other machines and they measure accordingly.

That works fine for a lawnmower or a refrigerator and I do refer to their reports on items of that ilk. But motorcycles? Cars? Trucks? C'mon, maybe minivans and crossover shoeboxes, but they know bupkus about machines that represent.

While we're at it and without trying to ruffle feathers, consider the spectrum of Yamaha owners. I would venture to guess that more than a few have a less critical eye than say Beemer, Duck or Hawg owners. Not all Yammie riders choose their steed based on mpg and low maintenance but enough do to skew the kind of data that CR hangs it's hat on. There are a zillion Yammies of just about every persuasion and Yammie has a leg of it's marketing aimed at selling product as transportation, which is right in CR's sweet spot. Harley and Bimwa are not in the transportation business, they are in the realized dream business. Their buyers may subscribe to CR but in those houses it probably gets read on the john, not in the living room.

CR needs to stick to toasters and bottled water reviews. The less they try to apply their middle of the road sensibility to my lifes passion the longer Pop will be inclined to respect them for what they do well at.
I don't get it Pop.

Journalists should not compare reliability stats between competing brands because the ones with the worst numbers represent dreams?

I do agree that comparing Harleys to BMWs is a bit like comparing Fabergé eggs to kitchen utensils. BMWs are designed to be ridden on race tracks, off road, the Autobahns, the Alps etc. Many Harleys never see so much as a drop of rain between polishings.

Given the difference in their usages, it seems kinda bogus to compare their relative reliabilities, but I'll always favor more info to less. After all, the CR washing machine tester isn't trying to tell anyone the best bike to customize or win races on. He's simply gathering service data and reporting it.

I think the Motley Fool is the one to take issue with. They are the ones putting out the sensationalist headlines used to lure in readers. While I didn't read the CR article, my guess is that their article is more balanced and to the point.

One nice thing to learn from this is that most problems with today's bikes are of the bell and whistle variety not something liable to strand us...or worse.:confused:
 

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This article has been out for a couple weeks at least. It was a hard targeted survey of reliability. That is about the best they could do with a hard target. for those that bothered reading you noticed they broke it down further into classes. Most of which the complaints were accessories. That is why touring machines faired lower than some others because the accessories is what had problems. They also put numbers with the conclusions.
If you want "qualified" riders, read Rider magazine and the like. Oh wait most don't like their opinions, and mostly for good reason.
Vic probably does the sales in a year that the others do in a week or less. I was shocked Kawasaki came in better than Honda, but the Kawasaki's are pretty lean on farkles for the most part. Yamaha rating first didn't surprise me much. If Vic would have put in offerings the past couple of years while they had their collective heads up Indian, I doubt many here would have liked what they saw.
Drive trains faired well in all the surveys in all the bikes. Beyond that all were still pretty good. Price and expectations have a lot to do with these, as they said, and that is why a certain brand holds its place near the top in sales and loyalty.
I'm outa this one. LOL
Cheers
 

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I wasn't complaining about anything regarding the exclusion of Victory.

Like I said I think the majority of their methods are sound. I just think that anyone who disses sportcars because of the substandard backseat legroom, pickup trucks because.. well just because they are arrogant dorks who don't like pickup trucks probably shouldn't waste time rating them. And Velveeta- my GOD they trashed Velveeta!! Move! just move away! All your clipboards and calculators are belong to us!!! :D
So well stated Judge!!!cheers
 

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I don't get it Pop.

Journalists should not compare reliability stats between competing brands because the ones with the worst numbers represent dreams?

I do agree that comparing Harleys to BMWs is a bit like comparing Fabergé eggs to kitchen utensils. BMWs are designed to be ridden on race tracks, off road, the Autobahns, the Alps etc. Many Harleys never see so much as a drop of rain between polishings.

Given the difference in their usages, it seems kinda bogus to compare their relative reliabilities, but I'll always favor more info to less. After all, the CR washing machine tester isn't trying to tell anyone the best bike to customize or win races on. He's simply gathering service data and reporting it.

