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Discussion Starter #1
As something of an old timer I grew up with the opinion that japanese bikes were generally bullet proof with Honda sitting top of the tree.

Sure, there were occasions when the big four made mistakes, honda with chocolate cams and rattly chains is one I remember well. the other common failure I recall was failing voltage regulators and I am not sure if that is fully resolved to this day. As a Brit I should list how great british bikes are, never owned one of the old ones and would avoid it like the plague and not bought a modern one yet although I was very tempted by the 1050 Triumph Sprint ST.

Even with the occasional faux-pas it was always my preference to avoid anything italian as they were extremely maintenance intensive and prone to regular mechanical and or electrical failures.

BMW were fairly robust, it seems that their bulletproof engineering and quality has taken a slide in the last few years (since they started copying the japanese)

So my biased and perhaps outdated view is that Jap bikes still offer the best value for money, reliability and reasonable servicing / maintenence costs.

Please give me your thoughts and re-educate an old duffer!

My
 

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I've had predominantly jap bikes since I started riding in the late 90's, with one foray into a british bike, a 2010 Triumph Street Triple, a few years back. A number of them have been 2nd hand purchases and have had their fair share of minor issues that I think were only fair for their age, so I won't hold that against them (leaking rear shock, dodgy coil pack). In fact of my 2nd hand purchases, the Striple was faultless (in fact, of the lot, it's my favourite bike). Of the new bikes I've had - a 2000 SV650S and the GSXS - the SV was faultless. The GSXS hasn't really had a *developed* fault, although it did go back for the ECU recall, but I consider that a design issue that Suzuki knew full well about. A small mark against it but I'm okay with it, they fixed it :).

So I think you're sort of right, although I think most modern bikes, if looked after correctly, are pretty good. You'll always have the odd "Friday bike", sure, but I bet if you averaged it all out, most bikes from the mainstream manufacturers probably show the same level of reliability these days. MV excepted, of course X-D
 

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I've owned Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki and my girl has a BMW S1000RR and have found the Japanese bikes to be the lowest maintenance and problem-free.

Ducati - Hypermotard 2008 with the race ECU and full termi exhaust - ran well except for a bent shift rod from the factory which ended up leaving me riding home in 2nd gear. Otherwise, expensive maintenance and difficult to work on as it seemed that every bolt was very soft so tools/torque/etc...had to be very precise.

Yamaha - 2005 R6 race bike (99 races with ZERO issues) / 2004 R6 B bike - many trackdays with ZERO issues

Suzuki - DR400SM - no issues / DR650 - no issues / Hayabusa - no issues

BMW - stalling issue due to a bad clutch lever but otherwise, easy to work on for the most part and has been reliable.
 

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SM...best bike ever...just wish they would go FI on them.
now i like dr650 SM but like the carb easy to tune..cheep to adjust fuel if playing with exhaust.....nice to keep it simple...DR650 I VIEW as one of the best bikes ever made.....simple simple is better.....how the never change the dr650
 

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although i have had 10 bikes over the last 35years they have all been jap Suzuki, yam kawwa , and honda, never had any probs to speak about but i have had mates who have bm, triumph , and ducati and seem to have small probs all the time maybe i have just been lucky but i dont think so, i have a good mate at the mo that is selling his ducati monster 696 for a gsxs its in the garage AGAIN for a ****** cluch
 

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Hard to beat the Japanese, in all I had at last count over 50 bikes in my life can't really remember any big problems with Jap built stuff. In those I had Ducati and Aprilia, both faired very well too. Maintenance is the key and looking after them is the secret. Just like anything look after it and it will look after you. Unless you get a lemon I suppose, but I never did.
Jap bikes have best value for money we all know that, that's why we have them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Come on guys this is where all the owners of Aprillia, BMW, Ducati, KTM, Guzzi and other makes can convince us that our prejudices are ill conceived.

So far it seems that the concept of a bike that starts every time, keeps running for thousands of miles between services with minimal repairs and costs little to keep on the road is a purely Japanese affliction
 

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I had several riding buddies that had Aprilia Tuonos, 2012 to 2015. They no longer have them because of premature cam wear. There is a big write up about it on AF1 forums. I was planning on getting one until I found that out. That's why I own a GSX S now. lol Bulletproof.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is consumer reports reliability report. All Japanese bikes at the top. Empirical data > anecdotal evidence.


https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/who-makes-the-most-reliable-motorcycle/index.htm
WOW! Thanks Blood simple, very pleased and surprised to find that I am not a prejudiced, biased old fool.

