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V-Strom Bests BMW - Really!

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The 2006 J.D. Powers Motorcycle Competitive Information Study rated 10 motorcycle brands in 5 key areas: product, quality, cost of ownership, customer's sales experience, and service. The brands were rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. 6916 owners who purchased new motorcycles between Sep 2005 and May 2006 participated in this study.

In the 3 areas that rated the actual products the mfgs produce - product, quality, and cost of ownership - Suzuki beat BMW.

Product: BMW 4, Suzuki 4 = tie

Quality: BMW 4, Suzuki 5 = Suzuki wins with a 20% higher score and ties Honda as the highest of all 10 rated brands

Cost of Ownership: BMW 2, Suzuki 4 = Suzuki wins with a 40% higher score.

Combined Score for these 3 product areas: BMW 10, Suzuki 13

A clear win for Suzuki in the quality dept and combined score.

Only Victory Motorcycles beat Suzuki in these 3 key areas, with a combined score of 14 vs. Suzuki's 13.

In the 2 human areas - sales and service - BMW tied for first with Harley Davidson and Victory. Suzuki suffered in these areas badly.

The study noted that there was a 21% improvement in quality over last year's study. Quality "is becoming the price of entry" says Tim Fox, research supervisor at J.D. Powers.

In summary then, the results of this study show that if you can stomach the "less than the best" sales and service experience at a Suzuki dealer, you will be buying a motorcycle with the highest quality rating in the industry and a very low cost of ownership.

If sales and service are more important to you than quality or cost of ownership is of least concern, then BMW is the better choice.
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Well that's great news... for 2006! Wonder how things stack up today? Does JD Powers do these surveys annually? occasionally? once? Just would be more useful if it were current news. Thanks for sharing, though.
 

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No suprises really. The Beemers are great, but just can't compete with the value. Then they have gotten into too much high tech. They lost the "Keep it simple stupid" concept. That has cost them some reliability.
And that's a fact JACK!. I totally agree. The Great German Engineering myth is dying a slow death, but it is dying. It will be interesting to watch BMW and see if they can get their $hit together. The problem is if you've never made a mistake it's impossible to learn from them. Love my Wee...hate my BMWs.
 

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And that's a fact JACK!. I totally agree. The Great German Engineering myth is dying a slow death, but it is dying.
I don't think it's dying, the rest of the developing world is just catching up.

As far as the dealer experience is concerned, Harley deserves top honors. My wife brought her mud-splattered HD in for the initial break-in service (half-price from the selling dealer $100). When she dropped it off she jokingly said "You'll clean it, too right".

We picked up a sparkling bike when they were done, no extra charge.

And it goes beyond that. The Greenville, SC dealer has a "Garage Night" exclusively for lady riders for fellowship and to discuss riding and maintenance. This dealer will allow scheduled test rides on any bike on the floor. They know how to market their product and to reach out to untapped demographics, except sadly, the youth market.

My experiences at the local BMW dealer was less pleasant, but they offered test rides. The local Suzuki dealers, for the most part don't allow test rides. I got a test ride from a dealer wanting to bargain above MSRP but I bought from a different dealer.
 

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If they had polled me based on my experience with both marques I would have given Suzuki a 20-1 margin of victory over BMW.
 

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As far as the dealer experience is concerned, Harley deserves top honors. My wife brought her mud-splattered HD in for the initial break-in service (half-price from the selling dealer $100). When she dropped it off she jokingly said "You'll clean it, too right".

We picked up a sparkling bike when they were done, no extra charge.

And it goes beyond that. The Greenville, SC dealer has a "Garage Night" exclusively for lady riders for fellowship and to discuss riding and maintenance. This dealer will allow scheduled test rides on any bike on the floor. They know how to market their product and to reach out to untapped demographics, except sadly, the youth market.
Say what you want about HD bikes, they are masters at marketing. Besides easy test rides (unlike Suzuki which don't exist at all), they have very good marketing programs geared towards niche markets, like women. And you can rent a Harley just about anywhere, like my husband and I did in Tahoe. Test rides are nice but being able to rent a bike for a day really lets you know if the bike is right for you. However, having said that, you're paying big $$$$ to buy & maintain a Harley. Glad I bought a Wee -- I love it and the more experienced I get the more I love it :)
 

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Hit & Miss with Bimmer dealers ...

I can only speak from my own experience, but I've found some Bimmer dealers to be awful (Boise), and others to very customer-service oriented (Reno and Marin).

The dealer I bought my Wee from in Hailey, Idaho was friendly enough. And they were reasonably good about service. I've since moved to Marin in CA, and have found an independent, one-man operation where the service is superb, and the prices very affordable.

The friends who have Bimmers (F650, 1200GS, etc.) tend to like them a lot, but sometimes in a "cultish" sort of way. And they DO spend more money in repairs. Thus far I have had NO problems with my Wee (at 27,000 miles).

