Abs Brake Fluid Change

Discussion in 'Speed Triple' started by Alan Gilbert, Dec 3, 2021.

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  1. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    #1 Alan Gilbert, Dec 3, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2021
    As my Speed Triple RS is now 2yrs old, sorned for the winter and undergoing maintenance, I figured I would change the brake fluid and so delved into the dark recesses of my Official Triumph Service Manual to brush up on the procedure.
    The manual doesn’t differentiate between a fluid change and the procedure for “bleeding” the brakes and as such makes constant reference to pumping the brakes and releasing the bleed nipples until there are “no more signs of air bubbles”. Of course, if we’re only changing out the fluid, there shouldn’t be any air in the system to start with and therefore, I can’t help wondering if the instructions relating to bleeding the ABS are somewhat redundant. Certainly, on my BMW, the fluid change procedure does not involve activating the ABS but the official Triumph procedure appears convoluted to say the least - and not just the bit pertaining to the ABS - there’s a bizarre sequence of procedures which are called for once the fluid change has been completed.
    Anyway - here goes and for those interested, this is plucked straight from the OEM manual
    1. The first procedure requires the front brakes to be bled manually, starting with the front right caliper, then the front left followed by the master cylinder.
    2. Clearly it is vitally important to ensure that the front reservoir is kept topped up at all times in order to ensure no air gets in to the system and PROTECT YOUR PAINT AND PLASTICS.
    3. The manual suggests setting the brake span to max by turning the span adjuster clockwise and the ratio adjuster to 21 - this is merely to allow for movement of the lever to pump the maximum amount of fluid on each squeeze. On completion, any adjustments made should be returned to their previous settings.
    4. Having completed the manual brake bleed, now activate the ABS using the Diagnostic software and in my case - Dealertool.
    5. Prior to activating, apply pressure to the brake lever and with the help of an assistant, release “a bleed nipple” and bleed the fluid in the normal way whilst the ABS pump is running and continue until “no more air bubbles” are seen.
    My take on this is that for a simple fluid change, there shouldn’t be any bubbles and so this operation can be terminated after only a couple of squeezes of the brake lever, sufficient to remove the old fluid from the modulator. Also, the instructions don’t say which nipple to release for the ABS bleed - I will use the front right caliper for easy access.
    The diagnostic ABS sequence stops automatically after 90 seconds and if reactivation is required, you MUST wait 5 minutes to allow the ABS modulator to cool down but. . . as I suggested above, you are likely to only need a couple of lever pulls to switch out the ABS fluid and the “stop” tab can be pressed long before the full 90 seconds.
    6. With the ABS diagnostics turned off and disconnected, now manually repeat the bleed procedure for front right, left and master cylinder in this order and until “no further air bubbles” are seen. Again - for a simple fluid change, my take on this is you shouldn’t have any bubbles and so bleed sufficient fluid through to ensure you have switched out all the old brake fluid released from the modulator.
    Now for the really wacky stuff. . . .

    A. On the right caliper, push all four pistons back by about 1-2mm by applying pressure to the pad backplates using a suitable tool.

    B.Now operate the brake lever to bring the pads into contact with the discs

    C. Repeat this procedure 3 times and then carry out the same exercise for the front left caliper.

    D. Finally, apply approximately 20Kgs of pressure to the front brake lever for about 5 seconds then release the brake lever for 30 seconds and repeat this step 3 times.

    Steps A -D are utterly bizarre and in particular the requirement to cycle 20Kgs at the brake lever but I can only assume it’s a measure designed to free up or prevent seized pistons - dead wacky if you ask me.
    Anyway, I suspect moving the pistons by 1-2mm will prove nigh on impossible without either removing the pads, calipers or both which will be the way I will do it

    Thankfully, the procedure at the rear end is simpler. . . .

    1.Manually bleed the caliper
    2. Run the ABS whilst repeating the bleed - same guff about air bubbles etc but I would give no more than a couple of pedal pushes and then “stop” and disconnect the diagnostics
    3. Once again, reoeat the manual bleed until “no more air bubbles” are seen (read this as keep going until you are happy there is no old fluid left

    For the rear brake, there is no requirement to push the pistons back or cycle a set force to the rear pedal - this applies to front brake only.

