Proving your brand produces the most reliable motorcycle is a big-time moneymaker. So, Consumer Reports looked at the best brands and put together a list of top performers when it comes to safety. Based on a survey of 11,000 subscribers, it found that some motorcycle brands had much higher predicted failure rates than others.
While BMW and Canada’s Can-Am had shockingly high predicted failure rates of about 40%, the following five motorcycle brands proved to be the safest out there.
5. Victory: 17% failure rate
Victory has many happy fans for good reason. Besides being stylish and offering many great features, the brand gets high marks for safety. The seat is 26 inches, a great choice for smaller riders. Its balance is among the best in its class. The suspension is smooth as glass, which helps riders maintain control on different road types and at varying speeds.
4. Kawasaki: 15% failure rate
Those hoping to keep insurance rates down with a less powerful engine should try the Kawaski Versys 300-X. It’s a sharp-looking bike with a lighter curb weight. It does have a larger gas tank so you’ll have to make fewer stops. While the seat is a little high, this capable Kawasaki bike’s power is manageable.
3. Honda: 12% failure rate
Tokyo-based Honda offers a broad range of quality motorcycles. Honda’s CB 650F is a great safe choice. It has the most powerful engine on this list but it’s also contained behind a gentle throttle bar. The Honda CB 650F allows riders to develop their skills without experiencing too much power.
This bike is also the heaviest on the list but it’s easy to adjust to the weight. While you can safely get started using this bike, it’s power, style, and easy handling ensures you won’t outgrow it.
2. Suzuki: 12% failure rate
Suzuki motorcycles have something for everyone. One of the best in class, Suzuki’s V-Strom 650 ABS is popular due to its ABS feature. It has other great safety features like an adjustable windshield. The twin-spar aluminum frame offers improved stability and handling. There are radial tires, a road freeze warning alert, and a slip-resistant seat. The rear suspension has rebound damping adjustment, too.
1. Yamaha/Star: 11% failure rate
In 1996, Yamaha launched its Star Motorcycles featuring its more upscale cruisers. Lightweight and efficient, Yamaha motorcycles, particularly in its Star line, are a good choice for safety. They are good bikes for beginners.
The Yamaha V Star 250 is an excellent bike for new riders. It’s equipped with front disc brakes for good stopping power. It has a 27-inch seat height so you can place your feet on the ground. With a smaller gas tank, you may need to make more stops. But it’s 324-pound curb weight makes it easy to navigate.
Reliability is important when it comes to motorcycles. Selecting a bike from a brand with a good track record is the best course of action. According to Consumer Reports, subscribers demonstrated more faith in Japanese brands than domestic brands. They found BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph to experience more trouble.