How to Bleed Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Brakes
If your brakes feel spongy, it could be a sign that it's time to change the brake fluid on your motorcycle.
Knowing how to bleed motorcycle brakes saves you money and gives you back some stopping power. The tools you need and the exact location of everything may differ on other motorcycles, but the principle is basically the same: keep feeding new brake fluid into one end of the system as you force old brake fluid out the other end. One difference on the GSXR is that you bleed fluid from the reservoir and at the caliper.
You should bleed the brakes on your motorcycle at least once a year. Here's how to get it done on a Suzuki GSXR.
Tools and Supplies Needed: Suzuki GSX-R Brake Bleed
How to Bleed the Brakes on a Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Step 1. Locate the brake fluid reservoir on the right side of the handlebar. Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, remove the metal bracket that holds the reservoir cap on.
Step 2. Remove the reservoir cap by unscrewing it.
Step 3. Get your 8mm wrench on the bleed valve, then attach a length of 3/16th hose to the bleed valve. The hose will need to be long enough to reach your drain pan.
Step 4. Force the fluid out of the system by pumping the brake handle several times, then holding it down. Next, turn the wrench to open the bleeder valve. You'll begin to see fluid.
Step 5. Close the valve by returning the wrench to its original position. Next, repeat the process: pump the brake handle, hold it down, then open the valve. This process will take some time to complete.
PRO TIP: You can also use a fluid extractor for this part of the job. The setup is the same, except the tube running from the bleeder valve runs to your pump. Turn on the pump and open the bleeder valve with your wrench. If you use this method, watch the level on the reservoir. If it gets too low, it will allow air into the system.
Step 6. Top off the reservoir with some clean DOT4 brake fluid after you've gotten most of the old fluid out.
Bleeding Front Brakes on a GSXR
Step 1. Locate the dust cover for the bleeder valve on the top of the caliper and remove it. If you can't find it, check out our GSX-R 1000 brake caliper diagram for reference.
Step 2. Get your 8mm box wrench over the bleeder valve, then attach your 3/16th hose.
NOTE: The set up is the same as it was for the reservoir bleed.
Step 3. Pump the brake handle to build brake pressure, then hold the brake handle down and open the valve by turning the wrench.
Step 4. Close the valve with your wrench, then pump the brake handle a few times to build pressure, and repeat.
NOTE: While you're doing this, be mindful of the level in the reservoir above. As you pull fluid out, you need to replace it at the top of the system to prevent air from getting in the system. You'll know the fluid is clean because it will turn from a brownish tint to clear.
Step 5. Remove the clear hose and your wrench, then replace the dust cap.
NOTE: The GSXR has a caliper on both sides of the front wheel. Once you've finished on one side, repeat the process on the other.
Step 6. Top off the reservoir.
Step 7. Replace the cap on the reservoir, then reattach the metal bracket that holds it in place.
PRO TIP: You can use a fluid extractor on the caliper as well, but be sure to keep an eye on the fluid level in the reservoir on the handlebar. The extractor will pull the fluid out fast, and you don't want to pull air into the system while draining it.
Rear Brake Bleed on a Suzuki GSXR
Step 1. Locate and unbolt the rear reservoir. It is tucked up in the rear tail section, and you can unbolt it by accessing the bolt (pictured below) on the right-hand side of the motorcycle.
Step 2. Once unbolted, pull it outside the frame so that you can access it easier.
Step 3. Remove the reservoir cap. Underneath, you'll find another plastic piece and a rubber diaphragm. Remove them as well.
NOTE: Be careful here to avoid spilling any brake fluid, as it can damage your paint.
Step 4. Top off the reservoir.
Step 5. Use the same setup as on the reservoir bleed and the front caliper bleed. Get your box wrench on the bleeder valve, located near the top of the rear caliper. Then, attach your hose.
Step 6. Bleed the brakes by pumping the rear brake pedal to build pressure, then hold it down, and open the valve with your wrench.
Step 7. Repeat the process while continually topping off your reservoir as you pull fluid through. As the old fluid clears and the new fluid fills in, the brownish tint in the fluid will turn clear.
Step 8. Close the bleeder valve, then remove your hose and your wrench.
Step 9. Top off the reservoir.
NOTE: If you have new brake pads, you can fill all the way to the maximum line. If not, you'll need to use less fluid. Otherwise, when you change the pads and push the brake calipers back to make room for new pads, it will push fluid out of the system.
Step 10. Replace the rubber diaphragm, along with the plastic piece and reservoir cap.
Step 11. Feed the reservoir around the rear subframe, bolt it back in place and you're done.