2016 Harley-Davidson Hydraulic Clutch Recall
Due to a defect in the hydraulic clutch master cylinder, Harley-Davidson is recalling 27,232 certain model year 2016 motorcycles.
The following are affected in the recall: Electric 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), and CVO Softail Pro Street Breakout (FXSE) motorcycles.
The recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that “in the affected motorcycles, the clutch master cylinder may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch, especially if the motorcycle has been parked for an extended period of time.”
The notice goes on to report that “when the engine is running and the motorcycle is in gear, if the clutch cannot be fully disengaged, the motorcycle may move unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a crash.”
In all, 27,232 units are included in the recall. Related documentation notes that the hydraulic clutch system with black master cylinder part numbers 36700049B, 36700056B, 36700146 and 36700186 on certain model year 2016 Touring and Softail model motorcycles may exhibit the defect.
Harley-Davidson had two prior hydraulic clutch defect recalls. The first in October 2013, affecting 25,185 units, the second in 2015, affecting nearly 46,000 of its 2014 and 2015 Electra Glide, Street Glide, Ultra Limited, Road Glide and Road King motorcycles. As of that recall, there had reportedly been 27 crashes and four minor injuries.
The apparent cause of the problem is a chemical reaction inside the sealed clutch system creates gas bubbles which may cause loss of clutch lift. A warning sign that the problem may occur is described in the recall documents: “In vehicles in which this condition is present, the customer may notice a large amount of “free play” in the clutch lever when they first squeeze the clutch after being parked for an extended period of time.”
Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the clutch master cylinder for the presence of gas in the fluid, if so, the dealer will flush the clutch system and rebuild the clutch master cylinder, free of charge. The recall began July 25, 2016. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 1-800-258-2464. Harley-Davidson’s number for this recall is 0169.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.