Customer Satisfaction with the Motorcycle Ownership Experience Reaches Record-High Levels


Customer Satisfaction with the Motorcycle Ownership Experience Reaches Record-High Levels

Despite Higher Owner-Reported Motorcycle Prices, Satisfaction with Perceived Value Increases in 2008


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 December 2008 – Overall satisfaction with the motorcycle ownership experience has increased for a sixth consecutive year to a record-high level, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information StudySM released today.

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 motorcycle ownership satisfaction averages 814 (based on a 1,000-point scale) in 2008, up 5 points from 2007. While all five components driving satisfaction improve in 2008, the most notable increases occur in the areas of cost of ownership and product quality.

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 finds that product quality has improved in 2008, compared with 2007, primarily due to a decrease in owner-reported problems. The overall number of problems reported averages 152 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100)-down 8 PP100 from 2007. In addition, the number of owners who report having a problem-free experience with their motorcycle averages 42 percent in 2008, an improvement of 3 percentage points, compared with 2007.

“Despite the fact that owners report paying 14 percent more for their motorcycles this year, they are also more satisfied with the value received for the money spent,” said Tim Fox, research manager of the powersports practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “There are several motorcycle models with a higher price point that owners have indicated are a particularly good value for the money. This demonstrates that if you make a superior product, consumers are willing to pay a higher price for it because they believe it to be an excellent value.”

The study also finds that the industry continues to struggle with attracting younger, first-time motorcycle buyers.

“Since 2001, the average age of motorcycle owners has increased from 40 to 47 years,” said Fox. “This indicates that the current population of motorcycle buyers is aging, and a large proportion of these owners are likely to soon exit the market. Because first-time motorcycle buyers comprise 22 percent of all new motorcycle purchases-a figure has remained relatively flat since 2001-it is critical for manufacturers to focus on attracting first-time and younger buyers-primarily those in the Gen X and Y demographics-in order to ensure continued growth in this market.”

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.


  • During the past seven years, satisfaction with the engine and transmission has shown the greatest improvement among product-related aspects.


The 2008 Motorcycle Competitive Information Study includes responses from 7,334 owners who purchased new on-road or dual-sport motorcycles between September 2007 and May 2008. Owners were surveyed in September and October 2008.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village , Calif. , J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction.  The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:  MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at

J.D. Power and Associates Media Relations Contacts:

Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Agoura Hills, Calif.; (818) 706-1915;

John Tews; Troy , Mich. ; (248) 312-4119;   

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.


2008 Motorcycle Escaped Shopper Study and Motorcycle Competitive Information Study

J.D. Power and Associates to Release Results of
2008 Motorcycle Escaped Shopper Study on December 10 and

Motorcycle Competitive Information Study on December 17


J.D. Power and Associates will release the results of its 2008 Motorcycle Escaped Shopper Study on Wednesday, December 10 and its Motorcycle Competitive Information Study the following Wednesday, December 17.  Both studies will be released at 9 a.m. ET.


The inaugural Motorcycle Escaped Shopper Study analyzes the reasons consumers consider a particular motorcycle brand but ultimately purchase a different brand.


Now in its 11th year, the Motorcycle Competitive Information 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.

Members of the J.D. Power and Associates Motorsports Practice, will be available for interviews to discuss study findings after 9 a.m. E.T./6 a.m. P.T.  To schedule an interview, please call:

Nationwide Insurance and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrate Women’s Motorcycle Month

Nationwide Insurance and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum celebrate Women’s Motorcycle Month


Columbus, Ohio – July is Women’s Motorcycle Month, and Nationwide Insurance has teamed with the AMA’s Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum to salute female riders and support all women who enjoy the open road on two wheels.


“There are more than 4.3 million women motorcyclists on the road today, and more are joining our ranks every day,” said Beth Hazen, a motorcyclist and Nationwide Insurance agent. “Women’s Motorcycle Month celebrates the pioneers who broke down gender and racial barriers in the early days of motorcycling, and we hope their stories inspire even more women to consider getting out on bikes or scooters this summer.”


According to the Motorcycle Industry Council’s most recent research, the number of women motorcycle riders increased 34 percent between 1998 and 2003.  Today, major manufacturers report annual increases in sales to women and actively court female riders.  The Motorcycle Safety Foundation says women make up nearly 30% of students in its learn-to-ride Basic RiderCoursesSM across the United States.


Many remarkable women have blazed a path on two wheels. Here, Nationwide salutes four who have been named to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.


