You Won’t Believe Which Brand Received The Worst “Reliability” Rating

12-BMW-K1600GTL-0151Consumer Reports surveyed 4680 subscribers who are motorcycle owners about the reliability of their motorcycles.  Out of those who responded to the survey, BMW touring and dual sport owners reported more problems with their motorcycles than owners of other brands.

One in every three BMW owners (33%)  said they’ve had an issue with their motorcycle in the past year.  One in every 4 Harley-Davidson owner (25%) reported an issue with their motorcycle.

Honda CBR, and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R owners reported the least amount of problems.  The issues that were brought up the most by those who responded to the survey were problems with lights, switches, instrumentation, electrical or fuel systems.

Other brands such as  Kawasaki, Victory, Indian, Suzuki and Triumph were not ranked as the owners did not provide enough information as required by the survey.

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 F800S and F800ST Motorcycles

bmw_f800s_sideBMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 F 800 S and F 800 ST motorcycles manufactured August 2006 through January 2009. Due to incorrect tolerances, the rear wheel drive bearing and rear axle may wear. Bearing and axle wear may affect handling and control of the motorcycle, increasing the risk of a crash. BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the wheel bearing, and if necessary, replace the bearing and rear axle, at no charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2013. Owners may call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2012 K1600 GT and K1600 GTL motorcycles

P90066616BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2012 K1600 GT and K1600 GTL motorcycles. In certain riding conditions, an incorrect throttle valve control signal may be received by the engine control unit, limiting the engine speed. As a result of the reduced engine speed, the engine could stall, increasing the risk of a crash. BMW will notify owners, and dealers will update the throttle control software, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin in December 2013. Owners may contact BMW customer relations at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Ohlins Racing AB (Ohlins) is recalling certain steering dampers manufactured with an incorrectly machined bracket

BMW S 1000 RR (07/2009)Ohlins Racing AB (Ohlins) is recalling certain steering dampers manufactured with an incorrectly machined bracket. These dampers were sold for use as aftermarket equipment on BMW S1000RR and R1200R motorcycles. The affected brackets may crack. If there is a crack in the steering bracket, as low speeds it may cause the steering to lock, leading to personal injury or a crash. Ohlins will notify the distributors and provide their customers with a new bracket. The recall is expected to begin in July 2013. Owners may contact Ohlins USA at 1-828-692-4525. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

BMW Recalls Small Number of GS R1200 for Suspension Problem

BMWBMW is recalling less than 2 dozen 2013 R1200 GS motorcycles manufactured January 9, 2013, through February 8, 2013.  The manufacturer says because of an insufficient torque of a locking bolt, the front fork tube may loosen.  If the fork loosens it may hinder the rider’s ability to control the motorcycle, increasing the risk of a crash.  BMW will notify owners and dealers will reinforce the affected fork locking bolt connections, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2013. Owners may call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. NHTSA Campaign Number: 13V154000

Harley and BMW Owners Say Their Brands Are Less Reliable, but More Satisfying

moto mechanicConsumer Reports magazine has conducted their first ever motorcycle reliability survey and they say that a quarter of all Harley-Davidson owners reported experiencing a major problem with their motorcycle in the previous four years.  BMW owners reported their motorcycles are even less reliable, with 33% of owners reporting problems in the previous four years.  Japanese import owners reported fewer problems,.(10% or less)

The full report will be released tomorrow, March 28th.  In the advance release of the report, no mention was made of responses from Triumph, Ducati,  Victory or Indian owners.

Interestingly despite the higher percentage of owners reporting problems with their motorcycles,  BMW and HD owners reported being the most satisfied with their motorcycles.  An overwhelming number of Harley-Davidson owners, 75% told interviewers they would buy their bike again.   BMW and Honda owners also reaffirmed their purchase at 74 and 72 percent respectively.

“Reliability is one of many factors consumers might consider when purchasing a motorcycle. However, other factors like sculpted lines and rumbling engines also strike the right note among motorcyclists,” said Rik Paul, Auto Editor, Consumer Reports.

Among the bikes that needed repairs, survey respondents reporting having the most trouble with accessories, such as lights, instruments, switches, and radios (21%), brakes (20%), the electrical system (16%), and the fuel system (15%). Fortunately, most repairs were fairly inexpensive. Three quarters cost less than $200 out-of-pocket.

What about you?  Are you happy with your bike?  Take our poll below and tell us!

BMW Recalls S 1000 Models

BMW 1000RR BMW is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 S 1000 RR motorcycles manufactured September 2011, through December 2012. Due to a manufacturing fault, the side-stand attachment bolts could start to loosen. The loosening of the side-stand bolts could cause the stand to separate from the frame of the motorcycle.   A separation of the side-stand could cause the motorcycle to fall, causing a risk of injury.BMW will notify owners, and dealers will clean the sidestand mounting plate threads and replace the side-stand mounting plate bolts, free of charge.  The recall is expected to begin in January 2013. Owners may call BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or email BMW at CustomerRelations@bmwusa.com.  Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


Moto Journalist Test Ride Epic Fail

It’s the recurring nightmare of every professional moto-journalist.  The epic test ride fail.  This one is worse than most because it was caught on camera.  But, on second thought, maybe it’s best that this foreign journo have some evidence to show the manufacture how their luxury BMW sport touring model was completely trashed.

WSP Police Drop BMW for Honda Motorcycles

Ninety years ago, the Washington State Patrol was formed with troopers riding Indian motorcycles. The iconic bikes were replaced in recent years with BMW motorcycles for the state’s 43 troopers that ride on two wheels. Now, those troopers are getting new rides: the WSP is switching to Honda. “I think it’s a little bit smoother than the BMW, especially at higher speeds,” said Trooper Jeff Sevigney, one of four motorcycle troopers in the Spokane region.

“It’s a little bit easier to ride,” he said.

The Honda ST 1300 PA is powered by a four-cylinder engine arranged in a “V” alignment with a five-speed transmission. The model was introduced in Europe in 2002. It has well-placed crash bars along the sides to protect the driver in case of a spill. The bike will get Sevigney in and out of tight spaces and can go where a patrol car cannot. “We are less noticeable,” he said. The 15-year veteran won’t say how fast the motorcycle will go. “Fast enough is what I tell people,” he said.

Last week, he was working traffic along U.S. Highway 195 near Cheney-Spokane Road as part of a stepped-up enforcement and safety program along that busy corridor. It didn’t take long for him to pull over a few drivers. Within a few minutes, he nailed a semitruck driver going over the limit. Motorcycle troopers typically ride from March to November. They retreat to cars during winter months. A statement from WSP headquarters said, “The Honda ST 1300 PA was specifically manufactured for law enforcement use.

“The Honda was chosen over other models because of the balance, maneuverability, acceleration, overall performance, availability of service, and lower purchase and maintenance costs.”