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Before you rev up your ride, check for recalls

Ducati Panigale


As we head into riding season, it's time to check safety recalls for motorcycles.

Both Transport Canada and the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration have ongoing investigations for motorcycle safety/reliability, although not to the same extent as for automobiles. In NTHSA's case, many updates/bulletins take the form of complaints from owners. For example, NHTSA has no formal recalls on file for Honda's popular CBR250, but there are at least five official complaints from owners.

Here's a list of recalls from these two government organizations:

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All kinds of problems and issues here. In 2012, for example, NHTSA recorded some 11 recalls for the Italian manufacturer, with another two, so far, for 2013. They range from rear brakes that may come apart on models such as the Streetfighter, Hypermotard, Multistrada and Monster, to potentially flawed swing-arm shafts on the Panigale, to glitchy steering head screws, to a side stand on the Diavel that could break (though I thought they fixed that one), to issues with the front brake master cylinder hose on the '13 Panigale. And this isn't even counting the various complaints from owners. In other words, Ducati may build some of the most exciting motorcycles in the world, but their quality control is awful.


The Milwaukee company has 24 recalls on file for 2012 and one more, so far, for 2013 – .for the V-Rod licence plate bracket, which could come loose and fall off. Other issues for H-D products include a widespread recall for a rear brake light switch that could stop working because of heat from the exhaust pipe. This last one affects a wide range of H-D models, but is easily rectified.


There are five complaints from CBR250 owners, ranging from the engine shutting itself off during downshifting, to starting problems. NHTSA also has a couple of recalls on file for the 2012 Goldwing; these concern possibly flawed aftermarket floorboards manufactured by Kuryakyn and a problem with the rear brake "dragging" and wearing out prematurely. There is also an issue with the NC700 series, involving a possibly faulty chain, which could break. Honda dealers will replace the chain here, gratis.


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No official recalls for 2013, but there are more than a few complaints regarding the Ninja 300. Random stalling and a wonky clutch lever seem to be the culprits and, as one rider noted, "this is a hazard to me and other drivers around me." Other contretemps involve a possibly jammed rear brake pedal on the 2012 Concours 14, a possibly flawed regulator/rectifier for the Ninja 6R and 10R, and footpegs that could come apart on the Versys and Nina 250 and 650. Some 13 recalls in total for Kawasaki in 2012/13.


The favourite manufacturer of long-distance off-roaders has two recalls for 2012 and two more for 2013 – .and they concern the same two models: the 350EXC-F and 500 EXC. In both cases, it's a matter of a fuel line, which is located between the fuel tank and throttle body fuel rail, possibly cracking, due to "manufacturing inconsistencies," and leaking o nto the rear tire, with predictably dire results – especially considering the way these bikes are usually ridden.


Three recalls for 2012 are on file for the Italian scooter-maker. They all have to do with a potentially flawed ignition control unit on the 50-cc Piaggio Fly and Vespa LX50 and S50.


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Suzuki has ind three recalls for its 2012 models. These all involve brake light issues with the AN400 and AN650 Scooters – otherwise known as the Burgman – and DL650/V-Strom. Here's the thing with the affected Burgman models: the faulty brake light switch could prevent you from starting the bike in the first place. Good luck getting that sorted out.


Altogether, there are 16 recalls on file for 2012 and 2013 Triumph models and they cover a lot of ground. For example, the front and rear turn signals on the '13 Daytona 675, Street Triple, Speed Triple and Tiger 800 could fall apart and stop working; the wheels on the same models for the 2012 models could have faulty bearings; the Thunderbird/Thunderbird Storm could have the same wheel bearing issues; and the Tiger 800 could have "engine management" issues. Lots to think about here.


This Polaris-owned company has 10 recalls on file for 2012, and 10 more for 2013. They all have to do with possibly incorrectly torqued throttle cables that could come loose. There is also a bulletin for the pillion backrest on the Kingpin model that could literally come off the bike on its own and potentially cause the passenger to fall off the bike.


Two recalls for 2012 on file here. Both involve a fuel pump that could leak on the Super Tenere and V-Star tourers. Apparently, the culprit is an ill-fitting "O" ring and/or a faulty fuel line. Either way, it's a potential fire hazard.

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