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The most reliable motorcycle brand? Not harley


Domestic motorcycle makers Harley-Davidson and Victory have the highest rider satisfaction ratings, Consumer Reports reported today, but Japanese motorcycles are “much more reliable.”

These ratings are based on the magazine’s survey of over 11,000 subscribers who reported over 12,300 motorcycles from model years 2008 to 2014. Ten brands were surveyed.

Reliability ratings are based on failure rates for 4 year old bikes:

  1. Yamaha / Star (11% failure rate)
  2. Suzuki and Honda (12%)
  3. Kawasaki (15%)
  4. Victory (17 percent)
  5. Harley-Davidson (26 percent)
  6. Triumph (29%)
  7. Ducati (33 percent)
  8. BMW (40%)
  9. Can-Am (42%)

“But owner satisfaction – that is, happiness – is an entirely different measure of reliability,” says Consumer Reports.

Satisfaction ratings are based on the number of owners “who said they would definitely buy the same bike if they had to start all over again”. The winners are:

  1. Victory (80 percent)
  2. Harley-Davidson (72 percent)
  3. Honda (70 percent)

Comfort, however, seems to be the key to satisfaction.

Consumer Reports satisfaction categories include acceleration, comfort, fun, and style, with comfort ratings closest to satisfaction ratings.

Victory took it there, being the only brand to achieve the magazine’s highest comfort rating. Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Triumph obtained the lowest comfort rating.

Handling was the only other category of satisfaction with a remarkable mark:

The Can-Am, from Canadian manufacturer BRP, with its distinctive three-wheelers (or tricycles), was rated as having average handling satisfaction – a lower rating than any other brand.

Consumer Reports’ full motorcycle analysis will be featured in the May issue of the magazine.

What is your favorite brand of motorcycle? Sound off in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we receive compensation for clicking on links in our stories.


Polaris plans to abandon unprofitable Victory Motorcycle brand

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SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) – Polaris Industries will stop manufacturing its Victory motorcycles so that it can focus on its Indian Motorcycle brand and other products.

Polaris announced Monday that it is closing the unprofitable Victory brand after 18 years. The motorcycles were produced at the Minneapolis-based company’s factories in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Spearfish, South Dakota.

The company has decided that its Indian Motorcycle brand has better prospects for growth, said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and significantly improve our competitive position in the industry,” he said.

Polaris said it has lost money on Victory in three of the past five years after the peak in sales of heavy-duty motorcycles in 2012. The brand only accounted for about 3% of total Polaris sales.

Jefferies analyst Trevor Young said the move came as a surprise, but will likely help Indian Motorcycle sales. The Indian brand is the second behind Harley-Davidson on the market.

“In the medium term, we think it’s positive because it looks like Polaris is doubling over Indian,” Young said in a research note.

The company will detail its earnings outlook for the year when it releases its fourth quarter earnings report on January 24.

UBS analyst Robin Farley noted that the move would wipe out an American motorcycle brand, but Harley-Davidson might not be able to take advantage of it as its customer base ages and Indian Motorcycle gains market share.

Polaris said it will help dealers liquidate their remaining Victory motorcycles and continue to produce parts for the motorcycles for another 10 years.

About 400 dealers across the country have sold Victory motorcycles, although about 150 of them also sell Indian motorcycles.

In addition to motorcycles, Polaris manufactures ATVs, snowmobiles, the three-wheeled Slingshot roadster and other vehicles.

Polaris factories in Iowa and South Dakota will continue to produce Indian motorcycles. It is not known how many jobs will be lost in these factories with the end of production of Victory.

The company’s Slingshot roadsters are manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama.


Polaris says it’s the end of the line for Victory motorcycles

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Polaris Industries will be leaving the Victory Motorcycle brand it started from scratch 18 years ago, citing a mixture of competitive pressures and lack of market share.

The Madinah-based company’s announcement on Monday will not affect Polaris’ fast-growing Indian Motorcycle brand or other divisions, officials said. CEO Scott Wine said the “dissolution” of the Victory brand will begin immediately.

