Harley-Davidson Recalls 175,000 Bikes For Brake Concerns

Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 175,000 motorcycles because the brakes might fail.

The U.S. recall covers more than 30 models from the 2008 through 2011 model years. Harley says deposits can form on brake parts if the fluid isn’t changed every two years as specified in the owner’s manual. That can cause a valve in the anti-lock brake control unit to stick.

harley davidson logo photo
Getty Images | Leon Neal

Recall Issued After Crash Reports

The U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating problems in July of 2016 after getting 43 complaints including three reports of crashes and two injuries.

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Documents show Harley wanted to do a field service campaign instead of a recall, but the government refused. Messages were left Wednesday for company spokesmen.

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Getty Images | Tim Boyle

Harley-Davidson dealers will flush affected models’ brake systems and refill the brake fluid with Platinum Label DOT 4 fluid, free of charge on Feb. 12.

The new fluid “has a different chemical formulation” known to be less susceptible to the gelling and deposit formation that caused the brake problem that precipitated the recall.

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Getty Images | Mario Tama

Even though the problem can be avoided through regular bike maintenance, the company decided to issue the recall because “the consequent sudden and complete loss of brakes, without warning, is a concern.”

If you’re a Harley owner, you can enter your bike’s VIN on the Harley-Davidson website to get more safety recall information.

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Getty Images | Dianne Manson

Which Harley Davidson Bikes Are Affected?

According to Consumer Reports, a wide range of years and models are involved with this recall, including:

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Flickr | ronsaunders47

1. 2008-2011 Touring, CVO Touring, and VSRC motorcycles equipped with antilock brakes (ABS), including:

2. Road King (FLHR), Road King Police (EFI) (FLHP), Road King Police (EFI) (FLHPE), Electra Glide Standard Police (EFI) (FLHTP), Electra Glide Classic (EFI) (FLHTC), Electra Glide Ultra Classic (EFI) (FLHTCU), and Street Glide (EFI) (FLHX)

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Flickr | JPC24M

3. 2008 V-Rod (VRSCAWA), CVO Road King 4 (FLHRSE4), Night Rod (VRSCDA), CVO Ultra Classic 3 (FLHTCUSE3), Night Rod Special (VRSCDXA)

4. 2008-2010 Road King Classic (EFI) (FLHRC)

5. 2008-2009 Road Glide (EFI) (FLTR) and Electra Glide Standard (EFI) (FLHT)

6. 2009-2010 V-Rod (VRSCAW)

7. 2009 CVO Ultra Classic (FLHTCUSE4) and CVO Road Glide 3 (FLTRSE3)

8. 2009-2011 Night Rod Special (VRSCDX) and V-Rod Muscle (VRSCF)

9. 2010 CVO Ultra Classic 5 (FLHTCUSE5) and CVO Street Glide (FLHXSE)

10. 2010-2011 Electra Glide Ultra Limited (FLHTK) and Road Glide Custom (FLTRX)

11. 2011 Road Glide Ultra 103 (FLTRU103), Street Glide 103 (FLHX103), Road King Classic 103 (FLHRC103), CVO Ultra Classic 6 (FLHTCUSE6), CVO Road Glide Ultra (FLTRUSE), Road Glide Custom 103 (FLTRX103), and CVO Street Glide 2 (FLHXSE2) motorcycles.

Harley Davidson
Flickr | Luisfel

How To Contact Harley-Davidson Directly

Customers with questions about the recall can contact Harley-Davidson by calling (800) 258-2464. Customers should give recall number 0171 to customer service representatives.

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Getty Images | Alex B. Huckle

Written by Fox 47 News.