Bleeding Clutch

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xteammike
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Bleeding Clutch

Postby xteammike » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:22 pm

I am trying to bleed new fluid through my clutch line and am having a lot of trouble.

I first attempted to use a Mityvac and bleed from the slave cylinder: Could not get fluid to come out
I then tried pumping the lever and holding it while I bleed from the slave cylinder: Got some fluid out, lost all feel in the lever
I then tried to reverse bleed with a syringe: Could not get any fluid through the bleed nipple, it just came through the threads around the nipple even when I hardly opened it.


Not sure what I am doing wrong because the brakes bleed just fine for me.

Any and all help would be great! Thanks

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby murphc13 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:49 pm

I just used some clear rubber/tygon hose....not sure of the size but tight enough to seal both the MC nipple and the slave cylinder nipple
Same as brakes.....your using hydraulic clutch fluid right?
Just attach hose....open valve/nipple....pull lever....close valve/nipple....release lever.And flush maybe 1-2 reservoir loads through for both the MC and slave cylinder....job done

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby QuietRider » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:45 am

I have bled mine from the bottom up with a syringe (as I recall) with no problems.
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby ktmguy » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:47 am

I have done mine several times as the hydraulic fluid goes dark pretty fast, never had any problems and I'm doing it old fashion way.
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SUPER DUKE #1
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby SUPER DUKE #1 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:28 am

"back bleeding" with the KTM syringe, with the open bleeder nipple they supply and from the slave cylinder UP to the handlebar master cylinder is the BEST and only way that I have ever had any success. MAKE SURE ALL OF THE ADJUSTMENT AT THE CLUTCH LEVER IS BACKED ALL OF THE WAY OFF! or the results will be as you have already experienced. If you have aftermarket levers sometimes they will NOT let the master cylinder piston retract all of the way even with the adjuster backed off to the max. If this is the case then remove the lever, bleed the system. The easiest and best way with the system on the bike is to push the air up with fluid from the lower slave cylinder to the highest point the handlebar clutch master cylinder. If this method doesn't give you the best result then you may have more issues than you know, (damaged seal or damaged piston/cylinder wall, etc.,). I've bled lots of KTM hydraulic systems since the '80's with brakes and then the '90 clutch systems and back bleeding works the best on the hydraulic clutch system from mini' to the max SDR!


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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Fri May 20, 2016 2:05 am

Been trying to reverse bleed with a 60cc syringe and some tubing on my fresh Oberon slave and its just not working.

I loosed the slave bleed nipple and started to push the fluid in but the syringe doesn't budge. I ended up pushing so hard the hose flew off the syringe and that hose was on there very, very tight.

The reservoir cap was off as well. :?
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby SUPER DUKE #1 » Sat May 21, 2016 4:37 am

Aphex wrote:Been trying to reverse bleed with a 60cc syringe and some tubing on my fresh Oberon slave and its just not working.

I loosed the slave bleed nipple and started to push the fluid in but the syringe doesn't budge. I ended up pushing so hard the hose flew off the syringe and that hose was on there very, very tight.

The reservoir cap was off as well. :?


You will need a bleed nipple with a hole straight through. You may be able to find a bleed nipple at an auto parts or non-KTM dealer with the same thread pitch and drill it straight through......................that said be sure the adjustment at the handlebar master cylinder is backed completely off or if you have to remove the clutch lever. Fluid will not head into the reservoir if the passageway is blocked or closed. I'd try the master cylinder adjuster backed out first because thinking this through as I typed the stock slave cylinder bleed nipple should work regardless (but the drilled straight through bleed nipple works best). Back the adjuster off completely, good luck.

(oh and I forgot but I think you should know if the reservoir passage is blocked by opening or removing the slave cylinder bleeder and with the master cylinder cap and rubber removed it should free flow via gravity and drain out at the slave cylinder. If not there's your problem.)

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Sun May 22, 2016 9:04 pm

SUPER DUKE #1 wrote:that said be sure the adjustment at the handlebar master cylinder is backed completely off or if you have to remove the clutch lever. Fluid will not head into the reservoir if the passageway is blocked or closed. I'd try the master cylinder
(oh and I forgot but I think you should know if the reservoir passage is blocked by opening or removing the slave cylinder bleeder and with the master cylinder cap and rubber removed it should free flow via gravity and drain out at the slave cylinder. If not there's your problem.)

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Good call on removing the lever.

I removed the lever, filled the syringe with 10ml hooked up to the slave bleed nipple cracked it open and sucked the air out of the slave. Once I started getting fluid in the tube I closed the bleed nipple pushed all the air out of the syringe hooked up back up and reverse bled with ease.