    Torque settings for MY2018+ Speed Triple RS
    front bleed nipples 8nm (IMPORTANT 6nm??? - SEE EDIT BELOW)
    front master cylinder bleed nipple 14nm (IMPORTANT 6nm??? - SEE EDIT BELOW)
    Rear bleed nipple 6nm
    Front brake reservoir screws 1nm

    IMPORTANT EDIT - The above torque settings were taken from the procedure as outlined in the manual and documented in the text for "changing the front brake fluid". Elsewhere in the manual the torque settings are specified in a "torque settings" chapter and also shown on "exploded views". In the latter two, the front bleed nipple torque is shown as 6nm and the front master cylinder bleed nipple also as 6nm. This is a horrendous error given that I am using the official Triumph service manual. Different torque settings like this would imply that either the bleed nipples are being screwed into a different material - alloy vs steel and/or are a different thread diameter in each case.
    I have taken a close look at front and rear caliper bleed screws and the master cylinder screw - all are threaded into alloy housings. The difference in each case is that whilst the front and back bleed screws are the same thread size, the front are Brembo whilst the back are Nissin and it could simply be that the different manufacturers require a different torque setting, however, my BMW also uses Brembo calipers and the spec for those is 6nm
    The master cylinder bleed screw is patently a different size and so I suspect the correct setting is 14nm but . . . CAVEAT EMPTOR!!!!!!!

    22/12/2021 I have since contacted Triumph customer services and they came back to me today and confirmed the correct torque setting for the 2018+ Speed Triple RS is 8nm and 14nm. If you are reading this and do not own this specific model, do not use these figures without checking. I am aware that the Speed Triple R and S and some earlier models use different calipers and particularly, different master cylinders and even the Brembos are often not the same as the MY2018+ RS, with a number of bikes using a 8mm thread on the master cylinder bleed nipple.
     
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  2. Col_C

    Col_C I can't re...Member
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    Good info Alan, the "wacky" A-D stuff is new, the rest is the same as for earlier ABS models.
    I assume the added procedure is merely to refresh the seals by moving and re-energising them (something that would happen in a routine pad replacement anyway).
    I flushed through my 2015 94R a year or so back using TuneECU, I'll repeat a warning I gave on a previous thread, TuneECU doesn't appear to time-out at 90secs, I stopped at probably about 2 minutes with no sign of anything stopping, however there was no external sign of any heat in the modulator whatsoever and I've had no problems with the ABS since.
    It's likely TuneECU has updated since I used it for this so may be a time-out has been added, I'd be interested to know if anybody has used the latest version and whether that is the case?
    I can confirm the procedure really does require an assistant, also I don't know how compatible TuneECU is now with the latest models.
    Not heard anything specific to Triumph, but I have heard tales of ABS modulators failing due to corrosion by trapped water in the old brake fluid, so whilst the procedure is a bit complicated it is worth doing IMO.
     
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  3. Pegscraper

    Pegscraper Elite Member

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    I can only assume the procedure is to completely purge the old fluid from the ABS pump. The brakes have to function as a standard non ABS setup when the engine isn't running so there is obviously a fluid path from the reservoirs/master cyliders to the calipers with a dead ABS pump. The ABS systems on my car and also on the ZZR require no such faffing about and you just bleed the system in the conventional manner. Good old Triumph eh!
     
  4. TRIPLE X

    TRIPLE X Active Member

    Sep 1, 2021
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    Did mine earlier this year using Dealertool to purge the ABS Modulator. Managed to do it without an assistant but applied a modicum of common sense and ignored the wacky bits which get carried out next time the front wheel is out for a tyre or pad change. Removing the rear wheel is a quick job and makes access for the rear fluid change and bleeding much easier.
     
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  5. Col_C

    Col_C I can't re...Member
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    Correct, there is a quantity of brake fluid held in the modulator, if the ABS never gets activated then there it stays, which seems to contradict the argument that hydroscopic brake fluid could corrode the module as it's sealed off. However if activated would draw in fluid that at that time might be contaminated and if left might cause future problems. There's nothing stopping you bleeding the system in the normal way ignoring the abs module, and I suspect most dealers might go that route and nobody would be the wiser.
    The abs modulator is supplied by Bosch, the same used by BMW, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, et al, so nothing peculiar to Triumph...... :)
     
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  6. Col_C

    Col_C I can't re...Member
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    I suspect Dealertool runs this operation more slick than TuneECU, - keeping pressure on lever, releasing/re-tightening nipple, and starting/stopping the modulator via TuneECU all got a bit too hectic for my aging brain. :)
     
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  7. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    If I understood the instructions correctly, I think the official Triumph diagnostics simply leave the ABS running for 90 seconds whilst you get on and bleed one of the nipples - no need to keep turning it on and off with each squeeze and release of fluid.
    I think I too will just do the wacky stuff as and when I have the front wheel out or clean up the brakes - the 20Kg bit is a little baffling and seems somewhat pointless to me
     
  8. Col_C

    Col_C I can't re...Member
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    Yes, it was just the added complication of after starting the abs also keeping track of time whilst doing the lever and nipple juggling as TuneECU would just keep running (doesn't time out at 90secs).
     
