V-Strom reliability debate - Page 3 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #21 of 88 Old 02-15-2018, 02:07 PM
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My 2006 has never seen the inside of a shop and now has over 100k miles.

The biggest problem areas of this bike have been:

- Cush drive rubbers wear out quickly, taking the rest of the driveline with them if not caught early
- Clutch slack adjustments for both the cable and the pushrod free play are inferior designs that go out of adjustment fast. I think these were changed with the 2012 model.
- Fuel filter will clog eventually, mine did at 50k
- Coolant leaks
- Electrical connectors are not well protected from the weather, and will strand you if you don't keep after them
- Starter will get weak over time and with use, requiring disassembly and cleaning
- Oil use can be significant

I'm mostly happy with it. I've seen some great things on it, and I don't really worry about day to day reliability.
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post #22 of 88 Old 02-15-2018, 02:26 PM
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Every bike I've had in the last 22 years has been basically stone reliable. Not one of them has every left me stuck on the side of the road, nor has anything major failed on any of them. The only things I've had to do are routine maintenance, and occasionally replacement of wear parts, like fork seals (on my '95 Concours"). OK, I had to have the clutch slave cylinder seal replaced on my Strom when it started leaking, but it was never a big enough leak to be a real problem.

Oh, I forgot one mechanical issue - when I took my '96 Kawi ZX6E in for its first valve clearance check, the shop said that they had found a "cracked valve keeper" and had to tear the engine apart (I suspect someone dropped a shim down the cam chain gallery or something), and it was in the shop for quite a few weeks.
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post #23 of 88 Old 02-15-2018, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SECoda View Post
I read that another good way to judge reliability is the numbers and severity (is it just electrical or do the front forks break off under stress) of recalls versus the numbers of bikes in existence. (Honda has a ton of bikes out there as an example) That takes a bit of analysis. This is the current recall list from the current MCN. These days the manufacturers are forced into recalls from potential liability.
I've worked in the automotive industry (not the same, but similar enough) for far too long, I have never seen the number of recalls by either specific model or manufacturer correlate to actual reliability. A good number of the recalls I see issued are for a failure that I've never even seen happen.

Coincidentally, some of the worst vehicles I've seen for reliability have had the fewest recalls.

Most manufacturers are so afraid of the possible fallout from bad PR and class action lawsuits that they will issue recalls voluntarily before they are forced to. Some manufacturers are more proactive here than others. Here's a link with some data, Best and Worst of Automaker Recall Rates | Industry content from WardsAuto

Mercedes is second to Porsche. Kia is third, but Hyundai that is built in many of the same factories with the same parts is near the bottom. None of that data relates to actual vehicle reliability.
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Current: '15 Tenere ES - 30k km, '07 FZ1 - 70k km
Past : '06 FZ6 - 115k km, '06 KTM 625 SMC - 30k km, '06 V-Strom 650 - 80k km
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post #24 of 88 Old 02-15-2018, 11:37 PM
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My 2008 DL1000 had problems with it's throttle position sensor. When riding at high speed for a long time in very hot weather it would try to stall the bike. Letting it cool down for 5 minutes fixed the issue. Other than that, the Vee never suffered any reliability issues. I think I put more km's on that bike than any other I've owned.
My 2006 DL 650 and my current 2011 DL 650 have never caused me to worry about reliability, other than the fact that they both tried very hard to stall when pulling in the clutch and braking very hard.

Come to think of it, there was only one of my bikes that ever had actual reliability problems and that was a 1983(?) GSX 550EF that I bought from a farmer which had clearly been ridden to within an inch of it's life. I was young and stupid and I don't blame the bike for it's shortcomings. It would dump fuel on the road every time I came to a set of lights, which was slightly disconcerting.

All of my bikes have been Japanese and reliable.

[URL=http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/dl650_v-strom/2011/strangedog/493573][IMG]http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/493573.png[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/dl650_v-strom/2006/strangedog/401455][IMG]http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/401455.png[/IMG][/URL]
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post #25 of 88 Old 02-16-2018, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regder View Post
I've worked in the automotive industry (not the same, but similar enough) for far too long, I have never seen the number of recalls by either specific model or manufacturer correlate to actual reliability. A good number of the recalls I see issued are for a failure that I've never even seen happen.

Coincidentally, some of the worst vehicles I've seen for reliability have had the fewest recalls.

Most manufacturers are so afraid of the possible fallout from bad PR and class action lawsuits that they will issue recalls voluntarily before they are forced to. Some manufacturers are more proactive here than others. Here's a link with some data, Best and Worst of Automaker Recall Rates | Industry content from WardsAuto
Just like any data, it can be misconstrued. Spending a lot of time in the Automotive industry myself, I agree that recalls have almost nothing to do with "reliability". There are safety related recalls where very few units exhibit a potential or actual failure out of a run of hundreds of thousands. Some recalls are customer satisfaction to improve function of systems or drivetrain.

