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Bleeding/fluid Replacement On Linked Brakes W/abs On 6Th Generation (The Ultimate Guide)


jay-d
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Question: If I have speed bleeders installed all around on the 800 on all the front and rear calipers as well as the linked brake valves under the seat, the process to swap all fluids is much simpler, right? I don’t have to go thru the above whole process of removing the rear wheel, rotating and remounting the calipers, etc again, right?    I can just use the speedbleeders normally to swap all the brake fluid?

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You remove the rear caliper and mount in the upright position to assist in bleeding the air out as all of the pipe work is higher than the bleed nipples and aids the removal of air. I actually cable tie the caliper to the rear grab handles to get it to its highest point.

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  • 1 month later...
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2 hours ago, Urbanengineer said:

Bleeder should be the highest point when you are bleeding.  

 

I am having an issue with a sticking rear caliper, just rebuilt all three calipers. Any ideas anyone? I bled it too using the mighty vacuum hand pump. 

If you’re 100% certain that the pistons are clean, the return hole is not clogged, then check the spring clip that sits between the edge of the pads and the caliper. The longer section of the clip should be where the pad that moves sits. I.e. The piston side of the caliper. The short end goes under the stationary pad.

 

It’s part #13 in this parts fiche...Rear caliper parts fiche

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On 11/16/2017 at 2:01 AM, Duc2V4 said:

If you’re 100% certain that the pistons are clean, the return hole is not clogged, then check the spring clip that sits between the edge of the pads and the caliper. The longer section of the clip should be where the pad that moves sits. I.e. The piston side of the caliper. The short end goes under the stationary pad.

 

It’s part #13 in this parts fiche...Rear caliper parts fiche

Thanks for the reply. I made sure to put the short side on the same side as the stationary pad.

 

I guess my issue is this. My bike goes from a super soft foot lever to a rock hard lever with 5 full depressions. It spins fine when the pedal is weak, but when the pedal is hard and not depressed, the wheel takes the power of god to spin. It's sticking because the built up pressure from the pedal cannot release, for whatever reason.

 

It's at Honda for the front wiring harness recall for now, but im getting really sick of trying to figure this out. Still reading every topic I can on it.

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On 11/16/2017 at 2:01 AM, Duc2V4 said:

If you’re 100% certain that the pistons are clean, the return hole is not clogged, then check the spring clip that sits between the edge of the pads and the caliper. The longer section of the clip should be where the pad that moves sits. I.e. The piston side of the caliper. The short end goes under the stationary pad.

 

It’s part #13 in this parts fiche...Rear caliper parts fiche

What is this??? Return hole for ? Is it on the master cylinder? I'm confused.

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13 hours ago, Urbanengineer said:

What is this??? Return hole for ? Is it on the master cylinder? I'm confused.

Yes, on the MC. Return hole may not be the proper name but it is essentially where the fluid flows in and out of the MC. It’s easy to see it and see it work when dealing with the front brake MC. It’s right in the middle of the MC “coffin” and has a splash guard right above it. The rear MC should work in the same manner but might be harder to see it in action.

 

Another item to check is the proportioning valve. Did you bleed through that as well? How was the old fluid when you started the bleeding process? There have been some members who have had fluid that was congealed and essentially needed to pull the whole system apart to clean out the old fluid, or what was once fluid.

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The fluid flowed well, but it was completely dry when I went to bleed it. I had the calipers off to clean them. 

 

It would’ve really helped to have a buddy doing this, as I think some air was slipping past my mighty vac. I got mad and just sent it to the dealer lol. 

 

I did not check the rear MC Fluid return hole, but that would make a lot of sense.

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  • 5 months later...

Great detailed write up. Any idea why I can't see the pictures attached?

 

Does the proportional valve unit need to be cleaned, before i have (another) go at bleeding? My calipers and master cylinders did.

 

And back wheel break gets stuck if I step on back brake, and loose up only after opening proportional nipple.

 

Ta, Trygve

2002, 6th gen.

On 4/7/2012 at 8:56 AM, jay-d said:

This guide was created because I couldn't seem to find one that was very thorough and included pictures of all procedures. This guide requires the use of Speed Bleeders as it makes life so much easier! You can follow this guide using the old school method as well, but it will require more time and patience.

