Few motor vehicle manufacturers have a stronger brand identity than Harley-Davidson. Thus, it made headlines when the company issued a global recall for faulty brakes on 250,000 of its biggest models in early-2018 as well as for 238,300 bikes for a clutch issue in late-2018.
Now the Milwaukee-based company has issued another recall in 2019. This time it involves 44,000 Street 500 and Street 750 models. The company has found that certain models manufactured between May 2015 and December 2018 (model years 2016-2019) have brake pads that drag on the disc. This is due to the corrosion of the caliper piston. The dragging could lead to premature wear of the pads and/disc.
The company also confirmed that it is 12,800 Street 500 and Street 750 models that are recalled in the United States. Motorcycles most likely to be affected by the rusting caliper are those whose owners live in coastal areas. Models rode in the winter may also be more likely to be impacted.
The worst-case scenario from this defect is that the piston that pushes the brake pad will not retract if the driver pulls the brake handle hard enough, which means the bike wheel will lock up or not move. Even a slight dragging of the caliper can also affect the stability of the motorcycle when in operation.
So far there have been four crashes and two injuries. The iconic 116-year-old company announced the fix as the replacement of both front and rear calipers. However, it could be months before the dealers will have parts, leaving bike owners with unsafe bikes. The company has also pulled new Streets models from shipping until it replaces the defective parts.
Owners with Streets 500 and 750 or other Harley models that have been recalled are recommended to contact a Lemon Law attorney here in California if this design flaw led to damage of the motorcycle or caused injury to their owner.