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ZVO
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Discussion Starter #1
ConsumerReports.org released their motorcycle failure rates and its's all here

ImageUploadedByMotorcycle1428410540.506407.jpg

26% of Harley Davidson bikes failed after 4 years that means that 1 in 4 of us will have a big problem with our bike! Sheesh!

So trade it in at the 3 year mark
 

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Super Moderator
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I worked in the consumer electronics industry for several years. Consumer reports is about as trustworthy as Cracked magazine.
 

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I can confirm their results with multiple firsthand HD Customer Beta Testing that I unknowingly conducted...
I have a honda in the garage also and can confirm those results also...actually the honda one seems very high compared to mine...
Say it isn't so...LOL.

Ps I agree that so called consumer reports appears to be biased many times...My daughter was going to buy a volkswagon jetta one time...I checked it out and consumer reports said the motor was junk basicly, but gave the car A PASSING GRADE TO BUY...Really...They were right, the motor was junk...and so was the car...
 

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Vile Deplorable
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I always felt that CR and the Onion were run by the same bunch of jokers.
 

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Super Moderator
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They rated 5 electric blankets. They had an ax to grind with Sunbeam and rated us dead last after JC Penny, Sears, Oster and another brand.

Long story short, we made everyone of those blankets in Waynesborough, MS side by side. Cosmetic differences in controls, but essentially identical in function and operation.

They did that with other products as well. It helped that they didn't really know where things were made.
 

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luv the low country
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That will help the sales pitch of the Extended Warranty Programs.:D
 

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Outlaw Nipple Poster
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I disagree. I've used CR for years without a bum steer ever. If CR is that erroneous, then their ratings of Customer Satisfaction for Harleys (top 2 if I recall) is BS too, right/
 

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Wayward Son
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A habit I have gotten into any time I read a "glowing to good to be true product write up" in any magazine.
Pay attention to the advertisements in the same magazine. Oddly enough many times you will find one for the same product written about so highly. :think
 

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Outlaw Nipple Poster
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CR has no paid advertisers.
 

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I've rode lots of bikes, and the '95 Yamaha VMax I had was about the most bullet-proof one. Couldn't help but ride the hell out of it, I mean I rode that bike HARD! However, it was one-up always, and very few long trips. Just a lot of central Arkansas rippin'. I only put 72000 miles or so on that bike in the five years I owned it. That's an average of only 14,400 a year. On my Sportster, I averaged 3000 miles a month. Rain, shine, cold, hot, didn't matter. Rode it hard, too. Have redone top-end 3 times to the tune of over 250000 miles (can ALWAYS find parts for a Harley).

Guys with all those Yamahas and Hondas, how many miles are they putting on 'em a year? Guys like myself will put 40000 miles on a Harley in a year. Figures we gonna run into some issues 'bout year 3-4, doesn't it?

Also, what is their definition of "fail?" Does that mean total engine failure, transmission failure, or what? I got a buddy who rides about as much as anyone else I know who owns a BMW and he hasn't had any problems.

Don't get me wrong here, I realize Harleys AIN'T exactly famous for their durability, but it is hard to compare a four year old bike of any brand with 100+ thousand miles with another of any brand with 6500 miles in the same time frame. Statistics can be made to say anything anyone wants to say.

This consumer report doesn't sway me one bit in any direction concerning anything. Twist them throttles hard enough, fellers, and I'm pretty sure all of us on here are capable of breakin' anything they can build. I know I am.
 

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The problem with such a study is that it doesn't qualify anything. What constitutes "failure?" Number of miles at failure, etc?

For example, it's interesting that BMW also rated very poorly. If you asked 100 experienced riders which three makers of motorcycles do you believe average the most miles annually, I'd guess it'd be Harley, Honda and BMW. They have the most popular touring motorcycles by far.

You'll find 4-year-old Harley touring bikes all day with 50-60K miles on them. The same can be said for 'Wings and BMWs. How any Yammies get ridden like that?

You can get the answers you want by asking the questions you want.
 

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The Angry One
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The problem with such a study is that it doesn't qualify anything. What constitutes "failure?" Number of miles at failure, etc?

For example, it's interesting that BMW also rated very poorly. If you ask 100 experienced riders which three makers of motorcycles do you believe average the most miles annually, I'd guess it'd be Harley, Honda and BMW. They have the most popular touring motorcycles by far.

You'll find 4-year-old Harley touring bikes all day with 50-60K miles on them. The same can be said for 'Wings and BMWs. How any Yammies get ridden like that?

The problem with research is that you can get the answers you want by asking the questions you want.

That's what I was gonna say as well. Shit doesn't break if it's sitting in the garage.
 

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Outlaw Nipple Poster
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That is why I stated "any magazine".
But somebody is paying the bills at CR. :dunno
Online and magazine subscriptions and individual member donations.
 

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We have a CR subscription and I enjoy going through it every month. And I have found over the years a couple articles I totally disagree with. Also, IMHO after reading their publication for years, seems to me they do sometimes favor foreign products over American without substantial justification.

What I find most helpful with CR is when we are getting ready to buy something we don't know a lot about their articles can sometimes shed some light on issues or point out something I wasn't aware of.

Like any publication these days, read it with a grain of salt.
 

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A habit I have gotten into any time I read a "glowing to good to be true product write up" in any magazine.
Pay attention to the advertisements in the same magazine. Oddly enough many times you will find one for the same product written about so highly. :think
What Thunder says is true. Not so much with Nanny magazine CR. Not hard to miss in other publications.
 

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I don't think the problem with CR is necessarily bias, though that may play a role in some articles. I thing testing process and criteria for success and failure, as well as their resulting value for the dollar, is often shaky and can be challenged.

As has been asked, what constitutes failure? Complete, catastrophic engine failure, or a bad battery at an in opportune time? Did they include totaled bike from accidents? Of course, to access that data, you have to pass through a pay wall.
 

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Banned
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You guys act like you're surprised the Jap bikes are engineered better and last longer. Everyone knows that. We jump from jap bikes to American bikes because we want to, not because we have to. The Harley is better looking and carries with it a legacy of coolness you just can't get on a jap bike. So if you want longevity and trouble free riding, then yea, you need a Yamaha/Honda. But there ain't no cool shirts and skull caps for jap bikes! LOL.

PS. We actually pay more for a lessor bike as well! What a bunch of sick F**K's we are!!
 

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i think americans like a nostalgic motor more than Europe or asia - while the rest of the world made major improvements in motorcycle design harley didnt-thus it became even more american- they came into the modern age of motorcycling kicking and screaming when the did the vrod-
for decades the only real american motorcyle -
 

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Super Moderator
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I talked at length with an R&D engineer from the moco. The track where they brutalize the geezer glides side by side with the wings is an entirely different story. Stuff falls off them wings.

I had a wing before the GG and I think the Harley is actually a much better built machine. The real kicker is when you price parts. You can get aftermarket "anything" for HD, but the the MIJ bikes are strictly dealer for most repairs (not bling) and they are VERY proud of it $$$$.

I do not know many riders that can compare their MIJ miles to my HD miles. Most Honda riders I know are all talk and polish, no miles on the odometer.
 
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