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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I had recently come back from a much needed week long vacation. The weather changed drastically to cold so I've begun preparing my bike for the winter. I went for a first ride since last week and the front brake has little pressure. I could pull it all the way in and the brakes wouldn't engage fully. I'm guessing air got into the lines somehow. Thankfully I didn't go far but it was pretty scary.

has anyone tried zip tie-ing the brake lever overnight trick? Is it a semi-permanent fix (bleeding)? I looked it up and there seems to be mixed results on what to do properly in this situation. I'd rather not bleed the brakes and change the fluid (+ learn to) during an off season where I'll be riding once every few days just to keep the engine going.
 

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Most things maintenance related are very easy once you've done them a couple times. Bleeding brakes is one of those. I see you're reluctant to learn but it's worth it in the end. I can't possibly imagine what a zip tie overnight would do to remove air from the system.

The off season is the perfect time to learn some of these things. This time of year there is a lot of time to order a part, or a tool, or take an extra day to figure it out.
 

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Air in the system is not going to leave because you have a zip tie on the lever no matter how long its on there, that sounds like a band aid fix for a system that has a leak somewhere, you likely have water in your fluid from the temperature changes causing moisture buildup from warm to cold and vice versa, it should get new fluid, if your not comfortable doing it a shop wont charge much at all to do the front or front and rear fluid exchange on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Bleeding the brakes isn't very hard but time consuming (with WFH being pretty intrusive) it'll probably happen all Winter to Spring from the temperature change. A fluid change is not necessary considering it's not even a year old and is piss yellow. I do have 8mm Motion Pro mini bleeder on the way but to potentially bleed the entire system for an air bubble when a better way exists seems excessive especially during non-maintenance windows.

Now time for an update. Not sure how it worked but it did work. Left the zip tie overnight, cut it just a few minutes ago and the brake lever has a lot of pressure again and is firm. Again- wouldn't be able to tell you how it works but it did. I guess that's why there's so many other topics on it but all of them are mostly people arguing the science.

Anyway, thanks for the replies. Not going to lie, some of comments seem a bit condescending and you should definitely not dismiss other methods unless you've tried it. This isn't a "put hot glow sticks in the microwave to make them brighter" kind of thing. More like those odd "sleep without a pillow to fix your neck problems" kind of thing like how does that work? I dunno but it does lol. Still going to use the motion pro eventually but cheers folks
 

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I think ziptie overnight on the brake lever is supposed to just firm up that last little bit if its been bled properly already and also a good way to confirm if there is any leaking happening after the fact.

If the pressure is so bad that you can't break I think there might be moisture on the line, or a leak or maybe not bled properly from the start and has air in the system and should replace the brake fluid if you can confirm there is no leak.

However if you see an improvement from using the zip tie thats good for you, I only believe this is meant to be a little extra firmness after bleeindg and for you might be temporary before the brakes start to feel like they are not working again. Keep an eye on it to ensure this doesnt come back. Brakes are important. Good luck and keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think ziptie overnight on the brake lever is supposed to just firm up that last little bit if its been bled properly already and also a good way to confirm if there is any leaking happening after the fact.

If the pressure is so bad that you can't break I think there might be moisture on the line, or a leak or maybe not bled properly from the start and has air in the system and should replace the brake fluid if you can confirm there is no leak.

However if you see an improvement from using the zip tie thats good for you, I only believe this is meant to be a little extra firmness after bleeindg and for you might be temporary before the brakes start to feel like they are not working again. Keep an eye on it to ensure this doesnt come back. Brakes are important. Good luck and keep us updated.
Thanks, mate. Yeah there was enough pressure to slow down but not brake to a stop. Now I have that same firmness that will launch me over my handlebars haha. I'll definitely keep an eye on it. From the other topics out there (google), it seems to do good in the long run. I was just skeptical. It still doesn't make sense to me but if it works- it works.

Can you not reuse the brake fluid that you're pumping out? Or you'd have to change the entire fluid in the case of an air bubble (where it's not old fluid either).
 

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if you confirm the fluid is good (age and color) with no leaks to allow moisture or air to get in you just bleed it and top it off. Brake fluid loves to absob moisture if it has access to it so I wouldnt reuse what you've bled out.
 

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Yes it is possible to use this trick to get a bubble out of the line, only works for some conditions and if it works, it's as permanent as any other bleeding technique. Mostly only good for bubbles in or very near the master cylinder.
Bingo...just allows any final, small bubbles trapped in the lines to allegedly rise up and exit via the master cylinder. Does it work...maybe. Can it hurt...no.
 

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Very common with Harley if you let the reservoir go dry while bleeding the brakes, you'll get a bubble that is hard to move just in front of the piston. Turn the bars so the outlet is low, clamp the break on so the bubble can move around the piston, and wait. I went through around 8 ounces of fluid trying to get the air out of my front system on my Harley, doing this actually helped fix it in the end. Has been good since the frustration of trying to purge it.

It was on a Harley forum where I learned about this.
 

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The problem is that the brake system is a closed system, if you have air in there, it got in there somehow, its not going to leave by strapping the lever down overnight, will it move in the system? yup it can but it WONT leave the system, the only way to get trapped air out is to bleed it properly, and then find out how it got in there.
 

