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I had motocross and enduro bikes until I was almost 40. Quite a few Euro bikes (CZ, Maico, Husqvarna) along with Japanese. I loved the exotic quality of Euro bikes. I never owned a street bike until 20 years later when my GF decided to buy me a Ducati Scrambler for Christmas. It was actually between that and a Bonneville. When I discovered the Bonneville was only 59 HP, I knew I'd be bored and went for the Ducati. I knew the reputation of Ducati and figured that after this many years they'd have it figured out. I was wrong. I fell in love with the street riding but fell out of love with Ducati. Gas tank sprung a leak and headlight lens broke apart and Ducati didn't want to warranty $3400 for the 2 parts. $600 service (Desmo Valves) and no US parts warehouse and crazy expensive parts. I spotted the Yamaha XSR900 and I (amazingly) found a dealer that would take the Scrambler in trade. I'm 64 and don't want to be broken down on the side of the road. The XSR 900 was cheaper new than The Ducati and within the 1st 2 miles I felt like I had been on the bike forever. I did the deal before he could have a chance to think about it. It felt like a totally refined machine versus the Scrambler and it is. I only had the bike 7 weeks and was hit in a parking lot and it was totalled (me too). I t took me from may until November until I could bend my knee to get it on a footpeg. I was pretty locked in on an MT 09 but then noticed a leftover FJ 09 sitting next to it. I liked the bigger pillon seat and larger gas tank. I was also looking at a Kawasaki Z900. I chose the FJ 09 strictly because it allowed my a little more knee bending room. I kept the FJ for a year (loved it) and traded it in on a MT 10. (The full motorcycle addiction is back). I spent a small fortune on mods for all 4 bikes but I love working on them too. Not a single warranty claim on the Yamahas. Nothing Failed or was defective. I broke some stuff but nothing defective. 100% reliability. Even my Toyota Tundra has crappy rotors. I had to do the suspension but that's because Yamaha is trying to hit a price point on these bikes and it's a fair trade off for the difference in Euro vs Japanese bikes. I absolutely love Yamaha but I could easily be happy on Honda, Kawasaki or Suzuki, which brings me to the point of this post. Why is the Motorcycle press so enamored with Euro bikes. You'd think that God himself came down and created BMWs and they have the worst reliability in the industry. Yes I know those 3 wheeled "things are worse but they ain't motorcycles. I go on the British MT10 forum and they savage Euro bikes......Even Triumph. Reliability is mediocre to downright terrible for all of them. I read a review of 1 Italian manufacturer and they said it's a great bike but it's like a prototype that's unfinished. Seriously - UNFINISHED? There's not a single Euro bike that can touch the MT line up for value and bang for your buck. Pick a category of bike and you'll pay $4000 - $10,000 more for a comparable Euro bike. I know, just like Harleys, you'll get all kinds of anecdotal stories with people swearing that theirs are the most reliable bike ever made but the statistics don't lie......except if you subscribe to the alternative facts theory. ( that's a separate discussion). CycleWorld list it's tests this month, Triumph, BMW, Royal Enfield, Ducati, Husqvarna, Aprilla and a Honda. Imagine the down time, Service and parts prices, wait for parts and purchase price between all of them and a Honda and then reliability. I know 1 place (Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret CT.) within 1 hundred mile radius from me, where you'll see a bunch of Euro bikes but other then that, it's all Harley's and Japanese bikes. I'm also seeing a ton of these minibike things that are all Japanese and somehow street legal. I probably see 50 Groms to every KTM or BMW. Yet Japanese bikes seem almost invisible to the motorcycle press.

So that's my rant.....it was between writing this, paint the basement stairs or ditch my GF and go riding.
 

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100% agree.

I've been in the dirtbike world since the early '70's. I've seen a lot of brands go in and out of popularity. For the last 15 years or so KTM's have been the wonder machines. Go to a track or riding area, especially the mountains and it's a sea of orange. IMHO they're crap. Always have been.

Ok, that was harsh. haha. Maybe they're not exactly "crap", but they always seem to have some fatal flaw in most every model. Stupid little things like I can leave my '18 YZ450 for months, battery hooked up and no trickle charger. I hit the start button and the thing is purring in a matter of a second or two at the most. My buddy with his '18 KTM 450 can't start that thing hot, cold, overnight, whenever. He's had to put a bigger battery in it and can't leave it sit for any amount of time without a trickle charger on it. The power, dependability and suspension differences between those two particular bikes is also laughable.

Over all those years of dirtbike experience, Honda and Yamaha have consistently made quality bikes. Sure, they've had their share of duds or flaws too, but for the most part they make a product that just works. Yamaha, again in my opinion, has always made AMAZING engines. I have an '06 YZ250. To this day, you can't buy a 250 2 stroke that has a better engine or suspension. And it can be used for anything from MX to tight enduro riding. So what did Yamaha do? They've left the YZ250 unchanged for 15 years! Again, ride any year YZ250 from '06 to '21 and compare it to a KTM300. The only possible thing the KTM might do better is the brakes. Other than that, the best KTM has come up with still can't beat a 16 year old Yamaha. (In that particular model.)

Hell I'm such a Yamaha fanboi I have a 21 foot twin engine Yamaha jet boat and a GP1800. Both of those machines blow the available competition out of the water (UGH! Did I just do that? hahaha.), mostly because of Yamaha's amazing engines.

As far as the Ducati reference, I almost bought a Hypermotard when they first came out. The thing that made me not buy it? Cost. The bike and what would have been mandatory for me, exhaust and a tune, would have been WELL over $20k. F THAT! And that's not even talking about keeping it running without it destroying itself. My buddy at the Ducati dealer has seen those bikes eat valves and destroy entire engines on the way to the dealer for their FIRST service. Yikes. Meanwhile you can beat the living sh!t out of a Yamaha and it just doesn't care.
 

