The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled 22,483 Harley-Davidson motorcycles with potential clutch problems this morning. It is the second such recall within two months. Harley voluntarily recalled 29,046 motorcycles on October 16.
Neither Harley nor the NHTSA have indicated to what extent the two recalls overlap but it is likely that the recalls effect the same motorcycles and that 6,563 owners have already responded to the first notice. The effected bikes were all built between May 3 and October 14, 2013.
The NHTSA officially issued two recall notices.
Recall number 13V517000 effects 2,886 FLHTCUTG, FXSBE, and FLSTNSE models. The government believes those motorcycles were assembled using the wrong clutch release plate.
Recall number 13V515000 effects 19,597 FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHTKSE, and FLHRSE models. Those bikes may have also been assembled with the wrong clutch release plate. Additionally, these motorcycles were built with a defective clutch master cylinder that may allow air into the clutch system.
Both manufacturing defects can cause the clutch to stay engaged after the clutch lever is released.
Riders with questions can call 888-327-4236 for more information.
Original Recall Announcement
On October 16, Harley issued a press release that read in part:
“‘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 this issue and providing customers with the quality experience and service they expect.’”
“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,” the release explained. “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.”