Bleeding ABS Brakes

Question I have about 2015 Street Glide special with ABS brakes. I purchased chrome front and rear brake lines and I’m looking to install them and I was told that there’s a special procedure to bleed the brakes. I’m looking for a video or something I can do at my home without bringing the bike to the dealer.

Via Email

Answer We do not currently have a video showing the bleeding of ABS brakes. The service manual specifies that Snap On vacuum brake bleeder # BB200A, or equivalent is required. We prefer using the Phoenix Injector which forces fluid through the brake lines. Be sure to bleed the system, not only at the caliper bleeder valves, but also at each banjo fitting, including at the master cylinder, calipers and at the ABS module. Do not turn on your ignition switch until the system is completely bled and free of air. If you have a soft lever when the m/c is powered up, your ABS light might illuminate and stay on. You will have to have the dealership turn it off with their Digital Technician.

Related Fix My Hog Videos:
https://www.fixmyhog.com/video/custom-brake-line-install-001444/
http://www.fixmyhog.com/video/brake-bleeding-tools-make-it-easy-004732/
http://www.fixmyhog.com/video/front-brake-calipers-pads-bleeding-brakes-001316/
http://www.fixmyhog.com/video/front-brake-caliper-pad-service-bleeding-brakes-001228/
http://www.fixmyhog.com/video/brake-line-replacement-brake-bleeding-001408/
https://www.fixmyhog.com/video/brembo-caliper-pad-replacement-rear-001346/
https://www.fixmyhog.com/video/brembo-caliper-pad-replacement-front-w-custom-brake-rotor-install-001344/
https://www.fixmyhog.com/video/front-brembo-harley-calipers-service-009556/
https://www.fixmyhog.com/video/harley-brembo-rear-caliper-service-010276

Have more questions? Check out our Q&A index page to find some answers.

Discussion
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22 Responses to “Bleeding ABS Brakes”
  1. Stephen

    I have a 2011 Road King and when braking on a bumpy road the ABS kicks in and there are effectively no brakes.Is there a fix for this potentially deadly problem?

    Reply
      • Stephen Herbert

        Surely the ABS is supposed to operate in conditions of low or no traction NOT when braking on a bumpy road.We have many roads in terrible condition here in Australia and steaming into a bumpy corner with no brakes is common.It even comes on when braking over railway lines in the dry at one particular junction where the railway tracks are about 5 metres before the junction.Id rather not have ABS if it’s this crap,how do I disable it if it can’t be fixed?Im used to not having ABS on my bikes so there’s no safety issue,indeed this ABS is way more dangerous.

        Reply
        • Customer Service

          Hello Stephen,

          If you feel that your ABS system is not performing correctly, we suggest taking the motorcycle to a dealership to have the system thoroughly checked out.
          You can also go to a shop that uses the Centurion Super Pro software.
          Have the system flushed and bled.
          https://www.fixmyhog.com/post/videos-harley/

          Thanks,
          Mark FMH Video Membership

          Reply
  2. mark lewis

    let’s make that Bleed ABS video. many of us Fixers have ABS now, & we need your great instruction to get thru this necessary procedure. and Yes, i have Phoenix vac bleeder, too! “Let It Bleed.”

    Reply
    • Anthony

      10/4 to that bleeding video HD is getting out of hand with there repair prices…

      Reply
  3. Bruceshaffley

    There is a service bulletin from HD that I just received a week ago about the 09 and newer with abs brakes that requires bleeding and refresh of fluid every 2 years. What are your thoughts. Bruce

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Bruce. Failing ABS modules have become increasingly common. They are expensive to purchase and replace.
      It is important to have your ABS system flushed and correctly bled to avoid this issue.
      The system needs to be bled at the dealership with the Digital Tech or at a shop that has the Centurion Super Pro software.
      https://www.fixmyhog.com/post/videos-harley/
      Thanks
      Mark-FMH

      Reply
  4. Terry

    Is there no way to turn off the ABS light without the digital technician? Also, I have a 2007 Sportster XL1200C where the rear brake does not seem to grab very well increasing my stopping distance unless I use the front brake in conjunction. Linkage, fluid levels and pads appear to be in good standing.

    Thank you in advance for your reply
    Terry

    Reply
  5. timothy

    i got a 2011 road glide ultra my bike is making noise in the primary case one shop say that it the compensator spring is that true can you help me

    Reply
  6. joshua vargo

    I gotta change my handle bars on my 2011 Electra glide flhtk,I’ve never done the throttle by wire an I have heated grips,how do I go about doing this,thanks for any input

    Reply
  7. brad

    I have an 08 Ultra w/ ABS. I changed the brake fluid front and rear as normal service. I bled them and all was fine until recently, the front brake lever is fine until I crank the bike and then it is so stiff I can’t pull it in. After the bike moves it is fine and works normally. The rear has not had the same issue. What do you think.

    Reply
  8. Jay

    I have a 2010 road king which is my semi daily ride. The other day I pulled out of my garage and found out the hard way that I had no brakes. The HD tech said that the abs module went bad and it is a fairly common problem. I thought that if the abs failed you should still have brakes. Shouldn’t there be a recall for this? He also said I should bleed the brakes every two years. How can I do this myself?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Unfortunately, this is a common problem and; no, without a functioning ABS module you can not have functioning brakes.
      Harley has been sending out notices for owners to have their ABS brake systems flushed for particular years.
      They do recommend every 2 years.
      Going forward; If your front and rear ABS systems are flushed & bled every 2 years, there is a good possibility that you will not experience this same issue again.
      Unfortunately, only the dealership with the Digital Technician or a shop that has the Centurion Super Pro software can correctly bleed your ABS system.
      https://www.fixmyhog.com/post/videos-harley/

      Reply
  9. markblewis32177

    hey, guys, almost 2019! just reviewing some vids i saw this year & there was one with Mike R. changing fluid on ABS brakes, front/rear, & maybe hyd clutch system. where do i find these vid’s? thanx. looking for great 2019.

    Reply