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Indian Recalls Over 18000 Motorcycles for Fire Risk

Riding a motorcycle comes at a risk. Be it a tire puncture at high speeds, careless drivers cutting you off, potholes, sand or mud in the middle of a corner, danger lurks everywhere, and you have to keep your senses sharp at all times. Oh, and if you ride a recent Indian model, you’ll also have to keep an eye for fires.
Indian Chieftain 6 photos
Indian Chief VintageIndian Chief ClassicIndian RoadmasterIndian Chieftain Dark HorseIndian Chieftain
You read that right, Indian is issuing a recall involving 18,367 models that could catch fire while being operated. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), when an engine misfires, unburnt fuel ends up in the exhaust where it ignites. This causes the exhaust system to overheat, thus increasing the risk of a fire.

The recall affects the Indian Chief Classic, Dark Horse, Chieftain, Roadmaster, Vintage, Springfield and Chieftain Dark Horse, all manufactured between April 15, 2013, and June 16, 2015.

To fix the situation, the owners of the affected motorcycles will be notified to take their rides to the nearest Indian dealership where technicians will re-flash the Engine Control Module (ECM). This won’t affect the air-fuel mixture, as you would think, but add a feature that detects misfires.

In case of repeated misfires, the ECM will cut the fuel to the cylinder for the duration of the ignition key cycle. There will also be a yellow malfunction indicator popping up on the dash when a misfire is detected.

There haven’t been reports of such incidents so far, and the NHTSA estimates that only 1% of the bikes involved in the recall will actually be affected. The recall should start this month, and the dealerships will update the ECM at no cost. The whole re-flashing operation won’t take long, and you’ll quickly return to your summer riding.

Well, until then, I would carry one of those small fire extinguishers in one of my side cases if I were to ride an Indian every day.


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