Over years of continuous advertising campaigns and through personal experiences brands are often associated with certain qualities ans stereotypes. Volvos are safe, Ducatis are unreliable and expensive to maintain, Porsche convertibles are for middle aged men with lack or hair, Japanese vehicles are dull, and BMW motorcycles are rugged, absolutely bulletproof and will run forever. Heck, you can ride them through gates of hell and they will keep going. Or not.
As it turns out the latter statement is false. According to latest Consumer Reports customer satisfaction poll, BMW is dead last when it comes to reliability. It seems like newer Beemers are plagued with reliability issues and owners are not happy about it. Ducati is not far ahead, with similar issues reported. At least Ducati was never known to be a reliable brand and issues are almost expected.
Unsurprisingly Japanese brands occupy top 4 places. So pretty much if you want reliable and bulletproof you stick with Japanese bikes. I just wish they would figure out how to inject some personality and character into their bikes. Or perhaps their appliance like feel is the direct cause of how reliable they are?
Interestingly every BMW owner I know swears by how reliable their bike is. Yet it's dead last in reliability poll. Someone is not telling the truth. Could it be that love for the brand is making owners blind?
Recently I was talking to Manu who has been touring the world with his girlfriend Ivana for over 3 years (check out their epic trip at aroundgaia.com). Loaded with gear and a passenger, his Yamaha Tenere has over 60 000 tough miles on it. Everything is still original (beside tires and chain / sprockets). Suspension has never been touched. Not a single breakdown ever. How is that for reliability? BTW Yamaha is reported #1.
So if you want stone reliable you buy Japanese. If you want character and adventure you stick with Germans. Or Italians if you are really adventurous.
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