brake fluid - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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brake fluid

Firstly, if this subject has been posted and discussed in the past, I apologize for my new post. But I searched and was finding a lot of posts for brake PADS.

I have to add brake fluid and the manual recommends DISK BRAKE FLUID DOT4.

Just curious if there are other kinds that we can use and if anyone has tried. Will auto brake fluid work/ be harmful/ make no difference?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 08:36 AM
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Any DOT4 is fine. DO NOT use DOT5, it's silicone based and incompatible with DOT3/4 systems. The exception is DOT5.1. They made that confusing, LOL.

The auto ones are ok, but I like getting ones with a higher boiling temp for bikes. I used to use a Valvoline hi temp in the streetbikes that I found at PepBoys. That's the main difference with the more expensive DOT4s, like the Motul 600 RBF I like...a higher boiling point, which becomes critical for track use. Not as big a concern for street.

Last edited by HondaGalToo; 05-07-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 07:49 PM
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they make motorcycle brake fluid .....more bucks
AND they make motorcycle racing brake fluid.....even more bucks.

you really should replace that brake fluid EVERY YEAR at a minimum depending how hard you use it.

if you find you are smoking the fluid, you might trythe motorcycle specific, or even motorcycle racing fluid.

DOT 5.0 is the odd ball out. It was a silicone base fluid, while 3.0, 4.0, and 5.1 are all some form of synthetic fluids.

sometimes you will see brake fluid 3.0/4.0 label on the bottle.
and yes, you can mix those two.
you also can mix 5.1 with those two.

again, 5.0 is the bad boy & has to stand on its own.

but frankly, brake fluid is cheap.
and once you open the bottle, moisture can condense within it. I sure wouldnt stick in on the shelf and then use it again next year.....throw it away. and do it properly according to your community.

I would pop open a fresh bottle in the spring, drain and replace both front and rear.
you will have a nice, nearly clear fluid and after you bleed the brakes, you will be happy again.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2013, 08:31 PM
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Agreed. Silicone, you're right, used the wrong "s" word, LOL. Agree to change in a street bike once a year! The trackbike gets the front fluid bled at least twice a year.
Thanks for the clarification!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by HondaGalToo View Post
Agreed. Silicone, you're right, used the wrong "s" word, LOL. Agree to change in a street bike once a year! The trackbike gets the front fluid bled at least twice a year.
Thanks for the clarification!
hey HondaGalToo, you had it right with what you can, and what you cannot mix.
That is the important point.

I myself really do not like mixing any of them. If we all would a good job bleeding them when you change it out, we most likely should not need to ad anything
until next year when we remove and replace the stuff.

Unfortunately, I really do not believe that most road or dirt riders replace their brake fluid on any kind of frequency at all. Just look at the darkish color on their bikes.
Too bad, because if they did, and with a good brake bleed, their brakes might just surprise them.

Shoot, everyone is clamoring for new stainless steel lines, when they are running 3 year old smoked fluid with air in the lines. Read and get your knuckles dirty guys.
Shoot, the HondaGal has it figured out
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 08:42 PM
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hey HondaGalToo, you had it right with what you can, and what you cannot mix.
That is the important point.

I myself really do not like mixing any of them. If we all would a good job bleeding them when you change it out, we most likely should not need to ad anything
until next year when we remove and replace the stuff.

Unfortunately, I really do not believe that most road or dirt riders replace their brake fluid on any kind of frequency at all. Just look at the darkish color on their bikes.
Too bad, because if they did, and with a good brake bleed, their brakes might just surprise them.

Shoot, everyone is clamoring for new stainless steel lines, when they are running 3 year old smoked fluid with air in the lines. Read and get your knuckles dirty guys.
Shoot, the HondaGal has it figured out
Yeah, I'm big on preventive maintenance, and learned years ago how do to the basics myself. Steel lines do help, but you certainly have a point about the fluid! I don't see dirty fluid that much, I hang out with other trackday riders, and we're all pretty picky about that stuff. Everyone has nice fresh brake fluid.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 12:04 AM
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I use motul, high boiling point.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 12:08 AM
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Girlfriends son get Motul 600 RBF I in Korea Town for $10.00 a bottle

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 04:39 AM
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brake fluid

After reading this post, it reminded me to flush my brake fluid as well. I am ashamed to say that I have put several thousands of kilometers on my 07 V without changing the brake fluid, ever.
It took only about 30 mins to flush both front and back. Afterward I do feel stronger braking. This will be a regular maintainance routine for me now..

