Are BMW Motorcycles Good Quality? How Reliable Are They?

Mar 22, 2024


picture of the tires of a bmw motorcycle sitting on side of a curvy road are bmw motorcycles good quality

When it comes to motorcycles, the name BMW carries a lot of weight. Known for their blend of luxury, performance, and cutting-edge technology, BMW motorcycles have carved a niche for themselves in the motorcycling world. But when we strip away the brand prestige and marketing, what are we left with? Let's dive into an honest, no-BS analysis of BMW motorcycles, focusing on their quality and reliability, including a Riders Share analysis of how well BMW motorcycles stack up to other manufacturers (hint: you’ll be impressed!). 

The Legacy of BMW Motorcycles

BMW Motorrad, the motorcycle brand of the German giant BMW, has a storied history dating back to 1923. Over the decades, BMW has been at the forefront of motorcycle innovation, pioneering features like the telelever front suspension system and the paralever rear suspension. Their motorcycles are known for their distinctive designs, from the classic boxer engines to the futuristic lines of the S1000RR.

Build Quality and Design

BMW motorcycles are renowned for their high build quality. From the robustness of the frame to the premium materials used in the bodywork, BMW goes the extra mile to ensure their bikes are durable and well-crafted. The attention to detail is evident in everything from the paint finish to the quality of the switchgear.

Innovative Technology

BMW is a leader in motorcycle technology, incorporating advanced features such as dynamic traction control, electronic suspension adjustment, and ABS Pro into their bikes. These innovations not only enhance the riding experience but also contribute to the overall safety and performance of the motorcycle.

Reliability: What the Riders Say

The question of reliability is where opinions start to diverge. On paper, BMW motorcycles are engineered to meet high standards of reliability. However, the real-world experience can vary. Some riders report years of trouble-free riding, while others have encountered issues, particularly with more complex electronic systems.

Maintenance and Cost of Ownership

BMW motorcycles are high-performance machines, and with that comes a need for regular maintenance. Parts and servicing can be on the pricey side, which is something to consider when evaluating the cost of ownership. However, many riders find the premium worth it for the quality and performance they receive.

The Model Factor

The reliability and quality of BMW motorcycles can also depend on the model. For example, the R1200GS, one of BMW's best-selling models, is a reliable workhorse capable of easily tackling long distances. On the other hand, some of the high-performance models might require more frequent attention due to their complex engineering and high-strung nature.

The Verdict: Are BMW Motorcycles Good Quality?

Yes, BMW motorcycles are of good quality. They are built to exacting standards with premium materials and innovative technology. Whether you're cruising on a R1250RT or tearing up the track on an S1000RR, you can expect a level of sophistication and performance that is hard to match.

BMW Motorcycle Reliability

When it comes to reliability, the picture is more nuanced. Like any brand, BMW has had its share of recalls and issues, but the overall consensus among riders is positive. The key to a reliable BMW motorcycle experience lies in regular maintenance and choosing a model that fits your riding style and reliability expectations.

Riders Share’s Analysis of BMW Motorcycle Reliability

At Riders Share, we’ve gathered great data on how reliable each motorcycle manufacturer is- from tow requests to breakdowns and more. While, of course, unexpected issues can occur, Riders Share motorcycles have surprisingly low tow rates. Across all rentals at Riders Share, BMW (0.18%) is tied for the top spot for most reliable motorcycles based on tow rates per rental day. That’s pretty impressive!

picture of a bmw r nine t parked with view in distance are bmw motorcycles good quality

Test Ride a BMW Motorcycle with BMW Motorrad Rentals from Riders Share

Browse our selection of thousands of BMW motorcycles available to rent across the United States today with Riders Share. Join the leading motorcycle rental platform and experience the quality and reliability of BMW Motorrad for yourself! Don’t just make your decision based on a dealership test ride- rent a motorcycle for a few days to experience real-world conditions and see for yourself which model is right for you. 

Making the Right Choice

If you're considering a BMW motorcycle, think about what you value most in a bike. If quality, performance, and technological innovation are at the top of your list, then a BMW could be a great fit. Just be prepared for the maintenance commitment and cost of owning a premium motorcycle.

In conclusion, BMW motorcycles stand out for their quality and innovation, offering riders luxury, performance, and reliability. While ownership comes with its considerations, the rewards of riding a BMW motorcycle far outweigh the costs for many. Whether you're an adventurous tourer, a city commuter, or a track enthusiast, BMW likely has a bike that will meet and exceed your expectations.