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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Adding/Removing Fluid From the KRS/GT Rear Reservoir?

I need to fill one section of the rear mounted brake fluid reservoir, and drain excess fluid from the other. I don't see any reasonable way to get access to the cap on the smaller section, and that's the one that's empty. :confused:

The dealership told me I could pull the fluid lines off, and squirt fluid in through the port in the cap.

Does anyone know a cleaner way that doesn't leave as much chance of a brake fluid spill? Even my small hands won't fit in any way to remove those caps. Next thing is to remove parts to gain access, but which ones?

If you're wondering why one reservoir is empty and one is overfilled, so am I... I just had the brakes system flushed, and haven't ridden the bike much since getting it back. I think I've had it out twice and put maybe 100 miles on it. Yesterday morning when I started it to go to work, the ABS fault lights were flashing. Low brake fluid is definitely the likely cause, but I have concerns about how it ended up so low -- or should I say so EMPTY??? :eek:
 

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fluid reservoir

If its empty you will need to have it bled again, If you take off the seat and the rear side cover on that side you can take one screw out move the overflow container and get at both caps. The side cover screws will have to be out (at least the two in back) to get the rear cover off, careful here scratches can occur. Check for leaks at all calipers if your losing fluid, and bring it back for a (no charge I would insist) redo. Just bled mine and put EBC HH pads all the way around. By the way outside one is for the rear inside one is for the front to look for leaks.
 

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Dealers .....

Your dealer should be b-slapped. The inside resevoir is (someone will know soon in a post), I believe, the front brake resevoir. (The resevoir at the lever is only there to add pressure to a piston at the ABS pump. It's level doesn't directly affect the braking on the bike. BUT - if the resevoir that is "empty" is the one at the rear tire, then it could cause a very bad accident. You won't just lose servo-assisted brakes if the level drops; you'll lose ALL braking. NADA. Zip. (But your rear brake will still work, Different resevoir). Remove the side cover (one screw on the side under the front edge of the seat, one under the middle of the saddlebag rack, and one on top rear of the cover. If you're gentle, you can get the cover off without removing the saddlebag mount. Find a wrench that fits the top of the resevoir (19mm? -- or a small and rare metric adjustable), remove the resevoir cap and add some DOT 4 fluid. A turkey baster works well for doing this. Any grocery store should have one.

I wouldn't ride the bike until you have the fluid level corrected. Afterwards, I'd ride to the dealer and tell them they need to learn some basics before they kill somebody.

Good luck,
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info - I'll pull the right rear plastic off later today. I pulled the shock reservoir (Ohlins) off and out of the way, and can see the brake fluid reservoir clearly now.

I took this picture before I touched anything (except the camera :D ) and it looks as if someone filled the larger compartment and expected it to settle into the smaller one, or they just forgot to fill the smaller one. The cap for the larger one was wiped clean, and everything else is still covered with road grime. :(

 

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Good post OCRS. Brought out some interesting info for me. Good luck with the technician that did the original work. Sounds like you need some "customer service". Let us know how it turns out. Happy motoring in the OC.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The other section of the reservoir was bone dry. When I finally got things apart and filled up, it was too late to call the dealership today, but on Tuesday I'll call to get it in to have it checked soon. Probably won't ride it until I do have it checked. Good thing I have a Honda... ;)

Happy motoring in the OC.

The best motoring in the OC is when you're on your way to someplace that has good roads! :D
 

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I got my bike ('02) back from the dealer after a brake flush. I checked the reservoir levels and they were up to maximum. First ride out and coming into a sweeper doing about 80 mph I touched the brake and the ABS fault lights lit up. Major cheek contraction for about a second until I realized that I did have brakes. I eased home and looked at the reservoir. The front compartment of the rear reservoir appeared to be empty. I called the dealer and he asked me if I wanted to try to bleed the front calipers or bring it back. I have a lot of wrenching experience and the dealer was 130 miles away so I bled the brakes. A lot of air was in the system but I was done in about 30 min. The dealer told me that the diagnostic computer checks for air in the system but obviously was wrong. He since told me that the same thing happened on another bike he serviced. At the next service the computer showed a "non recurring fault" low brake fluid which showed what had happened.
As to your over full reservoir if the brake pads were replaced before adjusting the fluid level then the pistons would have been retracted a bit forcing fluid back into the reservoir. If the technician did this then he did it backwards. Most likely it was just overfilled.
By the way the dealer did give me the labor free on the next service for my trouble.
 

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Dealers, ARRRGGGGHHHHHH !!!!

OCRSRider said:
The other section of the reservoir was bone dry. When I finally got things apart and filled up, it was too late to call the dealership today, but on Tuesday I'll call to get it in to have it checked soon. Probably won't ride it until I do have it checked. Good thing I have a Honda... ;)

Happy motoring in the OC.

The best motoring in the OC is when you're on your way to someplace that has good roads! :D
Trivia for ABS III Servo Asisted brakes: The inside resevoir is the front brake resevoir for the ABS pump. The outside resevoir is the rear brake only. The front brake lever and master cylinder only supply pressure to the ABS pump, whch activates the servo, which supplies pressure, whose fluid comes only from the rear plastic resevoir. The front and rear systems are activated by the brake lever, and the rear only with the foot pedal. The foot redal and the ABS share the outer rear resevoir fluid. The rear resevoir's chambers are not connected. Another way to "ad" flud is to "back fill" from the front caliper. (Same turkey baster filled with new fluid. Connect to bleed with clear plastic tube. Baster up, air out of tube, crack bleeder, press plunger. Voila, fluid into rear inside resevoir chamber.

