Insure Your Custom Bobber or Chopper!

Category Archives: Blog

H-D Tops In Satisfaction, Ranks In The Middle For Reliability

According to a recent ranking study done by Consumer Reports, homegrown motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson earned a high grade for rider satisfaction, but barely fit into the middle of the pack when it comes to reliability, falling in line well behind the major Japanese manufacturers and fellow domestic entry Victory.

The Consumer Reports study was a bit more involved than a game of darts with motorcycle brands on the board. It included a survey of more than 11,000 of CR’s subscribers who owned a total of 12,300 bikes between the model years 2008 and 2014. The bikes covered ten nameplates and considered the failure rates of four year-old bikes for its reliability rankings. Without further ado, here are CR’s rankings and the failure rate of each brand surveyed:

  • Yamaha/Star with an 11 percent failure rate
  • Suzuki and Honda at 12 percent
  • Kawasaki at 15 percent
  • Victory at 17 percent
  • Harley-Davidson at 26 percent
  • Triumph at 29 percent
  • Ducati at 33 percent
  • BMW at 40 percent
  • Can-Am at 42 percent

With Harleys failing at over 25 percent of the time within four years, you would think that riders would move to another brand, but as CR states:

”…owner satisfaction — i.e., happiness — is an entirely different measure from reliability.”

The magazines satisfaction ratings show the riders that ”said they would definitely buy the same bike if they were to do it all over again.” The top three are:

  • Victory with an 80 percent satisfaction rating
  • Harley-Davidson at 72 percent
  • Honda at 70 percent

It seems that many riders would rather fix a Harley that ride a reliable Yamaha. One interesting point the survey seems to make is that comfort of the ride has more to do with customer satisfaction than number of breakdowns. That is shown by Victory being the only bike to achieve the highest marks for comfort, yet still had a 17 percent failure rate. On the other hand, Harley did poorly for comfort, yet overcame its failure rate as well. Could it be that the bar and shield is synonymous with being a true rider, so image overcomes average reliability and comfort?

Why are Motorcycle Vests Called Cuts?

There are varying opinions as to why a motorcycle vest is called a cut. Some think that it is a throwback term to when riders and motorcycle gang members wore cut off denim jackets. Others think that is refers to a shortened version of the word kutte, which means a battle jacket. The truth is…Continue Reading

Is the 2013 Victory Boardwalk Truly an H-D Alternative?

Motorcycle maker Victory is replacing its Kingpin bike with the classically-styled 2013 Victory Boardwalk. The Boardwalk, a bike drawn with clean, smooth lines, has the looks it needs to compete, at least on paper, with the Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe. Its tires are fat, whitewalled and mounted on 60-spoke chrome wheels. Fired by the Freedom 106/6…Continue Reading

Ness, Perewitz, Fairless Come Together for Allstate Custom Bike Contest

Allstate Insurance Co. has worked with Arlen Ness, Dave Perewitz and Rick Fairless, a trio of the nation’s top bike builders, to create four custom-built motorcycles. One of the custom bikes is to be the grand prize in a national sweepstakes. This collaboration is reportedly the first-ever between these three storied bike builders.  Allstate brass…Continue Reading

Host a UFC Event in Your Hometown and Win a Harley Davidson

The UFC and Harley Davidson have teamed up to offer fans of the octagon and American-made motorcycles the chance to experience or own both. By visiting, fans can enter a sweepstakes to bring a UFC event to his or her hometown along with a brand new custom Harley Davidson motorcycle. Moreover, the winning fan…Continue Reading

Dealer-Only Bike Show Coming to Indianapolis

American Iron Magazine, for the first time, is sponsoring the “The Ultimate Dealer Bike Show” – a custom bike show for dealers only.  Here the dealers will be showcasing their skills and creativity in customizing the bikes.  There will be lots of fun and information for everyone.  The sponsors and organizers expect the event to…Continue Reading

EICMA 2011 to Host Many of The Top Euro Bike Builders

The EICMA bike show is back again. Well known bike builders from ITALY and EUROPE are planning to give us a treat in MILAN on the 8th of NOVEMBER. Competitors are eagerly waiting to debut the bikes they’ve been building for the event.  It’s always cool to see what going in terms of choppers and…Continue Reading

Pimp My Taco Stand?

Watching the guys at West Coast Customs pimp ride after derelict ride made many of us want to find a rusty old Pinto and see what they could come up with. Now, the gang has moved on to a new show and apparently a new tact. Recently, the group was commissioned to pimp a taco…Continue Reading