Re:Rear Brake Reservoir - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 2007, 10:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re:Rear Brake Reservoir

Could somebody please tell me how to put brake fluid into the rear brake reservoir? I still have a problem with my brake failure light coming on unless I've gotten the bike good and hot and really worked the brakes for a while then it goes out after a restart and will stay out, from what I can see I'm just a hairs width below the cold line when cold so I'm going to add some more fluid but I can't for the life of me tell how you get into the dang things?! And even if I could open it up the only spot I can see is so small and at such a bad angle I don't know how I'd get any fluid in? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh and I guess while I'm at it how do you tell how low you are on the front reservoir with out opening it? There's no window to see into.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2007, 1:19 am
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You should be able to see both front and rear brake fluid levels in the little plastic see-thru Resv. The rear brake is nearer the outside of the bike and the front brake on the inside.

I take the rear side cover off and use a turkey baster. Don't use the same one you had used for the Thanksgiving turkey. Buy a new one. I flush the baster first to rid it of production material with Brake fluid DOT 4. Flush by throwing the fluid away, not back into the can. Now you can use the baster to fill the Resv.
It is best to keep them at or near the full line.

Remember this about brake fluid, it absorbs water, Humidity from the air. So don't use that brake fluid that has been open for a long time. Get a NEW can.

There are three reasons the fluid is low;
One is the system has an external leak.
Two is the brake pads are wearing. As the brake pads wear the fluid is used the expand the caliper piston and hold the pads close the the brake rotor.
Or three the guy that did the last brake pad replacement did not fill it to the correct level.

I would first check the wear on your rear brake pads. The rear pads wear out a lot sooner than the fronts. I get about 12,000 miles out of the rear, some riders get 1/2 that some get more.

Does the brake failure flash code do this = general warning light and ABS warning light have alternate flashing at one Hz? That indicates low fluid. page 83 of manual.
I have had a different code and the failure was intermittent. it was the rear brake foot lever not returning all the way at times. I removed the lever and lubricated the bushing pivot.

Hope that helps.
aka: The Flash
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2007, 6:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re:Rear Brake Reservoir

Thanks Flash for that VERY in depth reply, now I know where to start. Does the back rear reservoir just unscrew? I'm not real sure as it's not readily apparent? I had no idea that those were windows on my front reservoirs! They do not show a THING! They are solid in appearance with no line or bubble to be seen! I'm afraid to open them up as I can't see how fluid would not pour out no matter what angle I have the handle bars at. I know one is for the clutch but they are not market so I don't know what is what? As for the flashing it alternates from one light to the other at about 1 Hrz just like you said so I know it's the fluid level, I had the rear brake pad replace last year with about 9000 miles on the clock and now I'm just shy of 12000 and I'm quite sure I've not worn out the pads as now I almost never use the rear brake but only the front brake, I know it's still applies rear braking when I use the front brakes but just not as much and I'm not aggressive with the brakes so there can't be that much wear going on. Thank you again for your reply so now I'm off to work on my bike! :-)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2007, 9:36 pm
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Rear Brake Resevoir

I use an ear syringe to fill these things. You can buy one at your local drugstore. The hex shaped plugs with small diameter hoses at their tops simply unscrew. Don't over tighten these plugs-they strip easily, and over tightening distorts the sealing washer underneath them.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 9:56 am
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Brake fluid reservoirs


You may know this already, but just in case:

The reservoir by the right footpeg has two chambers, one for the front circuit, and one for the rear circuit, both feeding the ABS pump. These reservoirs are the ones that drop as the brake pads wear.

The clutch fluid reservoir (on the left handlebar) is checked with the bars turned all the way to the right. As the clutch wears, the fluid level here *rises*. My mechanic fills this one only to the low limit mark when changing out the fluid.

You can use a trash bag to protect everything before opening up the reservoir. Poke a hole through the bag, stick the bar through the hole, then tape the edges of the hole around the bar. Just a thought.

Good luck!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 1:44 pm
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This might help

This is for an '02-'05 (yeah, there were some '05 GT's) with the "whizzy" brakes.

Snagged from a photo in the "Hall of Wisdom" regarding bleeding the ABS brake system.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 5:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re:Rear Brake Reservoir

Hey Thanks everybody! All your suggestions are GREATLY appreciated, I'll probably end up using all of them. Six-Rabbits, I did NOT know that so thank you for letting me know. This bike hasn't really been a problem it's just not user friendly when it comes to working on. Thanks all again. :-)
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