I think the Motley Fool is the one to take issue with. They are the ones putting out the sensationalist headlines used to lure in readers. While I didn't read the CR article, my guess is that their article is more balanced and to the point.

One nice thing to learn from this is that most problems with today's bikes are of the bell and whistle variety not something liable to strand us...or worse.:confused:
Apparently not SB. I have no issue with journalists doing apples to apples on any motorcycle. I do take issue with the focus of this particular journals organizational mission and how it impacts their ability to review motorcycles. CR is in the "drive 55 with your seatbelt securely fastened" wing of comparison review. The fiber of their being bristles at the thought of humans plying the byways on a two wheeled missile. This is not an entity that I can accept the results of regarding motorcycling regardless the thoroughness of their testing methods which I have seen with my own eyes. CR and Pop are polar opposites philosophically when it comes to motorcycles and cars and trucks.

I don't just buy the analysis presented in the motorcycle press either, but I am able to read between the lines better because those journalists come at the topic from the same highways as me. I ride motorcycles and so do they. CR rides Amtrack.
 

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The review

Self accelerating Toyotas with faulty computers not withstanding they seem to do a "good job" . I read them then go buy what I want....I did get a kick out of the statement from Harley riders that "The occasional small repair bill may simply be a price they're willing to pay for owning the most famous name in motorcycles.". My Harley buddies say a "small repair bill" starts at $1000 and goes up....they don't say HD = "hundred dollars" for nothing. ;-)

Wheels down and eyes on the road.
 

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What I do believe is that CR has no more idea what riding a motorcycle means to me than they do the cost of tea in Chinee. Their concept of product is a machine that has comparable levels of safety, convenience, economy and longevity to a variety of other machines and they measure accordingly.

While we're at it and without trying to ruffle feathers, consider the spectrum of Yamaha owners. I would venture to guess that more than a few have a less critical eye than say Beemer, Duck or Hawg owners. Not all Yammie riders choose their steed based on mpg and low maintenance but enough do to skew the kind of data that CR hangs it's hat on. There are a zillion Yammies of just about every persuasion and Yammie has a leg of it's marketing aimed at selling product as transportation, which is right in CR's sweet spot. Harley and Bimwa are not in the transportation business, they are in the realized dream business. Their buyers may subscribe to CR but in those houses it probably gets read on the john, not in the living room.

CR needs to stick to toasters and bottled water reviews. The less they try to apply their middle of the road sensibility to my lifes passion the longer Pop will be inclined to respect them for what they do well at.
Tell us what you really think Pop. I have been a Yamaha, Kawasaki, BMW, Honda and Harley owner. I was the same person that whole time. I simply wanted a good running bike that felt like fun to ride and I knew would get me home. I never bought into the "work it might but shine it must" philosophy of the typical HD owner, even though I owned 2 of them recently.

What you get from CR is exactly what they are good at. They tell you things like maintenance costs, reliability, real world fuel economy and other readily measured characteristics. If you read CR you take that information for what it is really worth and add in your own opinion about the more esoteric items like fit and finish, color selections, the historic "bad boy" image, the brotherhood, etc. Those are things they cannot measure and so don't try to do so.

My BMW was always a reliable ride but is greatly outdated today although I still like it.

My Yamaha, this one, was and maybe still is my favorite ever ride for sub-200 miles rides, although I really like my Vision for my main ride.


My HD, this one, was used as a long distance touring bike but left me without a cruise control on one of my rides home from over 1000 miles away. It had other issues but looked great and had a decent ride to it. If I just commuted to local bars I would have loved it.


This unrated bike is my present ride. It fills all of the needs that I have at present and I traded that HD for it mostly based on reliability data, not CR data.
 

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What you get from CR is exactly what they are good at. They tell you things like maintenance costs, reliability, real world fuel economy and other readily measured characteristics.
That's the part I was trying to get at. I didn't get the sense they were making statements about best or worst bikes (that was the sensational Motley Fool headline). I agree with Pop that CR getting into the bike reviewing business would be about like me reporting on the finer points of golf equipment. But I don't see any harm in a guy like me gathering stats on how frequently clubs bend and reporting on it.
 
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