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!

No More Rainsuits? Introducing the Rainrunner

rooffortwo-01A South Asian company, Roof For Two, has developed a novel approach to that pesky problem of sudden downpours ruining an otherwise enjoyable motorcycle commute.  Introducing the Rain Runner.  A portable, fold-flat, quick deploying, rain cover for a motorcycle. You’ll still need something covering your lower legs, but watching the video, it seems to be a functional alternative to those hard to struggle into rain suits. Not to mention the aggravation of summer showers where you suit up, ride through the rain for 20 miles and have the pop out for the next 30 miles turning your rainsuit into a sauna.

The prototype has been in the works for over a year while the company applied for the patents.  It’s a neat concept, but we gotta say it amps up the dorky factor by 10, so we doubt it will get much play here in the US.

But we’re not the target market. In the Asian market, motorcycles are more utility vehicles versus recreational and function is far more important than how cool you look.

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Celebrity Donates Motorcycles To Veterans Charity

We wonder if Demi ever rode on the p-pad with Bruce on this bike?

We wonder if Demi ever rode on the p-pad with Bruce on this bike?

His face is instantly recognizable and his support of veteran causes is well known. Now the last action hero, Bruce Willis is donating five of his motorcycles that will be auctioned online to benefit Boot Campaign.

The auction started two months ago with a 2005 Ducati 1000DS which sold for $6,250.

On the block this month is a 1988 Yamaha TW, valued at $1,400. As of Feb 8th, the bidding had reached $1,450 with only 3 bidders competing for the bike.

Willis, who was born on a military base in Germany has long been a supporter of veterans and their charities.

Boot Campaign released a statement from the actor who said, “I wanted to use my bikes in a way that would benefit our military service members, and I am thankful to have found the Boot Campaign as the catalyst for using my bikes in a way that will give back to our country’s true heroes,” “These bikes have been a lot of fun to ride, and my hope is they can do a lot of good for our veterans.”

The charity will auction the bikes in two month intervals. In April, the actor’s 1962 Cushman Eagle will be up and in June a 1991 Yamaha XT. The final auction will be in August and will be a 1972 H-D Ironhead Sportster XLH.

Click here to go to the Boot Campaign website for more information.

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.


Harley-Davidson Recalls V-Rods for Minor Problem

 Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) is recalling all model year 2012 and certain model year 2013 VRSCDX motorcycles manufactured from June 14, 2011, through August 1, 2012. The license plate bracket assembly’s mounting screws may loosen and the assembly may separate from the rear fender. This condition may lead to contact with the rear tire which could cause the license plate bracket to rotate, possibly damaging the rear brake line.   If the license plate bracket contact with the rear brake line remains undetected, it may affect rear brake performance, increasing the risk of a crash, which could lead to injury or death of the rider. Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and repair any affected motorcycles free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on, or about, November 5, 2012. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056. his is Harley-Davidson recall 0148. 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.

 

Largest Honda Dealer in the US Under Investigation

Southern Honda Powersports, the largest Honda dealer with locations in Tennessee and Florida is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),  the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville and the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office for allegedly selling unsafe motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, according to a report out today in USA Today.    The report says a consultant and former employee, along with 9 other employees all say the dealership sold bikes that were under recall, (without fixing them first) and employees did not have the training to assemble the ATV’s and motorcycles the dealer sold to the public.

The reports says  that there are potentially 25,000 vehicles that are in customers possessions that are potentially unsafe.

The owner, Tim Kelly, says there “is no substance” to the’ allegations, and says alleged assembly problems are “utter balderdash.”

Read the USA Today story here

Bodies In Painted Motion

The folks behind the International Motorcycle Show, (Advanstar) partnered with some California artsy types and came up with a creative way to use body paint to “define” a culture.   What we like best is they used Erin Bates (Speed TV reporter and on-air personality)  as the “rider.”   What we wouldn’t have given to be her painter!

Honda Recalls CB1000RC For Potential Drive Plate Problems

 Honda is recalling 1,542 certain model year 2012 NC700XDC and NC700XC motorcycles. Some motorcycles may be equipped with drive chains that contain outer drive plates that were improperly heat-treated, resulting in plate fracture during use, If a plate fractures, the motorcycle can unexpectedly lose propulsion, increasing the risk of a crash.  Honda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the drive chain, free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin on October 8, 2012. Owners may contact Honda customer service at 1-866-784-1870.  NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V461000

NYPD Loses Seven Motorcycles Seized As Evidence

New York NY:  You can seize them, but you can’t always keep them.  That is, if you’re the NYPD.

In July, the department seized 60 high end motorcycles as evidence in a motorcycle and gun trafficking ring.  in late August,  7 of those motorcycle were then stolen from a Bronx NYPD parking lot.  The clueless cops said the lot was fenced, but not locked and the bikes were stored in a box van with their batteries removed, and the wheels locked to make them harder to steal.

More at the Gothamist

Wynonna Judd’s Husband Loses Leg in Motorcycle Accident

Wynonna Judd‘s husband and drummer Michael Scott “Cactus” Moser‘s left leg was amputated above the knee following a motorcycle accident on Saturday in South Dakota.  According to published reports the couple was riding separate motorcycles on US Hwy 16 near Deadwood SD when Moser crossed the center line and rammed into the side of Chevy Malibu traveling in the opposite direction.

Judd was riding just ahead of Moser and was not involved in the accident.

The leg was severed at the scene and doctors in Rapid City performed the surgery. He also underwent surgery to his hand.

Moser was cited for crossing the center line and not having a license to operate a motorcycle.

In a statement posted at Wynonna.com, the couple expresses their appreciation for “all of the quick medical and police responders as well as the hospital staff and well-wishes from family, friends and fans.” Judd said, “Cactus is a champion. I love him deeply and I will not leave his side,” she said in a statement Saturday.

The couple were married in June at Judd’s Nashville home.  Judd has canceled her concerts for the next week as a result of the accident.