I still didn't have any resistance at the lever until I bled the master cylinder.

Now it's working as it should.
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby SUPER DUKE #1 » Tue May 24, 2016 2:34 am

Thanks for the thanks! :wink: Glad things worked out. :D

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:27 pm

Any one have issues with the clutch engaging way to soon and possibly not disengaging completely?

So after installing the Oberon slave I bled the slave and master, there is no air in either. However if I leave the bike in gear and try to start it with the clutch pulled in it'll lurch forward, the clutch is super loud when not engaged as well (could be normal as I haven't ran the bike in 6 months and could have forgotten how loud it is). The clutch also engages 1 mm away from the bar no matter what adjustment I make on the lever.
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby RyanD » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:52 pm

Aphex wrote:Any one have issues with the clutch engaging way to soon and possibly not disengaging completely?

So after installing the Oberon slave I bled the slave and master, there is no air in either. However if I leave the bike in gear and try to start it with the clutch pulled in it'll lurch forward, the clutch is super loud when not engaged as well (could be normal as I haven't ran the bike in 6 months and could have forgotten how loud it is). The clutch also engages 1 mm away from the bar no matter what adjustment I make on the lever.


I'm having this exact problem. Last weekend at two separate stoplights the bike wanted to creep forward even with the clutch pulled all the way in. Downshifting takes tons of pressure from my foot, and three times I had to take off out of 2nd gear from red lights because I couldn't get it into 1st. Finding neutral is impossible. This all started after having the KTM dealer put new tyres on for me.... Not sure whats going on. Going to try to bleed the clutch/replace the fluid. Have you had any luck?

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:27 pm

RyanD wrote:I'm having this exact problem. Last weekend at two separate stoplights the bike wanted to creep forward even with the clutch pulled all the way in. Downshifting takes tons of pressure from my foot, and three times I had to take off out of 2nd gear from red lights because I couldn't get it into 1st. Finding neutral is impossible. This all started after having the KTM dealer put new tyres on for me.... Not sure whats going on. Going to try to bleed the clutch/replace the fluid. Have you had any luck?


No luck yet, I haven't had much time to look at the bike. However I almost emptied the reservoir and reverse bled the system until it was full again, the bike still lurches forward an inch or two every couple of seconds but the distance the lever has to travel for the clutch to engage is almost back to normal. Shifting gears still takes waaay too much pressure, however I'm hoping that once I get a good ride in it'll loosen up since it's been sitting for almost 6 months.


How's your chain slack?
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby RyanD » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:24 am

Chain slack is good as far as I can tell.

Today I ran 1.5 reservoirs worth of fluid through the system... Just pulled the clutch lever, loosened the nipple, tightened it, pumped the lever and repeated.. I stopped at 1.5 reservoir worth because the bolt on the nipple was about to strip (I'm using the supplied KTM 8mm wrench).

I rode up and down the street several times and it felt OK, but that happened the last time I tried to bleed the system (bled way less last time). It started acting up after I had been riding for a while.

Going to take a spin tomorrow and see how it performs. Please let me know what you experience.

Also- Did the KTM tool kit come with a syringe? Mine doesn't have one.

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby murphc13 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:47 pm

My kit didn't come with a syringe either
Actually I had to fight for my tool kit!!
Sad really!!!!

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:47 am

RyanD wrote:Chain slack is good as far as I can tell.

Today I ran 1.5 reservoirs worth of fluid through the system... Just pulled the clutch lever, loosened the nipple, tightened it, pumped the lever and repeated.. I stopped at 1.5 reservoir worth because the bolt on the nipple was about to strip (I'm using the supplied KTM 8mm wrench).

I rode up and down the street several times and it felt OK, but that happened the last time I tried to bleed the system (bled way less last time). It started acting up after I had been riding for a while.

Going to take a spin tomorrow and see how it performs. Please let me know what you experience.

Also- Did the KTM tool kit come with a syringe? Mine doesn't have one.



Sorry I'm doing this on a 990 so I didn't get a kit. It should be relevant though.

I just went to the nearest vet supply store and got a large gauge syringe.

So after leaving the clutch lever zip tied to the bar for 2 days it still felt weird but I got tired of not riding. I started it up and ran it to the gas station for fuel and air in the tyres and after a mile or two everything sort of worked itself out.

The clutch engagement is back to normal, there is still a tiny tiny bit of clutch drag when stopped at a light but the transmission has really loosened up and its not notchy anymore .

I would try taking it out for a 5 mile ride and see how it feels after that.
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:15 pm

Clutch is making some loose, slapping sounds at the start of the friction zone.

