I don't CR's skewed ratings are intentional. I think the typical (not all) subscriber is someone who is not mechanically minded and don't trust their own judgement or research. They use CR to make buying decisions for them. Unfortunately, these are the same people who fill out the surveys that CR bases their ratings on. The ratings discourage people from buying leading edge technology. They punish new technology because people are unfamiliar with using it (Ford Sync) and reward ancient and outdated products that are long in tooth and that are dependable (Toyota Corolla).
On a side note, some of the worst products I've purchased were CR picks and some of my best products were CR suggestions to avoid.
Jeff in W.C.
1988 R100 RT (the other woman)
"I got my motorcycle jacket but I'm walking all the time." Joe Strummer
One of the things that I think others may have sort of touched on, but not directly addressed, is the sampling. I noticed that two Japanese brands (I think Suzuki and Kawasaki) had 'too few responses to be statistically signficant'. With BMW making up 1% of the marketplace, yet having enought responses, that tells me they were way oversampled. Could be any number of reasons why, but when the representation in a survey is off by (probably) an order of magnitude from its real-world representation, the survey probably means nothing. It was interesting that BMW did have reliability right on par with the two categories in which most of its bike fall- touring and dual sport both had similar reliability to BMWs. It would be interesting to find out more about how the 'problems' were categorized- if buying tires at a dealer puts you in the 'had a problem' category, well, that's a real believability issue.
The other thing is how many 20, 30 and 40 year old Japanese bikes are still running? Anyone see a CX500 v-twin this year? Or decade? Remember when they were going to put BMW out of business because they had 'done it right'? I do. The test of time, and miles, and even a rudimentary check of sample selection, say this survey might be a topic for beers but not serious consideration.
There's a cx500 in the motorcycle lot at work on a regular basis.
100% of the respondents have seen a CX500 this year.
-1 on CX500 . . .do see a beautiful 74 R90/6 every time I leave the house though.
I don't see my CX650 anymore as it now lives in another city.
When I sold/gave it to the starving student at work, it had 70,00Km on it. My only condition was that one day he had to give it to another starving student.
A few years ago I got an e-mail, he's now a manager in a large firm, had taken the CX to 110,000 Km and had now passed it on to a starving student who was riding it every day.
That CX was more reliable than my 74 R90/6, and my 76 R90/6 which I still own.
Time will tell on my F700GS, however I have no expectations that it will be as reliable as my CX, too much technology for technologies sake........Rod.
Work is the curse of the riding class
Look at the youtube video from David Telfer in Australia showing his new k1600 blowing more smoke than a mosquito sprayer in the south. His bike has been in the shop for over 3 months waiting for a new short block to be shipped from Germany. No loaner, just him continuing to pay his monthly note and insurance.
Also the same year Honda came out with the CBX, in my opinion the most visually stunning motorcycle ever made, they also came out with the CX500, easily the ugliest motorcycle on the planet.
I'm sorry. It was ugly.
Years ago an auto magazine was taken to task by a reader because they liked a car that CR dumped on; their response was as follows:
"We don't test toasters, we wish they wouldn't test cars"