Which motorcycle brand has the highest owner satisfaction?

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Comfort and low-maintenance costs are key factors in revving up a happy rider

If you want to know how satisfied someone is with their motorcycle, ask them how comfortable it is. In our latest motorcycle survey, we found that fun, styling, acceleration, even handling (with one exception) don’t distinguish motorcycle brands. The best differentiator is comfort.

In analyzing data from over 12,300 motorcycles across 10 brands, Victory leads the pack with best overall owner satisfaction. Plus, it gets a top mark for comfort, followed by Can-Am and Harley-Davidson at better than average in comfort. Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Triumph each got the lowest mark for comfort, which may have had an impact on their overall satisfaction.

Impacting overall satisfaction and reflecting reliability, we saw cost of maintenance and repair be a satisfaction issue with BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, and Harley.

 

Owner satisfaction

Brand Would definitely buy again
Victory 80%
Harley-Davidson 72
Honda 70
BMW 68
Can-Am 67
Ducati 66
Yamaha 65
Triumph 63
Kawasaki 59
Suzuki 58

 

 

 

comfort, low-maintenance, costs, key factors, revving up, happy rider, satisfied, motorcycle, comfortable, motorcycle, survey, fun, styling, acceleration, handling, one exception, distinguish, motorcycle brands, best, differentiator, comfort,   Las Vegas, Motorcycles, latestbikesinfo.com, simplyautos.com, 2014, 2013, 2012, bikes, Harley Davidson, KTM, Indian, Aprilla, bajaj, BMW, Ducati, Gilera, Honda, Kawasaki, KYMCO, Mountain bikes, E-bikes, Hero Motor, Husqvarna, Royal Enfield, Star, Suzuki, Triumph, Vextrix, Victory, Yamaha, ZeroMost other satisfaction categories saw close ratings across the brands, with handling being the other exception. Can-Am, with its distinctive three-wheelers, was judged to have average handling satisfaction—lower than every other brand. Based on our experience, the Can-Am Spyders don’t have the natural agility associated with traditional motorcycles. Not a bad thing, but the riding experience is quite different. (New Spyder F3 models aim to address some criticisms, by boosting power and agility, and adding more adjustability for comfort.)

If you’re considering a big V-twin cruiser or touring bike, it would be wise to take a Victory for a test drive. Victory not only excelled in owner satisfaction, but the company had a strong showing with reliability—putting it almost on par with leading Japanese brands.

For a more diverse model selection, Honda stands as a safe choice, performing well in both owner satisfaction and reliability.

No matter the brand, an important insight from our more than 11,000 responding subscribers is comfort is important. Be sure to focus on this factor when taking a test ride, and if necessary, explore options for dialing in the handle bars and pegs to improve on the default factory set-up. Many motorcycles, especially newer models, have significant options for such adjustments.

 

 

Author: Jeff Bartlett

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Posted by on April 26, 2015. Filed under BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Top Stories, Triumph, Victory, Yamaha. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Which motorcycle brand has the highest owner satisfaction?

  1. “Would definitely buy again” is a measure of brand loyalty, not owner satisfaction.

    Sometimes people decide to change brands for social reasons, preferring the events associated with Harley, Gold Wings, etc.

    Other times, they are moving to another style of bike. If you’ve decided that trikes aren’t for you, you’re probably not planning to buy another Can Am (since that’s all they make). If you’re planning to move from dual-sports to cruisers, you’re not likely to say ‘yes, I will definitely buy a another KTM.’

    For the data to be meaningful, you need to compare bikes of the same class. Reliability expectations vary based on type of bike, price of bike, and reputation of manufacturer. If you’ve heard for years that BMWs are ultra reliable and you have to replace a fork seal within a year, you’re probably going to be disappointed. If you’ve heard that all bikes made in India are unreliable, you’ll probably be quite pleased if the only thing you need to replace in the first year is a fork seal.