Next on our checklist is front Harley brake fluid inspection.
The master cylinder reservoir top cap should be removed at every service interval for fluid inspection/fluid level inspection. In between services, you can simply make a quick inspection through the sight glass at the end of the master cylinder to verify correct Harley brake fluid level.
Most importantly, the Harley brake fluid must be completely flushed and replenished every two years without exception. If the DOT 4 brake fluid is not replaced every two years, the ABS module is prone to premature failure. DOT 4 brake fluid is very susceptible to moisture. It almost seems to attract it. For this reason, it is also very important to replace your master cylinder top cover seal if it shows signs of damage or if it has become distorted.
This video walks you through the process of bleeding without a digital tech. Mike does it daily and has many years of experience doing it. Going fast is cool but stopping fast is way cooler.
*If you are uncomfortable doing this service, please bring it to a shop or invest in the hardware and software per the manual. Safety has to be your #1 priority.
If moisture is introduced into the ABS module, it can be an expensive repair. The valves that open and close inside of the ABS module can easily become stuck. If this happens, the ABS module/electro hydraulic control unit assembly will have to be replaced. The cost for just one of these units is over $700.
The manual does state that computer software is needed to correctly bleed the new module after installation of a new module. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the dealer’s Digital Technician. There are other options out there that a privately owned shop may have. However, the software is very expensive which means that you will have to pay somebody else to make this repair. The cost of the part, plus labor, is a hefty bill and nobody wants to spend $1000 and not end up with a new component or some type of a performance upgrade!
That being said, it is highly recommend that all Harley Davidson models with ABS be flushed and bled with a Digital Technician, a Centurion Super Pro, or any other software that will correctly bleed the ABS module. A lot of us hate to pay for labor when we are used to maintaining and repairing our bikes ourselves but paying for a mechanic to flush and bleed your Harley brake fluid once every two years is much cheaper than replacing an ABS unit.