Readers Notes:

Left and ride side are determined as if you were sitting on the motorcycle.

Images come after descriptions.

Initialisms:

LBS: Linked Braking System

LPCV: Left-side (Servo) Proportional Control Valve (Battery side)

RPCV: Right-side (Rear) Proportional Control valve (Opposite battery side)

LMC: Lever Master Cylinder (Front)

RMC: Rear Master Cylinder (Pedal)

SMC: Secondary Master Cylinder (Left-Front Caliper)

FSM: Factory Service Manual

Parts Required:

One man bleeder kit (optional)

ATE SuperBlue Dot 4

Speed Bleeders Part Numbers:

Front right caliper SB8125

Front left caliper outer bleeder SB8125

Front left caliper inner/centre bleeder SB8125

Rear caliper outer bleeder SB8125

Rear caliper inner/centre bleeder SB8125L

Clutch bleeder SB8125L

LPCV SB8125LL

RPCV SB8125

Part 1: Theory

Part 2: Diassembly And Prep

Part 3: Procedure

Part 4: Assembly

Part 5: Clutch

Part 1: Theory

The LBS is confusing for some when it comes to understanding how it works. The function of the sytem changed from 5th generation LBS to 6th generation LBS. I'm not too sure what the changes were, but I do know they operate differently. The way the 6th generation LBS works is; when the front lever is applied, only five out of the six (three pistons in each left/right caliper) caliper pistons actuate as well as the centre piston in the rear caliper leaving the left caliper centre piston untouched.

When the rear pedal lever is applied; only two out of the three rear caliper pistons actuate as well as the left front caliper centre piston. The LBS only works when the motorcycle is moving however, you can test this by propping your bike on the centre stand, rotating the rear wheel and applying the front brake; the rear wheel will not stop spinning.

The way it works is by force. The SMC is mounted above the left caliper that's attached to the fork and with the motorcycle moving, the rider will apply the front brake which squeezes the pads on the rotor and that drag pivots the left front caliper up which actuates the SMC and brake fluid gets pushed through to the LPCV and then to the rear caliper centre piston. The rear doesn't work in the same way because there's actually a brake line that goes all the way to the front left caliper that actuates that one centre piston by it's lonesome with the application of the rear pedal.

Part1-1.jpg

Part1-2.jpg

Thanks to BartmanEH for the above picture!

Part 2: Disassembly And Preparation

You want your bike to be on a level ground and prop the bike up on it's centre stand for this whole procedure. Rotate the handle bar all the way to the left so the LMC is level. Remove both screws and remove all the old fluid inside the LMC. You can use a turkey baster or rags, whatever you wish. Once the old fluid is out, fill it up with fresh new fluid. Make sure you squeeze the front lever a few times just incase you got any air bubbles when removing the old fluid.

Part2-1.jpg

Using an allen wrench, loosen, but do not remove the left front caliper bolts.

Part2-2.jpg

Remove the seat and do the same procedure you did for the LMC to the RMC. Don't forget to press the pedal lever a few times to remove any air bubbles.

Remove the rear wheel.

Remove the two bolts that hold the rear caliper together. The inside one is tricky and I needed to use a long 12mm socket to reach it. Once the rear caliper is removed, mount it at the 10 o'clock position on the rotor. The reason for this is so the inner/centre bleed screw is facing up, not parallel to the ground.

Part2-3.jpg

Part2-4.jpg

Part2-5.jpg

Part 3: Procedure

The procedure and order we're going to follow is the same one listed in the FSM, but with more pictures and explanations. Sections C. and D. are the most difficult. You will need a helper as well.

USING FRONT MASTER CYLINDER LEVER FOR A. AND B.

A. Left Front Caliper, Upper/Outer Bleed Screw

Part3-A-0.jpg

This is basic bleed. Open very slightly, usually about a 1/4 turn and pump the front lever until new fluid comes out. Even though I use speed bleeders, I still pressurize it old school method just to be on the safe side. The old school method is; with the bleeder screw closed, have your helper pump the front lever five times and hold. While holding, gently unscrew the bleeder screw until fluid comes out and before the lever reaches it's maximum travel, tighten the bleed screw. Top up the fluid level.

Part3-A.jpg

B. Right Front Caliper, Single Bleed Screw

This procedure is the same as above. Make sure you keep an eye on the fluid level as it drains.

