Harley-Davidson recalls 300.000 Touring models 2009-2012

Since some days it is official, Harley-Davidson recalls over 300.000 bikes, to fix a switch problem that can cause failure of the brake lights and possibly even the rear brakes themselves. The HD eecall ID is 0145.

The problem affects Touring, CVO Touring and Trike motorcycles from the 2009 through 2012 model years. They were built between June 6, 2008 and Sept. 16, 2011.

Now, in the next days or weeks, I expect to receive a nice letter from my dealer to schedule a repair, but what happen until then, how serious is this defect, and what exactly is broken. Its all about this little switch:

Here in more details:

A – is the rear brake fluid line leading to the switch
B – is the switch, which is activated by pressure in the brake fluid line
C – is the electrical cable for the rear brake light

As all this is very close to the exhaust, its getting hot, and heat can break the switch. 3 things can happen:

1) rear brake light fails to work
2) rear brake light works all the time
3) brake fluid leaks from the switch, compromising brake pressure and eventually the rear brake will fail

Am I getting nervous? No, not at all. If the brake light fails or works all the time, bad luck, I check it prior to each ride, but I do not consider this critical, if you know its broken, drive more defensively and check your rear mirrors closer. Having no rear braking power is not very nice, but if you know it, one can still limping home, as over 70% of all braking is usually done via the front brakes. Just be careful in corners and do not push too hard.

Until I get the recall notice or the all clear from my dealer, I will check this switch for leaks prior to each ride, and test occasionally that the rear brake light works. Otherwise, I will continue to enjoy every sunny mile in these last days of the riding season.

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation, this is what I do, and it may damage my health.

For a list of all included in the recall, see:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/results.cfm?rcl_id=11V506000&searchtype=quicksearch&summary=true&refurl=rss.  

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7 Responses to “Harley-Davidson recalls 300.000 Touring models 2009-2012”

  1. HD eecall ID is 0145 …it doesn’t look like a OEM number?

  2. I am experiencing this problem and because of it I researched it and led me to this page. So there is something to this recall. I was going to repair it myself but since it’s a recall I’m going to take it to the dealership so they can take care of it. By the way, it was the rear brake light that failed.

  3. My RKC ’11 switch failed today on mountain roads, completely lost rear brake riding 2up. Survived on front brake to a stop.

  4. nearly 8 thou on my rkc 2010 no probs so far but kinda looking forward to AN HD FREEBI !!!!!!!!!!.A RARE and wonderfull thing.
    But dont forget the reason for Harley getting off there behinds over this was a fatal rear break failure in the states, so keep a good eye on it.

  5. Fortunately, my FLHRC is a 2004, but a friend of mine just went in to have this work done on his 2010 model.

  6. On the 09 FLHRC of a Chapter member the switch broke some weeks ago, resulting in brake light not working.

  7. HD says they have seen no documented failures after 2010. I have 3700+ miles on my 2011 FLHR with no problems.

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