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What's behind our motorcycle & scooter Ratings?

The Consumer Reports National Research Center comprises highly trained social scientists, including 9 Ph.D.s, using state-of-the-art techniques to survey more than 1 million consumers each year about products, services, health care and consumer issues.
We look for:
  • Reader score
    The percent of owners who would definitely purchase the same motorcycle if they had it to do all over again.
  • Owner satisfaction
    Overall satisfaction.
  • Fun
    Satisfaction with how much fun a motorcycle is to drive.
  • Styling
    Satisfaction with a motorcycle's design.
  • Acceleration
    Acceleration satisfaction.
  • Handling
    Handling satisfaction.
  • Cost of maintenance and repair
    Satisfaction with the cost of a motorcycle's maintenance and repair.
  • Comfort
    Comfort satisfaction.

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Motorcycle & scooter user reviews

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Motorcycle & scooter buying guide

Motorcycles and scooters can be an appealing, and even economical, alternative to a car for solo commuting, running errands, and more. For some, especially urban dwellers, a two-wheeler may be the only transportation they need.

But motorcycles and scooters aren't for everybody. Passenger and cargo space is limited, and riders are a lot more exposed to the dangers of harsh weather, extreme temperatures, poorly maintained roads, and other motorists' errors. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a crash than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). And 43 percent of all motorcycle deaths are the result of single-vehicle crashes. Speeding and alcohol continues to be major contributors to motorcycle crashes. Eliminate those factors and you've dramatically reduced your risk.

Motorcycles can be a lot of fun and provide a more engaging travel experience than a car, making you less isolated from your surroundings and more aware of the sights and scents of the world around you. Many two-wheelers claim about 50 mpg, with some thrifty, small-displacement models boasting upwards of 100 mpg. Before running down to the local dealership with the checkbook, it's important to know if a cycle is for you. Riding and maneuvering a bike is more physically demanding than driving a car, and even getting a bike onto its center stand for parking a can pose a challenge for some. (Read our 10 motorcycle safety tips for new and returning riders.)

This guide is intended as a primer for new riders thinking about getting their first cycle and as a refresher for those who haven't ridden for a while but are thinking about getting back on a bike. We'll take you through the basics of cycle types, safety, clothing and gear, where to get instruction, ownership costs, and everything else you need to know.

Visit our motorcycle special section, and see the owner satisfaction and reliability findings in the tabs above.

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