Consumer Reports: Victory Owners the Most Happy, But Yamaha the Most Reliable

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Consumer Reports has taken another polling from motorcycle owners, a part of the publication’s continuous assessment on the value of various motorcycle brands and categories.

As usual, the Japanese brands dominated the reliability segment, though that did not automatically translate into the happiest of owners.

Victory Motorcycles takes the cake for keeping its customers happy, which stems from having fairly reliable motorcycles, coupled with good customer service and dealer interactions.

As such, 80% of Victory owners said they would buy a Victory again. Compare that figure to 72% for Harley-Davidson, and 70% for Honda (all other OEMs were below 70%).

Interestingly enough, comfort was the biggest predictor of “happiness” in a motorcycle brand, with the two results seeming to be correlated. Another interesting point was that Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Triumph each garnered Consumer Reports’ lowest mark for comfort.

For reliability, Yamaha took the honors, with Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki following closely behind. Domestic brands Victory and Harley-­Davidson ranked mid-pack, while the European brands of Triumph, Ducati, and BMW were at the bottom, in that order. Can-Am finished the list in last, with the brand being twice as likely to have a failure than any other.

More interesting was CR’s analysis by category, which showed that cruisers appear to require fewer repairs than other types of motorcycles. Going from cruiser, dual-sport/adventure, standard, touring, sport touring, and sport bikes there is a 15% to 23% in failure rates, in that order.

Consumer Reports is quick to point out though, with its sample size, that number is statistically insignificant.

For the full breakdown of the data, head over to Consumer Reports. If you’re in the market, their analysis is perhaps the best resource in judging which brands to look at, and which to avoid.

Source: Consumer Reports

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.