The front and rear brakes are fully hydraulic disc brakes and require little maintenance. Every 1250 miles, check master cylinders for proper fluid levels and check brake pads and discs for wear. If brake pads are worn to 1/16 in. or less they should be replaced. Minimum brake disc thickness is stamped on the side of the disc. When filling master cylinders, use only D.O.T. 5 Hydraulic Brake Fluid which is approved for use in hydraulic brake systems. When removing master cylinder filler plug or cover, make sure that all dirt is removed to prevent entrance into reservoir. 1978 to early 1979 rear brake master cylinders should be filled to 1/4 in. from the top. Late 1979 and later rear brake master cylinders should be filled to 1/8 inch from the gasket surface. Front brake master cylinder should be filled to the gasket surface with the reservoir in a level position.

The front brake master cylinder is an integral part of the brake hand lever assembly. The rear brake master cylinder is located on the right side of the motorcycle near the brake pedal.

Every 1250 miles, check the rear brake master cylinder plunger to see that it has 1/16 in. free play.


Use the following check list to help determine probable cause of poor brake operation.

1. Excessive lever or pedal travel or spongy feel.

— Master cylinder low on fluid — fill master cylinder with approved brake fluid.

2. Chattering sound when brake is applied.

— Worn or defective pads — replace brake pads.

3. Ineffective brake — lever or pedal travels to the limit.

— Low fluid level — fill master cylinder with approved brake fluid.

— Piston seal defective — replace O-ring in brake piston.

4. Ineffective brake — lever or pedal travel normal.

— Distorted or contaminated brake pads — replace brake pads.

5. Brake pads drag on disc — will not retract.

— Piston in master cylinder not uncovering relief port — check master cylinder.

— Rear brake pedal linkage out of adjustment — readjust.


After servicing hydraulic brake system where any hydraulic line or cylinder is opened, it is necessary to bleed the system to expel all air.

WARNING — D.O.T. 5 brake fluid can cause eye irritation. In case of contact with eyes, flush with plenty of water and get medical attention. KEEP BRAKE FLUID OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN!

Slip a length of appropriate size plastic tubing over wheel cylinder bleeder valve with other end in a clean container. Turn handlebars so that bleeder valve is nearly vertical. Open bleeder valve by rotating counterclockwise about one-half turn. With master cylinder full of fluid at all times, slowly depress brake pedal or lever once until fluid stops flowing from tubing. Close the bleeder valve. Allow pedal or lever to return slowly to release position. Repeat operation until brake system is free of air bubbles. Add fluid to master cylinder to bring to original level. Do not reuse fluid unless it is clear and free from sediment and bubbles.


Hydraulic brake fluid bladder type pressure equipment can be used to fill brake master cylinder through the bleeder fitting, providing master cylinder cover is re moved so that system cannot pressurize. Do not use pressure bleeding equipment when the hydraulic system is sealed with master cylinder cover and gaskei in place.


Work brake pedal (1) back and forth by hand to determine free play before push rod contacts piston in master cylinder. Free play of push rod should be approximately 1/16 in. Adjustment is made by loosening master cylinder rear bolt

1. Rear brake pedal

2. Pedal stop plate bolt

3. Pedal stop plate

4. Master cylinder rear bolt

5. Master cylinder fill plug

Figure 2-41. Adjusting Rear Brake Pedal — FL, 1978 and Early 1979

(4) and brake pedal stop plate bolt (2). Move front end of plate (3) down to decrease free play, or up to increase free play. Retighten bolts (2) and (4).

FL MODELS — LATE 1979 AND LATER (Figure 2-41A)

Work brake pedal lever back and forth by hand to determine free play before the plunger contacts the piston in the master cylinder. Free play of the plunger should be approximately 1/16 inch.

Adjustment is made by loosening jam nut (1) and turning stop bolt (2) either in our out to adjust free play. Tighten jam nut to 10 ft-lbs torque.

1. Jam nut

2. Stop bolt

Figure 2-41A. Adjusting Brake Pedal — FL, Late 1979 and Later

FX (Figure 2-41B)

On FX models, free play of master cylinder plunger should be approximately 1/16 in. Adjustment is made by loosening lock nut (2) and turning brake rod (3) on clevis threads (4) - forward to increase free play or rearward to decrease free play.

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