Last Update: January 2020
Are you looking to buy a new motorcycle? Most people usually have a specific bike in mind, but sometimes, they are open to considering other options as well.
If you feel the same way, you should still only consider reliable motorcycle companies. While all of us know of Kawasaki and Harley, there are plenty of other companies that make great motorcycles. But how reliable are they?
Some are more reliable than others, so you should pay particular attention, especially if you’re buying your first motorbike ever.
Keep in mind that reliability usually depends on many things when it comes to motorcycle companies. Still, the information below can give you some insight into how some of the biggest names operate.
Yamaha is a Japanese manufacturer and was founded in 1955. At this point, Yamaha is among the most reliable and recognizable motorcycle brands in the entire world. Their popularity grew as they became a part of MotoGP and had Valentino Rossi racing in their name.
The number-one Yamaha is the YZF-R6 as it’s rated the best-looking by Yamaha fans. The company has only 11% of the produced motorcycles requiring repair during the first four years. This is a relatively small number when you consider how many bikes Yamaha produces each year.
Kawasaki is another big name that people often consider when buying a new bike. It’s important to mention that only 15% of Kawasaki bikes require repairs during the first four years.
Again, it’s quite a small number given how big the brand is and how many bikes they manufacture every year.
The Japanese company was founded in 1949 but didn’t start making bikes until 1963. Its slogan is “Let the good times roll!” which is very appropriate when you consider that it also makes aircraft and other vehicles.
Interestingly, it’s hard to tell which model is the most popular Kawasaki as the choice usually falls to the KLR and the Ninja.
Honda is a Japanese company that’s been doing business since 1946. However, the company only started producing motorcycles in 1955.
Honda made nearly three million motorcycles in 1982 and was named the most popular company in 1982. To this day, its most popular bike is the CB500.
Suzuki was founded in 1909 in Japan but didn’t start making motorcycles until 1952. To this day, the brand is one of the strongest in the MotoGP. The stand-out Suzuki bike is the GSX-R750.
The two brands are among the number-one choices for both new riders and more experienced ones.
Although Harley Davidson is a famous brand, it’s not the most reliable choice. In other words, 26% of its bikes require some sort of repair early on. However, this isn’t regular maintenance we’re talking about; it’s a mechanical malfunction.
Harley bikes have a unique style, and that’s mostly why they are as popular. But, before you know it, your bike will require mechanical repair even if it’s younger than four.
Now, Harley is the American pride company. It’s been around since 1903, making choppers that depict the perfect biker image. However, they require quite some maintenance and care that other bikes might not need as frequently.
BMW is a big name and often the first choice when it comes to motorcycles and cars. It’s a company with the longest history in motorcycle business in Germany, so that’s got to stand for something.
It’s been around since 1901 but waited to make its first bike in 1923. Since then, BMW kept making motorcycles even throughout World War I.
Although the company is quite popular to this day, it’s not so much of a status symbol as it used to be. It’s not so much of a reliable name since 40% of BMW bikes end up in repair during the first four years.
Ducati is for Italians what Harley is for Americans. It’s been the Italian pride since it was founded back in 1929. The company is now owned by Audi.
It’s mostly famous for its V-twin engines that add to the overall Italian style. Ducati made its first bike in 1950 and has been making very distinctive motorcycles since then. As you probably guessed, the Scrambler Icon is the most popular Ducati.
Now, when it comes to reliability, it’s important to note that 33% of Ducati bikes have some mechanical problems before they turn four.
The Can-Am is actually produced by a Canadian company called Bombardier Recreational Products. It makes three-wheeled motorcycles, with a single rear drive wheel and two wheels in the front.
It’s a modern take on a classic snowmobile, although it uses a chassis similar to ATV. The manufacturer likes to call these vehicles roadsters, but they’re more appropriately called trikes.
The Can-Am Spyder was launched in February 2007, but the overall reliability of the company is not as high. In other words, 42% of their vehicles develop some sort of mechanical issues by their fourth birthday.
British Triumph started making motorcycles in 1984. It’s a rather young brand when you compare it to other popular names in the industry. However, it’s also far more reliable than most of its competition.
The most popular Triumph is the Tiger 800 XC, but other models are also quite famous among cafe-racer riders.
When it comes to reliability, you should know that 29% of its vehicles require repair during the first four years of life. This isn’t a lot, but it’s also not to be ignored. In other words, it’s somewhat in the middle between Can-Am and Yamaha.
If reliability is as critical to you as it should be, you might want to consider a Victory motorcycle. Sadly, Victory no longer exists as a running manufacturer, having closed its doors after 20 years of work.
It was founded in 1997, so it’s quite a young company when compared to others on our list. Its most popular bike is the Victory Vegas.
Although it no longer exists, you can still find its bikes everywhere. And that’s mostly due to the fact that only 17% of its manufactured motorcycles require repair early on.
As you know, there are many motorcycle companies, and they’re all very competitive. Now, keep in mind that people are fans of different brands, so you’ll probably find riders that are passionate about Can-Am as much as for Yamaha.
Nonetheless, reliability is critical and should be one of the first things you consider when buying a bike. The data we discussed above is for you to keep in mind when buying a motorcycle, regardless of whether it’s new or not.
Still, take this with a grain of salt because mechanical issues can develop as a result of many things and not only faulty manufacturing.