Honda is issuing a recall for the 2001-2010 and 2012 Gold Wing due to a problem with the combined braking system. The recall campaign affects 126,000 units sold in the U.S. over the past decade.
According to Honda, the Gold Wing may experience rear brake drag even after the rider releases the brake. The problem is caused by secondary master cylinder of the combined braking system.
The master cylinder is designed with a port to compensate for brake fluid volume expansion caused by increased temperatures. On the Gold Wing, the master cylinder may be mounted at a higher angle than design specification due to production tolerance stack-up. As a result, the push rod’s operating angle can reduce the free play between the pressure cup and the port. The cylinder’s pressure cup may also swell after prolonged exposure to brake fluid high temperatures. Both these factors may cause the compensating port to become blocked.
If that were to occur, the combined braking system may cause the rear brake caliper to drag, increasing the temperature of the brake fluid, causing it to expand and further increase brake drag. The issue may lead to unexpected application of the rear brake and, if the heat is sufficient, may cause the rear brake to catch on fire.
The problem was first identified by American Honda in July 2010 after a customer reported a case of rear brake dragging for 40 miles following a brake fluid flush. According to the report, the customer heard a small explosion after parking his Gold Wing, and saw flames coming from the rear brake. American Honda alerted the parent company in Japan which began an analysis of the hydraulic system. A second case of rear brake drag was reported to American Honda in November 2010.
In total, Honda has confirmed 26 complaints regarding rear brake dragging in the U.S., with two cases resulting in a small fire.
Honda dealers will inspect the secondary master cylinder of 2001-2010 and 2012 Honda Gold Wings, and, if required, will replace the secondary master cylinder with a unit with additional free play.