USING REAR MASTER CYLINDER PEDAL FOR C. TO G.

C. Leftside PCV (Battery side), Single Bleed Screw Actuated via SMC

Part3-C-0.jpg

This step is the most confusing and difficult one as it requires good timing between yourself and your helper. The SMC is not attached at all to the front lever in anyway. You can unscrew the LPCV bleeder screw and pump the front lever all day long and no fluid will get pushed through. You could manually actuate the SMC by hand and only a little bit of fluid will come out and then stop. The correct method to do this; from what I've gathered on how the system operates and without using a vacuum bleed tool is as follows.

Remove the two bolts that hold the left front caliper on. I used an aluminum L-bracket I had lying around to wedge between the pads so they don't close.

Part3-C-1.jpg

Tilt the caliper 15° from the ground so the inner/centre bleed screw is facing up.

Part3-C-2.jpg

Your helper will be on the RMC side pressing the pedal and you will be at the left front caliper in charge of manually actuating the SMC and loosening/tighten the LPCV bleed screw. The way this system works is; there's a brake line that goes from the RMC to the SMC and from the SMC to the LPCV. Because there's no reservoir at the SMC, there's no way for new fluid to replenish to continue being pushed through the lines and out the LPCV bleeder screw, however, this is where the RMC comes in.

When your helper presses the RMC pedal down, the SMC piston will get pushed out filling it with fresh fluid. Once your helper releases the pedal, you will manually actuate the SMC by pressing it in to the caliper with your hand and fluid will get pushed through to the LPCV bleeder screw.

Part3-C-3.jpg

Part3-C-4.jpg

Push the SMC in with your hand.

Part3-C-5.jpg

Do not release from this point. Tell your helper to press the pedal again which will forcefully push the SMC out and then once your helper releases the pedal, you will manually push the SMC in again watching for new fluid. Once fresh fluid is coming out, I performed a final pressure bleed by tightening the LPCV bleeder, asking my helper to pump the rear pedal five times and release, then I loosened the LPCV bleeder screw and manually actuated the SMC gently half way and then tightened the bleed screw.

Part3-C-6.jpg

Note: Even with speed bleeders installed, I did not manually operate the SMC more than once for safe measure. To further elaborate on this; continuously pushing in the SMC numerous times will not bleed the SMC to LPCV brake line because there is no reservoir at the SMC. You will push whatever fluid is in the line and it will become empty with air. One manual push of the SMC followed by one rear pedal actuation by your helper.

D. Rear Caliper, Inner/Centre Bleed Screw Actuated via SMC

Part3-D-0.jpg

This procedure is the exact same as the above. The only difference is, you're bypassing the LPCV and going all the way to the rear caliper inner/centre bleed screw. Pressurize the sytem the same way as above too.

Part3-D.jpg

E. Rightside PCV (Opposite Battery), Single Bleed Screw

Part3-E-0.jpg

This is the easiest step. Follow the procedure as in Section A. but using the RMC pedal.

Part3-E.jpg

F. Rear Caliper, Upper/Outer Bleed Screw

Part3-F-0.jpg

Another easy step, follow above procedure.

Part3-F.jpg

G. Left Front Caliper, Inner/Centre Bleed Screw

Part3-G-0.jpg

The last procedure, again very easy, same as above.

Part3-G.jpg

Part 4: Assembly

Top up both fluids if they are low and fasten all caps and lids back on the reservoir.

Attach the front left caliper and torque the pivot and joint bolts to 23ft-lbs. The FSM says always use new bolts, but I cleaned up the old loctite residue, re-applied some new medium strength loctite and re-used them.

Attach the rear caliper and torque the joint bolts to 23ft-lbs. The FSM says replace also but I did the same as the front caliper bolts.

Reinstall the rear wheel and torque bolts to 80ft-lbs.

Now would be a good time to prime (pump a few times) your front lever and rear pedal lever. Once primed, they should not travel a lot of distance; they should feel stiff. If for any reason the levers travel a larger than normal distance, then there's probably air in the line somewhere or you might have forgot to tighten a bleed screw.

Note: The FSM says to use new bolts, not because there is something wrong with the bolts, but because there is probably some sort of loctite already applied to the threads. Thank you Metallican525 for that insight.

