J.D. Power and Associates just released the results of its 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study. Despite higher owner reported motorcycle prices, satisfaction increases in 2008 for a sixth consecutive year to a record-high level. Now in its 11th year, the study measures owner satisfaction with new motorcycles by examining five major components of the overall ownership experience: product; quality; cost of ownership; sales; and service.
Overall, satisfaction with cost of ownership has increased steadily over time. In 2008, satisfaction with cost of ownership improves by 11 points from 2007 to an average of 707. In addition, 18 percent of owners in 2008 report that the cost of owning their motorcycles is “outstanding” (a rating of 10 on a 10-point scale), compared with only 10 percent of customers in 2005 who indicated the same. Furthermore, 30 percent of motorcycle owners in 2008 indicate that the value they received for the price paid is “outstanding,” compared with 21 percent in 2005.
The study also includes the following findings: Among motorcycle owners who visit a dealer for repair work, 79 percent report that the repair was performed correctly the first time—an increase of four percentage points from 2007. The two problems that have the greatest negative impact on overall product satisfaction are rough paint and engines that overheat. Other problems that have a particularly strong impact on satisfaction include gearshift issues, lacking power, and the ride being too stiff or too soft.