“Victory has struggled to establish the market share necessary to be successful and profitable. Competitive pressures from a tough motorcycle market have increased headwinds for the brand, ”Wine said in a statement.

Victory’s market share in the motorcycle market fell to just 2% last year from 3% in 2013. Wine said the company has decided to focus on the Indian brand given its strong performance. and its growth potential and the significant additional investments that would be required for Victory. to succeed.

Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing Victory inventory and will continue to provide parts and service for 10 years and honor warranty coverage accordingly.

Polaris said it “remains committed to maintaining a presence” at the Spirit Lake, Iowa facility, where Victory and Indian bikes are now manufactured. It also remains committed to its new plant in Huntsville, Alabama, which manufactures, among other things, the Slingshot three-wheeled motorcycle.

It is unclear how factory employment might be affected at the end of Victory.

Dealers are taking the news as best they can. “We’ve put a lot of money into this so we’re sad to see it go,” said Jamie Kurkowski, assistant sales manager at Mies Outland at Watkins, the state’s largest Polaris dealership.

“We’ve had years where we’ve sold 150 Victories a year,” Kurkowski said. “Lately it’s been around 75 and 100 wins a year. But what are you going to do? It seems to me that it was a profit margin problem.

While Polaris has devoted a lot of energy in recent years to buying and relaunching the Indian Motorcycle brand, the launch of the Victory motorcycle came first and represented a bold attempt at product diversification.

When the first Victory motorcycle rolled off the Spirit Lake assembly line in 1998, it expanded Polaris’ product line beyond snowmobiles, four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles and personal watercraft. Since then, Polaris has designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models which have won 25 industry awards.

The experience, knowledge and infrastructure gained from launching Victory gave company officials the confidence to acquire and grow the Indian Motorcycle brand, Wine said. “So I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions. “

For the first nine months of 2016, Victory and Indian motorcycle sales were approximately $ 603 million. That’s roughly $ 192 million for the first nine months of 2012, when the bulk of reported sales in this category were for Victory motorcycles.

Motorcycles now account for about 15 percent of Polaris’ annual sales of $ 4.7 billion.

Polaris stock fell 3.3% to close at $ 83.72 per share on Monday. It is trading at almost half of its value in February 2015.

The decision to close the Victory Line did not surprise Wall Street analysts. The end of Victory is just “as some in the industry had surmised since the launch of Indian,” UBS analyst Robin Farley said.

“Victory’s sales had peaked in 2012 before Indian was introduced in 2013. And Victory had declined every year after that as the business had not been profitable… for three of the last five years,” he said. she declared. “We expect this to be neutral to positive” for the earnings outlook for Polaris. “

The product change comes at a difficult time for Polaris, which has battled a downturn in the recreational sports industry and massive recalls of its four-wheeled ATVs and Indian motorcycles due to the potential fire hazard. Research, repairs, warranty, legal and other fees associated with recalls have cost Polaris more than $ 120 million to date.

The company is expected to reveal the costs of shutting down the Victory brand next week, when it releases its fourth quarter results.


Polaris plans to drop unprofitable Victory Motorcycle brand – Twin Cities

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Polaris Industries will stop manufacturing its Victory motorcycles so that it can focus on its Indian Motorcycle brand and other products.

Polaris announced Monday that it is closing the unprofitable Victory brand after 18 years. The motorcycles were produced at the company’s Medina-based factories in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Spearfish, SD

The company has decided that its Indian Motorcycle brand has better prospects for growth, said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and significantly improve our competitive position in the industry,” he said.

Polaris said it has lost money on Victory in three of the past five years after the peak in sales of heavy-duty motorcycles in 2012. The brand only accounted for about 3% of total Polaris sales.

Jefferies analyst Trevor Young said the move came as a surprise, but would likely help Indian Motorcycle sales. The Indian brand is the second behind Harley-Davidson on the market.

“In the medium term, we think it’s positive because it looks like Polaris is doubling over Indian,” Young said in a research note.

The company will detail its earnings outlook for the year when it releases its fourth quarter earnings report on January 24.

