Question about 1999 Ducati ST 2

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ST2 98 Zero clutch lever tension

After adding some dot 4. shell brake fluid into the clutch reservoir, I pumped the clutch lever a few times, wiped the spurt out of my eye, replaced the rubber filler and lid of reservoir and found that I had zero tension in my clutch. None. Nada. Where did I go wrong? And more to the point, what happenned!

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  • vic_browne Nov 24, 2008

    Thank you very much for taking the time to explain everything to me.



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Some how, you must have gotten air into the system. My guess is that when you pulled the lever which shot oil in your eye, the wave in the fluid must have allowed an air bubble into the inlet of the master cylinder right about the time you were releasing the lever. Air compresses, but liquid doesnt, so now when you pull the lever, you are just compressing the air bubble.

The good news is that to fix the problem, you should only have to bleed the system.

Since the air bubble is likely at the top of the line where it meets the master cylinder, I have a tip that may or may not save you some time from the usual bleeding method.

First cover any painted surfaces of the bike with some towels or something because dot 4 will eat paint.

Next, loosen the hydrolic fitting where it meets the master cylinder, then snug it just slightly (your just trying to make it so you can loosen and tighten it repeatedly with ease)

Now, slowly (so it doesnt shoot fluid everywhere, pull the leaver all the way to the handle bar and hold it there.

Next loosen the fitting just enough to let the fluid run out.

Now snug the fitting back up, then release the leaver.

You may have to repeat this severla times, and if that hasnt taken care of the problem, then you will have to go about the usual bleeding procedure which you can find in your service manual.

Dont forget to keep an eye on the fluid level while you do this, and fill it as needed. If you run it out of fluid then you will allow even more air into the system.

Also, clean any dot 4 off of anything it comes in contact with on the bike as soon as possible. If allowed to sit on a painted surface for a long time, it will ruin the paint.

Posted on Nov 24, 2008


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Ensure bike is in upright position and not on side stand. Cover your grips and tank due to fluid spillage.
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I have a2000 royalstar 1300 and i need to bleed the clutch

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Step (9)It's been a couple of years, maybe, and the fluid in the eye of the clutch-side reservoir looks more like mocha java than peachy chardonnay. Time for a flush-and-bleed job on the old hydraulic-clutch system?
Relax. It's a closed hydraulic system, just like the front and rear brakes. But why is the fluid brown (1)? The petroleum-based goo labeled DOT 3 or DOT 4 is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. That water eventually turns the fluid brown in a sort of plain-to-see maintenance check. Flat beer means replace the keg. Same deal here.
There are other reasons to give a hydraulic clutch some attention. Is the level in the reservoir going down quickly? Check the seal around the actuator. This guy lives in a tough environment--with the rubber O-ring that seals the slave cylinder contending with engine heat, road grime, excess chain lube and myriad other evils. Maybe the engagement point of the clutch moves erratically, or according to changes in the weather. Before you buy new clutch plates, check the actuating system.
Let's get on with it, then. You don't want more crummy DOT 3 or DOT 4 running through the system, so carefully evacuate the reservoir (2). We use those cheap nasal aspirators--parents know to look for these between the tippy cups and the Bag Balm--to **** out the goop. Then refill the reservoir with fresh fluid (3). Check the condition of the brake fluid you're using, too. Fluid left sitting in a previously opened container can be as contaminated as what you're trying to replace. So splurge: buy a new bottle.
Shift your attention to the slave cylinder. Sling your box-end wrench over the bleeder nipple and attach a length of clear plastic hose (4). Drop the free end of the hose in a suitable container (5).
Reach up and pump the clutch lever two or three times and then hold it to the bar (6). Crack the fitting (7); open it just enough to allow the fluid to move into the hose. It may take some time to know when to close the bleeder screw again. Unlike a brake system, there'll be no feedback at the lever to let you know when line pressure drops. Watch the hose carefully and close the bleeder an instant before you think the fluid will stop moving. If you don't, air bubbles and assorted grunge can be dragged back into the system through the bleeder.
Continue watching the hose until you see a change in the color of the fluid (8). Sometimes it's subtle--at least it will be if you haven't let this job go for too long. Keep bleeding the system in steps. Grip the clutch lever and pump two or three times, crack the bleeder screw, watch the line for bubbles, then close. Rinse and repeat for a healthy, shiny coat.
Track fluid level in the reservoir throughout the procedure. **** air into the system now and you've got to start all over again. Once all the old fluid and air bubbles are gone, fill the reservoir according to the markings (9). Because it's possible for the clutch lever to feel firm with air in the system, which will not allow the clutch to fully disengage, test your work by putting the bike in gear with the engine off. See if the clutch disengages enough to let the bike roll slightly. Wet clutches are grippy until the engine is running, but you should still be able to feel the difference. Finally, make double-sure the bleeder fitting is tight and you've cleaned up any spilled fluid because DOT 3 and DOT 4 are corrosive.

You can also attach a plastic tube to the bleed line and fill a cup/glass/Jar with the Dot 3 or Dot 4 fluid. This way you can pump the clutch slowly to rid the system of air bubbles. Make sure the reservoir does not **** air! As stated above or you will have to start the process over.

Good luck!

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1 Answer

Clutch fluid

ther is a reservoir near the brake master cylinder on right side of engine

that is where your clutch fluid is

on the transmission usually in front there is a clutch slave with a bleeder. open bleeder with somebody pumping the clutch pedal a few time the open bleeder to flush liquid, close and repeat until
liquid in reservoir is clear


Jul 08, 2009 | 2001 Dodge Stratus

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