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Old 07-02-2008, 10:45 AM   #1
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Racers - Brake Bleeding...

A couple of questions for the racers and hard core track people...

1. How often do you bleed your brakes? Do you do this every track day, every other or maybe even before a track day and again half way through?

2. What is your brake bleeding process? I'm not interested in techniques with a vacuum pump, just the old fashioned way. Here is what I'm doing now...

a. Pump up the brake lever until it is firm.
b. Bleed master cylinder. Pump brake lever until firm, and bleed master cylinder again. Repeat until no bubbles visible in the line.
c. Pump up the brake lever until it is firm.
d. Bleed right caliper. Pump brake lever until firm, and bleed right caliper again. Repeat until no bubbles visible in the line.
e. Pump brake lever until firm.
f. Bleed left caliper. Pump brake lever until firm, and bleed left caliper again. Repeat until no bubbles visible in the line.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:59 AM   #2
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I'd bleed the calipers first, then work my way up. Remember the air will go up. BTW, I bleed them before each event.

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Old 07-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #4
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OH also another (easier) way is to crack the reservoir cap loose, and ziptie the lever to the bar. Leave it over night. This really works well for me. The next morning, cut snip the ziptie, pump the lever until firm and tighten the cap.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:11 AM   #5
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Left caliper, right caliper and then master cylinder.
I usually do them max every other track day, depending on the track. (brake usage wise)
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Left caliper, right caliper and then master cylinder.
I usually do them max every other track day, depending on the track. (brake usage wise)
+1 and I also do the trick that John mentioned with zip tying the lever over night.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:34 AM   #7
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Great feedback, thank you.

-Curt
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Left caliper, right caliper and then master cylinder.
I usually do them max every other track day, depending on the track. (brake usage wise)
Isn't that even a bit of overkill for the average trackday participant? I only do mine twice a year.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:41 AM   #9
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If the track participant is 300 lbs and rides a liter bike, it's probably JUST RIGHT...
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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If the track participant is 300 lbs and rides a liter bike, it's probably JUST RIGHT...
maybe, but 300 lb 6'10" isn't average
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:45 AM   #11
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This seems to be a good primer on bleeding the brakes. Thanks to Hypertrophy for the pointer. Note that the author does not mention bleeding the master cylinder. That is an oversight.

Originally Posted by Jeff@cbr600rr.com

Bleeding brakes is simple. Time consuming, tedious, but simple. You don't need anything fancy to do it, here are some instructions. This is MY method. It may not be yours. I have had years of good results with this. It is not the only means, but again, mine which I shall share with you...

Required materials
Brake Fluid - Personally, I recommend silkolene pro-race 2000 from silkolenestore.com
Phillips screwdriver or other tool (as required to open reservoir)
8mm wrench (or other tool) to crack bleeders
Clear rubber hose (fuel line works fine) 12+ inches long
Water bottle with a couple inches of water in it
Rags. Plenty of rags

Before you start bleeding or touch anything, there are a few things you should know and consider.

1. Always clean fittings and caps BEFORE removing them. Brake fluid does not like dirt...
2. NEVER shake a bottle of brake fluid. It's oil, you're not going to "mix" anything. All you're going to do is add tiny air bubbles to the fluid, which is exactly what you're trying to remove
3. Brake fluid will remove paint and melt certain plastics. If you get any on your plastics, get wiping IMMEDIATELY.
4. NEVER pump the master cylinder without something between the calipers (preferably a rotor, but a similar diameter flat piece of wood or metal will work). The pistons may pop out of the caliper. If they do, don't jam them back in. The caliper will need to be disassembled and reassembled, but that's another article...
5. Adjust your brake lever OUT so that you can get the longest stroke available while bleeding.

All steps beyond this point assume you have the lines installed correctly and the calipers back on the bike, or a suitable block between the pads.

Initial bleed
This is done like when you are swapping lines and have tons of air in the system. This is the first step in fully bleeding the brakes, and requires "fine bleed" and "overnight bleed" to completely finish the project.

