Honda recalling some CTX700s for ABS repair

Publish Date: 
Jul 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Honda is recalling certain model-year 2014 CTX700s to repair a manufacturing error associated with the motorcycles' antilock braking system (ABS).

ABS-RELATED RECALLS are affecting several vehicle manufacturers. The common thread: each recalled motorcycle features the latest compact anti-lock brake system modulator from Nissin in Japan. The recalled bikes from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Triumph use the new ABS unit, claimed to be the smallest and lightest on the market. 

A manufacturing defect during the assembly phase of the Nissin Hydraulic Control Unit can cause a loose chip of aluminum to remain inside the ABS unit. Normal braking function is unaffected; however, the loose metal chip may prevent the HCU check valve from operating properly -- which in turn could prevent normal ABS function during a skid. If a rider expects the ABS to function normally and instead locks one or both wheels, the risk of a crash increases.

--Bruce Steever

The recall affects 235 units made from March 6 through April 11, according to NHTSA.

On July 8 Honda determined that a potential defect existed in the ABS modulator in these bikes. "Some ABS modulators installed on affected motorcycles may be contaminated by an aluminum chip that resulted from a manufacturing error," Honda's notice to NHTSA stated.

"Specifically, a misalignment between the fixture that holds the modulator body and the insertion jig that installed the brake fluid inlet check valve may have caused the check valve to chip the edge of the bore in the body. If an aluminum chip is present and becomes lodged in either the inlet or outlet check valves during brake actuation, the antilock functionality likely will not perform properly and the wheel may skid.

An unexpected skid of the front or rear tire under hard braking conditions increases the risk of a crash, Honda noted.

The brake modulator is supplied to Honda by Nissin, who notified the OEM of the potential problem in May. Honda then placed a "wholesale stop shipment" for new unsold CTX700s while it and Nissin conducted an investigation, it told NHTSA.

Honda is notifying owners by mail starting on July 30. Dealers are asked to replace the ABS modulator. "Because the new motorcycle warranty on all affected motorcycles would have provided a free repair for the problem addressed by this recall, without any payment by the owner, reimbursement for pre-notification repairs will not be offered," the OEM stated.