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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    104

    Default TECH: Make a tiny brake fluid reservoir

    A few have asked so here ya go.
    You want a front brake but you also like the minimalist look up front. Follow me down the rabbit hole.
    I say rabbit hole because if you’re going to change up your master cylinder during this process, you’ve gotta make sure your get the correct size master cylinder. I kinda cheated and used the Internet to determine what other master cylinders worked with my Buell’s six piston caliper. The stock master cylinder was massive and the replacement (Nissin) was relatively small and inexpensive.



    For simplicity’s sake we’ll assume you only need to replace the reservoir. If you don’t know how to bleed brakes, stop here and learn before going forward.



    1. Remove reservoir
    2. Remove the stem (part #13159 in the diagram)
    3. Most stems, at least on the Nissin master cylinder, are L shaped
    4. Cut the stem at the elbow
    5. Ensure the cut is clean and there are no plastic filings waiting to get jammed into your master cylinder
    6. Install the stem
    7. Don’t replace the dust cover (part# 49016a in the diagram). You can install the dust cover but it will leave you little room to install the clear reservoir tubing. I tried it this way (see first picture) only to have it fall to the ground after a hand smack.
    8. Connect 6” of clear tubing to the stem. You’ll be cutting the tubing down but the extra few inches will prove valuable during the brake bleeding process
    9. Secure tubing with safety wire or a small zip tie
    10. Fill tubing with brake fluid and bleed brakes
    11. Find a stainless allen head bolt that is a bit bigger than the diameter of the clear tubing. I made a nice aluminum a cap for version one (see first picture) of my mini reservoir set up but it would pop off now and then. The threaded bolt will allow any fluid or air to escape under pressure while keeping water out of your master cylinder. I put the bolt in a lathe and turned down the top. Since most allen head bolts are etched on the side, it makes it easier to twist into the clear tubing.
    12. Cut the clear tubing and install the cap.




    I've got several thousand miles and rain storms on this set up. Works great.
    Last edited by edward; 10-23-2009 at 6:47 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Credit: I got the idea from a Bling Cycles bike and Tha Nutz’s Mr. Roboto as seen below.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    222

    Default

    At least when the brake fluid starts breaking down that hose, it's cheap and simple to replace.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by framus View Post
    At least when the brake fluid starts breaking down that hose, it's cheap and simple to replace.
    It's DOT 5. No worries yet.

  5. #5
    billdozer
    Guest

    Default

    Good, simple tech Ed, thanks for posting this. We did the same thing on BFJosh's Triumph and it's been working fine ever since.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    843

    Default

    Cool set up, i've been running the same set up for awhile. I got the idea from road race bikes. Some of us run the same set up on the rear to save a little weight. I would never run it on my front brake on my race bike but my choppers good to go.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    901

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by edward View Post
    It's DOT 5. No worries yet.
    DOT #5 is purple.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    184

    Default

    This is something I have been wondering about. Thanks for the info. I want to do this on my Sporty.

  9. #9

    Default

    you guys just saved me like 200 bucks thanks, great tech

  10. #10

    Default

    Can confirm that a 5/8" Nissin master cylinder fitted as standard to Kawasaki ZX6 up to about
    '07 can be used. I'm matching mine to a GMA Model B caliper. I'll post some pics when I'm done.

  11. #11
    ARBY
    Guest

    Default

    OK. I'm almost ready to give this a try. But what are yooz guys doing for brake lines and clutch cables??? I doubt the japper controls are gonna hook up with Harley components.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ARBY View Post
    OK. I'm almost ready to give this a try. But what are yooz guys doing for brake lines and clutch cables??? I doubt the japper controls are gonna hook up with Harley components.
    i like the goodridge ebony stainless lines. look like old hoses but you get modern performance.


    they use AN-3 fittings. great for when you need address crazy angles. the have the straights too:
    Photobucket
    Last edited by edward; 03-30-2012 at 5:39 AM.

  13. #13

    Default

    I have been following this post now and got to thinking about mc sizing for my rear brake set up. How does the resivor effect the operation of the brakes? Would a minimal set up work on my dual caliper rig I have been working on? Any input would be appreciated


  14. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    137

    Default

    does this badass mod work on stock harley master cylinder or only on the nissin set up?

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    329

    Default

    i dig the sweet set up and the tech...always looking for new designs and american ingenuity. thats what this country was founded on...

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default

    I just did mine the other day thank for the great idea I love it

  17. #17

    Default

    I just put on a hydro clutch on my ironhead chop, the specs state 11/16" bore.
    I've looked everywhere and cant seem to find any nissin or the like, just the big chrome gross looking ones.
    I would realy like to do this as it looks clean as hell, thanks guys.

  18. #18
    ARBY
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kylezero View Post
    does this badass mod work on stock harley master cylinder or only on the nissin set up?
    I would think you could modify any set up that has a remote reservoir. I don't know of any Harley units that do.

  19. #19
    zoid
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 5akers View Post
    I have been following this post now and got to thinking about mc sizing for my rear brake set up. How does the resivor effect the operation of the brakes? Would a minimal set up work on my dual caliper rig I have been working on? Any input would be appreciated


    Fuck man . . that is some SERIOUS looking stopping power!

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zoid View Post
    Fuck man . . that is some SERIOUS looking stopping power!
    It's not as effective as it looks, the tire and traction is the limiting factor. A recent Horse issue did a story on a dual caliper build and it's use, an interesting read.

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