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  9. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    #9 Alan Gilbert, Dec 4, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
    I always manage to get into a mess when I change brake fluid and despite taking precautions, today was no different. . .
    After diligently bleeding the front right caliper and all but emptying the reservoir, I looked down only to see brake fluid dribbling off the underside of the caliper and onto the wheel rim and tyre!!!!
    I stopped there and then, washed the wheel, disc and caliper before deciding to strip down the caliper to see it the pads had any fluid on them - luckily no evidence of any leakage inside the caliper.
    As I had removed the caliper and pads, I pushed the pistons right in and chocked them with wooden blocks (as per the instructions on my S1000, which uses the same caliper and suggests that by pushing the pistons fully in, all fluid in the caliper is then changed, rather than fluid coming down the lines and then straight out of the nipple, leaving unchanged fluid behind the pistons).
    I then decided to continue the bleeding with one hand holding the caliper, one hand holding the 8mm ring spanner and errh. . errh . . squeezing the brake lever by pushing it with my head as I was kneeling at the front wheel - worked quite well and removing the pads allowed me to do the “wacky” stuff!!!
    To avoid future spills, I think I will remove the calipers again in future as I’m not sure where the spill came from - either between the nipple and the caliper body or from the hose where it clips onto the nipple - always happens to me almost without fail. . . .

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    A couple of things to note - look carefully at the bottom of the reservoir. It is covered in a white powdery sediment that looked much like “flour” which would rise up and make the fluid cloudy when disturbed. Gawd knows how it got in there as the reservoir has never been opened. Anyway, I syringed out all the old fluid, wiped it clean and refilled to remove the sediment before bleeding.
    I use one of those brake fluid bleed kits including a hose with a one-way valve and a clip which goes onto the nipple - I’m pretty sure it is this which leaks because after removing the caliper and bleeding it as per it’s position in the picture, I didn’t get any further leakage just using a simple silicone hose.
    Wasted too much time cleaning up after the spill and so hopefully finish tomorrow and do the ABS thing with DealerTool. . . .
     
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  10. Col_C

    Col_C I can't re...Member
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    :laughing::joy:
    Good luck head butting the brake lever while bleeding the left caliper (and rear).
    Got to be worth a video. :)
     
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  11. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    yeh, now there’s a thought. Rear won’t be a problem but front left is going to need a rethink!!!
     
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  12. TRIPLE X

    TRIPLE X Active Member

    Sep 1, 2021
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    With the calipers removed it will be a three hand job i.e assistance needed. Maybe your leak is caused by opening the bleed nipple too much for too long. My technique for both changing and bleeding the fluid is to first apply pressure to the brake lever then crack the bleed nipple just enough to allow the lever to slowly pull back to the bar then immediately close the nipple before releasing the lever. Then repeat the process to drain or bleed the system keeping the reservoir topped up as necessary. If you solve the leak issue the whole operation will be an easier one man job with the caliper attached without mimicking a game of twister o_O
     
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  13. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    #13 Alan Gilbert, Dec 5, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
    Baldrick had a cunning plan. . . .
    Today I put the bike up on front and rear paddock stands, removed the front wheel and remounted the calipers after removing the pads and cleaning both calipers. This means I should no longer need to head butt the brake lever during the remaining bleed sequence!!
    I pushed all 8 pistons back and this equates to about 2/3rds of the volume of the front brake reservoir compared to where the pistons sit with brand new pads. It’s strange how BMW require this on Brembos but Triumph make no mention of it but perhaps logical when you think about it as I suspect that bleeding the brakes through would ordinarily leave the fluid behind the pistons - all depends on whether or not there is direct continuity between the brake line and bleed nipple, which I suspect there is.
    Pleased I decided to change out the fluid - the old stuff is still cloudy from the sediment that was on the bottom of the reservoir - check out the picture - 2 yrs old an only 2000 miles.
    Also got to the bottom of the leak. . .
    I was using a one-man bleed kit where the pipe has a “constricting” clamp that goes around the nipple at one end and the other has a supposedly “one-way” valve. The valve wasn’t allowing compressed air through and so as I bled the brakes, fluid was coming out of the nipple and causing a build up of air pressure in the pipe which in turn, was forcing the fluid out from the connection onto the nipple - total junk which I’ve now binned and will be using an ordinary piece of open-ended silicone from now on!!!!!!

