Words by Afzal Rawuther
Ducati has issued a massive recall for a large number of performance motorcycles due to a problem with the Brembo PR16 radial master cylinder unit on the bikes. The piston in the master cylinder is prone to developing a crack and can lead to front brake failure. This is because the faulty piston has been made from a type of plastic called Polyphenylene Sulphide and has been known to crack when used excessively or even under normal usage with ABS intervention. The plastic piece will be replaced by an aluminium piece, free of cost. A number of high performance motorcycle brands such as Aprilia, Ducati, KTM, and Triumph and so on, use the affected Brembo setup. Ducati and Aprilia have issued recalls and the rest are expected to follow suit soon. Ducati has announced that it will be recalling approximately 8,000 units internationally ranging from model year 2015 to 2018. The affected models include the 1299 Panigale (including the Superleggera and the Panigale Final Edition), Panigale R, Monster 1200, Multistrada 1200, XDiavel S, and the Scrambler. Rear brake systems are not affected by the issue.
Ducati’s defect report states, “The anisotropy of the piston material, in addition to potential porosity introduced during the injection process, could lead to crack generation and thus potential component failure. The failure may occur with no warning to the rider, although a significant loss in brake effectiveness may be an early indicator.”
The defect report further elaborates on the discovery of the issue: “In May, 2017, Ducati received initial information from the field regarding front brake malfunction involving a motorcycle in the European market. During the same month Ducati received a second European front brake malfunction report.”
Ducati and Brembo subsequently launched an investigation into the brake malfunction. In September, 2017, a third European case was discovered. In November, 2017, the investigation was finalized and the cause was identified to be the faulty Brembo piston in the master cylinder. On December 14th, 2017, Ducati determined that a worldwide safety recall was necessary.
Ducati claims that no injuries have been reported as a result of the brake failures. Ducati will be starting the recall from February 15, 2018 and owners will be individually notified of the same.