Can you judge a manufacturer by number of recalls? Recalls are not always forced. There are manufacturers that go well beyond what is required simply because it is the right thing to do. That can be part of what you are getting with that brand. Then there are instances where recall status is fought to the bitter end, until the NHTSA forces them.

RELIABILITY is a term that needs a definition. I don't really count a fuel gauge working intermittently to mean the bike is unreliable. If the bike fails to get me home ( short of running out of gas or a flat tire for instance ) then that bike just became unreliable to me. If the bike has one or more recalls that do not really interrupt my use of it, that has nothing to do with reliability.

The only way to know how well a new vehicle is holding up would be to access manufacturer warranty repair records. That isn't likely to happen without a court order!
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'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #26 of 88 Old 02-16-2018, 10:29 AM
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My 2011 bought new in 012 had one recall but forget what it was? Stater seems to be the big thing.Mine at around 30,000 but extra warranty did it. All most 62,000 now and while showing its age still rode all most every day in lots of road salt. Front wheel bearing went out on a trip and took out hub. I blame this on the so many miles in road salt.
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post #27 of 88 Old 02-17-2018, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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@realshelby your comment "RELIABILITY is a term that needs a definition." is a good point.
To me, that means, every time that I want to use any of my vehicles, it starts easy, runs well, gets me from point A to point B and back again without any mechanical or electrical failures or other issues. Isn't this how everyone expects their vehicle to perform? Granted, if you don't do your part and have the vehicle serviced regularly and kept well maintained, well then, you can't expect the vehicle to be reliable, can you?
Some vehicles you can throw everything at it and they will keep going, while other vehicles if you look too hard at it, it will break down.
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post #28 of 88 Old 02-18-2018, 10:44 AM
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Only issue I have had with the '09 Vstrom 650 was the stator. It went out 10 miles form home on my way to a three day trip. If I had had a voltmeter I could have caught it earlier. I have one now so at 58 k miles I have another 10k miles until the stator should have issues.

I also have an '09 DR650. The stator went on it for the PO. I had the pickup go but no other issues.

Vstrom 650 ABS
'09 DR650
'07 Vulcan 900 LT
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post #29 of 88 Old 02-18-2018, 11:22 AM
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Consumers Reports in the motorcycle reliability study referred to by someone above goes into a lot of detail about what the definition of a "major" repair in the first four years of ownership means. It also breaks the problems down into ten categories (repaired parts) and what % of the repairs went to each category. Electrical was number one at 24% of the problems and these were major problems like a stator failure.

Cost of the same repairs also varied greatly among manufacturers with Kawasaki at the bottom (least expensive for a repair on average) and BMW at the top of the cost range for the same repair (although they noted that many people save money by fixing their own bikes and parts only represented the difference).

12,300 motorcycles were used in their study. Consumer Reports needs to update the study which is a couple of years old. Consumer Reports sought feedback from the various manufacturers on the study to improve it and most had no comment but a few were very supportive even though their bikes were not in the highly reliable Japanese class.

The word is CR is updating it so hang on... we shall see if certain brands are improving (as some claim) or actually did even worse which others are suggesting.
Consumer Reports will continue controversial motorcycle ratings

"There is a four times greater chance that a BMW will need repair than a Yamaha," said Consumer Reports' deputy editor Jeff Bartlett. "That's pretty significant, when you consider the cost of servicing a BMW is substantially higher. BMW makes great bikes, but the BMW owner has to have a few dollars set aside for repairs."

The owners of some brands don't care if the reliability stinks.
Interesting the Polaris killed off the motorcycle line (low sales) that was pretty reliable and had the highest owner satisfaction to pursue Indian. Honda was next after Polaris/Victory and then Harley in owner satisfaction of any brand. Even more shocking but maybe not surprising was they the surveys indicated that paying more for purchase and maintenance may actually support brand image.

"Curiously, despite these statistical results, the most reliable motorcycles were not the best loved by their owners. Harley-Davidson owners rated their machines second-highest, after the smaller Victory brand, among those who were asked whether they would buy the same motorcycle again."
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2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS (Candy Daring Red)
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300 ABS (Graphite Grey)
2013 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS Adventure (sold)

Last edited by SECoda; 02-18-2018 at 11:33 AM.
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post #30 of 88 Old 02-18-2018, 11:37 AM
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SECoda, you can post all you want about Consumer Reports. The only thing you care about is making BMW look bad. If you owned one of the newer BMW's you would realize what you were missing! I don't trust Consumer Reports to report on motorcycles. It is obvious they don't care about them since the only data they have was published over 4 years ago. Based on information way older than that. So you can justify not buying a BMW if that makes you feel good.

I follow BMW forums and have for a long time. I know which bikes BMW made that gave them a poor reliability reputation. They deserved it. I also know which ones are likely as good as any Japanese bike in every reliability category. But you don't see that stuff in Consumer Reports, they are geared toward washing machine reviews.

I just love to read posts about new BMW's such as the GS and RT 1200 being more expensive to maintain and harder to work on. Proves they don't have a clue!

'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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