Italian motorcycle brand Ducati has become the latest manufacturer to turn in its recall card after announcing that a handful of its models are being advised for inspections because of a significant product defect involving rear shocks from suspensions company Ohlins.

The recall was actually issued by Transport Canada, our neighbors’ equivalent of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The NHTSA has yet to announce a recall for the US, but from the looks of things, it’s only a matter of time before that happens.

In any case, Transport Canada said that Ducati models affected by the recall include the 2014 1199 Panigale R, 1199 Panigale S, and 1199 Superleggera. All three models suffer from the same fate of having the same defective rear shocks that some of its competitors also have. Yamaha, Triumph, and Honda have issued similar recalls and from the looks of things, Ducati won’t be the last company to do the same.

Transport Canada didn’t say in its notice the number of affected units of the three models. It did say that Ducati dealerships will be standing ready to inspect the recalled motorcycles and will take two courses of action as a result, including sending the entire rear shock assembly back to Ohlins or replace the rear shock absorber with parts supplied by Ducati itself.

Either way, owners of the three models are highly encouraged to bring their bikes to Ducati dealerships to find out if they’re affected by the recall. There’s a good chance that the bikes built in 2014 have the defective Ohlins rear shocks in them but just to be safe, it might be a good idea to have them checked out anyway.

Continue reading to read more about Ducati’s recall of its 1199 Panigale R, S and Superleggera models.

Why it matters

This whole saga is going to play out in front of our eyes for quite some time so prepare yourselves to read and hear more about it as more and more motorcycle brands announce their own recalls of affected bikes.

It’s become an embarrassing episode for Ohlins, which is widely regarded as one of the best suspension parts companies in the world. None of these companies would be using its products if that weren’t the case. But Ohlins screwed up this time. There’s really no other way to put it. Now it has no choice but to face the consequences of seeing more and more companies recall their bikes because of these defective parts.

I think Ohlins will be able to recover from this even though I don’t foresee it happening anytime soon. If it gets bad enough, I’m not even discounting the possibility of lawsuits flying left and right. Nobody wants to get embroiled in something with the word “lawsuit” in it, but the issue with Ohlins defective rear shocks is becoming a bigger and bigger problem that if somebody ends up getting hurt from this, it could open up a whole can of worms that would put the problems the Swedish company is facing now to shame. I don’t want to see that happening because it would also put a stain on the motorcycle industry.

For its part, Ducati’s doing the right thing by getting started with the recall early. It’s already transmitted its concern to Transport Canada, which is already acting on it, and it’ll be a matter of time before the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration gets in on it, too.

As much as everybody wants to bury this problem in the sand, nobody will be able to unless those defective parts are taken out of the market completely. Here’s to hoping that happens as soon as possible.

Source: Transport Canada

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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