If you ride a motorcycle or ATV, brake bleeding is an important maintenance skill that you should have. It ensures that your brake lines are free from air bubbles (which reduces the effectiveness of your brakes), and it allows you to replace your own brake fluid. Once a difficult, two-person job, brake bleeding is now easy with the right tools.

Instructions for One-Person Brake Bleeding

If you’ve always taken your bike into the shop to bleed the brakes, you’ll discover that you can save yourself a bit of cash by doing it yourself. Take a moment to watch the video below. You can also read written instructions underneath.

What You Need to Begin

In this tutorial, we use the Tusk hydraulic brake bleeder. It has a one-way check valve that allows brake fluid to flow out without allowing air to go in. It is simple to use and affordable.

Several Different Service Manuals Tusk Hydraulic Brake Bleeder Maxima Brake Fluid
Service Manual Brake Bleeder Tool Brake Fluid
Open-End Wrench Gloves Bowl Used for Oil Soaking
Wrench or Other Tools Gloves Oil Drain Pan

Remember that every machine is a little different. You should refer to your owner’s manual for proper brake bleeding procedures and safety information. It is also important to use the right type of brake fluid.

Install the brake bleeder tool.

  1. Remove any guards in order to gain access to the brake caliper.
  2. Removing the Guard

  3. Loosen the bleeder screw to open the nipple.
  4. Install the brake bleeder tool on the caliper’s nipple.
  5. Installing the Brake Bleeder

  6. Place a container below the brake bleeder to catch the old brake fluid as you flush it out.

Add brake fluid to the line.

  1. Remove the reservoir cap.
  2. Removing the Reservoir Cap

  3. Top off the reservoir with brake fluid.
  4. Topping Off the Reservoir with Brake Fluid

Pump the brake fluid through the brake line.

  1. Crack loose the nipple.
  2. Slowly pump the brake pedal.
  3. Slowly Pumping the Brake Pedal

  4. Pumping the brake pedal will run the new brake fluid through the system and flush the old fluid out. However, make sure that you stay aware of your fluid levels in the reservoir. If it runs dry, you will begin to reintroduce air into the brake lines, and you will need to restart the brake bleeding process.
  5. Continue the process until the fresh fluid has flushed the system of the old and all air bubbles are completely gone.
  6. Flushing Out the Old Brake Fluid

Seal the brake caliper.

  1. Tighten the bleed screw on the nipple to reseal the brake caliper and prevent air from entering the line.
  2. Remove the brake bleeder tool.

Reinstall the reservoir cap.

  1. Check the fluid level in the reservoir.
  2. Install the reservoir cap.
  3. Installing the Reservoir Cap

All Done

At this point… you’re done! As you can see, bleeding your brakes really isn’t a very difficult process, nor does it take long if you have the right tools, like the Tusk hydraulic brake bleeder. Of course, don’t forget to check your brakes to make sure they are working properly before you go out and ride.

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What tips do you have for bleeding brakes on a motorcycle or ATV? Share them in the comments.

Technician Disclaimer