UBS analyst Robin Farley noted that the move would wipe out an American motorcycle brand, but Harley-Davidson might not be able to take advantage of it as its customer base ages and Indian Motorcycle has gained market share.

Polaris said it will help dealers liquidate their remaining Victory motorcycles and continue to produce parts for the motorcycles for another 10 years.

About 400 dealers across the country have sold Victory motorcycles, although about 150 of them also sell Indian motorcycles.

In addition to motorcycles, Polaris manufactures ATVs, snowmobiles, the three-wheeled Slingshot roadster and other vehicles.

Polaris factories in Iowa and South Dakota will continue to produce Indian motorcycles. It is not known how many jobs will be lost in these factories with the end of production of Victory.

The company’s Slingshot roadsters are manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama.


A new motorcycle brand springs from a computer

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WHEN the covers of the Vanguard Roadster are removed at the New York Motorcycle Show on December 9, the moment will mark the launch not only of a new muscle bike, but also of a new brand with big ambitions. Vanguard is a bold startup that believes it can use the increasing digitization of manufacturing to ride with the pack of long-established bike companies, such as Honda, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson, BMW and others, who are ready to sell some 500,000 motorcycles. and scooters in America this year.

This may sound laughable. So far, Vanguard has built a grand total of one machine. At around $30,000, with a 1.9-liter V-twin engine, it’s priced top of the line (although well below the price of some superbikes, which can cost three times as much). But if Vanguard is successful, within a few years it will be selling several thousand motorcycles a year from a range of several different models.

What allows a startup to aim so high is how digital technologies reduce the cost of entry for manufacturing companies that were once considered the preserve of giants. This is especially the case in the long and expensive product development process. From sketches and clay models to component engineering and testing, it took an automaker five years or more to bring a new vehicle to market. It’s just as slow for bike manufacturers.

Some automakers can now do the job in just two, using three-dimensional computer-aided design, engineering and simulation systems. Indeed, the product – a car, motorcycle or even an airplane – exists in digital form where it can be sculpted and tested long before anything physical is built. It is also possible to simulate production methods.

This is the approach of Vanguard, created in 2013 by François-Xavier Terny, a former management consultant, and Edward Jacobs, a motorcycle designer. Despite the large producers’ lack of resources – at the moment the company has only a handful of employees – it used software (in this case Solidworks from Dassault Systèmes, a French company) to design a digital motorcycle before turning it into a real one. These systems benefit from falling prices and increasing performance in computing power. “We now have the same level of design and engineering tools as the big guys, which would have been impossible ten years ago,” Terny says.

Digital designs also give the company easier access to global suppliers who will offer the best prices for the parts they need. Design files can simply be emailed to a large network of engineering firms that offer their services online.

After road testing and further development is complete, production of the Roadster is expected to begin sometime in 2018 at a renovated industrial unit at Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City, which is now home to a number of manufacturing companies. This is another feature of how factories are changing rapidly: with digital engineering, cheaper automation and new production techniques such as 3D printing, it may be possible to speed up manufacturing in town centers.

This article appeared in the Business section of the print edition under the headline “Digital rider”

Ducati CEO aims to protect motorcycle brand’s aura as sales increase

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BOLOGNA, Italy – Since a surprise takeover in 2012 by German automaker Volkswagen, Italian sports motorcycle maker Ducati has experienced a much-needed era of financial stability that it has seen to record record sales.

But don’t expect Ducati motorcycles to start flooding the market. CEO Claudio Domenicali is focused on protecting the aura of exclusivity that surrounds the brand, which is best known for its success on global racing circuits.

“We will remain a premium brand,” he said recently at the factory and company headquarters in the Borgo Panigale district of Bologna.

Ducati sold 7,400 motorcycles in June, a 60% increase from June 2015. And in the first half of the year, the company increased sales by 22% to a record 32,600 motorcycles.

