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Learn From The Pros: New Clutch & Brake Levers

Chaparral Motorsports
June 24, 2011
Last Updated: January 16, 2021
We chose a new set of ASV Inventions levers - brake and clutch

While your stock levers do the job, they're boring and fragile. Why not choose better performance and great style? We chose a new set of ASV Inventions levers - brake and clutch - for our Honda CBR600RR. ASV makes two styles of aluminum levers for sport bikes: The [mageProductLink sku="crf330-g" title=""]Forged F3[/mageProductLink] series we chose for our Honda ($90 per lever) comes with a three-year guarantee; and the CNC-machined [mageProductLink sku="brc510" title=""]C/5 series[/mageProductLink] ($116 per lever) has a five-year guarantee. They're made in standard (stock) length, or in shorty versions at 1.25 inches less than stock.

Why new levers? We like that the ASV levers are unbreakable, in large part due to the component's unique pivoting design that folds the lever out of the way upon impact - even a simple tip over. Sealed steel bearings and a high-tension cantilever spring are integral to the ASV pivot design; they also keep the levers from inadvertently pivoting under normal riding.

Besides the purely functional appeal, the ASV levers also allow you to easily adjust the reach to the levers, making these adaptable to different riders, or even if you wear different gloves for warm or cold weather.

Of course, the ASV levers also add a unique style to your bike. Both the C/5 and the F3 levers are available in different colors. We chose a black anodized finish for our CBR, but we could have chosen the bright gold finish, too.

Remove Stock lever1. Remove Stock Lever
Installation process is similar on both sides of the bike, though we're showing work on the clutch side. The two levers do, however, have unique characteristics and components. We'll explain the differences of each where necessary.

To remove either stock lever, you need a 10mm wrench plus a straight-blade screwdriver to loosen and remove the main pivot bolt. You'll reuse this pivot bolt with the new lever assembly.

Disconnect Cable2. Disconnect Cable
Turn the cable adjuster all the way in to the clutch perch. This will allow you to remove the cable wire from the adjustment housing and pull the stock lever away from its mount as well. Remember to retain that pivot bolt for installing the new lever.

Now you can simply detach the cable barrel from the underside of the stock lever.

New Lever Assembly3. New Lever Assembly
Your ASV levers - both brake and clutch - include a variety of small components to meet your brand of motorcycle's specific needs. On the clutch side, you'll choose and install the correct parts to activate your bike's neutral kill switch. Keep the parts you don't use; if you buy a Suzuki sportbike next year, for example, you can still use this ASV lever set, but you'll need the unique components to activate the clutch kill switch and the brake light switch (pictured). When installing these small components, use a thread-locking adhesive to make sure they remain secure.

On the brake-lever side, you'll also need to use the supplied new plunger barrel - it's difficult to remove the barrel from the stock lever. And on the clutch side, you'll need a new main pivot-bolt bushing. Choose the correct bushing for your brand of bike; ASV includes a few to choose from, and each will press in using just your fingers.

Install New4. Install New
With the new lever completely assembled, installation is simple, reversing the steps when you removed the stock lever. Insert the clutch cable barrel into the underside of the new ASV lever, then slide the lever into the clutch-lever housing so you can drop in the original main pivot bolt. For both the clutch and brake side, tighten these main pivot bolts until secure, but know that over-tightening can pinch the lever in the bracket and impede lever travel.

Finished: Check Controls, Set Adjustments5. Finished: Check Controls, Set Adjustments
With installation complete, you need to ensure that all brake and clutch lever controls function as designed. Answer several questions. Does each lever operate smoothly without binding? Does the brake light come on when the brake lever is applied? On the clutch side, does the neutral kill switch work as it should? Your bike should start only when it's in neutral, or when the clutch lever is fully engaged. It should NOT start in gear unless the clutch is pulled in.

Using the handy adjustment wheel, you can dial in the fit of the levers as you like. And now you're ready to ride!

The installation is relatively quick and easy, but you need to take care with each step to maintain optimum clutch and brake function. Do this wrong, and somebody - probably you! - gets hurt.

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