Author Catastrophic suspension failure  (Read 13454 times)

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  • Offline hennihavenga

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    Offline hennihavenga

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    Catastrophic suspension failure
    on: Jul 14, 2020, 09.42 am
    Jul 14, 2020, 09.42 am
    Had a massive suspension failure yesterday at 50mph. Bike dropped onto back wheel locking it up, skidding and eventually throwing me off. The small swing arm on the triangle at the bottom of the shock snapped clean off. The suspension (honda warranty replacement shock) went rock solid recently prompting me to replace the shock. Took the bike out for ride yesterday for first time and was still very stiff. Fortunately this happened on quiet country road, 20 mins earlier was doing 80mph on M25. I think this might be a Honda issue. Happened to anyone?

  • Offline Matlock   gb

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    Offline Matlock

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #1 on: Jul 14, 2020, 10.45 am
    Jul 14, 2020, 10.45 am
    Hope you're OK after that? It sounds terrifying! Are you saying Honda replaced the shock under warranty and the first time you rode it after, this happened?

  • Offline Crosstourer   england

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #2 on: Jul 14, 2020, 11.20 am
    Jul 14, 2020, 11.20 am
    Hope you're ok, do you have any pictures ? Would be good to see what broke  :002:

     :821:

  • Offline Jac

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    Offline Jac

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #3 on: Jul 14, 2020, 03.12 pm
    Jul 14, 2020, 03.12 pm
    You are very lucky.  I will be very interested to hear how Honda treats you after this.

  • Offline hennihavenga

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    Offline hennihavenga

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #4 on: Jul 14, 2020, 03.21 pm
    Jul 14, 2020, 03.21 pm
    I have reached out to the dealer and Honda EU (emailed the CEO). They reckon bearing failure. From responses so far not very encouraging.

  • Offline VFR1200XDH

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    Offline VFR1200XDH

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #5 on: Jul 14, 2020, 07.01 pm
    Jul 14, 2020, 07.01 pm
    Hello, glad you made it through this incident safely.

    Given the nature of post it raises quite a red flag but also a lot of questions from information not included:

    You replaced a replacement shock meaning the original shock also failed, you had it replaced through warranty and it went hard so this is now the third shock? That is how I read it.

    Did Honda replace the shock or did you install it?

    What were your rear suspension settings? This is very important too. Were they the same for all three shocks?

    When you took the bike out and felt the shock was very stiff, did you stop and inspect it? I ask because three shock failures of an OEM item would indicate a serious problem we all need to know about but if it's a bearing failure it appears the bearing was bad before the 2nd and 3rd replacement shocks were put on.

    How many miles were on the first, second and now third shock? That kind of info is rather critical.

    Was the bearing inspected at all from the time of the first shock failure and the third?

    The suspension is to be inspected every 8000 miles, was it? This is important to know because everyone can see if the failures of the shocks and now maybe the bearing failed within those inspection points or outside of them.

    When a shock goes hard, the rear doesn't collapse onto the rear tire it fails to compress. Then because it can't compress it places enormous force on the bearing and can cause it to break so then you have two failures. If only the bearing failed the shock could be fine. The greater concern is the bearing failure as one can ride with a stiff shock but a bearing failure and facture of the joint can kill you.

    I'm asking because suspension collapses have happened with BMWs, and others and when people read these posts it naturally causes a lot of concern. Without more information it generates a lot of concern but no way to evaluate our own bikes to check things.

    Three OEM shocks failing means something is seriously wrong and if it really is a bearing failure, knowing how many miles are on the bike and it's maintenance history is imperative.

    Can you elaborate?
    Last Edit: Jul 14, 2020, 07.21 pm by VFR1200XDH

  • Offline hennihavenga

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    Offline hennihavenga

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #6 on: Jul 14, 2020, 08.06 pm
    Jul 14, 2020, 08.06 pm
    I bought the bike with 6k miles on it 2 years ago. The bike came with a 3 month warranty and I took it back for a final tweak just before the end of the period. Took it off to Irealand the following week and had an issue with the shock. All the fluid leaked out and I to ride the bike back from ireland like riding a pogo stick. Honda was very good and replaced the shock as the felt the should have picked it up. I had the bike in at Honda for its annual service last Aug and the health check flagged nothing up. In Feb I had a front fork seal replaced and again nothing flagged. I was involved in an accident in Nov and the bike had an extensive rebuilt and nothing flagged. Had the MOT done in April and nothing flagged. As it is my touring bike I dont ride it everyday. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the rear had gone very stiff. I settled with the shock but nothing really helped. As it was lockdown and Honda was not open, I actually asked for some advice on this forum. I thought that the back shock had gone again. I found a YSS shock and thought it might actually improve what is commonly known as a CT problem. I had it fitted by my local bike repair shop, same shop that have done the MOT. After Honda flagged the bearing issue this morning, I spoke to the bike shop and they are adamant that the checked bearings and all was fine. Riding the bike yesterday I thought the new shock was just set very stiff. I have now subsequently checked the Honda standard shock that was taken off and the rebound knob seems to work fine. So it must have been a seized bearing preventing movent and eventually breaking. I am certainly not a mechanic, just dont understand how this was missed and should it break. I dont ride it off road and would now certainly hesitant to take it on dirt roads.
    I'm certainly not trying to appropriate blame here   just trying to understand how these parts failed so badly. 20 mins earlier I was doing 80mph on the motorway. I'm pretty battered from coming off the bike at 50, on the motorway I would not have been here typing.

  • Offline VFR1200XDH

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    Offline VFR1200XDH

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    Re: Catastrophic suspension failure
    Reply #7 on: Jul 14, 2020, 11.15 pm
    Jul 14, 2020, 11.15 pm
    The bearing should have been checked but wasn't, a failure by service personnel. When shocks go bad (hard) the forces transmitted to the linkages and bearing are huge and they were not designed to take it. The bearing isn't a big part and the costs to replace it isn't nearly the cost of a shock, Honda should have replace it as a matter of course. There are 4 bearing points so the parts involved aren't major assemblies unless it was the one that is part of the swingarm, that gets into $$$ real fast. There is some work in checking for damage so probably why no one checked past a quick look. Being aluminum those failures often aren't visible just by looking and when they fail, its a sudden break.

    By clearly documenting the sequence of events, Honda should do the right thing and they probably will. If there is no satisfaction early on, push higher to get the the right person. The consumer protection laws you have are probably a lot different that here in the USA but given the failure its in their best interest to do you right. Just don't be the path of least resistance.

     



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