Motorcycle Brand Loyalty: Riding a High

Motorcycle SatisfactionIf you like to brag about your favorite motorcycle, you probably already know you are not alone! Especially if you have gotten into any number of passionate “discussions” about which make is best.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study, motorcycle owners are strong advocates of their favorite bike manufacturer, as 68 percent “definitely will” recommend their personal choice of motorcycle.

As noted by Tim Fox, research manager of the power sports practice at J.D. Power and Associates, motorbike riders are more prideful about their beloved two wheelers than about watercraft or cars.

“Loyalty and advocacy levels are particularly high among motorcycle owners when compared with owners in the automotive and boating industries,” said Fox. “For example, only 47 percent of boat and 35 percent of auto owners say they are loyal to their brand.”

The study also showed that riders who were surveyed by JD Powers expressed “overall” increased satisfaction with their motorcycle buying purchases (see chart above), although there is a slight decline in the past 2 years regarding buyer satisfaction regarding their dealer in relation to the “sales” experience. Conversely, amongst the number of factors studied, the greatest increase in satisfaction has to do with dealer “service” after the sale.

The chart also shows continued rising satisfaction among purchasers regarding their new bike itself (“product”).

Another interesting note in the report has to do with which part of new bikes gave owners the least satisfaction: engines. When considering all the improvements that have been developed in recent years, it’s surprising to me that “engine problems” account for 40 percent of total reported problems. As further cited in the report, “Specifically, excessive heat; unusual noise; excessive vibration; and the motorcycle stumbling, hesitating or dying are the most frequently reported engine problems.”

Am I old fashioned? In my experience, heat, noise and vibration reduction have improved so much over the years that it’s hard for me to find much fault in this direction on the myriad of completely different bikes I have experienced. I’m wondering if newer riders are using automobiles as a comparative reference regarding their new motorcycle. Personally, I just can’t imagine wanting any motorbike of mine to be quite as civilized as a car….

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