Many owners of Harley-Davidson’s Street 750, the Made for India super bike, are upset with the company over repeated instances of brake failures.
They have taken up the issue with Harley-Davidson India demanding an upgrade of the brake system and recall of early models sold in 2014 and 2015. Street 750 riders who are coming together on social media platforms, including Facebook and Whatsapp, are demanding that the company take action.
When contacted by BusinessLine over e-mail, a company spokesperson while declining to respond to specific questions on the issue, said over the phone that the problems are due to lack of skill in riding super bikes, which are recent entrants to the domestic market.
The spokesperson said the problem of ‘brake fade’, insufficient braking, or brakes jamming happen due to bad driving technique. The company has launched a programme to enhance rider awareness. There are no technical deficiencies, the spokesperson said.
Udham S Hooda, of Delhi, a Street 750 owner, who is spearheading the protests, says he had a close shave when his brakes failed during a ride to Shimla in mid-August. He was leading a group of a dozen riders when this happened.
Riders in Delhi and Chennai have organised protests and more owners are coming together across major cities, says Hooda. But the company has largely ignored their concerns. In the 2016 model, Harley-Davidson has upgraded the brake system but is not addressing the safety concern in older models, he said.
The company spokesperson, however, clarified that it was a routine upgrade as all models evolve over time.
Hooda has left his vehicle at the service centre and has refused to take delivery, and this is just one of many instances, he says. Ganesh Kumar, a 2016 model Street 750 owner, who joined the protest in Delhi, says the problem persists. His brakes simply jammed on a ride in Kodaikanal Hills even before it was due for first service. Subsequently, he suffered a bad fall in September when the brakes jammed during another long ride.
GKM Kabbir, another rider in Chennai, says he faced complete loss of braking power while on a ride to Puducherry.
Vishal Manjrekar, Street 750 owner, posts on whatsapp group FaultyBrakes@Surat, repeated instances of brake failure and that his motorcycle has been at the workshop since July.
The company said in a statement the Harley-Davidson India has launched a programme Passport to Freedom (PTF) to encourage confident and skilful riding. Introduced early this year, it organises interactive sessions with veteran rider and motorcycle expert – Sandeep Goswami, who helps riders improve their riding skills.
The Harley-Davidson Street 750, is an award-winning, global motorcycle being built in Kansas City, US, for North America, and in Bawal, Haryana, for the domestic and select international markets such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and a few Asian markets.