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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I took my bobber out today for about an hour ride. Right away, I felt like the brakes were not gripping very well. I chalked it up to needing to replace the brake pads. I got home and decided to check them and to my surprise, they still had some life in them. What are your thoughts on the brake pads? Might it be time to flush and drain the brake lines? If so, how difficult is it to do on the standard bobber? Thanks.

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Not difficult. Use a jar with the pipe end submerged in fluid. Pump the lever until the reservoir is almost empty, top up and repeat a couple of times. Shouldn't affect the ABS in my experience. Hold a bit of flat card over the master cylinder when you pump the lever, every pull creates a tiny splash that will end up on the bars or tank etc.
 

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Couple of vids with some handy tips kicking around on YouTube.
Try this one:
Delboy's (good idea draining off most of the old fluid from the reservoir prior to bleeding - saves time and effort)
There was a guy that fashioned a suction device with some hose and a spray bottle which obviates the need to pump the brakes. So no need for a person in the car, or maybe just a lazy way to do bikes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Couple of vids with some handy tips kicking around on YouTube.
Try this one:
Delboy's (good idea draining off most of the old fluid from the reservoir prior to bleeding - saves time and effort)
There was a guy that fashioned a suction device with some hose and a spray bottle which obviates the need to pump the brakes. So no need for a person in the car, or maybe just a lazy way to do bikes?
Just watched Delboy’s video. Very helpful. Thank you.
 

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I must confess I've so far been wary of touching anything with ABS. I've only ever done non-ABS systems and usually used a low pressure pump which has made life a doddle.
 

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99/100 cars we do a fluid change on, are via gravity bleeding. Just hook some hose up to a bottle , so you don’t get fluid on your rims.
My Bobber is due for a change and this is how I will be doing it.
 

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That video shows how to bleed non ABS brakes. With ABS systems done that way you're leaving old fluid in the ABS part of the system. It's a very small amount and won't be harmful since it will mix with the new fluid. To do a complete, thorough fluid change yon need to activate the ABS system/pump. This is achieved with diagnostic software such as Dealer Tool.

Chico
 

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Couple of vids with some handy tips kicking around on YouTube.
Try this one:
Delboy's (good idea draining off most of the old fluid from the reservoir prior to bleeding - saves time and effort)
There was a guy that fashioned a suction device with some hose and a spray bottle which obviates the need to pump the brakes. So no need for a person in the car, or maybe just a lazy way to do bikes?
I use gravity bleed for fluid change. No need for vacuum or pressure unless you are in a hurry ie shop service for money. Minimal risk for air entering the system

1. Suck the old fluid out of the reservoir (no need to feed old fluid through the system)
2. press the brake pads= caliber cylinders all the way in (this removes old fluid from the calibers) Watch out that the fluid does not fly from the reservoir
3. Fill the reservoir with fresh fluid
4. Fit a hose to the bleed nipple and other end to a jar
5. Open the bleed screw and let the fluid flow by gravity (watch out the reservoir will not go dry and suck air, fill before)
6. When the out coming fluid looks fresh, close the bleed screw.
7. fill the reservoir and slowly pump the brakes until firm. Now the calibers fill with fresh fluid.
 
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It's not too difficult to change the pads. Try replacing the fluid and bleeding through as this improves things ALOT if not done in a while. I've changed the fluid on mine and a mates bobber as part of a service. Both of us noticed a huge difference
 

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I use gravity bleed for fluid change. No need for vacuum or pressure unless you are in a hurry ie shop service for money. Minimal risk for air entering the system

1. Suck the old fluid out of the reservoir (no need to feed old fluid through the system)
2. press the brake pads= caliber cylinders all the way in (this removes old fluid from the calibers) Watch out that the fluid does not fly from the reservoir
3. Fill the reservoir with fresh fluid
4. Fit a hose to the bleed nipple and other end to a jar
5. Open the bleed screw and let the fluid flow by gravity (watch out the reservoir will not go dry and suck air, fill before)
6. When the out coming fluid looks fresh, close the bleed screw.
7. fill the reservoir and slowly pump the brakes until firm. Now the calibers fill with fresh fluid.
You can get a cheap one way valve that let's you bleed the majority through without the constant opening and closing of the nipple which speeds things up alot

But I always finish with a good few pumps using your method as this is the best way.

Another good tip is to cable tie your brake levers on for a night. This let's any trapped air out. Works even better if you do this when in a van as the vibrations move it more.
 

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The handiest tool for bleeding brakes is a fat syringe and a bit of air hose. Cleanest way to add or remove fluid
 

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It's not rocket science. It's a basic service that can only be improved upon with a few tips and a bit of practice. It's in the doing that you gain an appreciation for how to improve you method. Get on with it R. OH ... get 'er done!
 

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Another good tip is to cable tie your brake levers on for a night. This let's any trapped air out. Works even better if you do this when in a van as the vibrations move it more.
By doing this, where does the air go from the closed system?

Under pressure it will dissolve to the brake fluid and the lever might feel better for a while before the bubbles form again. A widely accepted trick but unfortunately not a very good one.
 

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By doing this, where does the air go from the closed system?

Under pressure it will dissolve to the brake fluid and the lever might feel better for a while before the bubbles form again. A widely accepted trick but unfortunately not a very good one.
The science behind it is a bit more basic than you are thinking. The air just naturally rises into the top of the res. You can see where it goes if you look through the reservoir glass window.
The air rises into the reservoir as holding the lever open allows air back in.

It is a brilliant trick but needs the res to be highest point. If brake lines loop over the air will sit in these. You need to pin the lines so it rises to the res if this is the case. Hence why doing it on a van journey improves the technique

Give it a try without overthinking it. You will love the results
 
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