Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
It's nice to have a vacuum unit but if you can't get one, the job is still doable. I have had my radiator off and or changed my coolant 4 or 5 times with no difficulty. You just have to follow the correct sequence for bleeding the system.
After replacing what ever you took apart on the cooling system and got it all back together or if just refilling the radiator, fill the radiator to the ring just below the level of the cap. Put the cap on. If necessary add a little coolant to the burp tank to the max line.
Start the bike and let it warm up to the point that the thermostat has opened and the coolant is circulating.
Remove the cap from the bleeder on the right side of the motor which is just below and forward of your chain tensioner. You may attach a length of clear hose to the nipple beforehand to control the spray and watch for the bubbles to clear. Open the nipple with a wrench letting it squirt hot coolant and watch for the bubbles to clear then close it back tight. This will all happen in just a second or two.
Go to the other side (Left) and do the same thing at the bleed cap (Black Plastic) on top of the hose between the radiator and the water pump. There will be no way to apply a hose to this fitting so don't take it all the way off; just loosen it and let it seep coolant until you see no bubbling; also just a few seconds.
Do the same procedure to the bleeder just to the rear of the pervious bleeder which is on the water pump itself. You can get a hose on this bleeder nipple.
Let the bike cool down and check your coolant level in both the radiator and the burp tank. There is much less volume to a motorcycle cooling system then you are used to in an automobile so what you lost burping it, may be an appreciable amount so don't omit this step.
If, after a check ride, the temp gauge is showing anywhere above mid point, repeat the procedure until the temp gauge shows at mid pointy or hopefully below. That should do it.
All this in the factory repair manual which there is no excuse for not getting. They are available on CD from many sources.