Question about 2003 Aprilia Tuono 125

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Is black clutch fluid due to condensation?

Had my bike taken into the dealer yesterday to get the hose clips done after leaking coolant all over my garage floor. The guy from the breakdown service pointed out to me that my clutch fluid was black. To be honest I hadn't noticed (got it from new in April and done 3K since). He then said Look at this and took the cap off the reservoir. There was condensation on the rubber seal inside. He said that it was a very common in Tuonos and it's the condensation that turns the fluid black. (He used to work in an Aprilia dealers

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He said so I assume that he knew his stuff). He suggested Castrol synthetic clutch fluid which is less succeptible. Any views on this? Anyone heard this before? I've had a look and it seems that dark fluid is common but people here seem to see it as being due to other things. The main thing I guess is DO I HAVE TO BE CONCERNED or shall I just leave it alone. Is there any problem with it? ,Discolouring of the clutch fluid is a well known Aprilia trait caused by the seal in the clutch slave. I believe some people have lubbed this seal but the majority just leave the fluid and change it when required. Mine has gone black on both Aprilias I've owned; if you replace the fluid it'll probably be black within a couple of months. The problem is not water; Most clutch / brake fluids may be hygroscopic but absorbing water doesn't turn it black. ,,,

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

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2 Answers

How do I bleed the clutch?


Bleeding the clutch is similar to bleeding brakes, only easier. Take the lid of the clutch master cylinder, on the clutch side. If it's leaking, check for cracks. Also check the rubber seal inside the lid to make sure it is sealing all around the reservoir. With the lid off, pour some DOT 4 fluid into the reservoir, and slowly squeeze the clutch to get some air out of the clutch. When you see only fluid moving back and forth, release the clutch, fill the reservoir to the upper line or a little below the top. Have a rag handy to wipe any overflow, as dot 4 removes paint. Tighten up top of master cylinder, and work clutch until you can feel the back pressure.

Oct 08, 2014 | 1998 Suzuki VS 1400 Intruder

1 Answer

Engine sounds like crickets


Hi Hm1shaw, I just loaned my brand new pair of listening ears to your local dealers chief technician so he could take your bike for a test ride and give you his professional opinion and estimate about your noise and repair cost. Good luck and have a nice day.
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Apr 08, 2013 | 2008 KTM 250 SX-F

1 Answer

1989 Honda gold wing 1500 // I am two days into my vacation and am loosing clutch lever resistance and there is fluid under the triple tree. Thane anyone don


Sounds to me like you have a leak in your hydraulic clutch system. Your clutch lever will start to feel odd as (1) fluid leaks out, reducing pressure; and (2) less pressure reaches critical areas because pressure over a certain level is squirting fluid out of the system.

Leaks like these are often caused by one of two things: (1) a hydraulic line that has sprung a leak; or (2) a leaking / cracked fluid reservoir on your clutch slave cylinder. I am discounting the possibility that the slave cylinder itself is going bad, as that wouldn't create fluid leaks external to the system.

To troubleshoot your system, top off the fluid reservoir and then squeeze the clutch lever repeatedly while looking closely to see where fluid may be leaking out. MAKE SURE YOU'RE WEARING GLASSES OR PROTECTIVE GOGGLES WHEN YOU DO THIS!! A pinhole leak in a hydraulic line can shoot out a thin but forceful jet of fluid, and that's really nasty stuff to get into your eyes (it's bad enough on your skin or on the painted surfaces of your bike). The leak won't dribble all the time, only when you're applying pressure, which is why you'll need to keep working the clutch lever while you're looking for leaks. The location of the leak will tell you a lot.

Though I can't see your bike, I'm leaning towards the idea that a hose or, more specifically, the metal end of the hose, is leaking fluid under pressure. If this is the case, you should be able to obtain a replacement hose/line from a Honda dealer and swap it out without too much of a bother. If you're in the middle of nowhere and can't get to a Honda dealer, it's also possible that a hose shop could fabricate a custom line for you if you're able to show them your old hose.

