Our Motorcycle World Today - ABS Failures and Recalled Helmets

Harley-Davidson owners who bought one of the motorcycle manufacturer’s early Anti-lock braking systems and riders using certain EVOS Full Face Modular Helmets should definitely read this article.

First, an official government investigation into Harley-Davidson models from 2008 and 2011 which feature an anti-lock braking system is underway and the reasons why appear to be deadly. Riders have reported the brakes on the hand lever and foot pedal did not work and in one case, caused a rider to crash into a garage door.

How much would our readers pay to have been there when the rider tried to convince his biker-buddies it was the motorcycle’s fault he crashed into his garage?

All humor aside, failing brakes are a deadly concern with this investigation covering 430,000 motorcycles. NHTSA have said it received 43 complaints, three reports of crashes and two reports of injuries.

“We are aware of the investigation and are cooperating with the NHTSA,” Harley-Davidson spokeswoman Maripat Blankenheim told reporters.

But the fault may not lie entirely at Harley-Davidson’s biker-booted feet. The NHTSA noted it is possible that some riders who experienced brake failure didn’t change the motorcycle's brake fluid every two years as recommended by Harley-Davidson. The reason this is important, the old fluid may corrode valves in the anti-lock braking system.

However, even if riders didn’t change the fluid, the sudden brake failure is still is a concern to the agency.

“While it may be true that the complainants failed to adhere to the…fluid service interval requirement, the consequent sudden and complete loss of brake without warning is a concern,” the NHTSA said.

Again, this investigation covers 430,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles with model years between 2008 and 2011 which feature an anti-lock braking system.

Looking to the world of helmets, a recent recall was issued for certain EVOS Full Face Modular Helmets.

Affecting model number ST-818-6F-L, size Large, manufactured by 1888653 Ontario Inc from June 8, 2014, to July 10, 2014 and shown above.

Unlike the Harley-Davidson issue, this involves a much smaller pool of possible riders with only 94 units, or helmets manufactured affected by the recall.

According to the recall, the affected helmets may not adequately protect the wearer's head in the event of an impact. Additionally, these helmets may be missing or have incomplete information regarding the manufacturer's name as well be missing the words "Certified" and "FMVSS No. 218."

As such, these helmets fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 218, "Motorcycle Helmets."

In everyday English, without those words on the helmet, law enforcement are allowed to issue tickets as if the rider wasn’t wearing a certified helmet at all. This rides back to the age-old advice to look for such certifications before buying a helmet.

Of course, with this age of buying online, that advice is a little more difficult.

What will be done about this recall is still being determined, or as they say in legal-speak ‘The remedy for this recall is still under development’.

If a rider does own a helmet included in this recall have a range of choices. They can contact Ontario customer service at 1-416-848-0673, may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to safercar.gov.

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