Will upload a video today. It doesn't sound good at all but I dont know what could cause it.
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:14 am

So here is the play in the basket:



and here is the slapping extra loud rattling noise:

Now this is kinda hard to hear but from about 7mm from the bar to about a quarter fo the lever throw there is a slappy/sloppy feeling engagement. Then as the lever progresses it goes away then it smoothly grabs and pulls forward. the only things I've done is swap the slave and put the OEM lever back on. I pulled the clutch pack and looked at it, the steels weren't warped and I put all the fibers and steels back in the original order. the basket has some very very slight notching that you can feel with your finger but not really see.


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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby bikelee » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:20 pm

:?: I am gonna bleed my clutch on my 2014 1290 Super Duke as the fluid is 2 years. I will make sure the the lever is adjusted all the way out. I do have a brand new bottle of hydraulic mineral oil specified. I've read this whole section and am a little confused. Should I bleed from the slave cylinder up with a syringe or use my Motion Pro Mini-Bleeder( which works like a Speed-Bleeder ) from the top down ?
I had a Ducati 2005 Multistrada with a similar arrangement as the Duke and just used the Mini-Bleeder and no problems.
Why all the problems with the Dukes ? Thanks for any help and advice.

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Aphex » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:41 pm

My issues weren't due to bleeding, it ended up being the clutch basket and primary gear. The basket would move outwards with the pressure plate and made it feel like it was never fully bled.

Pushing from the slave up is the best way to do it in my opinion.
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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby vernonbc » Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:01 am

bikelee wrote::?: I am gonna bleed my clutch on my 2014 1290 Super Duke as the fluid is 2 years. I will make sure the the lever is adjusted all the way out. I do have a brand new bottle of hydraulic mineral oil specified. I've read this whole section and am a little confused. Should I bleed from the slave cylinder up with a syringe or use my Motion Pro Mini-Bleeder( which works like a Speed-Bleeder ) from the top down ?
I had a Ducati 2005 Multistrada with a similar arrangement as the Duke and just used the Mini-Bleeder and no problems.
Why all the problems with the Dukes ? Thanks for any help and advice.


I just recently replaced my slave with an oberon slave and I just gravity bled the system and it worked quite well. The only thing I had to do was bleed the nipple at the lever as there was an air pocket in there.
Just attach a small tube to the slave nipple, crack it open about 1/2 turn and remove the reservoir cap and watch the fluid slowly flow out through the tube. Just make sure you do not let the reservoir run dry or you will introduce air into the system. If you are just replacing fluid then just wait till the new stuff comes out of the slave. If you have no clutch pull after gravity bleeding then all you will have to do is bleed the lever nipple a couple of times.
No special tools needed. Just a tube, a small plastic bag zip tied to the end of tube (to catch oil) and a wrench and a little bit of patience.

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby Plake » Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:37 am

bikelee wrote::?: I am gonna bleed my clutch on my 2014 1290 Super Duke as the fluid is 2 years. I will make sure the the lever is adjusted all the way out. I do have a brand new bottle of hydraulic mineral oil specified. I've read this whole section and am a little confused. Should I bleed from the slave cylinder up with a syringe or use my Motion Pro Mini-Bleeder( which works like a Speed-Bleeder ) from the top down ?
I had a Ducati 2005 Multistrada with a similar arrangement as the Duke and just used the Mini-Bleeder and no problems.
Why all the problems with the Dukes ? Thanks for any help and advice.


If you want to completely drain and then refill the clutch then the workshop manual advises refilling slave-up, which means buying the KTM syringe kit with the straight through slave bleed nipple. You won't be able to force a bottle of mineral oil through the normal slave bleed nipple.

Vernonbc's technique has the advantage of not needing the special kit and your minibleeder will be helpful at the slave end for this, assuming it fits, otherwise just some tubing and a wrench.

If you do get any air in the master cylinder you'll need to bleed it out at the tiny valve up at the lever in order to get clutch pull back.

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Re: Bleeding Clutch

Postby bikelee » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:17 pm

:?: I saw this looking for videos on how to bleed the hydraulic clutch: http://slorider.com/ktm/manuals/MaguraB ... cedure.pdf. Read the second line of the paragraph. It says "The MAGURA hydraulic clutch is designed so that the hydraulic oil does NOT need to be changed for the lifetime of your motorcycle." Why is Magura saying this ? Am I wasting my time doing this bleeding procedure as routine maintenance ? MY KTM shop manual says to change the hydraulic oil every 2 years.
I'm going with KTM on this one.
I'm thinking the hydraulic fluid breaks down just from being near a hot engine !
What you people think ??


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