This year’s sales include 9,000 deliveries of the Scrambler, a new retro-styled motorcycle aimed at customers who may not have traditionally considered buying a Ducati. Some enthusiasts have criticized the laid-back Scrambler – with its own yellow logo and its own line of clothing and accessories – as a break from Ducati’s racing roots. The 75 horsepower of the Scrambler, for example, is only a fraction of the 205 horsepower of Ducati’s premium Panigale 1299 S superbike.

Domenicali ignores these concerns.

“It’s part of a character that’s more focused on lifestyle and ease of living,” said Domenicali, noting that Ducati still sells a range of high-performance road bikes – in their traditional red paint.

Domenicali was appointed CEO of Ducati in 2013, a year after the takeover of the company by Volkswagen, a subsidiary of Volkswagen. Previously, he led Ducati’s racing division, led research and development, and served as general manager of operations and product development.

The Volkswagen buyout, he says, was fundamental in boosting Ducati sales – not only by providing stable ownership, but also by focusing on customer satisfaction, as opposed to mere financial returns.

“It changes the world, you know?” Said Domenicali. “Because you don’t just report to the stock exchange or the banks and try to satisfy them, but try to satisfy the customer,” he said.

Ducati’s racing heritage is something that is as fundamental to the brand as it is to iconic sports cars built 25 miles to the west, he said.

“We like to think we’re like Ferrari, but Ferrari is a dream and Ducati is a dream you can make,” he said. “Because you can actually buy a Ducati.”

After Audi’s purchase of Ducati, the performance division of rival luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz, AMG, bought a 25 percent stake in Italian sports motorcycle maker MV Agusta in 2014. And BMW makes motorcycles since before they started producing cars. Motorcycles help drive young customers to car manufacturers’ showrooms, Domenicali said.

“They gain the sexy side of the brand,” he said. “Cars, of course, are interesting, but sometimes they aren’t as exciting as bikes.”


Which motorcycle brand has owners the most satisfaction?


Most of the other satisfaction categories scored close across all brands, with management being the other exception. Can-Am, with its distinctive three-wheeler, was rated as having average handling satisfaction, lower than any other brand. In our experience, Can-Am Spyders lack the natural agility associated with traditional motorcycles. It’s not a bad thing, but the driving experience is quite different. (The new Spyder F3 models aim to address some criticism, by increasing power and agility, and adding more adjustment options for comfort.)

If you are considering a big V-twin or touring bike, it would be wise to take a Victory for a test drive. Victory has not only excelled in owner satisfaction, but the company has also demonstrated reliability, which places it almost on par with major Japanese brands.

For a more diverse model selection, Honda presents itself as a safe choice, performing both in terms of owner satisfaction and reliability.

Regardless of the brand, an important idea from our over 11,000 subscribers who responded is that comfort matters. Be sure to focus on this factor when doing a test drive and, if necessary, explore the handlebar and peg numbering options to improve on the factory default setup. Many motorcycles, especially the newer models, have significant options for such adjustments.

Visit our Motorcycle Buying Guide to see our full motorcycle owner satisfaction and reliability ratings.

Jeff Bartlett


Honda becomes the best-selling motorcycle brand in Canada

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MARKHAM, Ontario – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Honda Motorcycle is proud to be the # 1 selling motorcycle brand in Canada. In 2014, Honda achieved almost 20% market share, with total sales of 10,930 motorcycles, more than 1,000 units ahead of its closest competitor.

“Motorcycles are at the very heart of the Honda brand. This is where our business started and we are extremely proud to have achieved the # 1 sales position in Canada, ”said Jerry Chenkin, President and CEO of Honda Canada Inc.

Honda was the best-selling brand in the Off Road Recreation, Dual Sport and Sport categories in 2014. In the fiercely competitive world of entry-level sports motorcycles, Honda also took the largest market share with the CBR500R and the MSX125 Grom in the lead.

Honda also celebrated impressive success in motorcycle racing this year. Honda riders have won both the Canadian MX Championship title as well as the Canadian Superbike Championship title. Winning both titles is an extremely rare achievement, of which Honda is extremely proud.

This marks Honda’s return to the top of sales in Canada for the first time since 2007.

