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Pushing back caliper pistons in a bike with ABS


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Having been a proud owner of a Blackbird for 14 years (1997 model, carburettor engine, old school!!) I recently changed to a Yamaha XSR 900. I took off the brakes to give them a clean, but I noticed the manual says to open the bleed valve, on ABS models, if pushing the pistons back into the calipers to let the fluid out. On my Blackbird I just pushed them back in and the fluid went back up the tubes into the reservoir. I didn't have far to push them as I wasn't putting new pads on, but I've since read that on the XSR this can mess with the ABS system. So do I need to let some fluid out via bleed nipple in this way? Risking letting some air creep back in to the system. Or is it okay to push the pistons back in if changing the pads, meaning they will need to be pushed right back in to make way for the new pads.

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Hi Eric, if your putting new pads in, and once you have the calipers off and the brake pads out , this is when you can put a tube over the nipple on the caliper and press the brake pistons in and slackening off the nipple, just a little bit different than taking the lid off the brake res,just stops a mess top end with the fluid over flowing, but firstly make sure you have the res full, but you can always take a little out of the res and do it that way , either way try not to let air into the system

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If the bleed nipple is just cracked open enough to allow fluid to flow then nipped back again when the pistons are retracted you won't suck air into the system. You could always use a simple one way bleed tube to make sure.

I may be wrong but I've always thought the key issue with pushing fluid back up the system with ABS is the chance of getting some contaminant into the ABS control. They tend to be very intolerant of anything getting in there.

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