German engineering in the auto world has definitely taken a hit. If you read the Consumer Reports reviews, you'll see that - as a fleet - VW, Audi and Porsche all rank below the Japanese in terms of quality.

The worst of the lot is Mercedes; I think it was two years ago they were ranked as the worst auto manufacturer of all - beating out even notorious break-down companies such as Land Rover. It brings new meaning to the phrase, "Engineered like no other car in the world"!

They cited one instance where a 10-year Lexus model was more reliable than a 1-year old Mercedes.

However, as a fleet I think the Bimmers were the best of the German offerings. They were still noticeably below the Japanese, but at least they weren't in the toilet.

Whether that carries over to the motorcycles, well, according to the OP, maybe not.

Personally, I love my Wee. The more dirt roads it surprises me I can take it down, the more twisties I learn to drop ever more deeply into, and the more miles of rock-solid reliability it gives me ... the more I come to appreciate just how sweet a machine it is.

As one signature out there says, "She may not be the home coming queen, but she's the one you want to bring home."
 

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don't matter what JD Power says, the V-strom still falls short on electrical output


in 10 or 15 years down the road lets look at how many V-stroms are still on the road and how many BMWs

All JD Power does is regurgitate stastistics of peoples opinions, nothing to do with features or real testing

opinions are scewed, bmw owners expect more from theire vehicles so its easier for them to be dissatisfied, Suzuki owners don't expect as much, so they are easily satisfied



 

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Well that's great news... for 2006!
+1

Why is the 2006 JD Powers result only being cited? Is it the only year with that result?

Since I purchased my '09 new, I actually received one of the multi-page J. D. Powers questionnaires. Normally I never fill things like that out but it had a dollar bill enclosed, I had some free time, and I'm very happy with the bike so I figured why not.

The bike got glowing reviews in my answers (for the most part) and it'll be cool to see the '09 results when they're available knowing some small role was played.
 

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All JD Power does is regurgitate stastistics of peoples opinions, nothing to do with features or real testing
Eh?

One could counter that "real" owners with "real" bikes constitutues "real" testing. Anything else would not reflect real-world conditions or relevance to same...by definition.
 

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Eh?

One could counter that "real" owners with "real" bikes constitutues "real" testing. Anything else would not reflect real-world conditions or relevance to same...by definition.

because the owners are more satisfied within a few days of purchase, it's a better product

do you follow lemmings off the cliff as well ?



 

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It's hars to take them serious with all the adds that tout "ranks highest in jd power". Every commercial for any auto has this and it loses some of it's luster if everyone has it. Also they have to much advertising to be subjective to me.
 

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In the 2 human areas - sales and service - BMW tied for first with Harley Davidson and Victory. Suzuki suffered in these areas badly.
I'll second that! I heard once that people buy cars, not because they want them, but because of how the salesman make them feel. What a load of crap!

Let me share my experience: I picked out a bike, a nice used Wee. I made an offer. The offer was accepted. I went to the bank where I had been arranging financing. The paperwork would take a few hours. I went home and waited. The salesman called me at home to inform me that he had sold the bike out from under me. I sat at home, fuming for a while. Then, the salesman called me back to see if I was still interested, 'cause the other guy's financing had fallen through. I had done my research, I knew this was the bike I wanted. So I offered a new, lower price which was immediately accepted. I went to pick up my new bike.

This was BY FAR the worst experience I ever had buying a vehicle! Good thing I love my Wee. I wont say where this happened, but they are in Weber County, they are big, and they sell toys for boys.
 

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don't matter what JD Power says, the V-strom still falls short on electrical output
There you go again, blaming Suzuki for your miserable new Hampshire winters.
 

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My experiences at the local BMW dealer was less pleasant, but they offered test rides. The local Suzuki dealers, for the most part don't allow test rides. I got a test ride from a dealer wanting to bargain above MSRP but I bought from a different dealer.
I had no trouble with test drives from Performance Specialties in Taylors, SC. In fact they gave me a route to test it at different speeds as well as twisties.

Maybe it is you Normn :p
 

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I had no trouble with test drives from Performance Specialties in Taylors, SC. In fact they gave me a route to test it at different speeds as well as twisties.

Maybe it is you Normn :p
It probably is, even I can't blame them, though.
 

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All JD Power does is regurgitate stastistics of peoples opinions, nothing to do with features or real testing

opinions are scewed, bmw owners expect more from their vehicles so its easier for them to be dissatisfied, Suzuki owners don't expect as much, so they are easily satisfied[/QUOTE]



Agreed
 

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opinions are scewed, bmw owners expect more from their vehicles so its easier for them to be dissatisfied, Suzuki owners don't expect as much, so they are easily satisfied
If you pay twice as much, you expect twice as much.
 
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