'03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90
I will say this... i sometimes use Consumer Reports... BUT you have to read all the print, they don't always evaluate things correctly.
I wont go into specifics but i once read an article were i was more of an expert then the reviewers and was perplexed at how misguided it was. When i say i was an expert i was, and they were not... and i had no brand affinity, but if you took there recommendation at face value you would have made a mistake.
That was that one time, or was it?... always makes me wonder about the stuff that i am not an expert at...
anyway... they have their place... buyer beware... AS ALWAYS>>>>
Ich Fahre Nicht Zu Schnell, Ich Fliege Nur Niedrig
Oklahoma Adventure Trail
I'd say most of the criticism posted here about Consumer Reports is way off base. CR was not evaluating the performance, or features, of any bike, or stating their preferences after road tests. They were simply reporting the results of a reliability survey they did of 4,400-odd motorcycle owners. I read the CR article, not just news reports on it, and CR was quite clear as to what they were reporting on. If you don't like the results, blame the owners for telling the truth. Better yet, blame the manufacturers who can't make a reliable product. As the old saying goes, don't shoot the messenger. It's too bad they only surveyed 4,400 (or whatever the exact number was) owners. CR's annual auto issue reports the results of a reliability survey of over one million owners. I'd say the results of this reliability survey of motorcycles generally track with the results of the auto reliability survey. That is, the Japanese produce the most reliable cars. The Europeans and Americans, not so much. To me, the real question is why can't BMW and HD produce bikes that are as reliable as Japanese bikes?
Consumer Reports always values practicality and value above excitement and coolness. When they test motorcycles, it's always been little 250s and scooters. They will never rate an exciting motorcycle above one that is cheap-to-own. Bargain-conscious consumers are their niche.
After all I heard from BMW riders and Iron Butt Rally reports, I bought my R1200RT in spite of its reputation for reliability. I love how it rides but do not expect that it will need as few repairs as my Gold Wing did. The cracks around my plastic fuel coupler emphasized that point. Are you surprised that Honda owners rate reliability high? Everything on my Gold Wing was thicker and over-engineered. It was also 300 pounds heavier than my Beemer. Can you imagine a BMW engineer suggesting that they make their bikes a hundred pounds heavier just to make sure it's tough?
As long as BMW values performance and exciting above toughness and practicality, Hondas will be more reliable. Also, we will keep buying BMWs instead of Hondas.
2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
Northern Virginia, USA
If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.
I'm glad to see CR getting into the moto evaluations fray. Maybe it will help motivate bike builders to get a little more quality control conscious.
'06 BMW R1200RT
'74 Moto-Guzzi 850-T
I am no fan of CR mainly because the products they review are most often long out of production by the time you
read the magazine. That being said, it's hard to argue with their conclusion on motorcycles. I have never owned a
Harley, but I have about seven years of experience owning two BMWs and I have found them to be marginally reliable
maintenance queens with hideously high total cost of ownership.
Still, I'd own nothing else.
Three cheers for BMW making the maintenance of their belt drives so expensive that the games of input shaft and final drive roulette sound almost reasonable.
They should ask me about my K75. In 24 years I have spent about $2200 on it. Mostly for tires and batteries. Other than a fuel strip (warranty), my R1200R has been great for 19000 miles. Much of the high cost of maintenance I suspect is all the high tech goodies that UJMs don't have. That is why I stick to basic models.
On average, BMW's and Harley's are probably more expensive to maintain than a CB600. But how many CB600s ever see 200,000 miles on the odometer. I suspect if they measured reliability over 100.000 miles it would look a lot different.
CR always has a crush on Japanese things. They rated the Pontiac Vibe poor, and the Toyota Matrix high. Same exact car built on the exact same assembly line. Just different badges.
1988 K75 Low Seat
2009 R1200R Roadster
"If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.
In my opinion CR is worthless. For one thing, in their comparisons they choose specific models of manufacturers to draw over-all conclusions, which in my opinion, can yield skewed results. Just like political polls, design the questions to yield the results you want.
My 2006 HD FXSTI (softtail) has needed only gas, oil, and tires in the last 12.5K miles. Sadly my 2004 CLC had clutch and rear hub problems but for long distance the CLC is vastly more comfortable. The HD despite its larger displacement and weight gets better gas mileage than the boxer. Both bikes have after market seats. I enjoy riding both and would own more motorcycles if I could afford to.
Cave Contents: 1980 R100RT/Ural Sidecar, 2004 R1200CLC, 2006 HD FSXTI
Forty some years ago, my dad bought a Dodge Aspen based on the cs review. What a piece of crap. It needed a tail wind to go up hill. I recently bought a refridgerator and looked at the cs reports. I found it interesting that almost every cs recommendation was thoroughly dissed online by cs members. Not a fan.
Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away
I remember when Brock Yates was editor of Car and Driver. CU would publish some automotive report, and Yates would follow with a scathing, vitriolic column. It was hilarious.
These days, with the internet, you can get a handle on pretty much any vehicle, just by going to the right site.
But I occasionally pick up CR and look at their best cars and worst cars sections, just for fun.
Last edited by RINTY; 04-13-2013 at 09:56 PM.
"When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."
C R = Completely Ridiculous
This bunch of idiots pretending to know what they write about are a bad joke. I read an auto evaluation written in the magazine years ago and I quote:
" SAAB loses out completely due to the dangerous placement of their ignition switch on the floor between the seats. This creates a dangerous situation of looking down at the switch while driving". 'nuff said?
Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)