BTW, my front brake always felt like the rotor was warped. I went so far as to take it to a mechanic and have it resurfaced, that made no difference.
The pads themselves look almost new, so I did not replace them. Then I met another memeber here on Trans Labrador Highway ( ? Mt. Versys or something like that!). He pointed out to me that the front discs are " free floating" and required some lubricaton on each of the little round mounting points, both inside and outside. I have carefully placed some 4 in 1 oil in each area with good results. Careful not to get any on the pads.

I figured it out!! A good day is when you can't see through your visor or windshield b/c of the bug splatter!!!!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 12:39 PM
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Manual says to change this every 2 yrs or 24,000 miles. Personally I would not bother changing the fluid more frequently than when you change the pads. Probably a good idea to remove and clean the cylinders when doing this as they can build up crud around the seals that prevent them from retracting - manual shows how. Also clean and grease the sliders. I would also stick with the recommended fluid type, DOT 4, it's not like brake fluid is expensive. Braking temps on a bike should not be any higher than a car unless you are track riding - brakes on a bike actually get better cooling than a car.

Last edited by twowheels; 05-11-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 08:59 PM
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every motorbike rider will follow whatever maintenance schedule they decide on.
personal choice, and that is great.

I certainly AM NOT going to tell you something different.
I only try to lead riders to the Factory Mnx Manual (a very good piece of reading material)
and also I try to communicate what I have found that works after I have many years wrenching and racing/riding.

I do want to point out THAT SOMETIMES, the Factories list mileage/months for some mnx items, such as oil, brake fluid,chain lube and adjust, radiator fluid check and change, etc, but they list differences in requirements that exist between different countries or markets.

Sometimes legal drivers, sometimes environmental agencies, sometimes just govt stuff.

Did you know that for brake hose changes on DR650 motorbike, SUZUKI recommends 4 years or sooner if required? Now, if all of us smart people followed the mnx tables as recommended, prolly any bike 2008 or older would be running custom brake lines. Why the custom??? Simple, they cost less than OEM.

And I prolly can say the same for the Versys brake lines and rubber brake internals too.
And this is the minimum. When the manufacturer says "to inspect", that does not mean simply inspect, it canalso lead to replacement if the item is worn.
For instance if you run the bike very hard, your oil and your brake fluid could use change early.
If that brake fluid is not clear, it is not performing at 100% and could use a change.

why change motor oil so early as most of us do, but let brake fluid go?
Sure, it still work, but not as good as a new fluid flush and fill.

I have had several close calls, I am VERY GLAD my less than 1 year old brake fluid performed at maximum level and prolly stopped me a foot or two better that several year old fluid. Just as I am glad my motorbike oil, my new oil with less than 1800 miles keeps my engine performing perfectly, running better, and cooler than my neighbor who always goes to maximum miles before changing.

I buy fresh lubricants, good lubricants, and change them prolly too often.

He buys cheapest, or even recycles/refreshed maintenance fluids.
He saves money, and smokes expensive cigars ans drinks foo-foo beer

We have choices.....choice is good and I am glad we have that option.
Many people in this world do not.

Safe Riding to all.....sorry to rant!

Last edited by DustyOne; 05-12-2013 at 03:22 PM. Reason: changed wording of a few lines to provide better info
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 09:17 PM
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hey twowheels,

just curious on this, but do they sell DOT 4 up there across the border?

here in Arizona, but it is a very small town/ locality, they sell what is caled DOT 3/4.
Can not buy just plain DOT 3 anymore. Sometimes find DOT 4 alone, but usually it is DOT 3/4 cuz it works for both requirements and can be mixed.

And yep, in the trucks I mix it to top it off when needed.
But the motorbikes are just so darn easy to change it all out,
so I do.

Ride Safe
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-12-2013, 11:18 PM
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...just curious on this, but do they sell DOT 4 up there across the border?
Ride Safe
Yes.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-17-2013, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyOne View Post
I have had several close calls, I am VERY GLAD my less than 1 year old brake fluid performed at maximum level and prolly stopped me a foot or two better that several year old fluid.
I do not know how that can be. My brakes with my couple-of-year-old brake fluid still have enough power to lock up the wheels on every surface I have ridden on. I am pretty sure that your tires matter more when absolute minimum braking distance is required.

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