Dec 212010

We all know someone who has a H-D equipped with the stock laced wheels. This is the first I have heard of this issue. If you go the the web site, UnSafe Motorcycles, you will see there is and has been a problem with thte safety of the Dunlop 402 (tire used primarily for H-D applications prior to 2009). Please share this info with everyone you know who rides a Harley.

Texas law firm investigating rim failures

Publish date: Dec 12, 2010

A Texas law firm says it is investigating motorcycle rim failures in two accidents that may lead to more claims.

The Edwards Law Firm says rim failures may have led to catastrophic deflations of tires on Harley Davidson Ultra Classics. Both were steel chrome-plated 40-spoke factory rims manufactured in Italy.

The firm operates the web site Unsafemotorycles, where it says consumers contacted the firm about incidents in Michigan and Ohio.

“Failures of two rims manufactured at the same plant could mean defective metals or processing. If this is the case, other riders could be at risk,” says Billy Edwards, attorney and motorcycle rider. “We will be sending the rims to experts to see if they can determine what caused the failures.”

A Michigan man riding a 2001 Ultra Classic reported he was traveling in October 2009 along a two-lane state highway at about 40 mph when his rear tire suddenly deflated.

“There was no warning, no sound, and all of a sudden the rear of the bike became extremely loose, squirrelly, uncontrollable,“ he said. He credited experience as a lifelong rider and Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes for his ability to stop without going down. “I knew, don’t panic, don’t slam on the brakes, bring it down easy. I was fortunate,” he said.

The tire had less than 1,200 miles on it and had been installed at a Harley-Davidson dealership, which also reported they had inspected the rim, he told the law firm. He said there was no hole in the tire, a D402, just a shredded tube and a long, lengthwise crack in the rim.

The Michigan rider, an engineer, says he contacted the firm after a fellow rider from Ohio experienced a similar rim failure in September, 2010. In the second instance, the Ohio rider reported he was traveling 78 mph on I-75 when the tire gave way.

“He crossed three lanes of traffic before he reached the berm where he could start applying brake to the front wheel. He almost didn’t make it,” according to the Michigan rider’s account. He said the Ohio rider, an auto mechanic, was on a 2003 Ultra Classic with Messler tires, again with no sign of puncture, but the rim shows a long, vertical crack.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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