How Often Should I Change Brake Fluid?
How often you need to change the brake fluid in a motorcycle or ATV can vary depending on how you ride the machine, especially if it’s a high performance vehicle.
John Talley does weekly live Q&A sessions every Friday at 3PM Eastern on our YouTube channel. In this session, John answers a viewer’s question about how often the brake fluid should be changed in a powersports machine. Here’s what John had to say about when it's time to do a brake fluid change.
When to Change Brake Fluid
How often should I change the brake fluid in my machine? Every few years? When the color changes?
John Talley: Well, you just named it. I do want to add one caveat to that. If you’re riding a really high performance machine where you’re really using the brake slots, especially if you track it, you want to do it before each event to get fresh fluid in there. Because the fluid you’ve got up at the caliper or the compression part going down to the caliper is all new, but anything down in the caliper is going through a bunch of heat cycles, so you need to get it out. For your average machine, I would say at least flush it out annually. But if it’s looking like Coca-Cola, you’ve waited way too long, so go ahead and get it flushed out. I’d say every year, but do keep an eye on the color, and if you ride in a performance environment, you want to do it much more often than that just to get fresh fluid down into the caliper itself.
We’ve done many videos on bleeding the brakes for both motorcycles and ATVs. Although the vehicle types and models vary, the process for replacing the brake fluid is more or less the same. Check out the videos below to see how to bleed the brakes on a Honda CBR600 motorcycle and how to bleed the brakes on a Honda Rancher 350 ATV.
Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.