The issue apparently involves the hydraulic clutch, which has reportedly proven difficult in certain circumstances to disengage. If you can't disengage the clutch, you could have trouble slowing down or stopping, potentially resulting in a crash. And crashes are not a good thing, especially on a motorbike.
The recall affects nearly 30,000 bikes and trikes manufactured between May 3 and October 14, 2013, and includes Touring models FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHTKSE and FLHRSE, and Softail models FLHTCUTG, FXSBSE and FLSTNSE. If you're riding one of those, your dealership should be calling you to advise you not to ride your bike until they can come pick it up and fix the problem, which should only take about an hour.
Head on down below for the press release – which incidentally comes from Harley itself and not from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which, like most government offices, has (until now) been closed for the past couple of weeks.
MILWAUKEE, Oct. 16, 2013 - Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) is acting quickly to address potential safety issues by voluntarily recalling certain 2014 Touring motorcycles equipped with a hydraulic clutch system that may pose a safety issue for riders and/or passengers. The recalls include a Do Not Ride notice to owners and a Do Not Deliver notice to Harley-Davidson dealers until the motorcycle is fixed.
"The safety of our customers is our highest priority," said Tony Wilcox, Harley-Davidson General Manager of Motorcycle New Product Delivery. "We have identified potential safety issues and are moving quickly to notify our customers and dealers. The inspection and repair of these motorcycles is extremely important, so it's critical that our customers with affected vehicles contact their dealers immediately. We apologize for this circumstance. The company is committed to correcting the issues and providing customers with the quality experience and service they expect."
The recalls affect 25,185 Touring motorcycles, models FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHTKSE and FLHRSE, and 3,861 Softail® CVOs and Trikes, models FLHTCUTG, FXSBSE and FLSTNSE, built between May 3, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013.
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. If the clutch does not disengage as intended, the rider may have difficulty slowing or stopping the motorcycle, which could result in an accident. Harley-Davidson has initiated these recalls to correct the affected motorcycles.
The company is taking the additional measure of issuing a Do Not Ride notice to riders given the potential safety issues. The company wants owners of affected motorcycles to contact an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer immediately to arrange for an inspection. The dealer will pick up, inspect and make the necessary repairs at no cost to the owner. The repairs have been identified and should take less than one hour.
Although the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is closed as a result of the partial government shutdown, Harley-Davidson is proceeding with these voluntary recalls consistent with NHTSA's process.
About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's website at www.harley-davidson.com.