Alston Rider Training
The ART of Motorcycle Control


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Set Up Your Levers

Posted on 9 January, 2018 at 17:30

1. Adjust your levers. For new riders or a new bike

The lever(s) on almost every bike can be adjusted for height and free-play and some are span-adjustable too.

Height. With your hands resting on the grips and your arms nicely relaxed in riding position, rest your fingers on the clutch and brake levers. It should be a fairly straight line all the way down your forearm, through your knuckles and along your fingers. If it’s not loosen the little (8mm) bolt that clamps the lever around the handlebar and adjust them to suit (then tighten the bolt again!).

Free-play. Any cable-operated clutch (and old-fashioned cable-operated brake) will have an adjuster at each end. Pull back the rubber cover at the lever end of the cable, loosen the locking wheel (this might need a pair of pliers) and turn the threaded adjuster clockwise to increase the free-play and anti-clockwise to reduce it. A few mms of free-play is the generally accepted norm. This adjustment can also be used to move the friction point of the clutch. When you’re done remember to tighten the locking wheel again.

Span. This one is a bit trickier but if you’ve got short fingers you might find span-adjustable levers very “handy”. Some bikes have span-adjustable levers as standard. If yours does, just push the lever away from the handlebar and turn the numbered wheel. Each step will move the lever either closer to the bar or, guess what? further away. If they’re not standard on your bike your local dealer will be happy to sell you expensive ones. Ebay will sell you the same thing at a fraction of the cost. Make sure they are specifically for your make and model of bike.

These simple adjustments will make your bike more comfortable and easier to control.

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