Interesting how HD and Buell are given such low ratings for initial quality compared to Honda, Suzuki but the HD Service is rated so well. Perhaps its the espresso the HD dealers serve to you while you are waiting to get that oil leak fixed. If you go read the press release you can understand why the sales and service may be lower at Japanese big 4 dealerships i.e. usually those dealerships sell multiple brands, ATVs, snowmobiles etc. Where as the HD dealer has to create perceived value with a fun and enjoyable sales and service visit.
Nah, it's because they've gotten away(for the most part) from hard-drinkin', hard-ridin' badasses and gone for the people who just wish they were. You really need to treat the wannabe's well, but most likely people who are new to motorcycles might be expecting much harsher treatment at the hands of the old hog riders, only to find that they're people just like everyone else.
Still, the majority of people who own HD are very loyal to their bike and dealer/service centers, while those who are just looking for the cheapest price might just switch bikes at the drop of a hat. That goes far in such surveys.
Well I'll give a partial congrats to Victory. The one I rode was nicely finished. The giant rear tire made it handle like crap. I suppose when you're only making a few thousand units per year quality control is much easier. Still, kudos to them.
Now category 1: Product: This score is based on customer satisfaction with the motorcycles five product/performance sub-measures: comfort and convenience; ****pit and controls; looks and styling; engine and transmission; and ride and handling.
Kawasaki finishes dead last with only 2 gold thingies.
Initial quality also seems to be a mixed bag. I bought a 1996 H-D Low Rider. I had zero problems. None. Nada. 35,000 miles, never visited the dealer.
2003 E-glide was a different story. First, I had the cd player replaced because it kept skipping. That's an initial quality problem not a lot of motorcycles have. Also, oil was seeping out of the O-ring where the speedo connected to the to of the transmission. The hose inside the fuel tank coming from the fuel pump had a small hole rubbed in it from poor routing/vibration. The main circuit breaker had to be replaced including the connectors.
All of these items cost me $0 out of pocket. So some initial problems yet satisfaction with H-D for fixing everything for free even after warranty was expired.
Ducati purchased used so no initial problems and bike has been trouble free other than slave cylinder after 23,000 miles.
MV Agusta was third bike. No problems in 3000 miles.
The interesting and most misleading is Cost of Ownership. H-D and Buell need very little maintenance but C of A includes cost of accessories!
Cost of Ownership : This score is based on how customers rate various aspects of the cost of owning their motorcycle, including the initial price of motorcycle; cost of insurance; maintenance and repair costs, including parts; and cost of accessories (i.e., pipes, saddle bags, etc.).
Accessories are voluntary! Not a surprise that the most highly accessorized bikes (H-D, Ducati, BMW) scored the lowest in this category.
Good god I have to agree with the Prophylactic on sales. H-D,BMW, and Ducati customers know what they want. Sales on the floor of a Big Four dealer are competitive and brutal (been there done that). Half the time the buyers can barely qualify for the loan and for the most part they just want to buy the fastest, cheapest motorcycle they can afford.
Service: It follows the old adage: You think Harleys are expensive to ride, try dropping a Honda. The two-year redesigns cost the Big Four buyer plenty when it breaks.
So, this survey is mostly crap but it worked out well for Victory so I'm sure we'll be seeing JD referenced in V ads soon.
Dang that was tiring! I'm going back to witty one-liners.
Poor Victory. They get some press and it takes 8 minutes for you to take attention from them and get into a Buell/harley bashing session. LOL Dont you have something good or bad to say about Victory without mentioning Harley /Buell?