Harley-Davidson Recalling Models Over Dodgy Clutch

Spending big cash on a prestigious motorcycle like a Harley-Davidson might trick you into believing the damn thing is bulletproof. Well, no, the renowned American bike builder recently issued a recall for a lot of its models, blaming faulty clutches that might put riders at risk.
2016 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic 1 photo
Photo: Harley-Davidson
HD is recalling a total of 27,232 units of its 2016 lineup for a problem with the clutch system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the clutch master cylinder on such bikes may lose its ability to generate enough lift and disengage the clutch.

The problem seems to favor certain models in the recall that have been parked for an extended period of time. With the clutch not fully disengaged and the engine running in gear, the bike could move unexpectedly, increasing the risk of crashing. Same goes for riding at speed and wanting to slow down by downshifting and realizing the bike won’t be able to do that since the clutch doesn’t allow it.

A major sign that your bike is affected by the problem is a large amount of free play in the clutch lever when using it for the first time after the motorcycle has been parked for an extended period of time. A more scientific way of detecting the problem can be performed by inspecting the clutch master cylinder for the presence gas in the fluid by authorized personnel.

Harley-Davidson will notify the involved bikes’ owners and redirect them towards the nearest dealership where technicians will perform a close inspection and rebuild the master cylinder if found defective. No charges will be applied. HD customer service can be reached at (800) 258-2464, with the recall number being 0169.

The company conducted a similar recall last year, with 2015 and 2014 model year bikes being affected by the same clutch problem.

The recall is addressing the following 2016 Harley-Davidson models:
  • Electra Glide Ultra Classic (FLHTCU)
  • Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low (FLHTCUL)
  • Ultra Limited Low (FLHTKL)
  • Ultra Limited (FLHTK)
  • CVO Street Glide (FLHXSE)
  • Street Glide (FLHX)
  • Street Glide Special (FLHXS)
  • Road Glide Special (FLTRXS)
  • Road Glide (FLTRX)
  • Police Electra Glide (FLHTP)
  • Road Glide Ultra (FLTRU)
  • Fat Boy S (FLSTFBS)
  • Softail Slim S (FLSS)
  • CVO Softail Pro Street Breakout (FXSE)
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