  • Adeline and Augusta Van Buren: In 1916, Adeline and Augusta rode to coast to coast on Indian motorcycles – the first women to make the transcontinental journey solo on two motorcycles. The sisters rode to convince the military that women were capable of serving as dispatch riders. Although they were unsuccessful in that mission, they were able shatter many of the early twentieth century’s stereotypes about women.


  • Bessie Stringfield: In the 1930s and 1940s, Bessie – a female, African-American motorcyclist – broke down barriers by completing eight solo cross-country tours and serving as a U.S. Army motorcycle dispatch rider. During these tours, she rode fearlessly through the deep South when racial prejudice was a tangible threat. Bessie rode her first motorcycle, an Indian, at the age of 16 and went on to own 27 Harley-Davidsons.


  • Dot Robinson: In the mid-twentieth century, Dot paved the way for women motorcyclists. In 1939, she and fellow motorcyclist, Linda Dugeau, began Motor Maids of America. Today, Motor Maids is thriving and is the oldest motorcycling organization for women in North America. Dot also opened doors for women in motorcycle competition. An enduro racer, in 1940, Dot became the first woman to win in AMA national competition.


“These women are inspiring to all riders,” said Mark Mederski, executive director of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. “And, the Hall of Fame encourages motorcyclists to nominate more remarkable women for inclusion.”


Women who have been considering two wheels and are inspired by Women’s Motorcycle Month have many resources available to help them learn to ride. Nationwide’s Hazen offers three tips for getting started.



  • Find a local dealership where you feel welcome and learn about different motorcycles before purchasing. Sit in the saddle and check out the practical aspects, such as making sure both of your feet can easily rest on the ground and determining if handgrips, controls, and mirrors are easy to reach and operate.


  • Join a women’s motorcycle club in your area. Not only do these clubs allow women to enjoy the community of riding, many also focus on charity work.


Defensive Driving Survey

Nationwide Insurance Survey: Distracted Drivers Fuel Need for Defensive Riding


Columbus, Ohio – Nationwide Insurance recently released the results of its second annual Driving While Distracted (DWD) survey and the findings highlight the need for motorcyclists to ride defensively.


While 98 percent of Americans claim to be safe drivers, 72 percent of all drivers admit to partaking in some form of distracting behavior while driving, from cell phone use to eating.


“Drivers need to be aware of the hazard they pose when they are inattentive,” said Bill Windsor, Associate Vice President of Safety at Nationwide. “Distracted driving is a danger to all sharing the road – but motorcyclists in particular will benefit from more conscientious motorists.”


Here, Windsor offers key survey findings and tips for riders sharing the road with distracted drivers.


  • Distractions made up three of the top four reasons why survey respondents needed to suddenly apply the brakes while driving. While other drivers were cited as the top reason for sudden stops, daydreaming, adjusting music and use of a cell phone/electronic device filled out the top four.


  • Rider tip: Look inside a vehicle’s windows to determine if a driver is fully focused on the road. If a driver appears distracted, try to avoid passing the vehicle. Or, if you must pass, give the car additional space.


  • Overall, more cell phone owners found themselves talking or texting while driving on highways or through city streets than when they were parked, in traffic or at a light (almost 50 percent vs. almost 37 percent).


  • Rider tip: Drivers might pose a greater risk while moving, but remember to fully study your surroundings (including checking your mirrors) while stopped. You can identify who has seen you – and who is distracted – and adjust your actions accordingly.


  • When asked what would be the most successful in preventing cell phone use while driving, survey respondents were closely split; 43 percent said technology that would prevent cell phones from working in the car, while 42 percent said laws banning the use of cell phones/electronic devices while driving.


  • Rider tip: Current laws and technology allow motorists to use cell phones while driving. Take care to leave your headlights on, use reflective strips on your clothing and motorcycle, avoid blind spots and flash your brake lights when stopping to maximize your chance of being seen by a distracted driver.


Nationwide is committed to making the road safe for all travelers. As part of its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the prevalence of DWD, Nationwide will be partnering with the National Safety Council to jointly host a DWD Symposium in Washington, D.C., on October 14-15, 2008. At this Symposium, Nationwide and the National Safety Council will gather thought leaders to discuss which distractions pose the greatest threat and how distracted driving can be mitigated.


Even the most cautious enthusiasts should make sure their vehicles are covered in case of a collision. Nationwide’s motorcycle insurance policies cover theft, collision, vandalism and damage caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers. To learn more about motorcycle insurance or to find an agent, visit



The survey was conducted via phone by MRSI. A total of 1,503 phone surveys were completed between April 15 and April 24, 2008, among a national sample. All respondents were required to be between the ages of 16 and 61 and drive a car. A total of 749 men and 754 women were surveyed. The survey has 2.5 percent margin of error.


About Nationwide:

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit