Chocolate Syrup Brake Fluid?


We’re less than a month away from the 2024 MotoAmerica race season official start at Road Atlanta. That may seem like we still have plenty of time with a few weeks left, but there is still so much to do before we’re ready, so I’ve been putting my head down and continuing to plug away.

The project bike teardown phase is nearly complete and the next major obstacle to tackle was completely removing the stock brake system. This adds to the list of new experiences for me with this Yamaha YZF-R6 since the bike came standard with an ABS system.

The biggest challenge was figuring out how the pump lines were routed on the front and rear. In order to remove them we had to bend the lines, which are metal out through the frame. I had no intentions to reuse them or try to sell them so this wasn’t an issue. As we began removing everything and draining the fluid we came upon the biggest surprise which was the brake fluid, which looked like chocolate milk! Surprise, I’m certain that fluid has not been changed since the bike left the factory.

The ABS pump with some leftover brake fluid still visible.

I thought back to my discussions with the previous owner and I recalled him telling me he actually did a trackday with the bike prior to selling it to me. Full transparency, the prev owner typically buys and sells salvage titled bikes, race bikes, etc. and either flips them or parts them out. If he intended to keep it I’m sure he would’ve changed the fluid but he just wanted to take it out for a spin prior to selling. My point being is I give the guy props for having the guts to ride the thing especially on track with the brakes in such condition. I’ll admit I would’ve had no idea the brake fluid was that bad based on how they felt when squeezing the lever. I knew the fluid was old based on the color in the reservoir but had no idea it would be as bad as it was, dark as Hershey chocolate syrup!

The rear brake system was the same story with the ABS pump lines being bent out of the way and removed. The fluid color unsurprisingly was more of a watered down chocolate milk. With the system out, the bike is ready to have the new stainless steel custom colored pink lines installed from HEL Performance. Before we can get to that though, I took care of some of the small tasks to complete the teardown such as removing the outer front sprocket cover, radiator fans and turn signal wires.

As far as my race team prep goes, I’m close to being ready to launch my team apparel. I’ve been working to figure out the best materials and brands to use from a cost and quality standpoint. I am not a fan of those cheap heavy cotton shirts and I want my apparel to be something someone will actually enjoy wearing. Not just something they buy and never dig out of the closet.

Brake system removal success!

The sponsorship and financial partner hunt continues on as I keep reaching out to potential partners that I feel would be a great fit for me and the team. I’ve had a couple of companies approach me asking to endorse products for free, but they insisted I endorse the product prior to reviewing. I had to turn them down as I explained to them I only partner with companies I think will be a good fit and I never endorse a product prior to testing and evaluating. As I have said before, I’m not one to just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. If I want you on my team it is for a reason- I want to represent you and I want to put my tireless work effort towards helping you succeed as well as myself.

I’m also going to be launching an individual contributor campaign to give individuals who do not run companies an opportunity to be part of the team and get their names on the bike, so stay tuned and keep a lookout on my social media if you’re interested!

The clock is ticking down and I am doing my best to work things out so we aren’t crunched for time. I will be doing some preseason testing shortly at the time of this writing and there is still a lot to be done. For a reference I’ll list out the major items so you can get a sense for where things are at. There is a lot that has been done but there is still so much left to do but as always, we keep grinding!

Ryan “Ryhno 411” Nolan

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Ryhno Racing

Cycle World Athens


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