Part 5: Clutch

I don't have to go in to any detail about this because if you just did your whole brake system, might as well do the clutch as it's very simple and same procedure at Part 3, Section A. Remember to turn the handle bars to the right though.

At the end, I took my bike for a ride and I had no idea that this bike has this much braking power! Mind you, my fluid was 6 years old which was probably the cause of that but this method works flawlessly.

I hope this DIY was very thorough and gave you a good understanding on how to tackle this easy but tiresome procedure!

 

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  • 1 year later...
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Hi everyone,

 

Just wanted to say that my son and I bled all the brake lines and clutch line this past weekend on my 2007 VFR 800 RWB. We used this EXCELLENT guide from jay-d with no issues at all. All the lines were bled in proper sequence and everything worked as stated. We did it the old school way (no speed bleeders). Be patient, don't skip any bleeder screws as this will only keep old fluid in that section. It does take several hours to do this with two people. 

 

The one bolt that took the longest to remove was the forward bolt on the rear brake caliper backing plate. A straight wrench worked okay, just took several minutes to finally get it out. A short socket could not fit and a deep well socket was too long. I saw in the thread that someone bought a socket with a length in between the short and deep well. Good idea. Alternatively, we considered removing the rear sprocket. This looked like it would give a straight shot to the rear bolt with an extension and socket. 

 

Once again, thanks to jay-d for this excellent procedure and instructions.

 

Bill Mersch

aka MisterBill

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  • 5 months later...
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First off - I'd like to say that IMHO this is one of the most valuable 6th gen guides we have - I'd like to request that it be pinned to the maintenance forum where it's readily accessible.

 

Secondly, although I've used this guide previously with success, I would like to add some nuances to Part 3, subsection C.  In that part, bleeding the Secondary Master Cylinder on the L. Front caliper and the Left Side Proportioning Control Valve (LPCV), I made a still unknown mistake and managed to get a HUGE amount of air in to the system.  After two hours of cursing and frustration I quit for the day and came back to it later.  Here is what I discovered:

 

* If you pump the rear brake pedal with the LPCV bleed open, the fluid will go directly through the LPCV and you will not add any fluid to the SMC. No amount of vacuum bleeding from the LPCV will add fluid to the SMC. 

* There is a specific timing of rear pedal actuation, SMC actuation and open and close of the LPCV.  While the instructions are extremely helpful, there were just a couple of things I missed.

  • As mentioned, cycling the rear brake pedal will fill the SMC with fluid and will be felt as the plunger pushes out.  With the fluid gone however, you'll have to do that many times before enough fluid reaches the SMC plunger to feel anything happening.  You will have to go through the cycle below to purge out enough air to even get fluid to the SMC.  I kept thinking "WTF is wrong, this is supposed to move the SMC out but nothing is happening." You'll think you're going nowhere, but just keep at it until you feel motion at the SMC.  Don't forget to check the fluid level in the RMC as you'll go through quite a bit.  If you draw air you start the entire process again. 
  • The timing is thus
    • Press the rear brake pedal until motion is felt at the SMC. The SMC plunger is retained and will not come out with rear brake pressure. See above if you feel nothing at the SMC while pumping the rear pedal - you may need to complete the drill below a number of times before that happens.
    • Release the rear brake pedal.
    • Push inward on the SMC as in the instructions.
    • Hold pressure on the SMC while at the same time opening the LPCV bleed valve.
    • As the SMC moves inward note the fluid movement out of the LPCV.  In my case there were many, many bubbles as the air purged.
    • Close the bleed valve while holding the SMC plunger in.  Keep the SMC under pressure - do not release it.   If the SMC is then released and allowed to return to the relaxed position on its own, the air compressed in the line to the LPCV will expand and push the SMC plunger out, refilling it with air.  You'll keep going in circles pushing the air back and forth but not purging it. If there is no air in the system this likely is not an issue as there's only fluid on either side of the SMC.  This is the main thing that I missed.  The key is to replenish the fluid in the SMC by only pumping the rear pedal to supply fluid from the RMC and not from the line between the SMC and LPCV.  The SMC plunger should *never* be allowed to move outwards on its own.
    • Now pump the rear brake pedal again to bring more air-free fluid to the SMC - you'll feel the plunger pushed out as new fluid moves in.
    • Repeat the cycle.  It may take a fair number of these cycles before motion is felt at the SMC if the SMC started out empty.
    • The SMC is small and does not move much fluid, so it can take quite a few cycles to move all the air out.
    • Lastly, while having a helper to cycle the rear brake pedal is helpful, it can also be done solo. 
    • Scrounging around some scrap wood I found a 24 inch piece of 1X2.  Placing it vertically on the pedal provided a perfect way to push down on the pedal from the opposite side.  I could push down while at the same time hold the SMC plunger with my left hand and feel it coming out. That feedback loop was helpful in "figuring it out".  It just leaned neatly against the frame when not needed until the next cycle.
    • If you didn't bollix it up like I did, it shouldn't take long to do this.  In my case even once I had it down it was still a good half hour until I was satisfied with it. 
  • Lastly, you can check SMC operation.  Wear some soft soled athletic shoes and turn the steering head to right lock.  Now push moderately on the caliper with your shoe to activate the SMC.  Either reach back to turn the rear wheel or have a helper do it - if it cannot be turned then your SMC should be good to go.  Release pressure from the SMC and verify your rear wheel now turns easily.  You should also feel a solid rear brake pedal.  Top up the fluid and you're done.

