Bleeding Dirt Bike Brakes

Bleeding Dirt Bike Brakes

Tech Tip: Bleeding

Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's a bitch. Bleeding hydraulic brakes and clutches can be tricky. Below are some tips that I hope make bleeding easier for you…

  • Slave cylinder compression.

    • Open up the reservoir cap and push the side of your floating caliper (see below photo) until the caliper pistons are completely compressed inside the caliper.

    • For hydraulic clutches, you will have to remove the slave cylinder from the motor and compress the piston directly with your thumbs.

    • Be aware of the amount of fluid in your master cylinder - compressing your pistons could overflow the master cylinder and make a big mess.

    • This is my favorite method since it's easy, clean, and surprisingly effective.

  • The good ‘ol crack the bleeder while holding the lever method.

    • Sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. Can get messy.

  • Back bleeding.

    • Open up the reservoir cap, fill a syringe (with hose) full of fluid, bleed all air out of syringe/hose, attach hose to bleeder, open up bleeder, empty stringer into caliper.

    • Be aware of the amount of fluid in your master cylinder - this method could overflow your master cylinder.

  • Lever flicking.

    • Just like it sounds - flick the lever inwards quickly and let it snap back on it's own - like plucking a guitar string.

    • Sometimes those pesky bubbles can get caught in the master cylinder and won't come out without a little flicking.

  • Fluid flush.

    • If all else fails, sometimes flushing all your fluid can work out the problem bubble.

    • Keep an eye on the fluid level in your master cylinder when flushing and never let it go empty otherwise you will be back back to ground zero.

It's time to check your service intervals.


We prefer to monitor service intervals via hour meters for two reasons:

  1. Hour meters are a more accurate representation of the wear-and-tear on a bike than mileage.

  2. Hour meters are more common, easy, and cheaper to install than odometers.

Don’t have an hour meter? Bring your bike in, and we’ll dial ya in with one. Even better… if you spend $200 or more on your next job with us, we’ll install one for free - just request it!


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