On the other hand, if you have a cracked reservoir, you most likely will have to replace the entire clutch actuating assembly (slave cylinder? clutch cylinder?). That part should be relatively exposed--it may be mounted to the handlebars out in plain view; you won't have to mess with the actual clutch inside the transmission. Because of the location where fuel is puddling, though, I think this is less likely than a hose / hose connection problem.

Good luck, and I hope this doesn't spoil your vacation!

Jul 25, 2011 | 1989 Honda GL 1500 Gold Wing

1 Answer

Bike is at 63000km and has now gone in for 3rd clutch. Am not a hard/sand rider, do not wheelie, etc, etc Bought the bike second hand and first clutch was replaced at 15000 under warrantee. Now at 63000...


If all your clutch problems have been caused by oil leaks, make sure the mechanic working on the bike this time installs all new seals in the transmission and the crankshaft seal on the rear of the engine. Since the input shaft is hollow, you must replace both the seals (on each end) as well as the clutch pushrod felt. Check the clutch slave cylinder too as these have been known to leak.

BMW updated the input shaft seals a while ago, so once you get the new seals CORRECTLY installed your problem should go away.

BTW, was the clutch done at 15,000 by an authorized dealer?? If so, there should be some warranty as BMW gives a two year warranty on repairs done by authorized dealers. If the clutch disc is worn out due to abuse, then that is a different story. Might be wise to investigate if you are entitled to some warranty coverage due to the leaking seals.

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2 Answers

I need too replace my main sail need diagram


For an exploded diagram of your engine, go to www.babbittsonline.com/parts/viewbybrand/parts.aspx

Feb 02, 2010 | 2002 Honda CR 250 R

1 Answer

What is the Leak??


Leaking shock absorber? leak from brake fluid reservoir? Coolant from cap top/bottom/or core of radiator? Perished/otherwise unsound radiator hose/hoseclip? Expansion tank overflow? (check the level is not above the FULL mark on the expansion tank) Brake fluid from top/bottom of front brake hose? Brake fluid from bleed nipple? Brake fluid leaking from brakes caliper piston or centre seal?


Jan 25, 2010 | 2005 Suzuki GSX-R 600

1 Answer

Hi I went to buy a 1982 750 magna today. it started right up and was a little noisy but I think the engine is ok. The problem is that there was no fluid in the clutch reservoir and the bike won't shift...


You'll see a bleed valve at the left side of the engine under the side engine cover.
Top up the oil reservoir.
Loose the bleeder and clean it out.
Replace the bleeder, and put a transparent hose on it, to a bowl.
After a few minutes, the brakefluid should show up in the hose. Look permanently that there is enough fluid in the reservoir!

When fluid flows airbubble free, tighten the bleeder. Feel the cluthhandle, should feel 'nice' now.

Most times, the leak at the clutch piston is internal. You won't see traces at the outside of the engine.
You'll have to dismount the clutch piston to check him.

Oct 31, 2009 | 1982 Honda VF 750 S

3 Answers

Clutch fluid leaking from clutch cover. ideas?


The clutch cover leak is a common issue on the original design, and there is a fix available. Go to your Buell dealer with part number X2086.1AM. It is a kit with a new clutch piston and seals.

Oct 05, 2009 | 2008 Buell 1125R

1 Answer

Signs of a leaking clutch slave?


A leaky slave would be more likely to give a soft lever. What you're describing sound more like a problem with the return bleed in the master. Have you made any adjustments recently?

Nov 20, 2008 | 2004 Ducati Monster 800

1 Answer

Winter storage


If your brake fluid is in need of changing, do so before long-term storage. Similarly, hydraulic clutch fluid should be changed before you store your bike; both systems may suffer failure if moisture gets in. Also make sure your coolant is fresh, as deposits can form from old fluid. For service intervals, consult your owner's manual.

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