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The problem is that the brake system is a closed system, if you have air in there, it got in there somehow, its not going to leave by strapping the lever down overnight, will it move in the system? yup it can but it WONT leave the system, the only way to get trapped air out is to bleed it properly, and then find out how it got in there.
Not quite true...if you can get that air to travel up and into the master cylinder, which is the reason for holding the brake line(s) open in the first place, it technically 'leaves' the system when those bubbles rise from the lines and up into the MC.

Although I would agree that I'd be looking for a 'root cause' of the air in the system in the first place because, as you said, it's a closed system and air shouldn't just be randomly getting in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey guys, sorry for the bump- just wanted to clarify.

@Bishilvr, that's incorrect. Again- I don't know why so many people are skeptical especially when I posted the results after doing this trick. A google search would also confirm that It works... Believe me or not, the choice is yours but it's a little silly to say it does nothing when it did and when all you need to do is a little research. I was skeptical at first but it did the trick.

@MileHayabusa I had mentioned this only happened from the time the weather changed which one can assume is evaporative moisture. It's not something that happens often. This was the first time since I've owned my bike for nearly a year.

If I had left the zip tie on for longer it would have been more firm but I decided to bleed the brakes since I was impatient. I may have dripped a lot of brake fluid in my garage and bought a lifetime jug of it that I'll probably never even get to using half of but it's super firm now. The zip tie trick is a viable option if you don't have the tools necessary to bleed your brakes (and brake fluid) or you're lazy. It may take several nights to completely clear up the system but it definitely works.
 

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@TKJ125 I would argue that it is NOT a viable option for properly bleeding the brakes...you can hold that lever open from now until the end of time but you'd never get all of the air out of the calipers as, would typically be the case with most calipers, you'd likely still have air trapped where the bleeder screws are on most calipers that would never travel back down and up a brake line.

What it will do is potentially allow for release of any residual air bubbles in the lines or MC.
 

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@TKJ125 I would argue that it is NOT a viable option for properly bleeding the brakes...you can hold that lever open from now until the end of time but you'd never get all of the air out of the calipers as, would typically be the case with most calipers, you'd likely still have air trapped where the bleeder screws are on most calipers that would never travel back down and up a brake line.

What it will do is potentially allow for release of any residual air bubbles in the lines or MC.
Correct, but hey what would I know lol, just been a dealer tech most of my adult life.
 

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This is really only effective for bubbles high up like around the MC piston or maybe a junction block in the line. It will do NOTHING for a bubble in the slave cylinder, you will never get that to flow back up to the MC.

As said way up, this works for certain conditions, not all of them, and should remain as a tool for when the regular bleeding doesn't work. I have a giant bottle of fluid I pulled through in the regular ways that didn't fix my issue. Finally put a new MC on and started from scratch. Still a problem until I did this trick and probably floated a bubble from the block connecting both sides to the MC.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
@Bishilvr You aren't even reading what I'm writing at this point. You said it doesn't work at all. That there's no way it could and so on. You also said it can but won't leave the system which is a contradiction in itself. If you're not going to even try it- why bother arguing? It's not voodoo magic. Not like I work for a zip tie company trying to boost sales lmfao.

@TKJ125 I would argue that it is NOT a viable option for properly bleeding the brakes...
Geez, I never said it's how you properly bleed the brakes. This forum really gives me the "know it all" vibes. They take one thing you say and exaggerate it to fit their narrative.

I had a problem, heard of a solution, opened a topic to test it, and came back with my results. You can yell and berate all you want but it's a viable option under the given circumstances as I reiterated twice before. I'm not selling some snake oil or anything as a matter of fact. You can google this. Is bleeding easier and faster? Yes but not when you don't have the tools or fluids (which I did not have at the time). I needed something to get me by for the meantime as opposed to no brakes. Would I recommend it over bleeding? No but it's the only other option if you don't have the supply.

Don't get mad at me and act like I'm trying to trick someone into pouring soda into their gas tank. This is a pretty talked about method albeit not a complete one.
 

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Geez, I never said it's how you properly bleed the brakes. This forum really gives me the "know it all" vibes. They take one thing you say and exaggerate it to fit their narrative.

Don't get mad at me and act like I'm trying to trick someone into pouring soda into their gas tank. This is a pretty talked about method albeit not a complete one.
You called it, and I quote, "a viable option," granted with some caveats, and I disputed your claim. I even went so far as to agree that it would work in certain circumstances.

I don't think anyone has gotten mad about anything and just because some folks have questioned the validity of this method certainly doesn't seem like a reason to take anything personally. If it worked for you then that's great and I admittedly have even done this after bleeding brakes to release any trapped residual air in the lines or MC because letting the bike sit overnight isn't a big deal.

This is what I disagree with: "The zip tie trick is a viable option if you don't have the tools necessary to bleed your brakes (and brake fluid) or you're lazy. It may take several nights to completely clear up the system but it definitely works."

If you don't have the proper tools to bleed brakes this method will never work and if you're lazy that's a whole different story.
 
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