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Thread: Gen 1 ABS brake bleeding suggestions

  1. #1
    Registered User landev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Gen 1 ABS brake bleeding suggestions

    I'm working on my project bike, 2005 R1200ST and thought I'd do a quick bleed of the brakes. I installed Speedbleeders on both the front calipers and the rear caliper. I've been successful in a quick change-out on my other bikes, bit I'm finding the ST to be problematic due to it's use of the Gen 1 ABS.

    The bleeders on Speedbleeder's site were incorrect and called for a 7mm bleeder for front calipers. I installed these, snugged them down, then found that the right front was weeping before I started the bleeding process. It seems that Speedbleeder's chart for this particular bike was incorrect (needs an 8mm bleeder rather than a 7mm) and the result is now there are now copious amounts of air in the system. Speedbleeder's support line suggested I replace the original bleeders and try to get some fluid to flow to the front calipers. No soap. No flow of fluid at all.

    I've tried the "lever" method, as well as a MightyVac and an electric vacuum pump. Long story short is that I can't get any fluid to flow to the front calipers. I'm guessing that I need to tackle the ABS and get some fluid added at that point or just bypass the ABS altogether.

    Does anyone have experience with the Gen 1 ABS that might alleviate this issue, or have experience in bypassing the system?

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    south of Los Angeles
    No specific experience with the 1200s, but - Don't bypass it, you may have some air left in there too.

  3. #3
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Central Ohio
    Bleeding the brakes will never be "quick" on this bike. The ABS controller is under the tank, so that has to come off, which requires removing front and rear seats, removing bottom left fairing panel, removing entire left fairing side panel, removing bottom right fairing panel, removing entire right fairing side panel.

    Never use a vacuum pump on servo brakes, it can damage valves in the ABS controller. The control and wheel circuits are bled individually, adding fluid at the lever, pedal, and ABS reservoirs. After proper preparation, the ABS pump will push/pull fresh fluid through the lines.

    This guide should explain the procedures:
    2006 R1200RT

  4. #4
    Registered User landev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Ah... thank you both!

    Ikraus, that link refreshed my memory! I used that document when I dealt with my 2002 RS's ABS. I imagined that the ABS on a 2005 bike would be more advanced than that on the 2002. Of course... it's a Gen 1 ABS... same kettle of fish, eh? I replaced all ABS fittings with Speedbleeders on the RS and I will do the same on this ST. I sure got myself into a mess on this "30 minute job!" At least I've been here before (though not under the same circumstances)... have the same funnel tool and modified wrench for the job. Not fun as I recall, but completely doable!

    Sigh of relief here, though someday, I hope to experience a semblance of boredom!

    Thanks again!


  5. #5

    Brake activation signals for front & back switched on '05 R1200 ABS

    I bought my 2nd '05 R2100ST but this one has ABS and the Brake Failure warnings are going off. I believe the system needs a good flush and found instructions on how to do that, but according to my GS911 unit, when the hand brake is applied, the GS911 reports the rear brake was activated, and when the rear brake is applied the GS911 reports the hand brake was activated. Is this an error with the GS911 unit or is there a way the activation circuits can be connected in reversed positions somewhere?

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