Suzuki is recalling 2,640 2018-2019 GSX250R motorcycles because the brake light may fail to illuminate when stopping, increasing the risk of being ass-packed by a texting “driver,” especially in states where motorcyclists continue to have their God-given right to filter to the front in stopped traffic wrongfully taken away by The Man, in other words, everywhere other than California and Utah.
That’s our interpretation. Here’s the official language: “A failure of the brake light to illuminate, or continued illumination when the brakes are not being applied, can increase the risk of a crash.”
This is the first recall for Suzuki’s littlest Gixxer (bro), a bike Fish called the “most sane and grown-up of the small sportbikes” when we reviewed it back in early 2018.
According to NHTSA documents, the first report of brake light failure happened on October 5th, 2017. By the end of May 2019, Suzuki had received 37 formal failure reports, all from distributors in Japan and China. Factors leading to the failure:
Entry of water into the switch can cause corrosion of the zinc-plated iron spring.
Rust powder from the spring can adhere to the movable part of the switch that is in contact with the body of the switch, causing wear to the contact part of the switch.
Water can corrode the contact part of the switch, resulting in failure of the stop lamp to illuminate when only the rear brake is used or in a manner that results in the stop lamp remaining on when the brakes are not being used.
This seems to imply that the brake light only fails to illuminate when the rear brake is used alone, but it also sounds like the brake light stays on in some cases, which is functionally the same as not having a brake light.
Often, motorcycle recalls seem a little silly and overly cautious, and we like to crack jokes about ’em. We’ve been making bad jokes about KTM’s flammable pajamas recall since 2015, much to the chagrin of people who think children potentially catching fire isn’t funny (pretty much everyone outside CityBike World Headquarters, and some inside).
A failure of the brake light to illuminate, or continued illumination when the brakes are not being applied, can increase the risk of a crash.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V418000 Manufacturer: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. Components: EXTERIOR LIGHTING Potential Number of Units Affected: 2,640
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (Suzuki) is recalling certain 2018-2019 GSX250R motorcycles. Water intrusion may corrode the rear brake light switch causing the rear brake light to fail to illuminate or remain illuminated continuously when the brake is not applied.
Suzuki will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear brake stop light switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 28, 2019. Owners may contact Suzuki customer service at 1-800-934-0934. Suzuki’s number for this recall is 2A90.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
Our 2018 Suzuki GSX250R test bike outside FLAX Art in Oakland. Photo: Angelica Rubalcaba.