Easy 2 finger clutch lever mod
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Thread: Easy 2 finger clutch lever mod

  1. #1
    Senior Member Trail Woman's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Easy 2 finger clutch lever mod

    Hey Hey!

    After several long days of trail riding, I decided instead of buying a new lever that possibly won't be detected by my electrical, I should mod the stock one. Cheaper and more effective.
    I removed the boots and lever, punched a center, drilled 1/8" pilot and I don't recall the larger bit size but it matched the cable end size. By drilling an end point nearer the rotation it pulls easier. After drilling I degreased and filed the cable channel to a smoother curve to the new position.
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    After drilling and filing, I put it in the vice and heated it with a torch where I wanted to bend it. Once it got hot I rubbed a bar of soap on it and then heated it till it turned black. At this point it begins to bend under a gentle push of a steel tube over the end. Once I had it where I wanted I hack sawed off the ball end and grinded sanded and steel wooled the tip. Thorough cleaning reassembly and readjust and back on!
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    The improved lever now pulls easier with 2 fingers and the feathering window is much wider making trail riding much easier.

    In hind sight I could have shortened the lever a little more but I wanted room for gloves. I called this a win for now and moved the lever away from the grip to make up the difference. If future mods make the pull easy enough I'll shorten it even more to a single finger.

    My next mods will likely be washers in the clutch springs while I install a kickstarter, and possibly a longer lever on the engine end of the clutch cable. And if that's not enough an inline easy clutch lever box.
    Last edited by Trail Woman; 04-15-2018 at 12:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Clever mod. Glad it worked out. Looks good. Any possibility of the lever being weaker or more prone to braking in a crash, and yes I see your guards.
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    Senior Member Trail Woman's Avatar
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    Thanks. I know aluminum weakens when being bent but several youtubers showed how to do it with a torch. The bend was way easier then without heat so I assume it didn't harm the strength much if any. I only heated and bent a small spot and the hole drilled was only part way through and left enough material to maintain it's strength. If it wasn't for handguards I may have reconsidered doing this or at least did more research into the effects of heat bending aluminum.

    I'm hoping that by adding washers to the bolts holding the clutch springs, that the reduced pressure will also result in less sticking of my clutch plates on the first start of the day.
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  5. #4
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    The soap you used not only was helpful in letting you know how hot it was before bending by the black color it turns, but also anneals the aluminum so you will probably be ok with normal use. I was impressed. Good job TW!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Woman View Post
    Thanks. I know aluminum weakens when being bent but several youtubers showed how to do it with a torch. The bend was way easier then without heat so I assume it didn't harm the strength much if any. I only heated and bent a small spot and the hole drilled was only part way through and left enough material to maintain it's strength. If it wasn't for handguards I may have reconsidered doing this or at least did more research into the effects of heat bending aluminum.

    I'm hoping that by adding washers to the bolts holding the clutch springs, that the reduced pressure will also result in less sticking of my clutch plates on the first start of the day.
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    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Woman View Post
    I'm hoping that by adding washers to the bolts holding the clutch springs, that the reduced pressure will also result in less sticking of my clutch plates on the first start of the day.
    Hey TW,

    Just adding washers will only raise the height of the bolt head, and will do nothing to reduce the spring pressure unless the O.D. of the added washers will fit within the I.D. of the springs.

    Brian

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    The greater mechaical advantage is great as long as you have the additional throw for the lever. This why the lever was shortened?
    However I cringe when I think of the damage a clutch lever missing it's protective ball can inflict piercing innocent flesh in even a slow off-road shunt, either your flesh or another rider's. Those handguards can potentially rotate out of the way if your thigh or anything impacts into them hard enough. So maybe keep their fasteners rather tight?
    A heat gun can soften and allow you to re-shape the Acerbis, or Acerbis clone's plastic slightly to get a bit more clearance for stock ball ends.
    Last edited by Fred; 04-16-2018 at 03:51 PM.
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    Senior Member Trail Woman's Avatar
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    LIttletommy - Thanks for the confirmation on the annealing. That's reassuring to hear. Glad I used the soap even though I was unaware of all the benefits. So many people use this method that I just went with it.

    TW-Brian - Exactly. Adding washers to the clutch bolts would fit inside of the springs. They'd hold the bolt heads higher and reduce the compression of the springs. The end result would be like using slightly shorter springs.

    Fred - Do you mean that after drilling the new cable end point without making it shorter the lever would bottom out on the grip or other fingers? I wanted a shorter lever so I could stop using 3 - 4 fingers. The shorter lever was no easier to pull till I drilled the new cable end position. It now pulls as easy with 2 as it used to with 4. The other mechanical advantage (my favorite) is how the pulled range of feathering/slipping is much wider making it much easier to find. The shorter lever was my priority but I did the mods in the opposite order to leave more handle for when I was drilling and filing.

    The end of the lever wasn't cut at the most narrow point and it's well rounded. With Acerbis bar inserts in the knock off guards they're very sturdy.

    I think I've addressed these concerns but they are worthy of mention for anyone considering these mods. Riding motorcycles is dangerous enough without making it more so.
    Last edited by Trail Woman; 04-16-2018 at 05:09 PM.
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    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Old school metal work. I was very impressed seeing you use that method. I don't think a lot of folks know that stuff anymore. Again, great job.

    Aluminum melts quickly without much notice since you can't see the heat changing the color of the metal like you can in steel. The soap turning black lets you know you can work it...just before the melting point... haha. It also anneals it helping it not to crack when you bend it.
    Last edited by littletommy; 04-16-2018 at 05:29 PM.
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  10. #9
    Ken
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    I shortened my lever. The bike fell on the ground and snapped it off. I filed it smooth put some heat tubing over it and use 2 or 3 fingers.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    now that you have a greater mechanical advantage, you lost a little bit of travel. does your clutch still completely disengage?
    Greg

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