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Defective Motorcycle Brake Pads Cause Multiple Recalls

Recall documents say the defect is corrosion on the brake pad backing plates causing the friction material to delaminate.

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Andrew Markel is a technician and former service writer and he brings this practical knowledge to the Brake & Front End team as editor. Andrew holds several automotive certification from ASE and manufacturers. Andrew is the third generation of his family in the automotive repair business. He collects vintage tools and own several classic cars including a 1967 Rambler American.

Earlier this month motorcycle manufacturers Ducati and Triumph voluntarily informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that combined they would be recalling 3,788 motorcycles worldwide manufactured between 2017 and 2020 for the same defect with the brake pads.

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According to the recall campaign documents from Triumph, Ducati and NHTSA, the defect is corrosion on the brake pad backing plates causing the friction material to delaminate. The supplier of the brake pads for both Ducati and Triumph is Brembo S.p.A and the manufacturer, according to NHTSA documents, is the Tungaloy Corp.

The delamination of the friction material can cause increased stopping distances and cannot be balanced with a single action on the brake master cylinder. Brembo advised in both Part 573 recall reports for Triumph (20V-236) and Ducati (20V-322) the root cause for the pad separation was due to the following factors:

  • High concentration of Nickel in the compound does not favor the sintering process on the back plate and consequently causes a reduction of the adhesive area percentage.
  • High porosity of the compound that allows infiltration of salt and water at the interface between the compound and back plate.
  • Micro cracks on the backing plate copper surface which promote the penetration of salt and water. As a result, the level of corrosion of the brake pads is higher than the maximum acceptable and indicated in the related drawing. This may result in high corrosion of the brake pads and, as a consequence, the detachment from the back plate during vehicle use, specifically in corrosive environment.

Both Ducati and Triumph are informing dealers and owners of the recall. Triumph received 12 reports from the field of the defect, the first incident was reported in September 2019.

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