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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First and Foremost I would like to say I'm new to the forum and hello. I recently acquired a 2001 Kawasaki Ninja zx6r. It was laid down from the idiot previous owner. It is all fixed up and runs fine. The last thing i need to do is add brake fluid to the rear brake (which I replaced). This is where Im confused. I cannot tell what kind of brake fluid is, or should be, used on the bike. On the fronts, the color of the brake fluid is a very very slight clear-pinkish color. Could this be a DOT 5, or is it more purple? On the resivoir cap it calls for DOT 4 fluid but doesnt that stuff is usually looks like new motor oil? Im not too savvy on brake fluids. Are there general rules to brake fluid on bikes, or is sound like DOT 4 is going to be okay for my zx6r? Id love to show you pics of my bike, but the only ones I have are the accident pictures on a tow truck and leaking motor oil from the cracked stator cover, etc...
 

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V-Twin Moddin
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You need the DOT 4 or 5 as Jeeps said.

:welcome: glad to have another Kaw around!

You can buy brake fluid in different colors. But yes most normal brake fluid looks like nice new motor oil.

I would also suggest you get a full synthetic fluid with the DOT 4 or 5 rating. Also, DO NOT get the brake fluid on plastics... it will eat them!!
 

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snadamo said:
...I cannot tell what kind of brake fluid is, or should be, used on the bike. On the fronts, the color of the brake fluid is a very very slight clear-pinkish color. Could this be a DOT 5, or is it more purple?...
The purple brake fluid you see the chopper guys use on TV is silicone. It is DOT 5, doesn't attack paint, and doesn't mix with regular brake fluid. It can also be any color.

I use Valvoline SynPower synthetic formula in all my vehicles. It's not silicone, mixes with regular brake fluid, exceeds DOT 4, and you can get a quart at Auto Zone for $6. To make sure you don't have silicone fluid in your brakes, take a little bit out of the reservoir and mix it with a little bit of the SynPower. If it mixes, it's not silicone. If it turns into a cloudy, lumpy mess, it's silicone. The rear brake you can bleed yourself. Better to use a helper for the front.
 

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V-Twin Moddin
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I use the same stuff NW!! Good stuff!
 

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hey i use the same stuff too, maybe casue thats all they have at most auto stores that is dot 4. lol
 

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You should NOT use DOT 5 fluid. It is incompatible with DOT 3 or 4. 5.1 is okay, but also absorbs moisture more easily...

I use Valvoline SynPower, too. If you've got DOT 5 in there now you are going to have to flush it ALL out. I've also read that your seals and lines should be replaced, too, though I'm not exactly sure why or how accurate that is. You shouldn't ever use 5 fluid in a system designed for 3 or 4 though, that I do know.
 

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you def dont wanna use DOT 3 if it need DOT 4. JUST PUT INT DOT 4 vavoline synpower, well not like u ahve a choice since its the only brake fluid any automotive store sells taht is DOT 4
 

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I think I've heard that before Steve...good point. And 636 is also right... if it says DOT 4, then you definately don't want to use DOT 3... that would not be good... I believe boil factor would kick in then...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
yea the "helpful" service at Auto Zone :bonk: said: "dont worry, DOT 3 is all you need". Me being so naieve, i bought DOT 3. HOWEVER, I CHECKED THE RESIVOIR CAP BEFORE I EVEN CONSIDERED PUTTING IN ANY FLUID IN THERE. I'm glad I did that.


No offense to anybody that works at Auto Zone. This guy that helped me just reminded me of a larger version Napoleon Dynamite.
 

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o man ur real lucke, DOT 3 will boil if you are on the brakes hard. that the main difference between Dot 3 and 4 is the boiling point. i would def let the retarts at AutoZone know the difference b4 they get somoen killed. and im serious i would def let them know.
 

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V-Twin Moddin
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Well you have to understand their knowledge is for cars not high performence motorcycles built for speed!
 

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Gas Man said:
Well you have to understand their knowledge is for cars not high performence motorcycles built for speed!
:skep: Have you been to my AutoZone?
Most don't cant find a heater hose for a 69 VW bug! :bash:
 

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Well I'm trying to give them the benifit of doubt...
 

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I am serious!
I went with my dad on day when we where tinkering on the Bug. We couldn't find any on the shelf and asked for it.
The kid looked it up on the computer and said it was unavailable. We said it should be and the manager over heard and came over. He thought we were playing a joke. (The real Bug is air cooled with no radiator.) We assured him we were serious and he all but told us to leave. Pizzed off we did leave and went to NAPA and got it. (Its the flex hose from the heater box to the air vents) :rant:
 

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Dot 3, Dot 4, Dot 5..........blah blah blah!!!!! :sorry: Simple, Dot 5, too advanced and yes would require seal replacements because Dot 5 doesn't mix with 4 or 3 and the seals are saturated with 4 already. Difference in 3 to 4 is just that, boiling temp. Will any of you ever get near the boiling point of Dot 3 fluid.......I highly doubt it, especially on the street. You'll fade your brakes out first and then it won't matter because you won't have brakes anyway!!!!!!!!! In a nutshell and to keep it simple, use Dot 4. End of story. 3 and 4 mix, no issues but if you're doing a brake job on a bike that your fixing (like the one in question), completely flush the lines, I'd do front and rear, just to make sure you have clean lines and no contamination...and then add in brand new Dot 4....you'll be good to go.
 

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Not only is he WOS daddy he's also a brake master!! For what company is it now? LOL!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Went to Auto Zone looking for the Valvoline SynPower fluid, as usual they were out of what I came there for. Went next door to Checker (Schucks,Cragen, depending on where you live), they had plenty. Bled the brakes, no sweat. Tested it out for a half hour, everything seems good. However, Im taking the ninja to a Kawasaki repair shop for the fork seals and a radiator cap replacement. I'll have them check the F/R brakes too. After all that, she should be running like a champ! Thanks guys for all the advice! :thumbs:
 

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Gas Man said:
Not only is he WOS daddy he's also a brake master!! For what company is it now? LOL!!
Ummm, ummmm, ummm, ummm.........yeah. Lets just say one of the biggest in the industry and leave it at that!!!!!!!!!
 
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