More Reliable Motorcycles

Randy Elson is the proud owner of his second Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He got his first one more than 10 years ago.

Randy says, "Guys who like Harleys are guys who like Harleys. Always wanted something a little bigger and more comfortable, and that's what I did, I stepped up."

Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed more than four-thousand motorcycle owners to find some of the most reliable ones.

Harley-Davidson and BMW were more repair-prone than Japanese brands Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Honda.

Eric Evarts with Consumer Reports explains, "Part of it is bikes that were loaded with gear, with bags, with accessories, had more problems with those kinds of things."

But the survey showed owners of Harleys and BMWs were among the most satisfied with their motorcycles.

No matter which brand you buy, there are ways to keep costs down.

Vince Grimaldi, a motorcycle store owner says, "Basic owner maintenance procedures should be followed to avoid costly repairs."

For instance, replacing $50 brake pads before they're worn down can save you hundreds on damaged rotors and other parts.

Keeping tires properly inflated will prevent premature tire wear - and give you much better handling.

If your motorcycle calls for premium gas … use it.

And it's best to store your bike in a protected area to prevent unnecessary wear.

And if it's going to sit for any period of time, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas.

All this can help keep repair costs down and your motorcycle cruising down the road.

Consumer Reports says it's a good idea to get in the habit of doing a quick visual check before getting on your motorcycle.

Look for any leaks or cracks in hoses or tires.

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