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  14. TRIPLE X

    TRIPLE X Active Member

    Sep 1, 2021
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    Interesting about the BMW approach. That's the first time I've heard that but it seems to make sense. Looks like you are doing a thorough job. I also use the one man bleed kit with the non-return valve which worked ok until I bled the master cylinder. When i thought I had finished I went to remove the tube from the bleed nipple and the twat spat me in the face with residual brake fluid :(
     
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  15. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    - the wretched stuff flicks and flings like there’s no tomorrow.
    I’ve used these kits before without issue - this is a new one but definitely what is causing the leak and so onwards and upwards tomorrow - hopefully finish the job off
    Key still working which is a bonus . . . .
     
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  16. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    Don 't you just love this company that is Triumph Motorcycles. Their official manual is so full of errors just like all of them before.
    I have just been and edited my first post but thought I would draw attention to it here.
    I originally posted the torque settings as . . .

    Torque settings for MY2018+ Speed Triple RS
    front bleed nipples 8nm
    Front master cylinder bleed nipple 14nm
    Rear bleed nipple 6nm
    Front brake reservoir screws 1nm

    The above torque settings were taken from the procedure as outlined in the manual and documented in the text for "changing the front brake fluid". Elsewhere in the manual the torque settings are specified in a Section designated as "Torque Settings" and also shown within "Exploded Views". In either of these two sections, the front bleed nipple torque is shown as 6nm and the front master cylinder bleed nipple also as 6nm. This is a horrendous error given that I am using the official Triumph service manual. Different torque settings like this would imply that either the bleed nipples are being screwed into a different material - alloy vs steel and/or are a different thread diameter in each case.
    I have taken a close look at front and rear caliper bleed screws and the master cylinder screw - all are threaded into alloy housings. The difference in each case is that whilst the front and back bleed screws are the same thread size, the front are Brembo whilst the back are Nissin and it could simply be that the different manufacturers require a different torque setting, however, my BMW also uses Brembo calipers and the spec for those is 6nm.
    The master cylinder bleed screw is patently a different size and somewhat bigger and so I suspect the correct setting is indeed14nm but . . . CAVEAT EMPTOR!!!!!!!
    When I was bleeding the front right caliper, I merely nipped up the bleed screw in between each pump and dump operation and my intention had been to run the ABS bleed before finally torqueing the nipple to the correct 6/8nm. I left the bleed nipple "nipped" overnight and somewhat surprisingly, it leaked and dripped two drops of brake fluid onto the garage floor. I tightened it again to 6nm and left it overnight but with a tissue wrapped around the nipple and there are very faint signs of brake fluid having wicked into the tissue. I find myself wondering if it is anything to do with minute particles of sediment being trapped within the nipple itself although, as I said before, I haven't got a clue how Triumph managed to introduce this shite into the brakes as I doubt very much it's due to fluid degradation.
    Anyway, plan now is to complete the fluid change and cautiously explore the option for 8nm/14nm on the front/Master cylinder nipples having first used my digital torque adapter to first measure exactly how much torque is required to return the nipples to their exact starting point.
    I suspect the correct settings are indeed 6/8/14 and the exploded views etc are a cut and paste error by the Triumph geniuses. . . hey ho!!
    Finally, one of the procedures outlined by Triumph for changing the front brake fluid is to apply a force of 20kgs to the front brake lever three times. There is no explanation for this which can't possible be for seating the pads as there is an earlier procedure for sliding these in and out a few times. To my mind, there is only one possible explanation which is to check for hydraulic leaks. Mine doesn't noticeably leak out when applying force to the front brake but there are signs of it wicking into tissue when left overnight - my guess is it's contamination in the nipple from whatever was in the OEM fluid
     
  17. Col_C

    Col_C I can't re...Member
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    You're very thorough Alan :), I suspect the contradictions in torque specs is due to different system specs between models and years using Brembo or Nissin parts, no doubt there's a lot of copy and paste going on when they generate the various manuals. No excuse for the proof reader though before it's published.
    Of course you do realise if dealer serviced a torque wrench won't have been anywhere near those nipples.
    A very slight subsequent seepage of fluid is likely after bleeding as the system seal is the cone at the nipple tip, the thread and passageway will still be damp from the operation.
    There have been complaints in the past about excessive/inconsistent lever travel so the 20kg instruction may be related to that?
    I have also heard of people bungee-ing the lever back to the bar overnight to force any air to migrate back to the reservoir and minimise lever travel, not sure I understand the logic but it seems to work.

