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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have easy access to these brands in the pic, also Prestone. The reason I ask is brake fluid is usually clear, and the fluid in my reservoirs has an orangish pink color. I only need a little fluid in the rear brake reservoir to bring it up to the full line. My local parts store said I was probably ok going with a DOT4 that is clear. The Brembo in the pic is blue? But we have Brembo brakes. Maybe I have Suzuki fluid in mine?
 

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It really doesn't make a difference. One thing to remember, is the full mark on the reservoir is for when the pistons in the caliper are in completely. If you top it off after they're extended, you're asking for problems during your next pad change.

However, I would stick with a single brand. Whatever you have in now, use that. If you don't know, empty the system the best you can and fill up with fresh. All of the fluids I've seen are clear and start to turn tea colored as they degrade. I personally wouldn't use a dyed fluid just for that reason alone. And FWIW, up until recently, I used Valvoline SuperSyn DOT4. Couldn't find it anymore, and switched to Motul.
 

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One thing to remember, is the full mark on the reservoir is for when the pistons in the caliper are in completely. If you top it off after they're extended, you're asking for problems during your next pad change.
^What he said.

I'll add that I usually push the pads apart when swapping tires to make installation easier. If the reservoir is topped off, it might overflow when I pushed the pads/pistons in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Alright. My pads are barely half worn, and I don't feel like I'm experiencing any brake fade, so since I font know how old the brake fluid is I could follow the Service manual and change the fluid. Just make sure the pads aren't pressed against the calipers when topping off? Im sure the Service manual covers it in detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Question about changing the fluid.
The front brake line goes down to the right side caliper, then a jumper goes over the fender and down to the left side caliper. As I pump fresh fluid into to brake system, can I just bleed out on the left side, since no air "should" (making it essential to bleed both sides) be entering the system, and that bleeder is at the end of the line.
Thanks.
 

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^^^ Your logic is sound, but no. Bleed the left side first, then the right. Even though it should fill the right, then push over to the left, you'll still have an air bubble in the right side. When I do those kind of systems, I usually remove the left brake and hold it up to make sure I get the air out of the crossover.

I have a trick that I use when bleeding. I push the pads apart completely. Then I stuff business cards between the pads. This allows me to pump the brake without the front wheel installed. It has a nice side effect of keeping the rotors from being accidentally contaminated too. What's happening is that the cards act like a really stiff spring. One of the most important things about bleeding is moving fluid. That constant push and pull as you pump the lever works the bubbles to the high points where you can bleed them out. It also keeps the pistons fully recessed so when you're done and top off to the full mark, you know you're not overfilling. The last step I do is take some of the cards out and pump to extend the pistons some. This moves a larger volume through the line. Then I stuff the cards back in to push them apart. That way if there's a bubble in the line, you're pushing a larger volume up through the line to clear it. One last bleed of the MC and you're good to go.
 

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Like someone said, all BF starts get tannish colored quickly, days to weeks, after fluid change. It attacts water molecules from the air, etc. I know it's a closed system, but you don't put it in in a vacuum, some moisture gets in. Eventually, it starts to pit the inside bore of the MC and wheel cylinders, etc.
That being said- it's a good idea to run new stuff thru the system every so often, etc. OCD people do it every season, etc.



Now, proper bleeding of the system is a whole 'nuther post.

* Edit- I use a 1/4" clear tubing like for fish tanks and put it on the bleed nipple- fits air tight, then put the end into an old 'catch' container can/jar/bottle.
This way I can 'see' the air bubbles coming out of the nipple!! When no more teeny bubbles, go to the next spot/nipple.

* 2nd edit- I also just use DOT 4- Walmant brand- ooh, I know that's popular here! I don't have a link, but I'm pretty sure it'll do just fine.



Good luck, ride safe
 

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"the fluid in my reservoirs has an orangish pink color...My local parts store said I was probably ok going with a DOT4 that is clear. The Brembo in the pic is blue? But we have Brembo brakes."

Federal Standard 116 requires all brake fluid to be clear or amber colored except DOT 5 silicone fluid, which must be purple. There's also mineral oil fluid that is green but that's very obscure. Off-road/race vehicles are not subject to Federal rules, except possibly when they're used on Federal lands. But the hassle with Federal compatibility has resulted in all current fluids being clear or amber. The only blue fluid was ATE Super Blue. It came from Germany but has now been discontinued worldwide. I still have some and am considering dyeing some blue when I run out but this is a complicated task. Orangish pink might be due to rust, but that's normally brown, or possibly from a non-OEM line to the reservoir.

A Google search came up with a reference to red fluid but I believe that information to be obsolete.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone. I changed the brake fluid today. I agree, the fluid in my system was colored because it was going bad, as it changed color some in the year I've had the bike. (It wasn't clear when I got it) With fresh fluid, the brakes definitely have better feel, so who knows when the last owner changed brake fluid.
 
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