While a PITA, IMHO this is a step that should not be skipped.  As we've seen with bikes that have rear calipers that will not release, the SMC can be a villain in that process, so keeping the fluid clean is important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 10/10/2016 at 3:52 PM, RBPOL said:

I am new to this thread. I have taken off the left caliper and am trying to see if pushing on the rear pedal will push out the SMC--it cannot no mater what I try. Suggestions??

This is why I recommend closing the bleeder between actuating SMC and pressing pedal per my short form guide. Closing the bleeder (even if it's a Speedbleeder) and then pressing the pedal will force the SMC back out thus filling it.

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On 5/3/2020 at 4:09 PM, Cogswell said:

[...]

  • Close the bleed valve while holding the SMC plunger in.  Keep the SMC under pressure - do not release it. [...]

While a PITA, IMHO this is a step that should not be skipped.  As we've seen with bikes that have rear calipers that will not release, the SMC can be a villain in that process, so keeping the fluid clean is important.

^^^this. I've asked for this step to be modified in the guide a few times and many people are missing this important step--close the bleeder between actuating SMC and before refilling with rear pedal. I reference this in my short form guide.

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I would have loved to see how they filled the braking system at the factory.   It's hard to envision the workers screwing around with all this plumbing and getting these things out the door.  If they had some special equipment for it, I wish I knew what it was . . .

 

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34 minutes ago, Cogswell said:

I would have loved to see how they filled the braking system at the factory.   It's hard to envision the workers screwing around with all this plumbing and getting these things out the door.  If they had some special equipment for it, I wish I knew what it was . . .

 

That's an interesting thought.......some kind of power device for sure.

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  • 6 months later...
On 5/11/2015 at 2:52 PM, jay-d said:

No. This is incorrect, the SMC does not have a reservoir, so therefore it cannot push new fluid through. It also does not operate from the force of the rear brake pedal, it works with the movement of the front tire and friction of the brakes which causes the SMC to operate. You must do it the way I've listed to bleed it correctly. I've stated this on the front page.

 

I also recently changed brake fluid on my VFR (05 ABS) and I also did not manually actuate the SMC. I connected tubing to rear caliper center/inner nipple and just kept pressing the rear brake pedal and it pumped fluid all the way through and flushed out old fluid/flushed in new fluid (the rear fluid reservoir under the seat was going down too and I kept topping it up). 

 

If the SMC cannot push new fluid through, then how comes fluid was being pushed through to the rear caliper center nipple when I kept pressing down on the rear brake pedal?

 

The only nipples I did not touch were the two Proportional Control Valve nipples under the seat. I just did all the nipples on the calipers front and rear.

 

Just curious as to what happens when I don't touch the PCV nipples? In any case, fluid was definitely flowing through all the way to the rear caliper center nipple when repeatedly pressing down on rear brake pedal, so that must have been coming through from rear reservoir to SMC to LPCV to rear caliper center nipple. But definitely would like to know more because if there is definitely something that I missed then I would like to re-flush my brake fluids again and start over properly...

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