Which motorcycles are the most reliable?

Posted at 8:26 PM, Mar 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-28 20:26:53-04

Motorcycles offer an exhilarating riding experience and can deliver impressive fuel savings. If you’re thinking about getting one, Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed more than 4,000 motorcycle owners to find some of the most reliable ones.

It turns out Harley-Davidson and BMW were more repair-prone than Japanese brands Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Honda. But the survey showed owners of Harleys and BMWs were among the most satisfied with their motorcycles.

No matter which brand you buy, basic maintenance will help avoid costly repairs. For instance, replacing $50 brake pads before they’re worn down can save you hundreds on damaged rotors and other parts.

Keeping tires properly inflated will prevent premature tire wear and give you much better handling. If your motorcycle calls for premium gas, use it.

And it’s best to store your bike in a protected area or cover it to prevent unnecessary wear. And if it’s going to sit for any period of time, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas.

All that can help keep repair costs down and your motorcycle cruising down the road. Consumer Reports says it’s a good idea to get in the habit of doing a quick visual check before getting on your motorcycle. Look for any leaks or cracks in hoses or tires.