Motorcycle owners are more satisfied with their purchases this year and are willing to spend more money to ride, according to the 2011 U.S. Motorcycle Competitive Information Study from J.D. Power and Associates.

Compiling responses from 8,123 customers who purchased new motorcycles between Sept. 2010 and May 2011, the study found customers are more satisfied with their purchases this year than customers from a year ago. Customers reported increased satisfaction with their new motorcycles and with the cost of ownership.

Customers were especially satisfied with the sale experience, with the study producing an overall score of 856 on a 1000-point scale, and improvement from the score of 838 reported last year.

Build quality also improved this year, with customers reporting 122 problems per 100 motorcycles (PP100), compared to the 133 PP100 reported in 2010. Half of the owners in the study reported having no problems with their new motorcycles. For those who reported problems, engine issues were the most common complaint, including excessive engine heat, unusual noises and too much vibration.

The overall improvement in customer satisfaction translated into customers willing to spend more money in 2011. Owners spent on average $16,125 on their new motorcycles, about $2000 more than they did in 2010. New owners were also willing to spend more in other areas, spending on average $1340 on parts and accessories and $439 on riding gear, both figures greater than 2010 results.

[Source: JD Power and Associates]