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Harley SA responds to world recall

2013-10-17 10:06

COME TO MOMMY: Harley-Davidson has recalled 29 000 motorcycles to fix a potentially dangerous clutch problem. Image: HARLEY-DAVIDSON


Bike columnist DAVE FALL took a piece of two-wheeled history back in time on a ride from Cape Town to Hermanus - the long way round - on a Harley-Davidson Softail.

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin  - Harley-Davidson is voluntarily recalling more than 29 000 of its current touring motorcycles because of a dangerous problem with their hydraulic clutch.

Some of the machines are already in South Africa - see below for a situation update.

Recalled models include 25 185 touring motorcycles and 3861 Custom Vehicle Operations and Trikes built from May 3 to October 14 2013. "Do Not Ride" notices have been sent to owners and a "Do Not Deliver" warnings to Harley-Davidson dealers.


The Milwaukee-based company said in a statement: "Some of these motorcycles may exhibit a condition in which the hydraulic clutch system may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch."

Harley-Davidson said it was proceeding with the recalls consistent with the US' National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's process, though the US government body is closed due to the partial government shutdown.

Harley-Davidson said if the clutch did not disengage as intended the rider may have difficulty slowing or stopping, which could result in an accident. "The repairs have been identified and should take less than an hour."

Harley-Davidson recalled more than 300 000 motorcycles worldwide in 2011 due to problems with the rear brake-light switch.

Harley-Davidson said in July that it expected to ship as many as 264 000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide in 2013, up from 247 625 in 2012.


Harley-Davidson South Africa, responding to a request from Wheels24 about the situation in South Africa, said the recall involved Touring models FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHTKSE and FLHRSE; Softail CVO’s, models FXSBSE and FLSTNSE and Trikes, model FLHTCUTG, built between May 3 2013 and October 14 2013.

70 motorcycles are affected in South Africa, of which 13 have been sold and delivered.

An H-D statement said:  “Dealers were notified by electronic communication on Wednesday October 16 2013. Customers were notified by news release, email and through their dealers ..

“Customers with potentially affected vehicles are being told to stop riding their motorcycle and to immediately contact an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer for an inspection. If the motorcycle is found to have this condition the dealer will repair the affected motorcycle at no cost to the customer.

“The remedy is a master-cylinder piston rebuild kit that prevents air from being pumped into the master cylinder reservoir. The remedy may also include installing the correct clutch release plate.

“Harley-Davidson Motor Company is working to expedite the availability of replacement parts and expects to have kits available through dealers beginning the week of October 21 2013.”

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