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Thread: Brake reservoir empty 06 RT

  1. #1
    Registered User C172MyP51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Hershey, PA

    Brake reservoir empty 06 RT

    Had the bike parked on the center stand, turned the handlebars both ways & I can't see anything in the brake fluid sight "glass" which is on the reservoir on the throttle side, I believe.
    A. Is it as easy as removing the reservoir cover carefully, wiping everything off, keeping the fluid off the plastic etc. and topping it off? I've got a bottle of brake fluid from the dealer.
    B. Has anyone ever run out before? What's it mean?

    Hershey, PA
    IBA# 41,645
    2006 BMW R1200RT
    1986 BMW R80RT

  2. #2
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Camas Valley Oregon
    Probably means nothing at all. As your pads wear down the level drops in the fluid cup. Don't fill it up as when you replace the disk pads it will be a problem. I'd wipe the top off and remove it to see how much fluid is there.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Astatula, FL
    Yes, it is that easy. You may want to check the thickness of your front brake pads. If the fluid has dropped that far you may be at the service limit.
    Bob Weis
    Bikeless! 2004-bmw-k12rs-hannigan-Sold!

  4. #4
    As MPMARTY says, your situation may just be due to brake pad wear. Consider looking at the wear of the front brake pads. (The Rider‘«÷s Manual should be a source of information on how to do this.) Does the amount of wear equate to the amount of decrease of fluid in the reservoir? Are the pads worn to the point of needing replacement? Do the brakes feel ‘«ˇspongy‘«÷? Is the level low enough to warrant doing a brake bleed/flush?

    On the other hand, since the vast majority of stopping power comes from the front brakes, it might be prudent to do just a bit more than put more fluid in. While it may be due to pad wear, consider carefully inspecting for signs of leaks. This might include looking on the deck under where the bike is parked, but may also included looking along the entire brake line circuit including all hoses and joints. (The fiche from Max BMW ( will provide good drawings to assist in this inspection.) Any signs of fluid/moisture should be considered suspect and further investigated. In addition to this initial visual inspection, consider repeating it once fluid has been added with the system under pressure by applying the brake with the bike on/running to ensure the ABS system is functioning. If a leak does exist, it will be more evident with the system under pressure. Also consider if there is a leak and it occurred while riding, there may be little, if any, evidence actually on the bike as any fluid that may have leaked out was ‘«ˇblown away‘«÷ and not on the bike at all.

    See this thread for what I recently went through with my rear brake on my ‘«÷10 GSA -
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Inner pads wear faster- be sure to look at those

    There is in additional to the window a lttle level fill indicator ridge or notch cast inside the reservoir on those Magura controls you can use to tell fill level when open.

    If the rservoir top doesn't come off easily, slide a piece of thin dental floss into the joint and work it around the periphery to loosen the top. No prying with a crewdriver or knife is needed.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Western NY
    For the 06 models there are 2 brake circuits each for the front and rear brakes: a control circuit (master cylinder to ABS controller) and a power circuit (ABS controller to caliper(s)). Fluid level in the master cylinders is not dependent on pad wear. The OP could have a leak in the front brake control circuit.
    2007 R1200ST

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by kthutchinson View Post
    The OP could have a leak in the front brake control circuit.
    He could also have a full reservoir of clear brake fluid. That's what I've mostly found when helping friends flush the whizzy brakes on the early hexhead RT.

    I won't mention the friend who kept adding oil to his bike because he couldn't see any in the sight glass after an oil change. At least you can't really over fill the brake circuits.

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