How To Bleed A Hydraulic Clutch On A Motorcycle? [The Easiest Way]


How To Bleed A Hydraulic Clutch On A Motorcycle

Fluid in your motorcycle clutch keeps your transmission gears and mechanisms operating smoothly, which is why it’s so important to keep it clean and free of debris. If you don’t bleed your clutch fluid regularly, you’ll find yourself in an unpleasant situation when your motorcycle won’t start. That’s why you need to know how to bleed a hydraulic clutch on a motorcycle. 

Your motorcycle’s clutch is one of the most important parts of your machine that allows you to change gears and speeds, which supports you in controlling your motorcycle. Bleeding your clutch is a simple process that you can do at home. All you need are a few basic tools and some patience.

Over time, your clutch can wear down, which can cause it to feel stiff and notchy when you ride. We notice this as clutch drag, and it can cause your motorcycle to meet sluggish and hard to control. In this article, I’ll describe the easiest way for bleeding a motorcycle clutch, which you can do at home.

5 DIY Steps To Bleed A Hydraulic Clutch On A Motorcycle: 

To bleed a motorcycle clutch is a simple task that you can complete in just a few minutes. Here, I’ll describe the simple five steps you need to do it. The process is straightforward and only takes a couple of minutes, but it’s still a good idea to wear gloves and goggles, just in case. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Items You Need

Very few items you will need to bleed a motorcycle clutch. First, you need to collect the standard clutch fluid that you want to use ‍as the required amount. Few tools you will need like: an 8mm wrench, a clear tube, a cleaning bottle, and a screwdriver.

You will need a screwdriver to open and close the fluid reservoir. Use a 7mm wrench to loosen and tighten the bleed nipple. You need to attach a clear tube to the bleed nipple, through which dirty or bad fluids will come out. A clear bottle will help you collect these liquids.

You will also need to use a small piece of cloth that will be needed to wrap the area around the fluid reservoir.

Step 2: Prepare Your Motorcycle

This is a job that is best completed when the motorcycle is warm, to ensure that the system is at its maximum performance. Stand the motorcycle in an even place so that it stands firmly on the ground. Wrap well with a piece of wood around the fluid reservoir. This is because these clutch fluids can damage the paint or other parts.

The fluid reservoir is usually sealed with a metal seal, which you need to open using a screwdriver. Remove the seal, remove the cap from the reservoir, and pull the upper plate of the diaphragm apart. You will see a dirty black liquid in the reservoir since it is quite old.

Open the cap of the bleed nipple and attach the clean pipe you took here. Place the other end of the pipe in a clean bottle. If possible, attach the wrench to the bleed nipple. Now you are fully ready to start the task.

Step 3: Start Bleeding

Mostly when you bleed the clutch, you will find the amount of fluid in the reservoir is less. Fill the reservoir with fresh fluid and seal its cap well. Press the clutch lever and release it. Press and hold the clutch lever after pressing and releasing it three or four times.

Loosen the bleed nipple with the other hand using the wrench attached to the bleed nipple. You notice that some amount of dirty fluid will come out through the pipe. Now tighten the nipple with the wrench again.

Now again, press the clutch lever a few times and release and hold the end. Loosen the nipple to get rid of the dirty fluid and tighten it. Keep repeating this bleeding process over and over again.

Step 4: Adding Fluid To The Reservoir

When you continue to bleed, the dirty fluids will continue to come out. The amount of fluid in the reservoir will continue to decrease consistently. So after some time, you have to fill the reservoir.

This is an extremely important issue because if the reservoir is not filled well, the fluids here will run out and air will enter the pipes. That is why the clutch system cannot work properly. So when bleeding, make sure that the reservoir is not completely empty.

Step 5: Get The Job Done

At one stage of regular bleeding and adding fluid in the reservoir, you will see clear fluid coming out through the pipe attached to the nipple. At this stage, you understand that your work is over.

Now tighten the bleed nipple tightly, open the attached pipe and put on the cap. Place the prescribed amount of fluid in the reservoir and attach the cap well after attaching the upper plate of the diaphragm.

Even after working carefully, you notice that some of the fluid may get stuck in different parts of the motorcycle when it gets spilled or added to the reservoir, so wash them with soapy water.

Remember that the clutch is a very important part of a motorcycle and clutch fluid allows it to work perfectly. So it is important to replace it at the right time. Experts recommend bleeding a motorcycle clutch every 2 years, but this depends on use and the amount of dirt in the fluid.

