How to Bleed Motorcycle Brakes

A motorcycle.
  • 3-5 hours
  • Advanced
  • 400-500
What You'll Need
Pressurized brake bleeder
Protective clothing and working gloves
Old bucket
Brake fluid

It is difficult to bleed motorcycle brakes. To bleed brakes correctly you will need to do it several times to avoid locking air in the system. This can affect overall performance as it is possible to get air trapped in the system. The idea is to make sure that no air bubbles are trapped.

Step 1 - Secure the Bike

It is important to place the motorcycle in a safe position. Place the bike on its center stand. Make sure it is secure to prevent it from toppling or falling over. This can be a source of serious injuries.

Use wrenches to remove brake calipers from the disk.

Step 2 - Top off Brake Fluid

Align the handlebars so that the main cylinder is balanced and level. It is advisable to use a suitable material to cover the outer surface of the bike. Brake fluid easily damages paint jobs on such surfaces. Add brake fluid until reservoir is full.

Step 3 - Pump

A man works on a motorcycle.

Pump brake handle until the piston moves. Watch out that the reservoir is filled up at all times. Add more brake fluid if necessary.

A C-clamp can be used to secure one piston if there are two of them. Keep alternating the C-clamp between the two pistons while keeping up with the pumping. This makes it easy to remove them. This process drains old brake fluid.

Step 4 - Bleed Brakes

Put the caliper and pistons back in place. Use brake fluid for lubrication. Take one end of a hose and place it on the bleed cover. Place the other end in a bucket.

Pump brake handles continuously for a few minutes. On the caliper, carefully open the bleed screw to let out fluid mixed with air. Return the screw and continue pumping for a few minutes. This should be repeated several times until there is no air out of the brake fluid.

It is advisable to tap the hose and bleed screw to help get rid of bubbles during bleeding. The setting can be left to stay overnight. Continue with the procedure by continuous pumping and checking how air is expelled from brake fluid.

Bleeding brakes manually might require a great deal of patience.

Step 5 - Clean Up

A parked motorcycle.

Use water to clean up any traces of brake fluid on the bike and the work area.


Try to use tools that guarantee success when bleeding motorcycle brakes. This includes pressurized brake bleeders and vacuum bleeding kits.

Watch out for brake fluid as it can easily ruin the bike’s paint job.