Prepare for much excuse making from the BMW camp…
“Ratings Overview
Brand Reliability
More than 11,000 riders sound off on over 12,300 motorcycles

Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki are among the more reliable motorcycle brands. Conversely, Triumph, Ducati, BMW and Can-Am are among the more repair-prone brands. That’s what we found based on the feedback of more than 11,000 subscribers reporting on over 12,300 motorcycles purchased new between 2008 and 2014. The graph shows the percentage of motorcycles from each brand that we predict will need a repair by the fourth year of ownership. Our statistical model estimates failure rates for 4-year-old motorcycles not covered by a service contract and adjusts for mileage driven over a 12-month period. The mean annual mileage is around 3,800 among all motorcycles included in this analysis. Differences of fewer than 10 points between brands are not meaningful. Note that models within a brand may vary, and design or manufacture changes may affect future reliability. Still, choosing a brand with a good repair estimate can improve your odds of getting a reliable motorcycle.
Brand Repairs and Serious Problems

Yamaha 11%
Suzuki 12%
Honda 12%
Kawasaki 15%
Victory 17%
Harley-Davidson 26%
Triumph 29%
Ducati 33%
BMW 40%
Can-Am 42%”

Thanks Consumer Reports for the great research, well worth the price of a subscription!

Note that differences of less than 10% are statistical noise, even with a sample of around 10,000 bikes! That means that I and my buds discussing the reliability of our half dozen or even baker’s dozen of BMWs or whatever around the campfire is statistically worthless. But we do know that there’s a 95% chance that the 4 Japanese brands are more reliable than Harley, Triumph, Ducati, BMW, or Can Am. The only non Japanese brand that is even close to the Japanese brands reliability is Victory, and Polaris should be duly complemented on that achievement. That puts Victory a near statistically significant 9% ahead of rival HOG(NYSE), a major accomplishment for an upstart which proves that Americans can build a bike near as reliable as the Japanese… HOG(NYSE), what’s your problem? Triumph and Ducati slightly trail Harley, but who ever expected Brit bikes and Ducs to be reliable? And BMW… Clearly the “Legendary Motorcycle of Germany” to quote BMWs own airhead era ads has become the legendary lemon of Germany! Fortunately there’s no shortage of online forums for BMW riders to comiserate about flaming final drives and failed $2k ABS units… Tread gently on the BMW forums for the next few days folks, the egos of the worshipers of the Fatherland’s finest will be kinda tender. And thanks to Can-Am for bringing up the rear and giving the BMW riders a bit of solace… They’re bike wasn’t quite the worst!

Gonna be fun reading the BMW forums the next few days…