Harley-Davidson Issues “Do Not Ride Notice” To Owners Of 29,000 Touring And Softail Models With Hydraulic Clutch Systems.

hdclutchHarley-Davidson is acting quickly to address potential safety issues by voluntarily recalling certain 2014 Touring motorcycles equipped with a hydraulic clutch system that may pose a safety issue for riders and/or passengers. The recalls include a Do Not Ride notice to owners and a Do Not Deliver notice to Harley-Davidson dealers until the motorcycle is fixed.

The recalls affect 25,185 Touring motorcycles, models FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHTKSE and FLHRSE, and 3,861 Softail® CVOs and Trikes, models FLHTCUTG, FXSBSE and FLSTNSE, built between May 3, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013.

Some of these motorcycles may exhibit a condition in which the hydraulic clutch system may lose the ability to generate enough lift to disengage the clutch.  If the clutch does not disengage as intended, the rider may have difficulty slowing or stopping the motorcycle, which could result in an accident. Harley-Davidson has initiated these recalls to correct the affected motorcycles.

The company is taking the additional measure of issuing a Do Not Ride notice to riders given the potential safety issues. The company wants owners of affected motorcycles to contact an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer immediately to arrange for an inspection. The dealer will pick up, inspect and make the necessary repairs at no cost to the owner. The repairs have been identified and should take less than one hour. Although the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is closed as a result of the partial government shutdown, Harley-Davidson is proceeding with these voluntary recalls consistent with NHTSA’s process.

“The safety of our customers is our highest priority,” said Tony Wilcox, Harley-Davidson General Manager of Motorcycle New Product Delivery. “We have identified potential safety issues and are moving quickly to notify our customers and dealers. The inspection and repair of these motorcycles is extremely important, so it’s critical that our customers with affected vehicles contact their dealers immediately. We apologize for this circumstance. The company is committed to correcting the issues and providing customers with the quality experience and service they expect.”

20 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Issues “Do Not Ride Notice” To Owners Of 29,000 Touring And Softail Models With Hydraulic Clutch Systems.”

  1. 1 Terence Tory Oct 17th, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I knew this would happen when they did away with the foot clutch and hand shift.Call me a traditionalist.

  2. 2 Rodent Oct 17th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    They’re taking theses steps so they don’t get sued by shyster lawyers on behalf of their clients who signed up for pre-need legal services!

  3. 3 BobS Oct 17th, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Good on H-D for being proactive. Too bad Victory won’t do the same for their Vision riders.

  4. 4 Mr Dick Oct 17th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    My 2005 CVO E.G. did this once, I told my dealer if it does it again to put a cable actuated system on, as I was not at all impressed. Fortunately that was the first and last time. It’s a weird feeling coming up to a red light and your bike has a mind of it’s own.

  5. 5 fuji Oct 17th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Keeping up with decades old technology is a risk. Hope they can identify the problem.

  6. 6 Toby Oct 17th, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Is this a new hydraulic system? I’ve had hydraulic for years with nary a problem.

  7. 7 Woody's Oct 17th, 2013 at 10:19 am

    My ’79 FL had a clutch cable break once. Just say’n 😉

  8. 8 Colonel Oct 17th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Would never happen to a jap cruiser

  9. 9 mk Oct 17th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    How do you screw up on a hydraulic clutch system? The system is so mindblowingly simple that it only serves one purpose. To engage and disengage. In and out. That’s it

  10. 10 Jeff Nicklus Oct 17th, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    With few exceptions all of my bikes over the last 10 years +/- have had hydraulic clutch systems installed on them. As far as I am aware with absolutely no problems. It is hard to imagine what would cause such a dramatic recall from the Motor Company over a hydraulic clutch problem????

    Over & Out,


  11. 11 Dave Blevins Oct 17th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I agree with Mr. Nicklus… I, any many other builder/mechanics I know have used hydraulic actuated clutch components with no problems. I can’t help but wonder if this may be an over-action by Harley to A: solve a potential problem, and B: sting a supplier of components to teach them an embarrassing lesson.

  12. 12 Woody's Oct 17th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Like Dave said, of course sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Toyota just launched a recall of 800,000 cars for airbags that are going off because the AC condensers are dripping onto and corroding sensors. We could be asking “how long have cars had AC and/or airbags” right now, and asking how they could go wrong 😉

  13. 13 G-Four Oct 18th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Publicity: Information issued to attract public attention.

    Good press, bad press, its still publicity and it sells. Of course HD will get this straightened out and continue selling bikes. Just think they needed to knock Indian off the front pages & get some attention. PR & advertising overdrive. My two cents.

    Hey Terence Tory, your a riot.

  14. 14 Dan Oct 18th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Buy a Beemer, you won’t have these problems.

  15. 15 Rick Lossner Oct 19th, 2013 at 7:41 am

    G-Four…that must be it…lol. Takes the headlines from Indian

    Of course…anytime there is an Indian related post , it gets 3x more comments than this.

    Let the Indian HD war resume!

  16. 16 richard Oct 19th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Trying to teach a supplier an embarrassing lesson?….good publicity?…knock indian off front page?…

    Obviously some people have no understanding of the relationship between a Car, truck, motorcycle OEM and it’s suppliers…Oh yeah, and let’s put out 29,000 defective bikes, call them back and make repairs at no charge, at dealers all over the world….that will show those indian/polaris people a thing or two.


  17. 17 Iron Horse Oct 20th, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I’d beg to differ with you Colonel. I had a clutch cable break on my Kawi just after we returned from a 3500 mile trip back in 1977. I knew it was fraying the last day on the road and luckily, it decided to hang in there and not come apart till the bike was in the garage after we returned home.

    Hydraulics are like anything else, anything can go wrong at any given time. Kudo’s to Harley for being proactive and addressing the problem quickly.

  18. 18 Industry guy Oct 21st, 2013 at 2:03 am

    This is the smartest and most responsible thing that the motor company can do in the best interest of the publics safety. Not just the customers riding them .

    Aw other peole have posted Yes this can happen with any component on any motorcycle ie: broken clutch cables, throttle cables, faulty brake master cylinders/brake lines/calipers/abs units. These things can happen when the bike is old or new.

  19. 19 Fatboy Oct 21st, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Suzuki is reportedly recalling 2004 to 2013 GSX-R600 and GSX-R750 sportbikes as well as GSX-R1000 models from 2005 to 2013 because of a problem with their front brake master cylinders

  20. 20 Fatboy Oct 21st, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    It happens more oftan than you think – to all of them. Even auto maker Lexus has a huge file of recalls.


    BMW is recalling certain model year 2013 R1200 GS motorcycles manufactured January 9, 2013, through February 8, 2013. Due to an insufficient torque of a locking bolt, the front fork tube may loosen.


    BMW is recalling certain model year 2007-2008 K1200 S, K1200 R, and K1200 R Sport motorcycles and 2012 and 2013 K1300 S motorcycles. In October 2012, BMW recalled 2062 2007-2008 K1200 S, K1200 R, and K1200 R Sport motorcycles. In November 2012, BMW informed the agency that it was adding models to the list.

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Cyril Huze