    On the subject of torque specs be sure to get it right for the two pinch screws for the axle at the bottom of Ohlins forks, Ohlins even mark on the setting there now, the reason being there have been a number of cracked fork leg bottoms due to overtightening, this is common knowledge on Ducati forums. Usually down to uneducated DIY maintenance or "tyre fitters" (I wouldn't let them anywhere near my bike).
     
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  18. TRIPLE X

    TRIPLE X Active Member

    Sep 1, 2021
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    I have lots of Triumph Service Manuals from previous bikes I've owned and they are all riddled with errors. I used to inform Triumph of the errors but eventually gave up as subsequent manuals never got any better. When I read a manual I always try to digest what they are saying to confirm that it all makes sense without just accepting what is documented. I work through any dismantling sequences in my head before wielding any tools. I too always seem to end up with slight leaks from the bleed nipples after final tightening and it usually takes a couple of loosen then re-tighten sequences before it stops. As you say not always evident until the following day and probably caused by contamination of the mating surfaces which cannot be cleaned without removing the nipples and ending up with brake fluid pissing everywhere and air in the system :(
     
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  19. Alan Gilbert

    Alan Gilbert Senior Member

    Nov 22, 2018
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    Thanks guys for the comments. I'm in for a sandwich and coffee and then back out to run the ABS - fingers crossed it goes smoothly. Next job is to tighten all the crankcase/sump cover bolts which always seem to work loose on the 1050. I seem to remember they were 8nm on the tiger - mine were down to between 3-4nm and resulting in a small oil leak. I recall the Speedy is 1nm more but will check first.
    Anyway to address one or two remarks
    I was conscious of checking whether the "leak" was due to residual fluid wicking out of the nipple thread and/or from the contents held within the top of the nipple itself and prior to leaving it overnight, I was very careful to blot out the contents of the nipple by poking down with a pointed piece of tissue until it eventually emerged dry and likewise, cleaning out the threads which I even did with a little meths and a paintbrush before drying it off - it was definitely a small leak and occurred after I had tightened the nipple to 6nm.
    On the subject of the pinch bolts - loads of peeps get caught by these but ordinarily, it isn't due to over-torquing them . . . it is due to an incorrect tightening or much worse . . . . LOOSENING technique. I noticed earlier today the torque setting for these is 19nm as it was written on the fork leg (from memory, I think it was 19). Your average Joe removes these by completely undoing one and then doing the other and this fubars the threads in very short order!!!!
    The problem is, undoing one bolt fully, transfers an absolutely massive load onto the remaining bolt so that the threads get mashed to a pulp when removing it. The correct procedure is to do each a little at a time. I undo one about an eighth of a turn and then the other by the same amount and keep alternating one eighth of a turn each until they are loose, that way, neither thread gets heavily loaded. You are less likely to do damage tightening them - if you do one up to 19nm before even starting the other, then inserting the second bolt and also tightening to 19, means the second bolt is at 19 and hasn't gone beyond and the first bolt is probably now around 5-6nm and so alternating from there will eventually give the 19nm in both. Failing to do this when removing them is a catastrophic error and removing one completely, can load the remaining bolt to perhaps as much as 40-50nm . . . .the main cause of damage I suspect - I've earned that T-Shirt shortly after puberty on my first bike 40 years ago!!!!!!
    On the subject of torque settings - the left caliper took 8nm to return it to its start point and so I will use 8nm on those but also plan to check on Google or even Brembos own technical pages if available??
    The larger master cylinder nipple returned pretty much to its start point with only 6nm but I could really feel that it wasn't tight - cranking up to 12nm had it turn almost imperceptibly beyond its start point and so I suspect 14nm is again the correct figure. Once again, verifiable on third party websites perhaps and so I will see what I can find as these aren't "Triumph" parts. I plan to use 12nm for now and which felt plenty tight enough
     
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  20. TRIPLE X

    TRIPLE X Active Member

    Sep 1, 2021
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    I ensure my bleed nipples are dry on the outside by inserting a cotton bud into the orifice (steady on o_O) and drying the exposed thread. So it is definitely a small leak when pressurised. I agree it is always good practice to loosen multiple fasteners progressively.
     
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