Some Important Parts Of The Hydraulic Clutch System

The parts of a motorcycle hydraulic clutch system are constructed to work together to allow the clutch to function. You need to have a good idea about the hydraulic clutch system of the motorcycle, as it is a very important part. This can provide many benefits to the maintenance of a motorcycle or riding experience. Let’s check what parts are included in this system.

1. Clutch Lever:

It is the fundamental part of the motorcycle class structure that associates the rider to the clutch system of the motorcycle. A rider has to pull the class lever while engaging the gear. Usually, after pulling the class lever, the clutch plate starts its rotation.

2. Liquid Reservoir:

Clutch fluid is actually braked fluid that is carried in the clutch master cylinder. When you press the clutch lever, this fluid streams from the clutch master cylinder to the slave cylinder. The fluid pressure is then employed to attach the clutch, which authorizes you to adjust gears.

3. Master Cylinder:

The master cylinder acts as a crew between the brake and clutch setup. These master cylinders transform the mechanical force of lever tension into a piston under hydraulic pressure. 

4. Diaphragm Clutch:

Although the diaphragm clutch functions independently, the diaphragm clutch can be applied in hydraulic clutches. It linked diaphragm clutches to the clutch lever. When the rider pulls the class lever, it pushes the diaphragm clutch and then another diaphragm clutch forces the flywheel to deal with.

5. Clutch Plate:

The clutch plate is produced from a thin metal plate and is one of the most important parts of a hydraulic clutch ‍system. It includes a friction lining, which is connected to the clutch plate on both sides. Clutch plates are usually situated between the pressure plate and the flywheel. 

6. Friction Surface:

The friction surface is attached to both faces of the clutch plate. The friction surface connects the pressure plate and the flywheel only when the clutch plate rotates. It produces frictional force, which provides high torque.

7. Pressure Plate:

One of the most effective parts of a hydraulic clutch is the pressure plate. Bolts attached the pressure plate to the springs and clutch pedals. The function of the pressure plate largely depends on the weight. When the pressure plate is weighed, it reaches the friction surface of the clutch plate and creates friction.

8. Flywheel

Another important part of the hydraulic clutch is the flywheel. The flywheel is set on the other side of the clutch plate. It connected the flywheel to the transmission shift. The friction surfaces of the clutch plate contact the flywheel. Thus, friction is generated.

How Does The Hydraulic Clutch Work On A Motorcycle?

Clutching a motorcycle is an essential part of riding. It provides enough friction to slow the bike, allowing you to shift gears and control your speed. But for clutch use, some riders are more conservative than others. They don’t want to wear out their clutch or their drive train by overusing it.

The primary function of the clutch is to disconnect the engine from the transmission and drivetrain system temporarily. It is possible to shift gears without a clutch while riding the bike, but it is not possible to do this smoothly and you can damage the gearbox if done incorrectly.

The primary part of the clutch is the clutch lever. It is connected to the circular clutch assembly via a hydraulic system. The assembly comprises a pressure plate on the outside facing the engine cover. The pressure plate acts as a lid with bolted springs on the outside. It pushes the clutch pack in and out to compress and decompress.

Clutch plates are stacked tightly together. The teeth of the friction plate cover the entire assembly width and interlock with the slot groove in an outer basket. It interlocked the steel plates between the friction plates as opposed to the grooves of a small internal hub. Its diameter is smaller than the outer basket and is placed inside the adjacent one.

The outer basket is lined with toothed gear along its perimeter. It is attached to the crankshaft of the engine and driven. The internal hub splits with the input shaft of the transmission. When the clutch lever is out, the pressure plate completely compresses the springs, doing everything together.

When you pull the clutch lever, the action reverses the compressed springs of the pressure plate. So it forcibly separates together the friction and the steel plates and rotates individually. As a result, it disconnected the engine from the transmission system.

4 Signs That Tell You To Bleed Motorcycle Clutch:

When clutch fluid is in a sealed system, the lines carrying fluid from the reservoir to your clutch mechanism may become worn or damaged, and water, dust, or dirt may enter the liquid. This contamination makes the liquid less efficient in performing its function. In addition, the clutch fluid goes down over time because of its uses. From some signs, you can understand it is time to bleed the clutch of your motorcycle, which I am describing below.

