Honda is recalling the affected motorcycles over an issue that could lead to stalling or loss of power.
Honda has issued a recall on model-year 2020 and 2021 Africa Twin motorcycles. The recall states that a problem with the engine control unit and dual-clutch transmission affects close to 1,600 bikes.
The problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defect report states, is with the engine control unit. According to the NHTSA defect report, the ECU was programmed improperly in the affected Africa Twin models.
The software error affects the controller area network communication system. That’s the computer network the ECU uses to talk to everything electrical in the bike, from headlight to taillight.
As a result of incorrect programming, wrong data can be shared across the network. If this happens, the communications disconnect can tell the dual-clutch transmission to disengage its clutches.
That leaves the rider with a loss of power, potentially putting them in a dangerous situation. It can also cause the ECU to reset while the engine is running, potentially leading to an engine stall and risk of crash or injury.
Government documents show that Honda first received a report of stalling related to this issue in July 2020, from a CRF1100 Africa Twin motorcycle in the Japanese market. It was followed by a report from Italy in September and one in December 2020 in Germany.
Honda purchased the German bike to try and replicate the issue. It wasn’t able to confirm the issue until August 2022, when the first two U.S. stalling reports were received.
Recall Software Fix
The number of Africa Twin motorcycles affected is 1,561 — sold in model years 2020 and 2021. Honda estimates that all of those units have the defect but says that no crashes or injuries have been reported in the U.S. as a result of the problem.
The fix is an updated file for the ECU, with reprogramming done at a Honda dealer. The recall repair will be performed for free, while any owners who have had to pay for a fix will be eligible for reimbursement.
All American Honda dealers were notified of the recall on Aug. 29. Letters to owners of the affected bikes are expected to be mailed out on Oct. 31. Owners can contact Honda at 1-866-784-1870 to find out if their bike is affected. The company’s ID for this recall is KNB.