Brake Issues On My Sled

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Dear Motorhead,

I have a 2000 Grand Touring 800 that I’ve kept in mint condition since I bought it. I’ve replaced the brake pads myself and bled the lines like the repair manual called for.

Now when I initially press the brake there’s pressure, thereafter I have to continually press the brake to build up pressure to even get the brake working.

As you will agree this is not safe and require your expertise to solve this issue.

Looking forward to hearing from you,



Thanks for your email!

Here’s the deal with bleeding brakes – it is a very time consuming, finicky job and if you haven’t done it before it is not as easy as it seems – and you are proving the point with your results.

You absolutely must be deliberate in:

1) Maintaining the reservoirs level at all times when bleeding or you’ll just suck in more air. An extra set of hands here makes all the difference.

2)The regimen you establish must be strict and not deviated from one tiny bit or it all goes sideways. Pump the lever until you feel a little something then HOLD IT IN – DO NOT RELEASE while turning the bleeder valve open and then re-tightening the bleeder valve without releasing the lever – if you release the lever you must absolutely start over again!

3) Each time you get a little more “feel” or brake you must give it all back by letting the lever go fully against the handlebar when you release the bleeder valve. DO NOT LET THE LEVER OUT WITH THE BLEEDER OPEN!!

4) You’ll probably need to go through about two reservoirs full of fluid for a good, solid bleed. Again, do not let the reservoir get lower than half full or it will suck air and you get to start all over again.

That’s how you do it and you’ve got to do it again to get your brakes back. What you’ve described is classic air-in-the-lines lever feel.

You can do it!

Motorhead Mark

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