Brake fluid - Empty?? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Brake fluid - Empty??

Getting ready for a trip in the next couple weeks. Just noticed that the brake fluid level "looks" to be EMPTY in the sight glass. Rode the bike all day today and it was fine....No leaks that I've noticed either....Does the bike need to be warmed up for the fluid to show in the sight glass??? If it IS in fact empty, do I just un screw the brake fluid cap and fill with DOT4 fluid?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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LOL....actually, maybe it's TOTALLY full, since I can see a small bubble at the top of the sight glass......???
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 10:08 PM
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LOL....actually, maybe it's TOTALLY full, since I can see a small bubble at the top of the sight glass......???
The little window and fluid is deceptive. I have thought the same that it was empty in the past, only to be proved wrong when opened. The fluid is pretty close to clear in that window.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 11:09 PM
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Just to be sure , unscrew and check level and brake fluid needs replacement once every 6 months.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-10-2012, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Just to be sure , unscrew and check level and brake fluid needs replacement once every 6 months.

Uhhhh.......Ok. Thanks.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Just unscrewed the cap, and it is DRY!! I'm ashamed to say I've NEVER added or changed brake fluid since I've owned the bike (bought new in 2009)!! Safe to go buy any DOT4 brake fluid and fill? WOW.......
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:03 AM
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Just to be sure , unscrew and check level and brake fluid needs replacement once every 6 months.


this is not accurate. check your info
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:22 AM
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Thanks. Just unscrewed the cap, and it is DRY!! I'm ashamed to say I've NEVER added or changed brake fluid since I've owned the bike (bought new in 2009)!! Safe to go buy any DOT4 brake fluid and fill? WOW.......
You need to remove the rubber membrane in the reservoir after you uncrew the rear brake cap... If you do need brake fluid, use DOT 4 or DOT 5.1... DO NOT use DOT 5 which is silicone based and is not compatible (also much more expensive).
Brake fluid should be replaced every 2 years with fluid from a sealed container that which was not previously opened. Brake fluid is highly hygroscopic (absorbs water). It should be replaced when water content is at 2% or higher. Clean cap or master cylinder cover before removing to prevent any dirt falling in. Keep fluid as clean and uncontaminated as possible.




Last edited by invader; 07-11-2012 at 12:27 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 12:59 AM
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Isn't 2 years stretching it a bit far...I feel 6 months for a bottle of DOT 4 is safe to keep the system operating at optimum conditions.

" Braking gives rise to high brake fluid temperatures. In extreme cases the fluid begins to boil and causes vapor or gas bubbles to form in the brake system. This vapor or gas can be compressed allowing the brake pedal to be pressed all the way to the floor but the vehicles braking system is not functioning properly."

Last edited by Fastoman; 07-11-2012 at 01:07 AM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 01:12 AM
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this is not accurate. check your info
Your are correct by recommended spec from Manufactures of Motor Vehicles.

My personal opinion is that 6months interval keep the brakes in optimum conditions and trouble free and in anyway I do stand to be corrected.



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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 07:11 AM
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Isn't 2 years stretching it a bit far...I feel 6 months for a bottle of DOT 4 is safe to keep the system operating at optimum conditions.

" Braking gives rise to high brake fluid temperatures. In extreme cases the fluid begins to boil and causes vapor or gas bubbles to form in the brake system. This vapor or gas can be compressed allowing the brake pedal to be pressed all the way to the floor but the vehicles braking system is not functioning properly."
I guess it all depends on the way you ride your V. I drive 10 minutes to work and 10 minutes home. I might use the brakes four times in that 10 minutes. I don't think I'm going to get my brake fluid up to the boiling temperature in those conditions. Even on the weekends/evenings when I ride more I'm not a terribly aggressive braker.

As far as changing the fluid in a car, I've never done it. I've owned my current vehicle 7 years and have never opened the cap to the reservoir. I've never had loss of brake feel or stopping ability. But again, it's a Honda Civic, and I drive 10 minutes to work and back.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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I'm talking about the brake fluid reservoir above the brake lever on the right side of the handlebars.....
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 09:30 AM
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check yr pads first

BTW brake fluid is hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs water which is why there are rubber membranes inside the reservoir separating the fluid from the atmosphere. The fluid can be tested for water content and changed when necessary. If the level has dropped drastically, you should check brake pad wear, the pads may need to be replaced and when the new pads are fitted, the level will return to normal.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 09:32 AM
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Hey dood...getting ready to blast to Monterey myself. Riding up on a new Tiger 800XC. My V sold last night.

Brake fluid should be flushed/changed at least every two years, once a year a safe bet. Yes, dot 4.

Very easy to bleed with a piece of hose on the bleed nipples, just don't run the reservoir dry or you have to start over and it can be difficult to get all the bubbles out.

I've seen some pretty crappy looking brake fluid in my days.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 10:09 AM
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Tenover, do you use your front brake? If it's been working at all than you've got fluid but it does sound like you might want to go ahead and change it out or at a minimum top it off if you've ridden a lot.

Ride To Live, Live To Ride....no, really!
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2012, 10:37 AM
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Here's a good "When to change" synopsis from the gearheads at the Ninja250 forums.....

Clear = OK
American Beer = Change this year
Molson Canadian = Change this month
Harp = Change this week
Smithwick's = Change today
Guinness = Change yesterday


I figure everyone here can understand this scale.
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