Stahlbus Bleeder Valve
A few weeks ago, I reviewed the Stahlbus Oil Drain Valve and was impressed with its simplicity and build quality. It takes away the mess and frustration of changing oil by replacing your drain bolt with a simple ball valve and drain adapter (review here). Stahlbus's other major product, a bleeder valve, works under a similar principle by using a ball valve to improve the brake bleeding process.
The first thing you'll notice when you pick up this product is it's build quality. It's made from high quality nickel plated steel and has a solid look and feel. The optional dust cap is made from anodized aluminium and has an o-ring seal. Unlike a traditional bleeder valve, this is constructed from two parts. The lower section is an adapter which installs directly into the caliper and never needs to be loosened again. The upper section contains the spring-loaded check valve and an o-ring to ensure absolutely no air gets in or oil leaks out.
If you're installing this bleeder in a dry system, such as after changing your brake lines, you can unscrew the upper section 1 1/2 turns to effectively disable the check-valve. This allows you to easily prime the system with a vacuum bleeder. Once oil has begun to flow through the valve, close it completely and then unscrew again 1/2 turn. Now is the fun part. As you pump the brake lever, the check valve allows air and oil to exit but not back into the caliper. As air bubbles exit you can actually hear and feel the valve chatter. There's no need to repeatedly tighten and loosen the valve as you "pump up" then release air and oil from the caliper. There's also no need to elevate the drain hose or use cups of oil to keep air out of the system. When you've finished bleeding, just snug up the valve and you're done. Simple.
Dust caps available in 8 colors
If you bleed your brakes often, you might find the new process a little awkward at first because it has literally become a one-handed job. I found myself reaching for the wrench more than once as I pumped the brake lever. A major benefit is that you can now keep a closer eye on your oil level as you bleed.
Banjo bleeder installed
Stahlbus makes their valves in many different thread sizes and lengths so they probably have one that fits your bike. They also make a lightweight titanium version in a few of the more common sizes. If you use banjo bleeders, Stahlbus makes both "Single" and "Double" versions in all common thread sizes. If you're not sure which size you need, Stahlbus has a document on their website which lists specs for hundreds of motorcycles.
Anyone who's bled their own brakes knows the frustration of trying to get all air out of the lines and calipers. The Stahlbus bleeder valve not only makes the process easier, but it also does a better job. By preventing air from getting back into the caliper, you spend less time (and less oil) bleeding your brakes.