I have bled the clutch system and it looks as if I have all of the air out. Yet I do not have any clutch action. Are there any 'tricks' to bleeding the system? (I should add that the machine sat for over four years.) Thanks, Lew
Ok, you need to isolate this. Is there pressure? Is it holding pressure? Have you removed the slave cylinder from the bike and seen if it's functioning? Did you use DOT4? Did you replace all the old fluid? Have you removed the reservoir cap and watch for bubbles while you slowly squeeze the clutch handle? Are all the connections tightened?
1200's are a sun-of-a-pup to bleed, but they can be bled.
Bleeding isn't that bad. you need to have patience.
Place the motorcycle on the center stand.
Remove the master cylinder cover and diaphragm. Place rags around the master cylinder to protect plastic and painted parts from being damaged from the brake fluid. Top off the master cylinder with fluid to the upper level line cast inside the cylinder.
Remove the cap from the bleed valve at the bottom center back of the engine, where the clutch cable is attached. Place a box wrench over the bleed valve. attach a vinyl tube to the valve fitting and put the other end of the tube in a small container. Pour enough brake fluid in the container to cover the end of the tube.
Squeeze the clutch lever several times while you watch the bleed holes in the bottom of the reservoir. Once air bubbles stop rising from the bleed holes, hold the lever in. Tap on the master cylinder body several times to free any air bubbles that may be stuck to the sides of the fluid line. With the clutch lever still held in, open the bleed valve 1/4 turn with the wrench, letting air and fluid escape, then tighten valve.
Slowly release the clutch lever.
Wait several seconds after releasing the lever, then repeat steps 4 and 5, until there aren't any more bubbles in the fluid flowing into the container. Top off the master cylinder with fluid, then reinstall the diaphragm and cover and tighten the screws.
Be sure to use DOT 4 fluid. The small vacuum pump probably works better, but I know this method works. I bought a small bleeder hose with a built in check valve from AutoZone thateliminates the need for the small container of fluid. Be patient. The air will come out eventually.
Sometimes, the master cylinder runs low on fluid and it will easily get air in the line, usually from setting for long periods. When this happens, the master cylinder needs bled BEFORE you bleed from the slave cylinder. Just using that bleed screw does not cut the mustard. Try this;
-cover everything with plastic first! (as mentioned above), remove the master clutch cylinder cover and make sure it has plenty of fluid (use the correct fluid! Not DOT 3) a little above the high mark is okay, then just lay the cap on without the bellow.
-have someone hold a catch pan of some type under the banjo bolt on the master cylinder (could not hurt to have a couple of wet rags on hand to wipe any fluid that may get away from you)
-use agood wrench to crack the bolt open, then snug it up (will be easier to have it loosened up), then, while the pan is under it, squeeze the clutch handle a couple of times and hold it in the sqeezed position and SLOWLY crack the banjo bolt open. When you open it slow, that should help keep with the fluid from squirting out. You may even have the other person hold a rag over the wrench to keep it from happening. Then remember to snug that bolt up BEFORE you release the handle.Repeat this type of bleeding 5 or 6 times, making sure to keep the fluid up so you do not suck air in. When done, top off if needed and put the bellows and cap back on. Go ahead and try the clutch again before bleeding from the bleeder screw on the slave cylinder.
Also, you will need to check for leakage from around that slave cylinder. If no leak is present, and this procedure does not work, then chances are you need to rebuild that master.
Good luck! Wendell
hey lew, I had trouble bleeding my clutch and found that i had to bleed the line going into the clutch resavoirright where it comes out on the handle bar. It wasn't until then did I get a good clutch. I bled the line at the slave cylinder at least 30 times with no success, as soon as I bled the line up top, bam that was it. just a suggestion. good luck
Something that I've done on brakes before is after the system is bleed I tie the lever to the handle bar and the turn the bars so the resivour is the highest point in the system. Being that air rises it will go to the master, or atleast to the banjo bolt and can be bleed there.
Oh yeah, have to let it sit for some hours, like overnight.
Put the bike on the center stand and turn the bars to the right. That will move the mater above the banjo fitting. Bleed as normal. The reason you can't bleed it is because the master is lower than the banjo fitting and air will not go down,only up. All should go normal after you trun the bars and raise the master to the high spot.