Triumph America have issued a recall for a range of motorcycles to replace the Front Brembo Brake Pads in case they fail. Triumph America should be informing owners of affected machines in due course and will arrange to have the brake pads replaced for free. A potential 3691 motorcycles are affected.
The motorcycles affected are the 2018-2019 Speed Triple RS, 2019-2020 Speed Triple S, 2018-2020 Street Triple RS, 2020 Tiger 1200 Alpine, 2020 Tiger 1200 Desert, 2018-2020 Tiger 1200 XCA, 2018-2020 Tiger 1200 XCX, 2018-2019 Tiger 1200 XR, 2018-2019 Tiger 1200 XRT, 2018-2019 Tiger 1200 XRX (and LRH XRX). Triumph notified the NHTSA in the USA on the 28th April 2020 but investigations had been going on for some while with the company manufacturing the pads taking 5 months to investigate the issue.
You can check if your motorcycle is affected using Triumph's Recall Search facility.
The fault is with the manufacture of the brake pads themselves. It is likely that there will be other recalls in other countries over the coming months because the affected brake pads may well have been sold to a number of different manufacturers all over the world. The root cause is that there was too much Nickel in the brake pad compound which reduced the strength of the binding of the brake pad onto the backing plate. The brake pad compound was also more porous than usual, and there were micro-cracks on the back plate. This meant that more water and road salt could get into the pads than would usually be expected and caused more corrosion especially at the junction between the pad and the plate. Because of the reduced binding strength and the increased corrosion the pads were more likely to become detached when in use.
In September 2019 Triumph were made aware of a single occurrence of a brake pad failure where the friction material detached from the backing plate. Triumph informed Brembo and requested the pad for investigation.
In October 2019 Triumph received the pad and sent it to Brembo for investigation.
In November 2019 Brembo forwarded the pad onto their manufacturer for them to investigate.
In January 2020 Triumph has by now informed Brembo of a further 12 cases of the brake pad material detaching.
From January to April 2020 the brake pad manufacturer continues to investigate the cause of the issue. Eventually they inform Brembo, and Triumph, that a worldwide recall is required for their Tungaloy brake pads manufactured since September 2016. Triumph learn about it on the 20th April 2020.
Brembo are an Italian company but they don't actually manufacture the brake pads themselves. Instead they use various companies all over the world, such as American company Federal-Mogul. In this case the American Owned but Japanese based Tungaloy Corporation had produced the brake pads. It was that company which took almost 5 months to investigate the issue. Tungaloy Corporation is owned by Berkshire Hathaway which has Warren Buffett as its Chairman.
Brembo have had to recall brake pads in the past. In October 2018 they had to recall a whole production set of pads produced by Federal-Mogul who hadn't treated the pads at a high enough temperature resulting in reduced bonding strength between the pad and the backing plate.