Originally Posted by twowheeladdict
Yamaha is at the top of the heap in reliability, but I sure recall having to replace fasteners all the time on my XS750 and it was the smooth Yamaha. The XS650s were another story. The guys at Daytona Nut and Bolt knew me by name.
Got my first Harley in 2016. Best motorcycle I have ever owned. Fit and finish, paint quality, reliable. Of course I only have just over 10,000 miles on it. I've had reliable Japanese motorcycles but having to carry duct tape, foam, and zip ties for when the rattles and buzzing start on a trip was getting tiring. My FZ-07 has a plastic clad gas tank cell, plastic fake carbon fiber, etc. Great bike to ride, but not so great bike to become attached to. My Moto Guzzi on the other hand is a bike that is more fun to admire than to ride.
Ah yes. I've similar stories regarding past bikes. The only Harley I ever owned was a '57 Sportster 750 flat head. It was, to be kind, something of a death trap - it tended to catch fire at all-too-regular intervals. The brakes were so ineffectual I thought of carrying an anchor and a very long bungee cord. I kept it because it was my undergraduate transportation. And although it tried it didn't succeed killing me, but it did inflict a broken left arm - in five places from wrist to shoulder. I believe that taught me a lesson - too bad I'm left handed.
While in Germany I owned a 1975 850 Norton Commando Interstate with electric start (after a fashion). Despite Amal carbs and a pathetic 12 volt positive ground Lucas electrical system it ran well. It took me from southwest Germany, through Belgium, England, Wales and eventually to the Isle of Man and return without skipping a beat. My mistake was selling it to a friend before returning to the U.S.
Then in the early 80s I had a Moto Guzzi V50 III. Wonderful little bike when it decided to run. I suspect if I had learned Italian and could swear at it in its native language things might have been better. Italians do have rather colorful profanity.
Since then I've been doing better although I still have a soft spot for the Guzzi and Norton. My wife says I must have been dropped on my head as a child.