The Most Reliable Motorcycle Brand? Not Harley

Domestic motorcycle manufacturers Harley-Davidson and Victory earned the highest driver satisfaction ratings, Consumer Reports reported today, but Japanese bikes are “significantly more reliable.”

Those ratings are based on the magazine’s survey of more than 11,000 subscribers who reported on more than 12,300 motorcycles from model years 2008 to 2014. Ten brands were surveyed.

The reliability ratings are based on failure rates for 4-year-old bikes:

  1. Yamaha/Star (11 percent failure rate)
  2. Suzuki and Honda (12 percent)
  3. Kawasaki (15 percent)
  4. Victory (17 percent)
  5. Harley-Davidson (26 percent)
  6. Triumph (29 percent)
  7. Ducati (33 percent)
  8. BMW (40 percent)
  9. Can-Am (42 percent)

“But owner satisfaction — i.e., happiness — is an entirely different measure from reliability,” Consumer Reports states.

Satisfaction ratings are based on how many owners “said they would definitely buy the same bike if they were to do it all over again.” The winners are:

  1. Victory (80 percent)
  2. Harley-Davidson (72 percent)
  3. Honda (70 percent)

Comfort appears to be key to satisfaction, however.

Consumer Reports’ satisfaction categories include acceleration, comfort, and fun and styling, with comfort ratings most closely aligned with satisfaction ratings.

Victory was victorious there, being the only brand to earn the magazine’s highest comfort rating. Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Triumph earned the lowest comfort rating.

Handling was the only other satisfaction category with a standout brand:

The Can-Am, from Canadian maker BRP, with its distinctive three-wheelers (or trikes), was judged to have average handling satisfaction – a lower rating than every other brand.

Consumer Reports’ full motorcycle analysis will be published in the magazine’s May issue.

What’s your favorite motorcycle brand? Sound off in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement
5 Medicare Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Retirement

Medicare can be confusing. Beware these missteps — which can hike your costs.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on both everyday and occasional purchases.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances
3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances

Open an HSA in minutes to help you save on taxes, cover medical expenses and grow your retirement nest egg.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.