Harley-Davidson is recalling several model years of its motorcycles over potential braking problems.

The company said the affected bikes are the 2008-2011 Touring, CVO Touring, and VRSC models equipped with antilock brake systems (ABS). The concern is that if owners did not properly maintain these systems, a braking issue may develop.

The rate of fatal crashes is 31 percent lower in a motorcycle with antilock brakes than in the same models without ABS, according to research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. With ABS, riders can stop without fear of wheels locking up, which can result in a dangerous skid, and stopping distances also improve on wet and dry surfaces. 

But if the systems are not maintained, they may not work properly when needed. Harley-Davidson is concerned that owners may not understand the importance of flushing the DOT 4 brake fluid at least every two years to prevent deposits from forming on brake components.

The recall amounts to a free brake-fluid flush and replacement. More than that, it is an important reminder to all riders (many of whom perform their own maintenance) to confer with the owner’s manual, particularly regarding systems that may be new to them, such as ABS. 

The Details

Models recalled: 2008-2011 Touring, CVO Touring, and VSRC motorcycles equipped with antilock brakes (ABS), including:

Road King (FLHR), Road King Police (EFI) (FLHP), Road King Police (EFI) (FLHPE), Electra Glide Standard Police (EFI) (FLHTP), Electra Glide Classic (EFI) (FLHTC), Electra Glide Ultra Classic (EFI) (FLHTCU), and Street Glide (EFI) (FLHX)

2008 V-Rod (VRSCAWA), CVO Road King 4 (FLHRSE4), Night Rod (VRSCDA), CVO Ultra Classic 3 (FLHTCUSE3), Night Rod Special (VRSCDXA)

2008-2010 Road King Classic (EFI) (FLHRC)

2008-2009 Road Glide (EFI) (FLTR) and Electra Glide Standard (EFI) (FLHT)

2009-2010 V-Rod (VRSCAW)

2009 CVO Ultra Classic (FLHTCUSE4) and CVO Road Glide 3 (FLTRSE3)

2009-2011 Night Rod Special (VRSCDX) and V-Rod Muscle (VRSCF)

2010 CVO Ultra Classic 5 (FLHTCUSE5) and CVO Street Glide (FLHXSE)

2010-2011 Electra Glide Ultra Limited (FLHTK) and Road Glide Custom (FLTRX)

2011 Road Glide Ultra 103 (FLTRU103), Street Glide 103 (FLHX103), Road King Classic 103 (FLHRC103), CVO Ultra Classic 6 (FLHTCUSE6), CVO Road Glide Ultra (FLTRUSE), Road Glide Custom 103 (FLTRX103), and CVO Street Glide 2 (FLHXSE2) motorcycles.

The problem: Deposits may form on components within the brake system if the DOT 4 brake fluid is not replaced for a prolonged period of time beyond the two-year maintenance schedule specified in the owner’s manual. These deposits may cause a valve within the ABS hydraulic control unit to stick, reducing braking ability and increasing the risk of a crash.

The fix: Harley-Davidson will notify owners, and dealers will flush the entire brake system with new Platinum Label DOT 4 brake fluid, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 12, 2018.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners may contact Harley-Davidson customer service at 800-258-2464. Harley-Davidson's number for this recall is 0171.

NHTSA campaign number: 18V076000

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall, visit safercar.gov

2010 Harley-Davidson V-Rod
2010 Harley-Davidson V-Rod