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Entries in Harley-Davidson (10)

Friday
May022014

H-D Riding Academy a Different Kind of Blast

Stop me if this sounds familiar: Harley-Davidson is promoting a new Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved rider training program that uses the company’s entry-level model. Only this time, the motorcycle in question isn’t a Buell Blast. [Built from 2000-2009, the Blast was designed to get new riders interested in both motorcycling and Harley-Davidson but did more to promote Buell than H-D.] The new program also is an MSF-approved rider training program hosted by Harley-Davidson dealerships, but this time it is conducted on H-D branded motorcycles.

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Friday
Oct182013

Harley-Davidson Issues Recall

Harley-Davidson has issued the following recall for certain motorcycles built between May 3, 2013 and October 14, 2013:

Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG) 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 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."

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. 

Friday
Mar292013

Image, Personality Outrank Reliability in Consumer Reports Survey

Perhaps the headline should have read: “Once Again Consumer Reports Doesn’t Get It.” The magazine’s first-ever motorcycle reliability survey shows that 25% of Harley-Davidson bikes reported experiencing a major problem in the previous four years, while 33% of BMW owners surveyed reported a major problem over the same time period. Japanese motorcycle owners, on the other hand, reported major problems only 10% of the time.

Nevertheless, Harley and BMW owners were among the most satisfied owners, with over 75% of Harley owners and 74% of BMW owners saying they would buy their bikes over again, if given the chance. Honda owners were a close third with 72% saying they’d do it all over again, while just 63% of Yamaha and 60% of Kawasaki owners making the same claim. Obviously, reliability plays only a part in the purchase decision.

Seventy-five percent of the repairs reported cost the owners $200 or less to repair. Troubles with accessories like lights, instruments, switches and radios topped the list of problems at 21%, followed by brakes (20%), the electrical system (16%) and the fuel system (15%). — CAS


Thursday
Mar142013

The Prefect Bike for Escaping Prison

By Christopher A. Sawyer

Breakout is the name of Harley-Davidson’s newest model, a premium ride with finishes and components not available on other H-D motorcycles.

According to Harley-Davidson Styling Manager Kirk Rasmussen, "With Breakout we got down to motorcycle essentials… emphasizing the powertrain and the wheels. The black and chrome engine visually pops out of the center the bike, and then to maximize the impact of the tires, the fenders are chopped.” The rear fender has a side-mount for the license plate and combination taillight to accentuate its width. “We wanted a lot of rubber showing to give the Breakout a tough, muscular look."

To that end, the 240-mm rear tire is counterbalanced by thick forks, low handlebars, chopped fenders and a shaved tank. The 10-spoke Gasser wheels are finished in gloss black powdercoat, while the 103B twin cam engine, cast-aluminum oil tank, lower forks, muffler shields and handlebars also have a non-powdercoat gloss black finish.

MSRP for the Breakout in Vivid Black is $17,899. Those ordering it in either Big Blue Pear or Ember Red Sunglo will have to cough up an extra $400. ABS is available, and the Harley-Davidson security system comes as a factory installed option.

Friday
Oct052012

Bad News for Hell’s Angels

By Christopher A. Sawyer

This item came across my desk, and was a bit of a surprise. Pope Benedict XVI met with Willie G. Davidson in the Vatican on October 3, as part of the countdown to the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. An anniversary, it should be noted, that will be celebrated in Rome June 13-16, 2013. Not only did His Holiness sign a pair of gas tanks, one of which will be auctioned to raise money for charity, he agreed to provide a papal blessing of bikes and riders in St. Peter’s Square; much like he does for Ferrari drivers each year.

You can read the complete press release below.

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