How To Install New Levers on Your Motorcycle

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Category: How To

Installing levers can seem tedious and a little intimidating. You’re messing with two of your most important controls, after all.  What’s the benefit of upgrading to an adjustable lever from your stock levers? Well, you can significantly improve the ways that you interface with your bike, something worth considering if your stock options are limiting, or if vanity has gotten the best of you. Read on to learn how to install new levers on your motorcycle.

Photos by Aaron Berg

What You’ll Need:

Large flathead screwdriver
10mm wrench or socket
Needle nose pliers (or your multi-tool)

Preparation:

Make sure your bike is parked on a stable, level surface, You can improve this further by using a rear stand. Get all of your tools out, and get everything ready.

Removing screw and 10 mm nut
Removing screw and 10 mm nut

Brake Side:

Remove the screw that attaches the lever to the perch and carefully remove the lever, ensuring that your brake switch isn’t damaged. Set the screw to the side, as you’ll likely be reusing the screw.

Closeup of the brake perch assembly and brake switch
Closeup of the brake perch assembly and brake switch

Installation:

Your kit will likely include a small dowel with a hole drilled perpendicular to fit your brake switch into. You’ll want to fit the dowel into your brake lever and the switch prong into that dowel. After that, simply replace the screw and nut, then torque to factory specification, listed in your owner’s manual.

New Brake Lever Installed
New Brake Lever Installed

Clutch Side:

Remove the 10mm nut from the underside of the perch and loosen your clutch cable to make it easier to remove. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to carefully remove the cable from the lever, be sure that you don’t mar or fray your cable, breaking a clutch cable is not fun.

Nut and bolt removed from the clutch perch
Nut and bolt removed from the clutch perch

Now that your stock lever is free, remove the brass bushing and set that aside along with your old screw and nut.

Removing the clutch lever. Note the brass bushing where the clutch lever pivots around the bolt
Removing the clutch lever. Note the brass bushing where the clutch lever pivots around the bolt

In your new lever, replace the cable first, being sure not to twist or wrench on it. Then, replace the old bushing into the pivot point and reinstall the screw and nut. Adjust clutch cable tension to factory specifications, found in your owner’s manual.

Underside of the clutch lever
Underside of the clutch lever

After:

Start your motorcycle (in neutral) and function your front brake to check that your brake light illuminates. Take your bike around the block and make sure your clutch is functioning normally.

Installed clutch lever
Installed clutch lever

Have you ever replaced your levers? How did it go?

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