Model Year 2019 GAP Photography

Harley-Davidson has issued yet another recall including 2017-18 Touring, Trike and CVO models due to issues regarding the clutch apparatus of the bike.

“We, along with our dealers, are committed to addressing this issue,” said Chief Financial Officer John Olin during the conference call with analysts. “The safety of our riders is our highest priority.” Reports suggest that the recall will set Harley-Davidson back by at least $35 million which will be seen to have an impact on the fourth fiscal quarter this year. Considering the sluggish growth in the third quarter that was recently reported by the company, this recall is expected to have a significant impact on its profit numbers.

Harley’s clutch issues are not new. The American motorcycle has a history of recalls regarding the clutch apparatus with the recent one that happened two years ago. The 2016 recall involved over 27,000 bikes across 14 different models in the company’s line-up.

In 2015, for a similar issue, Harley had recalled over 45,000 bikes. And also in 2013 when the company issued a recall of over 29,000 bikes. We could say that a common thread running through all the recalls was a faulty master cylinder which lost its ability to disengage the clutch.

The 2015 recall specially identified gas bubbles in the hydraulic fluid as the source of the problem. This reduces the system’s effectiveness and is caused due to a small fluid leak. However, for the most recent recall, Harley has not justified a specific reason stating only that it involves the master cylinder.

In the past few years, Harley seems to be falling short on luck with hydraulic systems. This is the second recall this year after its January-recall of close to 250,000 bikes for braking issues. However, the company also stated that the main issue was also poor brake maintenance. In spite of being a rider error, Harley-Davidson issued a voluntary recall of the models to flush the brake fluid for free.