On October 18, 2021, Kawasaki Motors Corporation U.S.A. issued a recall for certain 2020 and 2021 W800 and W800 Café motorcycles due to an improper muffler installation. On affected units, the nuts that hold the exhaust pipe in place may come loose. In worst-case scenarios, both the nuts and the collars may completely come off during operation, which could cause a road hazard.
Kawasaki estimates that around five percent of units are affected, or about 574 total bikes. This breaks down further as follows:
- 2020 Kawasaki W800 Café: 97 units
- 2020/2021 Kawasaki W800: 477 units
Affected bikes were produced between June 3, 2019 and February 15, 2021. Affected VINs range from JKBEJCC1XLA003002 to JKBEJCC1XLA003193 (non-sequential), as well as JKBEJCD15LA000006 to JKBEJCD16MA002266. Owners of affected bikes may experience a warning of this condition in the form of an abnormal noise coming from the exhaust pipe.
Kawasaki will replace the gaskets and collars on all affected units, as well as install the mufflers on these bikes according to proper procedures. If owners experienced this issue and have already paid to have it fixed, Kawasaki will reimburse them for repairs as long as they have appropriate documentation for their claims.
According to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, it received a report from a Japanese distributor in April, 2020 regarding improperly tightened exhaust pipe nuts. It spent the following months troubleshooting, including investigating potential manufacturing errors, tightening torque errors, and virtually everything engineers could think of. No such errors were found to exist, no matter how many simulations and tests were run.
Finally, in September, 2021, Kawasaki reported that “It was found that the tightened torque value of the exhaust pipe nuts were decreased drastically, when the exhaust pipe nuts were tightened without the temporary tightening of the muffler body bolts. (The temporary tightening of the muffler body bolts was necessary before the tightening of the exhaust pipe nuts with specified torque.)” Order of operations in tightening can make a difference, as it did here. In October, 2021, Kawasaki initiated this recall to address the issue.
Kawasaki will notify dealers on November 2, 2021, and registered owners of affected bikes on November 3, 2021. Kawasaki’s number for this recall is MC21-07. Owners may contact Kawasaki customer service at 1-866-802-9381. Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s number for this recall is 21V-819. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov.