Harley issues recall; Indian Motorcycles comes a-calling in Myrtle Beach

For Weekly SurgeOctober 30, 2013 

According to a release Harley-Davidson issued this month, “Harley-Davidson is…voluntarily recalling certain 2014 Touring motorcycles equipped with a hydraulic clutch system that may pose a safety issue…The recalls include a Do Not Ride notice to owners and a Do Not Deliver notice to Harley-Davidson dealers until the motorcycle is fixed…Some…may exhibit a condition in which the hydraulic clutch system may lose the ability to… disengage the clutch…the rider may have difficulty slowing or stopping…which could result in an accident…”

I spoke to Scott Britt, manager of the Harley Shop at the Beach in North Myrtle Beach, about the recall. He said corporate, “has been very good about getting parts [to correct the problem] out to all of the dealers quickly.” When asked to describe the actual problem with the clutch and how the repair is performed, Britt explained, “the end result was a screw being installed wrong.” Correcting the issue is just a matter of “inspecting and replacing the screw and a couple of gaskets...The whole thing only takes about 20 minutes.” Fortunately, Britt said, “We haven’t seen any [of the incorrectly installed screws] on any of the bikes we’ve sold or dealt with. The recall is more of a precautionary measure.” Don’t take it lightly, though.

According to the release, “The recalls affect 25,185…models FLHTCU, FLHTK, FLHTP, FLHX, FLHXS, FLHTKSE and FLHRSE, and 3,861 Softail CVOs and Trikes, models FLHTCUTG, FXSBSE and FLSTNSE, built between May 3, 2013, and Oct. 14, 2013.”

If you own one of these bikes, Harley “wants owners…to contact an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer immediately to arrange for an inspection. The dealer will pick up, inspect and make the necessary repairs at no cost to the owner.” You can reach the Harley Shop at the Beach in North Myrtle Beach by calling 663-5555. On the south end of the Strand, call the main Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson shop at 369-5555.

Monumental improvements

The recall is unfortunate because the 2014 line of Harley-Davidson touring motorcycles included many major upgrades to not only the performance of the heavyweights, but to the styling and ergonomics, as well. The new, 2014 line designated as the Project Rushmore series was introduced to the public at the Black Hills Rally in Sturgis, S.D. in August.

Included are the Road King, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Electra Glide Ultra Limited, CVO Ultra Limited and CVO Road King, as well as the Tri Glide Ultra trike models.

One of the longest-awaited changes was an upgrade to the cooling system. Until now, all Harley motors were cooled by just letting air blow by fins incorporated into the engine as you rode. Harley’s 2014 High Output Twin Cam, 103-inch motor comes with a new camshaft and a high-flow airbox that not only produces five percent more torque than a standard Twin Cam 103 powertrain, but the airbox reportedly improves legroom and airflow. This engine comes standard on the Road King, Street Glide, Street Glide Special and Electra Glide Ultra Classic models. Even with the addition of the high-flow airbox, Harley is still well behind the curve by not offering a liquid-cooled motor as a standard feature on all of its bikes.

Some, however, have ridden out of the dark ages though with one of Harley’s most dramatic changes in decades. For 2014, Harley introduced a new Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103, an air- and liquid-cooled V-Twin available on the CVO Limited and Ultra Limited and Tri Glide Ultra models. This engine has liquid coolant, which is circulated by an electric pump, absorbing heat from the exhaust areas of the cylinder heads and cooled through ducted heat exchangers in the fairing lowers on both sides, similar to the way a car radiator works, greatly enhancing engine cooling and rider comfort.

The Project Rushmore motorcycles also have a beefed up suspension (larger fork tubes and steering stem bearings, with re-tuned damping); and better Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS (as standard or optional equipment depending on the model), which based on your speed are applied to both wheels if either brake lever is applied, while the front and rear brake pressure is automatically balanced, with ABS available to help the rider maintain better control, especially in poor riding conditions.

The Harley Shop manager, Britt, also touted improvements to both the “infotainment system”, which sports a new 4.5-to-6-inch screen; upgraded sound system; and, the newly redesigned bat wing fairing that offers less rider head buffeting, 27 percent larger storage compartments with hinged doors and one-touch latches, and improved lighting.

Locally, Britt said “the entire, initial allotment of about 30 of the Rushmore bikes (between the two Grand Strand stores) sold out quickly…It was almost like a pre-sale situation. But, we have shipments scheduled now and should be getting more in the next two weeks.”

Circle the wagons

According to Jeremy Ertl of Skyya Communications, Indian Motorcycles is coming to the Grand Strand. The once-bankrupt brand is making another comeback attempt. According to Ertl, “the company is aggressively expanding its dealer network across America. One of the first new Indian dealerships will be opening in Myrtle Beach soon.”

As a part of its introduction to the local market, Indian Motorcycle of Myrtle Beach will host Demo Day celebrations Nov. 8-9. You will have the chance to see and touch the all-new Indian Motorcycle models; and, qualified riders will be allowed to take test rides. The new Indian dealership is at 3956 U.S. 17 S. in Murrells Inlet, the existing home of the Coastal Victory dealership, now calling itself (deep breath, and…) Coastal Victory Indian Motorcycles of Myrtle Beach. Look for more details in an upcoming Ridin’ With Big E column.

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