Bleeding 990 Adventure ABS brakes

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Buggles, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Buggles

    Buggles Adventurer

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    Hi All,

    Calling on the wisdom of the KTM crowd...

    I've got an '07 990 Adventure ABS, with brakes so spongy, I've taken to calling the bike Spongebob...

    I was at the local dealer, buying some DOT 5.1 brakefluid to replace the fluid in the lines, and they said I can't replace the brakefluid on my own (I have a mitivac vacuum pump), since the ABS requires a special KTM computer that will activate the ABS pump on the bike. Without the computer, air will get into the ABS pump and it'll render the ABS and brakes completely useless...

    is this true? Or is it the dealer trying to upgrade me from a $10 to a $150 expense...

    Any help is really appreciated, since I haven't been on the bike for 3 months due to personal circumstances, and I'm going cold turkey!

    Many thanks,

    JB
    #1
  2. ÖÖ.

    ÖÖ. Ajaa kuin mummo

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    I have a -06 990 ABS and I repalaced the fluid myself with no problems. If you just don't let the reservoir go empty, don't know how you could get air into the system.
    #2
  3. Moraflex

    Moraflex Banned

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    The guy is blowing smoke up your arse. Rear and front are separate systems. Bleed as you would a normal brake system. Remember to compress the calipers at the end of the job to get the air out of them as well.
    #3
  4. 9nine0

    9nine0 Formally NineFive0 V2

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    When you're bleeding the ABS 990's you are actually only bleeding the master cylinder, caliper and brake lines. This bypasses the ABS unit and there is no way to bleed the unit. Once all lines are bled you have to actually cycle through an ABS modulation in order for any air trapped inside the ABS unit to disperse out into the "normal" brake system then you can re-bleed as normal. This is why you might find that after bleeding the brakes you have firm good pressure, but after ABS modulation, the lever goes soft. You must keep bleeding / modulating until all air is out of the brake system and ABS unit.

    Sounds harder than it really is. Basically, bleed your brakes, activate the ABS and re-bleed
    #4
    angustoyou likes this.
  5. Moraflex

    Moraflex Banned

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    Good to know. Thanks.
    #5
  6. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    I have done this a number of times on my bike. Easiest way is find a dirt road really close to home and bring some tools with you as well.

    • flush and bleed system as normal.
    • get on dirt
    • apply brakes
    • again
    • again
    • again
      • This should engage the ABS each time
    • Either ride home or on the trail bleed brakes again
    Doing this several times will get the air out of the system.

    The other way is to reverse bleed the system and push the fluid from the calipers up though the master this also helps to make sure no air gets into the ABS in the first place and you get the same effect.

    Either way it is easy, or do what I did.
    Ditch the ABS...

    :deal
    #6
  7. Buggles

    Buggles Adventurer

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    No dirt roads close to home unfortunately, unless I hop the fence to the building site next door :(

    How does this reverse bleeding work? I've got the Mitivac pump, but as far as I know, that's meant to be attached to the bottom bleeder nipples as you fill the master cylinder from the top.

    Strangely, the KTM manual says nothing about activating the pump with the diagnostics tool... It just says: "NOTE to the ABS system: allow at least 3 full brake fluid reservoirs to pump through to make sure no air is left in the system."

    So that means I bleed & fill like normal, then pump the brake lever and refill the reservoir 3 times to make sure it gets to the ABS pump?

    With the local dealer rates at €50 per hour, I'm doing more of my maintenance myself, but this is the first time I've bled the brakes...

    Thanks for all the help, if you're ever in Belgium, beers are on me!

    JB
    #7
  8. Faststage1

    Faststage1 mmmm muuuud

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    I hated the spongy brakes on my 990. Every visit to the dealer I complained. He then walks me over to the Hondas and Yahamas and has me feel their ABS brake levers at which point I agree, ABS stinks. I've removed the ABS lines on my bike (front) and replace with direct lines and installed after market sintered pads. Better, even livable, but still not sport bike brakes, but better.
    #8
  9. Buggles

    Buggles Adventurer

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    I don't want to take out the ABS, since I do a lot of city riding with the bike. The ABS has saved my behind before when blind cage drivers pull out, hit the brakes when finding a parking spot, etc...

