Bleeding The Rear Brake the Easy Way
I've had a lot of issues with my rear brake going totally out on me, and I've had to bleed it a few times. The dealer told me "Gotta remove the rear wheel and flip it upside down.
Removing the rear wheel is too much hassle for me, so I found an alternative way to remove the caliper from the bike without taking the wheel off. Without further ado, let's just jump into it!
The first thing to do is to remove the screws under the left side of the bike, that holds the brake line and the ABS sensor cord to the frame. These take the long 4mm Hex Key.
Once those are removed, you'll need to remove the two bolts holding the caliper to the rotor:
- 11mm open-end wrench
- 4mm hex key long (Bought at Home Depot in a kit)
- 6mm hex key long (Bought at Home Depot in a kit)
- 6mm hex short
- 3” extension
- Gimbal Ratchet (Optional)
- Ratchet Wobbler
- Mityvac (Also optional, you can pump up the brake instead if you wish)
- Some Premium Brake Fluid. I'm using Brembo DOT 5.1 this time.
To do this, you'll need the 6mm short hex key, 3" extension and the wobbler:
This is where the gimbal ratchet comes in handy, you can just spin it in your hand instead of the typical back and forth of a usual ratchet. But, as I said above, it's optional.
For the next bolt, you'll need the long 6mm key. you'll need to fit the key between two teeth of the sprocket:
Your caliper should now be free from the rotor:
Now, pull it through one of the big gaps between the wheel spokes. There are small and big gaps:
Once you have it through, use something to push the brake pads back, which will push the pistons all the way in. Any air bubbles stuck in there will be forced out. I used a paint stir stick since it won't physically damage the brake pads:
Now turn your caliper upside down and put it back on the rotor. You may need to turn your wheel to get it high enough up on the rotor. I put the 6mm hex key through the bolt hole on the caliper, and through one of the rotor holes. Then, I used the paint stirring stick to jam it under the other side of the caliper to hold it in place. Feel free to get creative here!
At this point, you just bleed your brake lines like normal. I LOVE to use the mighty vac for this purpose. I pump it up to about 15 to 20 PSI, open the bleeder valve and let it suck out the fluid. As it is sucking the fluid out, I monitor the reservoir and just continue to fill it with new brake fluid, until the mighty vac catch cup is filled up. You don't have to do this. You can do it the old fashioned way of pumping up the pedal, opening the bleeder until the brake lever goes to the floor, and then close the valve and release the brake lever, and repeat. Usually, after the mighty vac, I'll do it the old fashioned way once or twice to make sure the brake lever is firm.
Once you get to the point where there are no more bubbles coming out in the fluid, close the bleeder tight (Doesn't need to be herculean tight), and put everything back together in the reverse order. Make sure when you reattach the brake line/abs cable holder to the frame, that the cables are in their correct slots. If you did the bleeding the old fashioned way, you'll likely need to push the brake pistons back in again.
Then, pump up your brake. The first few times you push it, it'll be loose as a goose. However, this is just due to the pistons getting the brake pads re-compressed to the rotor.
Lastly, enjoy your rear brake until this is due to be done again!
Let me know if there's any questions or further feedback!
“I’d as soon let you ride my wife, than ride my bike” -- Gas Station Attendent by my house
Last edited by Mikan; 08-08-2019 at 06:07 AM.