Your dealer needs to have a serious talk with his mechanic.
Keep us posted.
Tim

p.s. BMW ABS info here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
CABNFVR said:
Your dealer needs to have a serious talk with his mechanic.
Keep us posted.
Tim
Thanks for the info Tim. :)

I decided to park the bike until I had time to spare to get it checked, and finally took the RS over to the dealer to have it checked on Saturday. Their pressure test found no leaks in the system.

The Service Manager says it must have been air in the system that burped back into the reservoir. I have trouble believing that considering I added 15ccs of fluid to get it filled a little above the line -- that's a whole lot of air to leave behind in a brake bleed!

The bottom line is I've lost confidence in the bike, in the dealership, and I don't have any more time to throw away -- it's not just the empty brake reservoir, this bike has been back to this dealership repeatedly for over a year. It seems that most of the troubles originate at this dealership, and then they can't seem to figure out how to solve them.

I'm putting the RS up for sale, either right after the holidays, or in the Spring, depending on when I find an FJR to replace it. :(

It may be a great bike (to me) but the corporation just doesn't seem to care about their two-wheeled customers.
 

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Integral ABS Issues

If the fluid is low in any system, there are only two places it can go: as compensation for pad wear or a leak. Always check brake pad condition before adding fluid-if you top up the fluid, then replace pads, you're going to have a mess.

The K1200RS/GTs are wonderful motorcycles, though build quality has been spotty. Find a different dealer, get the bike sorted, and you'll enjoy a long and pleasant relationship with your bike.
 

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This is not the first time this issue has come up and it surprises me that German manufacturers paying attention to safety detail don't fix a damn warning label somewhere, where even the dimmest techs can read it.

It's no good just mentioning this in a service op. procedure - it must be intuitive to humans who pick up their wrenches first and don't read the books. Even the most experienced wrenches meeting this first time around could make a mistake.

And as for diagnostics being used to check for air in a braking system, sorry but I'd rather put my life on cracking open a bleed nipple first and running fluid through, than rely on a pc printout.



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voxmagna said:
And as for diagnostics being used to check for air in a braking system, sorry but I'd rather put my life on cracking open a bleed nipple first and running fluid through, than rely on a pc printout.
Is this what that "bleed test" using the Moditec thing mentioned in the manual is all about?

I completely flushed my system at the beginning of last summer but I never got around to scheduling an appointment at the local dealer for a bleed test. If that is indeed what it's for, I'm probably not going to bother with one.
 

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Their Moditec diagnostics are good when you first get a problem and I pay the 1/2 hour to find out more than I could myself on these bikes.

I'm just suggesting that pushing buttons on diagnostics kit and getting a printout after paying the bill might enhance confidence such that you personally might look no further. But knowing how your bike brakes from day 1, the feel and travel at the levers, footbrake, condition of the pads, rotors, color of fluid, levels, torque of caliper and rotor bolts, hoses etc would mean more to me than a test - although the dyno type checking actual efficiency at the wheel is useful. Even then, I'd take some responsibility for these things and we all have eyes. The point about dealer maintenance if you have a good dealer, is they are essential to those just riding and not looking too far under the plastic. If you are that type of rider then more regular checks are probably better, but a short course of motorcycle maintenance training or sharing with a buddy, if only to look for the obvious, then talking to your dealer pays off.

Their diagnostics do allow them to check for latched fault codes which might lead to further useful investigation (and more $$'s). Unfortunately, some of these can be due to quirks in the bike's monitoring system (like flashing ABS lights). Most service tech's I know distrust them on first sight, do a reset then look further if faults re-latch or problems arise. There may be exceptions on very new designs which are not obvious. If a system has a critical failure mode and an early warning can only be diagnosed electronically, that screens the problem out. But I'd want to know more, rather than have a dealer network just tell me my brakes needed bleeding from an electronic test.

I think if your brakes become so electronically managed like the ECU that you must use sophistocated kit to tell you they are OK, it's time to wonder whether you should trust your life on 2 wheels to electronic chips, warning lamps and a battery.



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54089093 said:
If the fluid is low in any system, there are only two places it can go: as compensation for pad wear or a leak. Always check brake pad condition before adding fluid-if you top up the fluid, then replace pads, you're going to have a mess.

The K1200RS/GTs are wonderful motorcycles, though build quality has been spotty. Find a different dealer, get the bike sorted, and you'll enjoy a long and pleasant relationship with your bike.
I don't know if you realized that the post above yours was almost a year old...just checking. :teeth



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Discussion Starter #17
Razel said:
I don't know if you realized that the post above yours was almost a year old...just checking. :teeth

That's OK - a year later, the reservoir is almost empty again!!! :confused: This is the third time, but there's still no sign of a leak. I don't know any more than I did a year ago...
 

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OCRSRider said:
That's OK - a year later, the reservoir is almost empty again!!! :confused: This is the third time, but there's still no sign of a leak. I don't know any more than I did a year ago...
Hopefully you did find a different dealer to take the bike to, since the problem is not correcting itself and current dealer unable to correct the recurring issue. New brake lines (I recommend Spiegler) will be a nice addition and force a complete inspection of braking system (which really should have been done on first complaint). It will not be cheap but should provide a real fix.
 
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