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Thread: F-Twins Tech F650/700/800 - Renewing Brake Fluid

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    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Rochester, MN

    F-Twins Tech F650/700/800 - Renewing Brake Fluid

    The articles, posts and comments in this tech section are posted by individual members and reflect their personal thoughts and experiences with repairing, maintaining, and generally working on motorcycles. This information may require specific knowledge and skills, may or may not be correct or current to model.

    The authors of information found here and the BMW MOA take no responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of any information (including procedures, techniques, parts numbers, torque values, tool usage, etc.), or further for any damage of any kind or injuries incurred or caused by anyone following the instructions or information found here.

    It is the duty of the individual to either assume the liability himself for responsibly using the information found here, or to take the bike or accessory to a Dealer or other qualified professional service.

    Please ensure you dispose of your used chemicals, oils and fuels in an environmentally responsible manner. Most Auto Parts stores and service stations will accept used oil and lubricants, tires and batteries, please check for your local availability. Here's a link where you can look up a place to dispose of your used fluids (oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.) -

    This article, text and photos are Copyright of the individual authors and the BMW MOA, any copying or redistributing is permitted only by prior written authorization.


    Final note: PLEASE ONLY DO THIS JOB IF YOU ARE COMPETENT WITH TOOLS - Brake failure is no fun! When in doubt, take your motorcycle to a reputable dealer.


    Renewing the brake fluid in the front and rear brakes on your BMW twin-cylinder F650, F700 and F800.

    The F-Twin manual calls for the brake fluid to be replaced every two years, and that's for good reason. Because brake fluid is hygroscopic, it naturally absorbs moisture from the surrounding air, which causes the boiling point of the fluid to decrease. A lowered boiling point could cause your brakes to fail (often at an inopportune time) because the liquid (which is not compressible) can turn to vapor (which is compressible) at higher temperatures. Brake fluid will absorb moisture whether you're riding 50,000 miles per year, or 5 miles.

    DOT 4 brake fluid, which is recommended by BMW for our F-Twins, has a minimum boiling temperature of 446 degrees Fahrenheit when it's fresh out of the can. After absorbing just a small amount of water, that boiling temperature number can almost be cut in half. From what I was able to find, most DOT brake fluid will absorb about 3-4% moisture by volume after just two years. After the brake fluid absorbs about 8% of of it's total volume, the boiling point is almost no better than plain water.

    The second reason that we want to replace the fluid in the brake system is because it also contains corrosion inhibitors. These inhibitors can prevent problems in our delicate ABS systems (if your bike is equipped). So, at the end of the day, a little $4 bottle of brake fluid can save you time, money, and possibly your life.

    Note 1: The specific bike shown is a 2013 F800GS
    Note 2: The 650 version of the F-Twins will only have one brake caliper and disc on the front wheel
    Note 3: The tools and materials used are by personal choice and are not due to any affiliation with any brand

    Tools Required:
    - 11mm wrench
    - Clear tubing that fits the bleeder nipple and small container or a vacuum bleeder (we will be using a Mityvac for this post)
    - Torque wrench and 11mm socket
    - Optional - T25 star (Torx) wrench or bit and ratchet

    Materials Required:
    - An unopened bottle of Dot 4 brake fluid
    - Suitable bottle to hold used brake fluid for proper disposal

    WARNING: Brake fluid attacks paint. Depending on the type of paint - the attack can be very fast, or relatively slow - but your goal in doing this job is to avoid getting brake fluid on any paint. IF you do get fluid on painted parts - a rinse with soapy water is a very good thing to do - as soon as you can. If you delay too long you'll be washing the paint off along with the fluid.
    Last edited by drneo66; 03-07-2021 at 08:02 PM.
    Current: 2007 BMW R1200RT, 2013 F800GS
    Former: 1995 BMW K75S, 2009 BMW G650GS
    MOA Member #:150400, IBA#: 37558

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