Front Brake Bleeding

No matter how many times I bleed the front brake, I can't get a solid feel. I can pull the lever all the way to the grip with the bike stopped (this would lock up the tire in the dirt). I have fully bled the system three times, and it has gotten a bit better, but the front lacks any feel. Any ideas?

Maybe your break line has gotten soft. I don't have any problem on my 99 Wr but my 96 Honda Magna did and I replaced the line with a steel braded line and it stops much better now.

Just a thought, but are you using a vacuum pump to bleed your brakes? I've had a real hard time getting all the air out without one. With the pump, it's much easier and faster, it's a one-person job, and it usually works the first time. If you don't have one, I got my Mity Vac at Discount Auto Parts for about $25, and it has a gauge on it- that makes it even easier. (Don't forget to teflon tape your bleed nipple threads.)

You might try back bleeding it. What I've done is to get a friend and take the electrolight bottle and surgical tubing from a battery for a street bike, fill it completely with brake fluid. Then connect the tubing to the zirc(bleed screw) at the front brake, remove lid from the master cylinder,and here is where the friend comes in, give him your wifes, moms, or girlfriends turky baster to suck up the fluid while you pressurize from the bottom up. This has gotten rid of some very stubborn air bubbles for me. Just don't try it without somebody to catch the overflow, it gets pretty messy, not to mention your plastic and graphics wont like it either. Back yard speed bleeding at it's finest.

Good luck,


[This message has been edited by Rick Graham (edited 02-27-2001).]

this is what you do, no fiffing or faffing about.

pull the caliper off & put something with rounded edges in between the pads. turn the steering to get the resevior level, lid off. put some rag close around everything as your fluid will pop up & you don't want it to go everywhere. open both pads out as far as they will go (together at the same time)by twisting the implement.

you are forcing the fluid up, the air WILL BE AT THE TOP so it should come out.

leave in this position for two minutes, refit caliper & pump up the brake remembering that the little hole in your mastercylinder base, should always have plenty of fluid & not suck air.

this will improve your brake, it might be the answer. the next part will.

now put some rag around the banjo bolt.

clamp the brake lever 'on'. leave for ten minutes. then undo the tape (or whatever) & whilst holding the brake 'on' yourself undo the top banjo bolt VERY slowly. you'll hear it fart & fizz as air squirts out. NOW LOCK THE BANJO BOLT BACK UP. now let go of the brake. pull the brake lever in & out five times in succesion & hold it in the fifth time HARD. NOW UNDO THE BANJO BOLT AGAIN SLIGHTLY & hear fizzle & fart again. NOW PINCH again & let go of the lever in that order.

check that you have plenty of fluid in the resevior all the time covering that little hole.

do this several times if needs be.

top up resevior. put lid on & wash fluid away with some soap & water.

if that fails put the caliper on the disc with NO BOLTS, hold it there with tape or something. with the caliper centrally positioned OF IT'S OWN ACCORD do the above again.


Jimmy (Button-Fly),

When I put on my stainless steel line, I too thought I'd never get it bled. But I did. Taffsters explanation sounds good.

I do know Clark has always pushed filling it from the bottom up to the reservoir. I did not have a pump when I did mine.


'99 WZ with all YZ mods, FMF PowerBomb header, Stroker SX-1 silencer, SS front brake line, forked over by Pro-Action, OEM YZ tank and IMS seat.

Had the same problem with the stock brakeline. Before you do anything drastic or messy I wouls try bleeding the brakeline at the banjo bolt as Taffy suggested. Just before you do this lightly tap on the line starting at the bottom and work up at least 3 times. Often air will get trapped at the slight bend near the banjo.

Good luck!


JJ from WA - 99 WR; WR timed, EKN Needle, Scotts stabalizer, Scotts triple clamps, Pro-Tapers, Michelin S-12's, Terry Cable hot start, MSR Raptor clutch lever, Moose skid plate, Works frame guards, Acerbis Pro Rally guards, Renthal MD-soft grips, Factory Effex graphics, YZ IMS seat base, YZ Factory Effex seat foam and gripper seat cover, YZ rear fender

After working at Kosman racing and building custom lines for countless bikes I read a freak jewel in a chopper mag.

It said to put a zip tie on the front brake lever, holding the brake lever down.

Leave it over night...

The next am cut the zip-ty, and majic!

I can't explain it...

sfo, i think what you are talking about is called gravity bleeding. ususlly it works very well but i never heard about leaving it overnight?!?!? i would think all of the fluid would drain out and be worse than before the bleed!

i have used the gravity method and it works very well. just take off the res. cap, loosen the bleed screw and let it drip away. it takes a while but sometimes i found this the only way to bleed certain pita systems.

The system is left tight...

No bleeders left open...

Just the constant pressure overnight bleeds a marginal system.

I can't explain it.

SFO, when you say hold the brake lever down. do you mean zip tie the front lever as if applying the brakes?

Thats a big 10-4...

Leave the brake on overnight...

I know it sounds weird?

I can only say it has worked on some bikes that I couldn't get to bleed...

I know this sounds super hokey but it has worked?...!

[This message has been edited by SFO (edited 02-27-2001).]

easy peasy lemon squeezy

what happens to the fluid just infront of the mastercylinder piston when you let the brake off?

it goes back into the brake resevior.

if you left it overnight all the bubbles are at the top waiting to be first one's out the door.



i gotcha now. i didn't read your post completley. yeah, i can see how that would work. the gravity bleed seems to work too. also, the speed bleeders from russell work great, and it makes bleeding on the trail a breeze! bonez


Why do we park on the driveway and drive on the parkway?

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