As I wrote HERE, the EPA and Harley-Davidson reached a settlement last summer regarding the use of non-street legal Race Tuners used to modify a bike’s fuel injection system. Since then I’ve had the chance to talk with Harley-Davidson reps and Warranty personnel to clear up what the settlement means for the average rider.
The agreement was reached because the EPA felt Harley-Davidson was encouraging riders to modify their bikes to the point they were no longer street legal or SMOG compliant. Initially the EPA planned to audit dealership Service Department records and issue fines for any bike that had non-street legal pipes and tuning modules installed while the bike was under warranty. Harley-Davidson, however, negotiated to leave the dealers out of the lawsuit and agreed to pay a blanket fine of over $15 million to cover the sale and use of Race Tuners. The EPA agreed to this up to the 2017 model year. However, any bike still under warranty must comply with Harley’s warranty policy and dealer’s are responsible for any 2017 or later bike that is found to not be EPA compliant.
This means going forward Harley-Davidson must void the warranty on any bike that is modified to no longer be EPA compliant as their warranty policy has always stated. To emphasize this the following statement is included in the warranty agreement for all Harley-Davidson models: “The limited warranty will not apply to any motorcycle which has off-road or competition parts installed to enhance performance. These modifications may void all or parts of your new motorcycle warranty.”
I’ve been asked about this countless times since the settlement was made public and have been surprised how many people don’t realize their bike is not street legal. When purchasing any exhaust, air cleaner components, fuel injection tuning modules, or engine parts (pistons, cams, valves, etc.) check to see if it is 50 state compliant. Odds are it is stamped with a sticker like the ones seen here. If it is, according to Harley-Davidson, installation of these parts will void your warranty.
When I spoke to a rep from Harley-Davidson’s Warranty Department they confirmed they have been instructed to void the warranty on any bike that has been found to have non-street legal performance parts installed. So far I know of two bikes that have had the motors warranty voided because they had Vance and Hines exhaust and a Screamin’ Eagle Race Tuner installed on them.
While many people rely on dealers and service shops to inform them about these things all consumers need to be on the look out. These policies and laws have been in place since 1978 and its beginning to appear like they will finally be enforced.