Harley owners and riders love their bikes and the lovely singing pipes that cause people without turning to say … “that’s a Harley.” Some say that having louder pipes might make caged drivers notice you and that is great for safety, but it can’t make your brakes work correctly. The Associated Press reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been hearing from Harley Davidson riders lately, nearly 50 of them now. The federal agency tasked with ensuring vehicle and road safety has begun an investigation into Harley brake failures. Harley Davidson is fully cooperating with the NHTSA. Riders have been complaining to the agency about the brake failures that include both the hand and foot pedals. Apparently, the investigation involves over 400,000 motorcycles. The span of model years is from 2008 through 2011. Five incidents have been reported, three of which resulted in crashes and two in injuries.
Although there is no current recall or other information on the status of the NHTSA investigation for the brakes on bikes manufactured during the noted time-frame, there are things Harley owners can check. It is possible that the brake failures that have been reported are on bikes in which the fluid has not been changed as recommended by Harley. They recommend changing fluid on a two year rotation. This avoids any potential problems with aging fluid corroding valves that are integral to the anti-lock braking system. Some might say that brake fluid should not be corroding a valve and that in itself could be a problem. This investigation might shed some light on that issue. Changing the fluid may not guarantee that the brake issue, whatever might be the cause, won’t happen to more riders. But for sure it is a good practice to check them yourself, or contact your Harley dealer to make sure your brakes are in good working order.
Harley experts suggest that the situation is not particularly a good one for the beloved bike maker. The good news is that there have been no fatal injuries from the accidents that have occurred thus far. With so many motorcycles with this potential problem, Harley is taking the investigation seriously. And so should all Harley owners. So we suggest that Harley owners check their brake pads, tires and their brake fluid. If you don’t do this yourself, get to your dealer. If there is an eventual recall, keep your receipts and you might be reimbursed by Harley. You might not be reimbursed, but still with your riding safety at stake there is no substitute for being able to properly stop your bike when you need to.
Scholle Law and Georgia on Two Wheels wants riders to be safe and sound. We are here to represent riders who have been hurt or injured due to the fault of another person or entity. If you have any questions about a bike injury or accident, and whether someone else can be held responsible for it, please contact our law firm for a free consultation.