Bleeding Your HD Brake System

QuestionNew Harleys have about 1″ of play in the front brake lever. Old Harleys have about 2″ movement at the ball end of the lever. I’m NOT talking about air in the line, spongy brakes. One Harley Service Manager said that’s the way it is. A Harley salesman said it’s a quick fix for a mechanic, his own bike being testimony. I don’t want to pay the $100 or so. I can’t find a video addressing this. Please comment.

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AnswerYou can try bleeding your HD brake system, but you may have the same result. Typically you are at the mercy of your OEM master cylinder. There is no known trick. Don’t believe everything a salesman has to say.

Related Videos:
Front Brake Caliper and Bleeding

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19 Responses to “Bleeding Your HD Brake System”
  1. alan

    Does anyone know if it is possible to take a disc off the front off a touring model (flhr)and put a bigger capacity caliper on the other disc to compensate ?

    • Customer Service Techs
      Customer Service Techs

      Hi, Robert! Please let us know the make/year of the bike you’re inquiring about.

  2. Roy Klemm
    Roy Klemm

    Too much front brake lever play? There is a trick, EASY! Pull the pin, remove the lever. Ace Hardware has cap nuts, like a top hat, the right size. file off some of the flange, use a washer for an added spacer, slip it on the plunger. This essentially lengthens the plunger , less play to the lever. It works, and you can always remove it.

  3. Michael

    What is the best way to flush the brake system? i have a 07 FLHT that i need to replace pads front and back and noticed my rear fluid is really dirty, figure it is time to flush both systems

  4. Robert

    I just had my 10k service done on my 2014 FLTHK. the service manager said that the brake line had air in it and the fluid was contaminated. He want $200 to flush and replace the master cylinder. Does this make any sense? I have not detected any problems with the brakes.
    thanks in advance.

  5. Allen

    I need to replace the seal ( gasket ) on the front brake master cylinder filler cap on my 2014 tri-glide. Lately there’s some brake fluid that needs to be wiped up every so often. Also the screws are properly torqued. Once I topped things up and replace the seal, would I need to bleed the system afterwards? Allen.

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the year of your motorcycle?

  6. Steve

    Changed the front wheel bearings on 2016 ultra classic… Now the ABS light stays on , replaced the ABS bearing again, still same thing!


    I am having an issue with my rear break system on my 2007 Electra Glide Standard, I am losing fluid and getting air in the system. I replaced my pads and flushed both front and back three weeks ago. Last night I felt my rear pedal getting spongy again. I didn’t need to remove the cover to see my fluid is low again, I am not seeing any break fluid leaking or dripping from any break system components. I would think this much of a fluid loose would be easy to spot.
    Any suggestions on what to look at would be greatly appreciated.