Japanese motorcycle brands rate as more reliable

Consumer Reports surveys 4,000 motorcycle owners

A Consumer Reports survey found  Japanese-brand motorcycles are less likely to end up in the shop than some other popular brands.

Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed more than 4,000 motorcycle owners  and found BMW and Harley-Davidson brands were more repair-prone than Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda.

"Part of it is bikes that were loaded with gear, with bags, with accessories, had more problems with those kinds of things," said Consumer Reports' Eric Evarts.

The survey also showed owners of Harleys and BMWs were among the most satisfied with their motorcycles.

Steven Day rides a Honda and was out for a ride Tuesday on San Pedro Ave. north of downtown.

"They're good on gas," he said. "Insurance is almost nothing, at least as far as liability goes, and it's a fun way to get from A to B."

No matter what brand you buy, there are some easy ways to keep costs down, and it begins with basic maintenance.

For instance, replacing $50 brake pads before they're worn down can save hundreds on damaged rotors and other parts.

Keeping tires properly inflated will prevent premature tire wear and provide better handling.

If your bike calls for premium gas, Consumer Reports says use it.

Store your bike  in a protected area to prevent weather wear. And, if it's going to sit for a period of time, add fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.


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