  1. When you use a motorcycle regularly, you will notice a slight change. If you notice your clutch lever is not responding as it used to or that it seems firmer than before, then maybe the clutch fluid is contaminated, and you need to bleed your motorcycle clutch. 
  1. If dirt or debris accumulates in the clutch fluid, pulling the clutch lever can make a strange noise. Bleed your motorcycle clutch quickly if you see this type of problem.
  1. You may notice that the clutch of your motorcycle is not working properly, or the clutch system is not working as well as you would expect. These problems are usually caused by a decrease in the amount of clutch fluid or by the accumulation of dirt in it. If these symptoms occur, you must bleed the clutch.
  1. If you notice any unpleasant odor while opening the reservoir and checking the clutch fluid, then you understand that the fluid has gone bad, and it is time to replace it.

Benefits Of Hydraulic Clutch Bleeding On A Motorcycle:

Hydraulic clutch fluid needs to be replaced promptly. This maintains the proper functioning of the clutch system. If you do not bleed the clutch on time, it can be extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

At one stage of long-term use, air enters the clutch system, which interferes with the proper functioning of the clutch system. If you pull the clutch lever, it is not as effective as it should be. This affects the case of smooth riding. When the clutch bleeds, the air in the system is expelled and the function of the clutch remains normal.

When the clutch fluids become dirty, using the clutch lever becomes a bit uncomfortable, as they seem firmer than before. You can easily eliminate this problem by bleeding clutch fluid.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Often Should You Need To Bleed Your Motorcycle Clutch?

Your motorcycle’s clutch needs to be bleeding regularly, which does not mean that it is needed too often. The duration of clutch maintenance of a hydraulic clutch system is comparatively much longer. According to most experts, you need to bleed your motorcycle clutch every two years.

However, it depends a lot on the use of your bike and the accumulation of dirt or debris. If you use the motorcycle too much or if for any reason too much dirt contaminates the fluid, you may need to bleed earlier. So check the clutch fluid regularly and do not use the clutch unnecessarily.

How Long Does Motorcycle Clutch Fluid Last?

Clutch fluids break down over time with regular use. So you need to bleach the clutch regularly every two years. If you want to calculate mileage in general, it is necessary to bleach the clutch after every 30,000 miles of a motorcycle ride.

One of the most common reasons you need to bleed the clutch is to get the dirt or debris in the fluid to become contaminated. In addition, any defects in the reservoir or system can allow water or debris that can contaminate the clutch fluid. In this case, the clutch fluids can last much less than two years.

What Happens If The Clutch Fluid Is Low?

If the clutch fluid decreases, you will face some problems. This severely complicates the gear shift, even making it almost impossible sometimes. Even if you are a very experienced rider, you may accept a lot of suffering.

Because of the low fluid content, pulling the clutch lever can move the slave cylinder very little and it quite attached the clutch to the flywheel. So running like this can cause considerable damage to your gearbox. In addition, because of your negligence, the gearbox can break down and can increase your repair costs.

How Much Does A Motorcycle Clutch Fluid Replacement Cost?

The cost of a motorcycle clutch fluid replacement is quite low. This requires very little equipment, and the process is extremely simple, so you do not need to go to a service center for fluid replacement. That is why no servicing charge has to be paid separately.

The price of the fluid you have to use is much lower. You can buy these fluids from the market for only $6 – $8 / quart. You will find the tools for clutch bleed in your home. So there is no need to spend extra money to purchase any equipment. So if you bleed the clutch yourself, you can get the job done just by buying the fluid at a cheap price.

How Do You Know If The Clutch Fluid Is Bad?

You can easily guess if the clutch fluid of the motorcycle is bad. There are several signs you may notice that your motorcycle’s clutch fluid has gone bad and needs to be replaced. First, when the fluid is bad, the class lever does not work properly, the clutch system will work much less than you expected.

When the clutch lever does not work properly, it affects the gear shift and often complicates the gear shift. If you open the reservoir and check the fluid, you may give off a foul odor, which will indicate that the clutch fluid has gone bad.

Final Verdict

A Clutch is a device that is used for transferring power from the engine to the drive wheels. Using the clutch is extremely important for the proper riding of a motorcycle. So if you wish to experience clutch maintenance, you need to learn all the things related to clutch.

In this article, I have explained in detail the clutch as well as how to bleed a hydraulic clutch on a motorcycle. I believe it will help you know a lot about hydraulic clutch systems and make your riding experience more pleasurable.

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Ahsan Ullah

Hi guys, This is Ahsan Ullah. I have been riding motorcycle for more than 15 years. In this long period, I have experienced a lot of things about bike riding. Now I am trying to share my experience with you on this website.

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