1. Open the reservoir and top it off with fluid
2. Attach the hose to the bleeder of one caliper. Run the other end of the hose into the water bottle, keeping the end IN THE WATER.
3. Open the bleeder valve slightly (you don't need to remove this or open it like 3 turns. 1/4-1/2 turn should suffice)
4. Pump the brakes slowly.
a. You should see air bubbles coming out in the water which indicates you are removing air.
b. The purpose for the water here is to prevent air from sucking back into the brake system.
5. Eventually you will see fluid coming out of the caliper bleeder. MAKE SURE you keep the level of fluid up in the reservoir so you don't add air, or you've set yourself back to step 1.
6. Keep pumping. Run a full reservoir through the line.
7. Close the bleeder valve
8. Repeat on other side

9. bleed master cylinder...

Fine Bleed
This step assumes you have a majority of the air out of the system.
1. Open the reservoir and top it off with fluid
2. Attach the hose to the bleeder of one caliper. Run the other end of the hose into the water bottle, keeping the end IN THE WATER.
3. With small short strokes, pump the lever until it is firm.
4. Squeeze the lever firmly.
5. Crack open the bleeder valve momentarily and then close it. This should be done while the lever is pulled in and NOT RELEASED.
6. Release the lever and repeat steps 3-5 until you get 3 or more full strokes with NO evidence of air bubbles.
7. Repeat for other side

8. bleed master cylinder

Overnight Bleed
Assumes you have given your best attempt to remove all air from the system.

Using a zip-tie or strong rubber band, zip or wrap it GENTLY around the brake lever & clip-on to open the brake system. You DO NOT need to crank it hard!!! All you need is an open path for air to flow. Leave this sit overnight, or for 24 hours if possible.

The change in temperature will cause slight expansion/contraction of the fluid and will move the tiniest air bubbles up to the top and out into the reservoir where they will do no harm.

Before you remove the rubber band / zip tie, take a small wrench/pencil/object and tap the lines from the caliper all the way up to the reservoir.

Wrap-up
If you've just replaced the pads or rotors, the lever might not feel dead solid, and this can be attributed to the pads/rotors not being bedded in to each other. Bed the brakes in and bleed again as required.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:49 AM   #12
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ok call me an idiot, but hw do you bleed the master cylinder? I thought just bleeding them at the calipers did the trick
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:51 AM   #13
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There is a bleeder on the master cylinder, just like on the calipers.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:51 AM   #14
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Is this because of the extremes of heat over there???
We use Castrol SRF at start of the season, bleed it up and unless you lose a hose or change calipers/master cylinder, that's pretty much it for the whole season
http://www.hrpworld.com/index.cfm?fo...action=product
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [poser] View Post
ok call me an idiot, but hw do you bleed the master cylinder? I thought just bleeding them at the calipers did the trick

There are SOME, not all master cylinders have a bleeder, like aftermarket, brembos and other brands.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinchy View Post
Is this because of the extremes of heat over there???
We use Castrol SRF at start of the season, bleed it up and unless you lose a hose or change calipers/master cylinder, that's pretty much it for the whole season
http://www.hrpworld.com/index.cfm?fo...action=product

is because Exclusive European formula!
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:54 AM   #17
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Grinchy, you are the first motorcycle guy I've heard of that uses SRF. We use it extensively in the car world. I just switched over to it last weekend on the bike. The only downside is the darn price... $75 a quart. Ouch.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinchy View Post
Is this because of the extremes of heat over there???
We use Castrol SRF at start of the season, bleed it up and unless you lose a hose or change calipers/master cylinder, that's pretty much it for the whole season
http://www.hrpworld.com/index.cfm?fo...action=product
I personally think it's overkill for the average rider, but racing.... you may want to do it more than once a season
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:55 AM   #19
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is because Exclusive European formula!
that's how we roll over here to coin a phrase
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Grinchy, you are the first motorcycle guy I've heard of that uses SRF. We use it extensively in the car world. I just switched over to it last weekend on the bike. The only downside is the darn price... $75 a quart. Ouch.
lot of guys/racers over here use it.
price is horrific granted, but stick it in, bleed it up properly and that's it for the season, no more messing about.
and that stuff NEVER boils, discs will warp first
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