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When I bought my '09, it was between the Yamaha and a Speed Triple. The Triumph had more electronics but at a price, too steep a price in my mind. I couldn't convince myself that I'd need or even use effectively much of it for $4k+. Sure I spent some money on the suspension to get it up to par but I'm still ahead and as you say, there's the reliability factor. I've heard stories about bikes laid up for weeks waiting for parts that should be available in days.

On another note: the F4i that I sold to buy the MT had 58k miles on the clock and ran/rode like new. The only problems I ever had with it were a failed CCT and regulator. Otherwise just routine maintenance. The guy that bought it didn't even haggle on the price. After he test rode it, his first comment was: this is a solid bike, I can't believe it has this many miles on it.
 

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Probably more so in cars than bikes, but the better Euros have a indefinably different feel to them. Like they're designed for drivers. I've had Jap and Korean cars for the last 30 years, but my current car is in a different league to any of them.
I've only owned Jap bikes since my first beaten up POS Thunderbird in 1968, they just keep on ticking.
I've only ridden a few Euro bikes, they're fine to ride briefly, but I think I'd have to have a lot more money than I have to buy one. Because it's a vanity purchase.
 

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My brother's last 2 bikes have been aprilias.
His 750 shiver was great for 80,000 ks. he had a couple of cheap ($30) sensors fail in that time that left him stranded on the commute, but new sensor, good to go. No major issues.
He traded that in for his 2014 v4 tuono (bought new, still has it) which has been reliable as well.
I borrowed it for a month or so- fun bike.

I've had mostly jap bikes, and have had 3 x mt09's since 2014.
My ducati 996 20 years ago was great, loved my KTM 640SM (still miss it), didn't love my 2006 speed triple as much as I thought i would.
 

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I was between The speed triple and a MT09 when I bought my bike too, I still like the speed triple but glad I went with an MT09. My brothers first bike was a Triumph Daytona I think it was 900, and at the time I had a Honda 929 and my bike felt way smother. So once I got my MT he rode it a few times and ended up going and getting a new one a few months after.
 

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I've ridden Speed Triples and they felt a bit clumsy compared to the 09 and a friend had a Street Triple RS that he got rid of because of it's peakiness.
The 09 is a pretty good package that's easily made great.
 

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Jeez fellas, you're all a bit crazy.

Sure the 09/xsr is great but there's amazing machines from Europe too, from a 690/790/1290 KTM to Ducati 848/1098 SF and BMW with many bikes as well as triumph. There's a lot you're missing out on if you don't at least try some.

Ride a V2 tuono and tell me it's not a brilliant bike or a KTM 990 Superduke
 

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Jeez fellas, you're all a bit crazy.

Sure the 09/xsr is great but there's amazing machines from Europe too, from a 690/790/1290 KTM to Ducati 848/1098 SF and BMW with many bikes as well as triumph. There's a lot you're missing out on if you don't at least try some.

Ride a V2 tuono and tell me it's not a brilliant bike or a KTM 990 Superduke
Nobody has mentioned that there aren't some amazing European bikes, the thread is about reliability. I have only owned 2 European vehicles, a KTM 250 dirt bike and a BMW sport sedan, both had multiple mechanical and/or electrical issues, enough that I nearly gave them away just to be rid of them.
I have a riding buddy who ONLY owns Ducati, BMW or Aprilia, I have ridden several of his bikes and they are brilliant... but the amount of down time is ridiculous, he does none of his own maintenance, they are all under service contract at authorized service centers.
 

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i must be lucky ive owned a bunch of ducati's and had very few issues

my v4 is one of the most refined bikes ive owned. so IDK
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i must be lucky ive owned a bunch of ducati's and had very few issues

my v4 is one of the most refined bikes ive owned. so IDK
In all fairness.......you work on motorcycles for a living. It's a lot easier to own a Euro bike when you have advanced skills. As I stated in my initial post, a lot of people will tell you how good their bikes have been but the statistics don't lie about reliability across a broad spectrum.

I had to replace a gas tank on a Ducati Scrambler and it was $2900. For a plain simple old fashioned steel gas tank. Better hope your one of the fortunate owners because the parts prices are pretty insane. Too rich for my blood. I use affordable vendors like the guy that does my flashes down in Florida.
 

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Jeez fellas, you're all a bit crazy.

Sure the 09/xsr is great but there's amazing machines from Europe too, from a 690/790/1290 KTM to Ducati 848/1098 SF and BMW with many bikes as well as triumph. There's a lot you're missing out on if you don't at least try some.

Ride a V2 tuono and tell me it's not a brilliant bike or a KTM 990 Superduke
A mate and i missed a turn off on a group ride through the mountains once. I was a on my last MT09 (2014, home brewed SP version but with added 320mm rotors) and he was on his V2mille/tuono hybrid. I got 200ks to a tank, but was a great hour.

And for the 1290- i was hoping my brother would buy one (his wallet is bigger) so i could borrow it, but it was too mental. I loved it. It was the skinhead staring at you from the corner of the bar. He ended up with the slightly less mental V4 tuono. A thug in a nice suit.
 

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Two of my coworkers ride Ducati Diavel's. Seem to be great bikes - fast and comfortable, different class than the MT/XSR. They've both had issues with rear master cylinders. No other issues that I'm aware of. I mostly went with a jap bike because I'd rather be riding it than maintaining it - the whole reason I purchased a 'newer' bike was that I got tired of having to fiddle and work on my old bike between rides. If I had a 'stable' of bikes it would definitely include some euro bikes.
 
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