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Whats the easiest, not necessarily the fastest, way to bleed brakes? What tools do I need? I went to the auto parts shop yesterday and asked for a 'speed bleeder' (found that in a search) and he didnt know what I was talking about.

This is my first time, so I really have no idea what's involved, any pointers are helpful. Is it in the service manual? I havent had a chance to look yet.

And how do you know if all the air is out?

Thanks!
 

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Bleed some fluid out of the first the master cylinder, then the calipers. Empty the reservoir. Take the calipers off. Clean the pistons. Push the pistons all the way into the calipers. Empty the reservoir. Remount the calipers. Refill the reservoir. Pump the brakes up. Refill the reservoir. Starting with the master cylinder, bleed fluid out of the nipples till it comes out clean. Top up the reservoir as needed during that process and when done. Whatever you do don't listen to the clueless asspipes who think strapping the brake lever overnight is going to have a lasting, positive result. You need an 8mm combo wrench, a phillips head screwdriver, a 12mm socket, and a torque wrench.
 

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easiest way to bleed brakes is get a vacuum pump kit for about $30 at most autoparts stores like autozone, pepboys etc.. makes it much easier to do and like palomartin said do the mc first then each caliper and then go for a ride and after it settles over night i always bleed again to get every little bit of air out if there is any and your set.. a pain in the ass to do with one person but it can be done
 

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For bleeding you dont really need a vacuum pump. If you are overhauling your brakes or changing the fluid, then yeah a vacum bleeder willl help.
For bleeding (just taking the aiir bubles off) Get a clear hose that would fit snug to the bleeder screw on the calipers and an 8 mm wrench. Attach hose to caliper nr 1, loosen the screw slowly while applying some pressure to the brake lever and watch the fluid come up, also watch for bubles, after its clear fluid only ( you don need much fluid to come up) do the same for the other caliper and master cylinder.
Voila you are done. You may still feel mushiness on the lever, so go ride the bike, accelarate brake etc.. ( move the air bubles that are left in the lines) and bleed one more time. You should have rock hard brakes now if you did it right.

Ps: Make sure the hose is raised above the caliper or master cylinder, so the air bubles can move up).
 

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Now, if you really want to get into it, read up:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/Motorcycle-technical-articles/bleeding-motorcycle-brakes/bleeding-motorcycle-brakes.htm

http://www.motorcycle.com/mo/mcnuts/braketech.motml

http://www.h-e-l.co.uk/HEL_Performance_Motorcycle_Brake_Lines_Brake_Doctor_Brake_Bleeding.htm

This is one part I think is worth noting:

"The master cylinder is fed from the reservoir by a tiny hole and this hole easily gets blocked which is why cleanliness is so important when bleeding brakes." and....

" Don't be tempted to use any of the 'self bleed' gadgets unless you really, positively, nothing else for it, have to. These things allow the nipple to be kept open as they incorporate a non return valve to stop air re-entering the system. But the bleed nipple has a threaded end which screws into the caliper - air can be sucked into the caliper along this route if the nipple is loose in the threaded part of the caliper ..."
 
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