About Honda Canada Moto
Honda Canada Inc. was founded in 1969 and is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles in Canada. The Motorcycle Division of Honda Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and operational activities of these products through authorized Honda dealers. For more information on Honda motorcycles, please visit http://motorcycle.honda.ca.


The timeless rebellion of Matchless, Britain’s oldest motorcycle brand

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With expertise in creating leather gear to wear for racing, the company’s signature design brings finesse and balance to the epitome of motorcycle grunge.

MOver a century ago, Matchless, Britain’s oldest motorcycle brand, unwittingly created the first version of biker chic with a line of leather clothing intended for racing. next season [Spring/Summer 2014]Matchless releases its first fashion collection, with Kate Moss as its muse.

A father and son team – Henry, Charlie and Harry Collier – founded Matchless in 1899 and produced their first motorcycle in 1901; on its tank, a soon recognizable winged “M”. In addition to bicycles, the Colliers created clothing that provided protection for cyclists. In the Roaring 1920s, the brand developed the first leather to wear during races and distributed its Matchless Wear catalog to enthusiasts. The silhouettes nodded to trends and provided a dress code for the open road.

Marlon Brando, intoxicated by the freedom of his twin, reversed the logo in the 1950s; for spring, the “M” is right side up and sewn on Moss’ sleeve. Soho side zip jackets, slim waisted Kensington and legendary Notting Hill jackets are expertly executed in black, white, green, burgundy and beige. Once put on, a rebellious attitude is sure to rub off on riders, or simply experienced wearers.

This feature originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Document.

POLICE: Thursday’s murder involved botched Craigslist motorcycle sale – News – Savannah Morning News

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The fatal Thursday morning shooting of a man at Berwick Plantation was the result of a botched sale of a motorcycle advertised on Craigslist, Savannah-Chatham police said today.

Investigators believe Thai Lam, 26, was trying to sell his Yamaha Ninja and advertised it on Craigslist. And an acquaintance of Lam said someone needs to take a look at the Yamaha at his Berwick home on Heritage Way, said Gena Moore, spokesman for the Metro Police.

At around 11:30 a.m., gunshots rang out in the normally quiet West Chatham neighborhood and Brandon Kent, 26, was seen leaving Berwick on Lam’s motorbike just as police arrived. Meanwhile, Lam was rushed to Memorial University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Kent led the metro police in a chase south on Ogeechee Road to Ga. 204. At one point, a pickup truck not involved in the chase collided with one of the police cars, Moore said.

Subway officers watched the motorcycle arrive at an apartment complex in the Georgetown area and deployed a tactic called perimeter, which allows them to monitor all traffic entering and exiting the area, Moore said.

An officer spotted Kent in a black sport utility vehicle and was taken into custody, she said.

Kent has been charged with murder and this afternoon was in Chatham County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing.


The most exotic January motorcycle sale in the world …

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Forget about discounted M&S underwear and cheap microwaves, check out these awesome specials about to be unloaded by the world’s best custom motorcycle builders.

Roger Goldammer’s superb Nortorious supercharged cafe racer and experimental two-stroke 250 broke the monotonous, endless stream of American v-twin choppers using engines you never dreamed of.

The Nortorious used half of a Harley-style air-cooled twin to create a 965cc single. Just to make the single engine more interesting, a supercharger was put on the cylinder to give the bike 80 hp. The mental motor was then adapted to a frame design based on a 50 year old Norton, with drum brakes!

The Experimental is an earlier Goldammer project and uses fewer unique pieces, but the result was just as exceptional. A modified Honda CR250R frame contains a BRC two-stroke double parallel kart engine. The geometry is long and low, with a minimalist and unique bodywork. The finished bike was then timed at the Bonneville Salt Flats, reaching an impressive speed of 128 mph!

Roger Goldammer told MCN: “I am selling them because, well, I have in my possession all the bikes that I have built in the last five years… and too many invoices! “
Nortorious is on sale for £ 80,000 and Experimental is on sale for an asking price of £ 73,438.

Contact: 001 250 764 8002