Considering a New Bike? Think Twice!

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March 14, 2014 | By: Lowell Anderson

Honda Recall Bikes

As the weather starts to change, we all get the bug to get out on the road and start riding again. I know as soon as it gets slightly warm I start to think about riding. I find myself out in the garage going over my bikes and considering all the things I need to do to get ready to go. Some of the hard core guys at J&P Cycles (Jasper, for example) start riding before the snow has even melted off the roads, then they use the opportunity to make fun of us guys waiting for the weather to get just a bit warmer. I say more power to em’! The more bikes in the lot, the better I feel. Just hearing a bike brings a smile to my face after a long cold winter!

This is also the time of the year when sales for new bikes start to rise. Most of the nation has been cooped-up in a house all winter and they just can’t wait to get out on the open road. After this last winter, I can safely say that almost all of us experienced a few days in the house.

Some of the lucky ones among us will head out to a dealership this year to pick up a new bike. It is always a great feeling to have the ability to go into a dealer and pick out a new ride. If you are like me, you like the process of finding the bike as much as getting it.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to see some of the good and bad of motorcycle manufacturing. I have been working in the industry for almost 20 years now, and have been lucky enough to get an inside glimpse of some of the different factories out there making bikes. If you are considering picking up a brand new ride, here is a little advice for you.

If you’re determined to buy a new bike, be cautious. New model bikes often have issues that are not yet discovered by the factories producing those bikes.Doesn’t matter what brand you are looking at, they all have issues. My advice is to wait at least a year before you buy a new model. Many buyers go out and buy new models then have to wait for months to ride their new bikes due to recalls or other issues. Last year, Harley Davidson had to recall their new touring models due to clutch issues. Honda just recently recalled 6900 CB500F models due to a rocker arm retaining bolt issue. These kinds of issues are not as uncommon as you might think. Often the factories have to purchase new parts to fix the issues. They normally buy parts based on demand, so they have to go back to the parts manufacturer and wait for them to produce new parts. This can cause lengthy delays in getting the parts needed to fix your bike. All the factories do a considerable amount of R&D testing to try to avoid recalls, but there are always issues of some sort that come up.

There are so many variables when producing a machine that has so many moving parts. Getting it right on the first try is not very common. I have been in R&D departments and seen some of the issues that can arise. I can tell you that it can be ugly…really ugly!

All this can cause countless calls to your dealer, and tons of aggravation. Not to mention the ribbing you are going to endure from your riding buddies who are out riding while you’re waiting for parts for your NEW bike.

Take my advice and wait a year for that new model. All the issues will raise their ugly heads during that first year, and all the scrambling to address them will be complete. Then you can enjoy your new investment without having all the headaches and you’ll have a better idea of what you invested in.

Comments: 4 Comments | Categorized Under: Uncategorized

Comments (4)

Nothing ventured – nothing gained. Following your advice, no one would have a first year model anything. I have had two first year model Honda’s without one single recall. I still have the first one – a 1980 CB900C.

The rare instance you quote is the exception, not the rule. Fear not people. Buy the bike that stirs you soul – first year are not.

First of all check all the factor either good or bad of all motorcycle companies before considering a new bike. It will help you to choose the right choice.

Very good information to follow. I do have one question: Are you talking about a new model or just a new bike (motorcycle) in general?

Thank you.

Hi Scott! I am speaking to brand new models.

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