How to Bleed a Clutch on a 1986 Honda Goldwing

The hydraulic clutch system found on a 1986 Honda Goldwing Aspencade or Interstate is susceptible to condensation or air infiltration, ultimately affecting the motorcycle's clutch and transmission. Problems such as difficulty shifting, engine lag and a nonresponsive clutch lever are all associated with a loss of hydraulic pressure within the clutch system. Bleeding, or flushing, the hydraulic circuit to remove trapped air, condensation or contaminants restores the system's pressure and resolves these issues. Bleed your clutch circuit as soon as symptoms appear to prevent major motor or transmission damage from occurring.

Tools Used: Phillips screwdriver, Siphon, Clear plastic tubing, Container, 8-mm wrench, Rag, DOT4 brake fluid

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Park the motorcycle on its center stand and turn the handlebars completely to the right.

Remove the reservoir cover from the clutch master cylinder on the left handlebar, using a Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws from the reservoir cover. Suck out the brake fluid from the reservoir with a siphon. Refill the reservoir with DOT4 brake fluid until the fluid is level with the "FULL" mark in the reservoir's level gauge.

Follow the clutch line from the clutch master cylinder to the clutch slave cylinder on the motor's clutch cover. Locate the bleeder screw on the top left side of the clutch slave cylinder. Slip one end of a piece of clear plastic tubing over the bleeder screw and place the opposite end into a container.

Using an 8-mm wrench, turn the bleeder screw counterclockwise a half of a turn to open the screw's bleeder valve. Pull the clutch lever in completely to force a small amount of brake fluid out of the slave cylinder and into the tubing. Close the bleeder valve, turning the screw clockwise a half of a turn with an 8-mm wrench. Release the clutch lever slowly to pull fresh brake fluid into the clutch's hydraulic circuit. Refill the clutch master cylinder's reservoir with DOT4 brake fluid as needed.

Repeat as necessary until the fluid trapped in the plastic tubing is clear and does not contain air bubbles or debris. Tighten the bleeder screw completely with an 8-mm wrench, and carefully remove the plastic tubing from the screw. Wipe away any spilled brake fluid immediately with a rag or towel.

Place the reservoir cover over the clutch master cylinder's reservoir. Insert and tighten the cover's screw with a Philips screwdriver to seal the reservoir.

Tips & Warnings

Cover your motorcycle with towels to prevent spilled brake fluid from damaging painted surfaces.

Brake fluid is a solvent that can damage painted surfaces and create skin irritations. Take the proper precautions to prevent injury and/or damage.

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