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Suzuki is recalling 23,073 GSX-R models in the U.S. because of a problem with the drive chain adjuster. The recall affects GSX-R750 models from 2011-2014 and GSX-R1000 models from 2009-2014.

According to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the drive chain adjuster on affected models may become damaged if the rider misses a gear while upshifting. Trying to correct the problem but upshifting again without disengaging the clutch may place a lot of tension on the drive chain, pulling the rear axle shaft forward and damaging the chain adjuster.

A damaged adjuster may cause the chain out of proper adjustment and potentially cause it to come off, cutting power delivery to the rear wheel and increasing the risk of a crash.

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Suzuki first received three field reports from American consumers claiming loose drive chains in May 2012. The company collected the affected components and conducted an investigation but was unable to find the source of the problem. In October 2012, Suzuki received a fourth report, this time involving a drive chain that broke under operation. By the end of 2013, Suzuki had received 14 similar reports from the U.S.

This past winter, Suzuki was able to reproduce the problem, but only by jumping and landing a test bike with the rear wheel spinning. This was considered an abnormal usage and would not have likely resulted in a recall. From April to June however, Suzuki received 10 more reports and then realized the strain from trying to recover from a false neutral may also cause the problem. By September, Suzuki had received 31 field reports before deciding to initiate a recall campaign.

Suzuki dealers will replace the left-side chain adjusters on affected motorcycles with a new part that has been strengthened by heat-treatment to withstand the extra tension from recovering from missed gears.

[Source: NHTSA]