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Posts Tagged ‘Brake’

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 3.41.17 PMI’ve never been ask this question, but I was curious how you know if you’re under Federal investigation?

In Harley-Davidson’s case it might have been a knock on the door of the Milwaukee HQ.

As it turns out, the U.S. government is investigating complaints from Harley-Davidson owners who say their motorcycle brakes failed without warning.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states the investigation covers 430,000 motorcycles with model years from 2008 through 2011 and the investigation stems from motorcycles with an anti-lock braking system.

A common motorcycle maintenance task is to replace the hydraulic fluid in the brake system.  Check your service manual, but for many Harley-Davidson models it’s recommended to change the D.O.T. 4 fluid and flush the brake system every two years.

Did you know brake fluid can collect condensation over time from the outside air?  Brake fluid collects water in a similar fashion as your McDonald’s soda cup has water droplets on the outside. Hydraulic fluid will over time absorb water which causes the fluid to boil when the brakes are applied and will reduce effectiveness of the system.  A spongy brake feel might be a combination of contaminated brake fluid or air in the system. Either way, changing the brake fluid is often recommended.

41300152_obBut, I’ve digressed.  Motorcyclists have reported that the brakes on the hand lever and foot pedal did not work, causing one driver to crash into a garage door.

Government regulators said they’ve received 43 complaints, three reports of crashes and two reports of injuries.  The NHTSA said it is possible that some riders who experienced brake failure did not change the motorcycle’s brake fluid every two years as recommended by Harley-Davidson Inc.  The old fluid may corrode valves in the anti-lock braking system, but even if riders did not change the fluid, the sudden brake failure “is a concern.”This is not a motorcycle product safety recall as of yet.

Harley-Davidson stated it was aware of the Federal investigation and that it was cooperating with regulators.

Photos courtesy of H-D.

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Buell_LogoWith the ink barely dry on the new logo Buell, a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc., is recalling about 400 units of its 2009 XB12Ss for a front brake line that may contact the front tire.

Obviously contact with the front tire could cause a hole to develop in the front brake line and allow fluid to leak.  The condition would lead to an ineffective front brake and potentially a crash.  Dealers are being asked to inspect the front brake line. If the line is undamaged, a guide will be installed. If the line is damaged, it will be replaced and re-routed.  The NHTSA Campaign Number is: 09V347000 and owners can contact Buell at 1-414-343-8400 if they have questions.

In other Buell news the company plans to shut down its East Troy plant during November and December, resulting in the temporary layoff of 50 employees.  According to a notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Buell will pay eight days of holiday pay for the remainder of 2009 and will continue medical benefits during the shutdown. Buell’s last day of production will be Oct. 30th and workers are expected to return to their jobs on Jan. 4, 2010.

The Buell shutdown coincides with Harley-Davidson’s previously announced halt of production at its Wauwatosa plant and other factories for 14 weeks, including the entire fourth quarter, to realign production with the reduced demand for motorcycles.

Photo courtesy of Buell.

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