Kawasaki is recalling the ZX-10R and advising owners NOT TO RIDE until they have had their front wheels replaced.
The firm says only three front wheels have been reported as defective, globally, but, "for the reassurance of customers we have decided to replace all front wheels, regardless of their condition, free of charge."
The statement from Kawasaki continues: "We are instructing customers not to use their motorcycle until the front wheel is replaced. We expect the majority of machines retailed in Europe to be modified by early September."
The firm says there is the possibility of loan bikes in "special circumstances".
ZX-10R owners should contact their dealers immediately.
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A spokesman said: "Your machine should be transported to the dealer on a trailer or with a van. Shjould this be impossible, the machine should be ridden slowly and carefully to the dealer. However, as a precaution, choose the shortest possible route on well-surfaced roads and if you notice anything strange, stop immediately and call the dealer.
"Do not ride the machine other than to deliver it to the dealer for repair."
Kawasaki says rear wheels are not affected. Kawasaki says it is a "vendor-manufacturing defect in the casting process" that is to blame.
FAQs about this Product Safety Recall:
Q: Do all ZX-10Rs have this defect?
A: No, but all examples built so far are being modified as a precaustion because a visual inspection of the front wheel will not reveal if a potential defect exists.
Q Why is only the front wheel affected?
A: The rear wheel moulds are different to those used for front wheels.
Q: Should I stop using my machine?
A : Yes, we strongly recommend this, for all usage, until the front wheel is replaced.
Q: If I cannot ride my bike, how do I deliver it to the dealer for modification?
A: Preferably your machine should be transported to the dealer on a trailer or with a van. Should this be impossible, the machine should be ridden slowly and carefully to the dealer. However as a precaution, choose the shortest possible route on well surfaced roads and if you notice anything strange, stop immediately and call the dealer. Do not ride the machine other than to deliver it to the dealer for repair.
Q: I do not own a ZX-10R but the wheel fitted to my bike is of the same design. Should I be worried?
A : No. The problem is confined to ZX-10R front wheel moulds only.
Q: My bike is my sole means of transport, I cannot be off the road until it is fixed. What should I do?
A : Please discuss such special circumstances with your dealer. A loan machine may be available.
Q: Why will it take until September to modify all the machines?
A : It is limited by the wheel vendor’s production capacity.
Q: Can I fit a substitute wheel and continue to ride my bike?
A : No, as other Kawasaki front wheels will not readily fit without major modification. Further more, non ZX-10R front wheels may weigh more than the original, which may result in adverse handling of the bike.
Q: How many defective reports have been received?
Answer : Three cases worldwide
Q: Why have defective wheels been delivered from the vendor to KHI?
A : The checking process of the vendor was not precise enough.
Q: What measures will the vendor take in the future?
A : A more precise x-ray check will be made of all wheels produced and casting improvements will be made to eliminate porosity.
Q: Does this problem also occur on the ZX-10R rear wheels and/or other models?
A : There have been no reports received on any other models other than the ZX-10R, nor on the ZX-10R rear wheel. The rear wheel moulds are different to those used for front wheels.
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