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Tips to keep motorcycle repair costs down

June 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed more than 4,000 motorcycle owners to find some of the most reliable ones. It found Harley-Davidson and BMW were more repair-prone than Japanese brands Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda.

"Part of it is bikes that were loaded with gear, with bags, with accessories, had more problems with those kinds of things," said Eric Evarts of Consumer Reports.

But the survey showed owners of Harleys and BMWs were among the most satisfied with their motorcycles.

No matter which brand you buy, there are ways to keep costs down.

"Basic owner maintenance procedures should be followed to avoid costly repairs," said Vince Grimaldi, a motorcycle dealer.

For instance, replacing $50 brake pads before they're worn down can save hundreds on damaged rotors and other parts. Keeping tires properly inflated will prevent premature tire wear and give you much better handling.

If your motorcycle calls for premium gas, use it.

Also, it's best to store your bike in a protected area to prevent unnecessary wear or sun damage. If it's going to sit for any period of time, be sure to add fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas.

All this can help keep repair costs down and your motorcycle cruising down the road.