Today we have an unusual story involving a recall. Suzuki Motor of America is piloting a program where it will pay owners to go get their recalls done, trialing the idea with the GSX-R owners who need to have their front brake master cylinders inspected and repaired.
The recall affects 2004-2013 Suzuki GSX-R600 & GSX-R750 models, as well 2005-2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbikes. For those who get their recall completed between September 1, 2018, and November 30, 2018, there is a prepaid $100 Visa card in it for them.
Once again, you are going to see a number of Brembo brake recalls in the coming days, if not weeks, as the Italian company has yet another sweeping recall this year.
Unlike the first recall, which affected the piston on the high performance master cylinders found on a number of superbikes and other sport bike motorcycles, this recall affects the rear brake pads.
Sport bikes will be the focus of the recall, as the again the parts are performance based, and specifically the recall concerns the brake pad friction material which may detach from the brake pad backing plate.
Brembo says that its brake pad supplier (Federal Mogul) improperly thermal treated the brake pads at a higher temperature, which resulted in a reduced bonding of the pad material to the backing plate. This was caused by human error.
Because of this error, it is possible that the friction material on the brake pads could come off during a braking procedure, which would increase the braking distance required to stop. This is an obvious safety hazard.
I had to scroll back through our coverage to make sure it wasn’t my imagination, but it does seem like the Polaris Slingshot gets more than its fair share of safety recalls with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Well today, add another one to the list, as Polaris is recalling certain 2017-2018 Polaris Slingshot, Slingshot SL, Slingshot SLR, Slingshot SL Icon, and Slingshot GT LE motorcycles autocycles.
Potentially affecting 4,342 vehicles, the brake pedal on these Slingshot models may have been installed incorrectly, which could cause the brake pedal to separate from the brake master cylinder.
If that were to happen, the rider/driver (your state’s laws may vary) would lose braking ability, which is an obvious safety hazard.
After a poor start, which saw him drop from ninth on the grid to thirteenth at the end of the first lap, Jorge Lorenzo was making steady progress through the field at Qatar. His lap times were starting to come down to match, and on some laps even beat, the pace the leaders were running.
As the halfway mark approached, and less than four seconds behind the leaders, Lorenzo started to believe he was capable of salvaging a decent result from a difficult start.
That all ended on Lap 13. The Spaniard crashed out of the race at Turn 4, when his front brake failed and he had to drop the bike in the gravel. “I just felt that the level of the front brake was getting closer to my fingers and I didn’t have brake,” Lorenzo described the incident afterwards.
“I lost some meters so I tried to use less front brake and more the rear to try to delay this thing that was getting worse lap-by-lap.”
“Unfortunately when into this Turn 4 the first part of the brake was OK, but suddenly I just missed completely this brake so I had no brake and was going very fast through the gravel to the wall, and I jumped off the bike to avoid hitting the wall.”
What had caused Lorenzo to crash? “The bike came to the box without one part,” Lorenzo said. “Some mechanics went to the corner to see if they could find it and luckily they found it – it was very difficult, but they found it. One part was missing from the bike. I don’t know if it was before the crash or after the crash.”
Both Lorenzo and team boss Davide Tardozzi remained vague about the problem, referring only to “parts” in general, and not specific components. The entire braking system had been handed to Brembo for further examination.
Cornering ABS, it’s the hot new thing on motorcycles rights now. So important is this braking technology, one industry CEO explained it to me in the following terms: in terms of safety, it does to the front wheel what traction control has done for the rear wheel.
I won’t make the bold statement that IMU-powered (that’s inertial measurement units for the uninitiated) braking systems make it impossible to tuck the front wheel of a motorcycle, but they do make it exceedingly difficult to do so, especially by use of the brakes.
Not surprisingly then, we see a number of motorcycle brands offering this technology now, usually on their more premium models. KTM was the first do so, getting an exclusive from Bosch, one of the leaders in this space.
Since then though, cornering ABS has come to virtually every brand (strangely, none of the American motorcycle brands offer a motorcycle with cornering ABS right now), and we see several players offering systems to these OEMs, with Bosch and Continental leading the pack.
Yup. You read that headline correctly, and thus here is our second recall notice of the day, and as you might expect, it is an interesting one.
Harley-Davidson is having to recall over 174,000 motorcycles because their brake components may form deposits internally if the brake fluid is not replaced after a prolonged period of time, i.e. beyond the two-year maintenance schedule specified by Harley-Davidson.
In total, 31 Harley-Davidson models are affected by this recall, namely the Touring, CVO Touring, and VSRC models that have ABS brakes equipped.
Now the fourth motorcycle manufacturer (1, 2, & 3) to issue a recall because of issues with its fitted Brembo brake master cylinder, KTM has the dubious task of informing 2,361 KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2015-2018) and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT (2016-2018) owners.
Like the other recalls before it, this one stems from certain 15mm and 16mm radial-pump brake master cylinders that have been fitted as an OEM part to a slew of high-performance motorcycles.
Because of a manufacturing defect, the plastic piston on these master cylinders – made from a polyphenylene sulphide polymer – may crack and brake under heavy load, severe ABS engagement, and/or during a tip-over.
Just over a week ago, we broke the news that a massive recall was coming to motorcycles equipped with a particular Brembo master cylinder. Since then, we have seen recall notices from Aprilia and Ducati (affecting roughly 10,000 motorcycles in the USA) with more recalls expected from other brands.
Because recalls in the United States typically come from the motorcycle manufacturer and not the part supplier, mum was the word from the folks at Brembo, though there were a number of questions regarding these recalls that weren’t answered in the NHTSA documents.
Today, Brembo has finally decided to speak about the recalls that are underway in the United States, and presumably will be occurring in other markets as well.
Though not discussing the cause of the issue, or any particulars, from Brembo’s terse statement we at least now know what other brands have been affected by this master cylinder recall. You can read Brembo’s statement, after the jump.
Today, we get our first official word of another manufacturer that is involved with this massive Brembo brake recall, and it is Ducati. With six affected models, spanning four model years, Ducati North America is recalling roughly 8,000 units because the piston in their master cylinder may crack.
If you recall our previous coverage, the issue stems from the plastic piston in the master cylinder possibly cracking after hard use. If this happens, the master cylinder can stop operating, which can lead to front brake failure. This is an obvious safety concern