On March 24, 2022, Harley-Davidson issued a safety recall for a number of 2021 and 2022 Harley-Davidson Sportster models due to an improperly affixed brake master cylinder DOT4 decals. On affected bikes, these brake fluid decals contain warning statements that, if missing, could lead to improper brake maintenance procedures if owners cannot or do not access their owners’ manuals. Over time, improper brake system maintenance could pose a safety risk, and/or cause a crash. 

An estimated 4,177 bikes are believed to be affected, representing around one percent of the population, according to the Motor Company. The breakdown in numbers is as follows: 

  • 2021 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight: 416 
  • 2022 Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight: 725 
  • 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 883: 1,233 
  • 2022 Harley-Davidson Iron 883: 1,635 
  • 2021 Harley-Davidson Iron 1200: 168 

Affected Forty-Eights were produced between August 23, 2021 and February 3, 2022, with non-sequential VINs between 1HD1LC32XMB417502 and 1HD1LC311NB403786. For Iron 883s, affected production dates are between August 23, 2021 and January 23, 2022, with non-sequential VINs ranging from 1HD4LE211MB417499 to 1HD4LE212NB403631. Finally, affected Iron 1200s were produced between August 23, 2021 and October 21, 2021, with non-sequential VINs ranging from 1HD1LP318MB417500 to 1HD1LP316MB419567.  

After investigating the cause of the issue, Harley-Davidson determined that there was a manufacturing defect in the decal on affected bikes, which led to the possibility of the defective decals not being permanently affixed in the expected position. Potential warning signs that owners may notice include the decal either being loose, or moving out of position on either the front or rear brake master cylinders. 

To remedy this issue, Harley-Davidson will mail replacement decals to owners of affected bikes, along with instructions on how to inspect and, if necessary, replace the decals if necessary. Additionally, owners will be given the opportunity to arrange service with their local authorized Harley-Davidson dealers, with the remedy service to be performed free of charge under this recall. These updated decals were already introduced into the production line of new bikes as of February 8, 2022. 

Per Harley-Davidson, dealer network notifications were issued between March 21, 2022 and March 28, 2022. Owner notification letters were mailed between March 22, 2022 and March 29, 2022, and are expected to arrive at owner homes between April 1, 2022 and April 8, 2022. 

Harley’s number for this recall is 0632. Owners may contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.nhtsa.gov. 

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