11% to 15% failure rate at 4 years old for the big 4. Ducati are considered more reliable in the USA than BMW with a 40% failure rate! with triumph scoring a reasonable 26%

Would be interesting to see the full list, particularly Aprilia, KTM and the other more 'exotic' manufacturers.

Fairly good showing by Victory and Harley too, never expected them to be particularly reliable although, with a little thought I suppose that their low tuned and somewhat agricultural designs should be fairly trouble free. Watch for the burn Si, No offence meant!
 

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The only non jap bike I owned was Harley 2005 1200 Sportster I bought new. Reliability wasn't an issue for the most part, although the starter was staring to act weird on hot starts when I sold it. Biggest problem was the stock components sucked. I had to replace the shocks, front springs, brake calipers and M/C, seat and exhaust, not because they failed but because they were not adequate or designed for looks rather than performance.

I like Jap bikes because they put function over form more so than others.
 

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WOW! Thanks Blood simple, very pleased and surprised to find that I am not a prejudiced, biased old fool.

11% to 15% failure rate at 4 years old for the big 4. Ducati are considered more reliable in the USA than BMW with a 40% failure rate! with triumph scoring a reasonable 26%

Would be interesting to see the full list, particularly Aprilia, KTM and the other more 'exotic' manufacturers.

Fairly good showing by Victory and Harley too, never expected them to be particularly reliable although, with a little thought I suppose that their low tuned and somewhat agricultural designs should be fairly trouble free. Watch for the burn Si, No offence meant!
not sure about harleys being low tuned..there the most modded bike make...there stock motors now are 110 120 127 ci around there ...modded to 140 tq and 130 hp.....thats a lot of power on a bike........i dont crap on anything that would pull me around like a toy and destroy me light to light
 

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They have very little power for the amout of displacement. Also they are all overly heavy. Harley's can be built to go fast in a straight line just like a honda civic can. But a honda civic is still a honda civic. The only cruiser I would ever own in a Vmax.
 

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They have very little power for the amout of displacement. Also they are all overly heavy. Harley's can be built to go fast in a straight line just like a honda civic can. But a honda civic is still a honda civic. The only cruiser I would ever own in a Vmax.[/QUOTE

we talking power or speed......low reving v twins thats the nature of the beast....there 120 hp say is all before 6000 rpm...and 140 tq before 5000 rpm....on a heavy or some lighter models thats eye opening power you feel all the time at legal speeds....you want to equil that pull on a metric you better be near redline...love my metric but harleys have the low end power....you may need to pull a stump out some day ;)
 

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They don’t make anywhere near 120hp. Not even with bolts one, tune, and top end work and 117ci! That is the point! Which is why fast and harley should never be in the same sentence unless your talking about 100 years ago.

But look at a Yamaha Vmax with it’s a low reving v4. It makes 197hp off the showroom floor. And it is a cruiser with a 73ci motor. Harley isn’t in the business of making anything fast because that’s not what thier typical bread and butter customer is after. And most of those guys who want to go fast on a Harley would be scared to death of anything with an acceptable power to weight ratio to garner the moniker fast motorcycle.
 

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They don’t make anywhere near 120hp. Not even with bolts one, tune, and top end work and 117ci! That is the point! Which is why fast and harley should never be in the same sentence unless your talking about 100 years ago.

But look at a Yamaha Vmax with it’s a low reving v4. It makes 197hp off the showroom floor. And it is a cruiser with a 73ci motor. Harley isn’t in the business of making anything fast because that’s not what thier typical bread and butter customer is after. And most of those guys who want to go fast on a Harley would be scared to death of anything with an acceptable power to weight ratio to garner the moniker fast motorcycle.
120 pretty common but vmax is a 4 cycinder that revs like most metrics there a 9 10.000 rpm or higher ...your right 2 different animals..if power is high reving hi mph then your right...i believe true power is torque.....take your busa vmax or any metric chain it to a harley ...harley will pull it like a toy and drag it 100 miles....hey its all in fun....harleys are at the top of the drag racing world like other makes...same with dirt track......and i seen harleys doing the twisty on youtube most would not be able to hang with. yes its the rider not the bike......Dude your the Dude power comes in different shapes and flavors
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Seems a daft argument. connect a tractor to a ferrari in a tug of war and the tractor beats it?

Doesnt make the tractor a high performance vehicle though does it.
 

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Seems a daft argument. connect a tractor to a ferrari in a tug of war and the tractor beats it?

Doesnt make the tractor a high performance vehicle though does it.
lets not get carried away where talking power not speed...:laugh: motorcycle against motorcycle...**** both motorcycles with same weight............how about lion vs bear
 
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