    I've found a post here in Orange Crush referencing the computer needed to "make the ABS pump pulsate" when bleeding the brakes... Last thing I want is to have to take the bike to the dealer to finish up the brakes, as it'll ruin my attempt at saving the money in the first place...

    JB
    #9
  10. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    Get the syringe that you use to bleed the clutch slave. Basically you are pushing fluid from the caliper up into the master cylinder. This way the flow of the fluid is the same direction (up) that the flow of air would want to go. Makes it easy to get the air bubble out if they are present in the system.
    #10
  11. Buggles

    Buggles Adventurer

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    I'll have a look and see where I can find that in glorious Belgium...

    On a related note, does anyone know if the ABS pump has 2 separate reservoirs (front & rear) or if it's one reservoir?

    I've found a dirt road close to home (they moved the fence for the building site:D:D:D), so I'll try the modulating trick, but it would be good to know if I have to do it with front AND rear, or if I can just let the ABS kick in on the rear brake a few times and rebleed the rear.

    Again, many thanks for all the help!
    #11
  12. Taurkon

    Taurkon Long timer

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    Just bled the brakes on my 07' 990A a few weeks ago, both front and back. It was a snap with zero issues. Spongy feeling is gone and they feel like new again!
    #12
  13. DirtJack

    DirtJack Adventurer Supporter

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    I know this is a settled issue, but the shop manual, pages 12-21 and 12-22 make no mention of special equipment to bleed brakes of an ABS 990 other than an extractor which just speeds up the process.

    They say to do the left front first then the right front and with ABS you should draw through 3 brake reservoirs of fluid (probably because of the length of the lines).
    #13
  14. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    Not so much two reservoirs as it has two circuits. The amount of fluid in the pump is small but it is a long way from the master to the pump and back to the front wheel.

    Look up the clutch slave cylinder bleed kit, that is what you can use for the reverse bleeding of the brakes as well.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230498997077&crlp=1_263602_263622&ff4=263602_263622&viewitem=&guid=424d3e511290a074c5533113ffe7519c&rvr_id=122879878154&ua=WXF%3F&itemid=230498997077


    #14
  15. Nailhead

    Nailhead Inclusion Rider

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    I've bled my front brakes once, tipped the bike over and pushed on the caliper multiple times, and they still feel like jello. I was moving the bike around the garage the other day and seriously thought I'd grabbed the clutch when I squeezed them.

    They suck. :puke1

    I've given up on a lasting solution and just pump them when I get bored of the back brake.
    #15
  16. gefr

    gefr Life is a trip

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    This is a resurrection:
    Do we have to loosen the banjo bolts on the ABS unit? Is the air supposed to come out from the ABS unit?
    #16
  17. Mikef5000

    Mikef5000 Long timer

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    Don't loosen the banjo bolts. There are two ways to remove air from the abs unit that I've read:

    With the KTM computer that can cycle the system for you.

    Or, simply, flush the system like normal, go out and activate the ABS a few times on a gravel road (both front and rear), and flush the system one more time.
    #17
  18. ADVrider61

    ADVrider61 CGR

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    Although this thread is now a few years old, it has helped me greatly to understand that little bit more and significantly make a difference when problem solving. My brakes are now working like they should. I didn't need the syringe or other vacuum equipment etc, just kept working the fluid through to make sure no air was present. WOW! Lots of trapped air pockets - ALL GONSKI!
    #18
  19. Lord Dogmeat

    Lord Dogmeat Been here awhile

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    Old thread, but does anyone have a video of how to do this effectivley on a 1290 Superduke R by chance?
    #19