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Posts Tagged ‘build quality’

Saddlebag Drawing

Saddlebag Sketch

This is more than a simple saddle bag retaining clip that takes less than 10 minutes to replace.

Harley-Davidson is facing steep competition.  Not only from less expensive motorcycles imported from Asia, but electric motorcycles from Zero, Brammo (now owned by Polaris) and also from core customers who look for a mainstream gasoline cruiser from Indian and Victory.  Polaris will undoubtedly be first to market with a chrome-plated electric cruiser given the previous discussion by CEO Matt Levatich.

In addition, it’s not clear that Harley-Davidson is getting much of a sales bump from the decision to double-down on support of outlaw biker gangs as part of their marketing pitch.  The hard-edge reference is NOT about the one-percent patches, rather licensing support of TV shows like Sons of Anarchy (SOA) and other Hollywood fluff.  Trying to appeal to people who don’t have much adventure in their lives with a TV show prescribing on the road escapism… well it escapes me!   Meanwhile they try so hard to alienate and re-write the Baby Boomer chapter!

But I’ve digressed.

Harley-Davidson reported slipping revenues for Q2 2015.  U.S. market share is below 50% for the first time ever!  The company is betting on its name recognition and motorcycle quality.  They even choose to muster up some brash swagger and declined slashing prices as a subtle way of saying “our bikes are better!”

And on that quality topic, Harley recently issued a saddlebag recall – campaign number 15V-427.  The motor company is the poster child for the “land of recalls” sans Chevy.  So many, that owners find it difficult to recall when their bikes didn’t!

Snarky comments aside, all manufactures have issues, but Harley-Davidson is unique in acknowledging and using quality as a key differentiator and strategy for increasing sales.  I’m not sure how well that will work for them.

Meanwhile the Dealers are replacing the 4 (2 on each side) saddle bag pin retaining clips free of charge. The motor company issued a recall stating that the saddlebag mounting receptacle, P/N 10900009 on some model year 2014 and 2015 Touring family vehicles (see drawing #1 above) may not adequately secure the saddlebag to the motorcycle during use.  If this condition remains undetected, the saddlebag may become separated from the motorcycle while it is in motion, possibly creating a hazard for other motorists including your riding buddy’s in formation behind that “separated” bag.

If this happens there is a good chance you’ll be picking up a new “road rash” painted saddlebag and dirty laundry strewn across the roadway!

UPDATED: July 23, 2015 (1:40pm PDT) — the recall effects 185,000 motorcycles which covers certain 2014 and 2015 Road King, Street Glide, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Police Road King, Police Electra Glide and CVO Ultra Limited bikes. Also affected are 2014 CVO Road King and the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low, Ultra Limited Low, Road Glide, CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide Ultra motorcycles. No injuries or crashes have been reported due to the saddlebag issues and no information has been provided on the number of “separated” bags.

UPDATED: July 29, 2015 — Polaris introduces its 2016 line up which includes the Victory Empulse TT ($19,999), an electric model which rolls out way ahead of H-D’s LiveWire.  It’s based on the Brammo Empulse R motorcycle produced by the electric motorcycle division of Brammo Inc., which was acquired by Polaris earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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Do Not Ride

Do Not Ride

Last week, Harley-Davidson recalled about 29,000 model-year-2014 touring (Project Rushmore) bikes.  

The recalled models include 25,185 touring models (FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHTKSE, FLHRSE) and 3,861 CVO and Trikes (FLHTCUTG, FXSBSE, FLSTNSE) built between May 3rd and October 14, 2013.

The cause is a possible safety issue involving the hydraulic clutch.  Some of the motorcycles may exhibit a condition in which the hydraulic clutch system may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch, making it hard to slow or stop.  The company included a “Do Not Ride” notice to owners and a “Do Not Deliver” notice to dealers until the motorcycles were fixed.  The repairs have been identified and should take less than an hour to correct.

Because the NHTSA was closed last week as a result of the partial government shutdown there is yet to be a NHTSA campaign ID number issued.  Harley-Davidson is moving ahead as if the agency was fully operational.  The recall is expected to cost the motor company $4.9M in the fourth quarter, but it’s not expected to have much of an effect on production.

Since 2009, Harley-Davidson management has consistently repeated how they have been intensely focused on improving the cost structure and transforming the business to be stronger, more flexible and more profitable… Knowing a few riders with new motorcycles that have had warranty failures, I’d like them to talk more about the quality improvements being made YOY.

If you have a motorcycle manufactured during this time you can visit your dealer or call H-D at 414.343.7988.

Photo courtesy of Biker Law web site.

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Triumph-RecallSafety recalls are usually instigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the vehicle’s manufacturer. In either case, the manufacture must file a public report describing the recall and must attempt to notify owners of recalled vehicles or vehicle equipment.

All motorcycle manufactures have seen there share of recalls, but Triumph is having an unfortunate run of build quality lately.  Below is a list of the recall notices from the NHTSA.

Back In January: Triumph Motorcycles recalled 250 model year 2011-2012 Daytona 675 and Street Triple motorcycles and 2012 Thunderbird and Thunderbird Storm motorcycles. The wheels were assembled with bearings of an unknown quality. Wheel bearings of poor quality could fail unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a motorcycle crash. Triumph will notify owners, and dealers will replace the affected bearings free of charge. The NHTSA Campaign Number: 13V032000

They also recalled 244 model year 2013 Trophy motorcycles manufactured from September 5, 2012, through November 29, 2012. These motorcycles were produced with a label bearing incorrect tire data which fails to conform to the labeling requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 120, “Tire Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars,” and they fail to comply with the certification requirements of 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.” Owners relying on the information contained in the label may install incorrect replacement tires, increasing the risk of personal injury. None of the affected motorcycles have been sold to consumers and they will be repaired prior to sale. Therefore, an owner notification letter will not be issued for this campaign. NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V592000.

The latest notifications are:

NHTSA Campaign ID Number:  13V211– 2012 and 2013 models – Neutral Gear Light Remains Illuminated

NHTSA Campaign ID Number:  13V180 – 2012 and 2013 models – Incorrect GVWR Data on Label

NHTSA Campaign ID Number:  13V212 – 2012 and 2013 models – Transmission May Pop Out of Gear

NHTSA Campaign ID Number:  13V215 – 2012 and 2013 models – Throttle Cables May Hinder Steering

UPDATED: June 7, 2013 – Another recall just announced.  NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 13V223 2012 and 2013 models – Fuel Tank May Leak.

Owners may contact  your dealer or Triumph at 1-678-854-2010 for more information.

Photo courtesy of Triumph

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