Aftermarket Levers FAQ
Can't Reach Turn Signal Switch due to Clutch Lever position on the GS?
The only "cure" is to cut the housing in half. On the Classic you could slide the Lever Mount down the bar, bringing the end of the lever (where there is more control, especially in traffic) toward the switch.
How CG Members See "the Problem" of "Why are the Indicator Controls so far from my thumb on the GS? Is there a Fix?"
Why are blinkers on our bikes so far from my thumb? Do I have stubby thumbs? Why do we still have both directions on the left side? Even HD have one switch for each direction! Little observations. I think we got gypped on some design issues. Colbster, CA
I'm sorry but I can't agree with you at all. I have never experienced any problems reaching this switch on any bike, my problem with bikes are usually the opposite, a lot is too small, it's hard to fit all I suppose. Will HD's have a green handlebar on the right side and a red on the left as well, to know which side of the road to drive on? Would you really like two sticks in your car, on for right and one for left? Try operating a switch with your right thumb without affecting the throttle, wouldn't it be even harder for you to reach then? Also I often shift directly from right to left blinker in roundabouts, that would be harder with two switches wouldn't it? rakaD
I have long fingers and thumbs, and the positioning feels perfect to me. I also like having right, left and cancel on one control because it's like a car that way and therefore feels natural to me. Stan #770
I've found the switch to be perfect, although it did take a little getting used to after my Kaw (which had the horn and turn signal transposed compared to the F650). I actually really, really like the switch. I may be insane, but the little chicklet sound it makes when engaging and cancelling really turns my crank, so to speak. 8-). Seacuke #1214
I'm with Colbster. I must have short fingers. In Traffic, I can't clutch control and blink like the I used to on the Classic. One of my BIG gripes about the GS. :-) Stupidly you can't slide the clutch lever mount away from the instrument cluster, toward the end of the lever (more control) like you could on the Classic, as it's all one moulding. DHP#711 CUT his to to do this.
I had that problem too and I did the same thing of signalling early before needing to engage the clutch, but there were times when I couldn't do that. What I do now, if the clutch is already in, is hold it in with 2 fingers (i.e. release ring finger and pinky from the grip) and then pivot/rotate my hand around to reach the switch with my thumb. It took a while for it to get comfortable/natural but now I do it without having to think about it. Sit on your bike with it on the centerstand and try a bunch of variations - maybe you'll find something that works without having to modify the equipment. Now if only I could figure out how to roll off the throttle and pull in the front brake lever at the same time.....smoothly.... Rebecca
If I understand you correctly, you had the clutch lever and housing rotated forward (or anti-clockwise if viewed from the side) to improve the angle between your arm/hand and the lever. Most motocross and Enduro riders ride like this, as they often stand, and the angle is more comfortable. I have mine pointing a little further down than usual myself. However, the problem with having small hands, is that you can only reach the clutch lever with your finger tips - and sometimes only when stretching your whole hand a little closer (and partially off the grip). My girlfriend has exactly the same problem (she's currently learning to ride). Like Rebecca mentioned, I also ride with two fingers on the clutch and two on the grip, so my clutch lever is never pulled in right up to the grip itself. I think a viable solution would be to have the lever bent back slightly (if too much, then the clutch would not operate properly). As the lever is alloy, just about any engineering shop or alloy/aluminum shop should be able to do this for you. But be careful - as the lever is very brittle (a result of the manufacturing process), it would break easily if not done with extreme care. Bernard
Experienced it.? Absolutely. Every day. I hate it in traffic and I don't have THAT small hands. Classic was no Problem. DHP #711 CUT the Housing witha hacksaw (or something) to separate the Switch Control box from the lever mount, thus enabling him to move the Lever mount toward the Centre of the bars, so where his hands grabbed the lever would allow him to touch the controls. BMW not thinking again. That housing is a moulded Aluminium. Problem is if you cut it how to make the Control Box stay put. I did ask DHP how he did it. Hasn't got back to me on that one yet. The fundamental problem is one of Design, IMHO. If you have your fingers at the end of the lever, where you have more control, you cannot reach the indicator with small hands. Traditionally, moving the entire lever mount to the bike centre moved the end of the lever closer to the Control Box, so you could reach BOTH. You could do this on the Classic as the two were separate. BMW, in its infinite wisdom, has made both units integral, so this is no longer possible, without cutting. Poor design I reckon. Kristian#562 HK ex'96F, '00 GS
Was hoping to get some input regarding an issue I am having with my '02 GS. I have small hands, so I had the dealer move the front brake lever and the clutch forward to improve my reach. (they loosed a bolt and pivoted them forward) Meaning I wasn't having to bend my wrist to reach the controls. This was a big help, however, I am finding that I can't reach the turn signals while holding the clutch in. If I have the dealer pivot the controls back to the original placement, I still wonder if it would really make any difference, because I expect the ratio between the turn signals and the level would be the same regardless of the angle. Has anyone experienced this, or have any suggestions? Right now it takes very careful planning to make sure I can signal well ahead of time, before I engage the clutch. Does anyone know if the controls for the horn and the signals could be adjusted without changing the position of the clutch? Kellie #1165 (St. Louis).
During our recent trip to Namibia I found that after a full days dirt riding that the clutch lever of my F650 is too far from the handlebars for my small hand to reach, especially with thick gloves on. Carl tried slacking off on the cable tension but this did not help too much. By the afternoon I was getting cramps in my hand and had to lift my hand off the grip to grab the clutch. If I put my hand against my husbands it is half the size. The clutch on my Triumph Speed Triple is perfect. Any ideas as to what we can do. Gill Koch Cape Town South Africa
Ducati Brake Lever Install
by David #476
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
edited by Kristian #562
So you find the brake lever is a little too long of a reach? Hereís a solution.
One of the inmates found that a Ducati after market adjustable brake lever might work on our bikes. It made perfect sense, as the Ducati's use Brembo Brakes just like our Fs. (At least the beautiful Aprilia made ones!) On further investigation at the local Ducati dealer, the levers appeared identical, as did the Master Cylinders, so I figured Iíd give it a shot. Lo and behold, it worked perfectly (well, almost perfectly. Iíll get to that later.) Shots below compare the stock lever and the Ducati one at itís smallest (#4). #1 is the same angle as the stock BMW one.
So hereís what you do:
Buy Ducati part number 62610031B.
Take out your tool kit. (Yes, hereís a job you can actually do with the tools available in the stock tool kit!)
If you have the stock hand guards remove them which takes a screwdriver and the 10mm wrench.
Next take the 19mm wrench and remove the nut on the bottom of brake lever pivot shown below:
Nut on the bottom of the Pivot
Next comes a tricky part:
On the inside of the brake lever is a tiny little pin shown below next to a SMALL pair of haemostats.
This is NOT something you want to lose as without it, your brake lights wonít come on when you use your front brake. It goes in the small hole on the right in Fig. 5
So now you just remove the old lever. Back off the play adjustment in the new one. And put the new one in, taking care not to dislodge or lose the little light switch pin. Oh, I would take a moment prior to this and lube everything up real well with red grease.
The new lever installed. Note play adjustment screw on the left.
A note here. Since the stock lever has no play adjustment, this whole bit is missing from the stock lever. What this meant for me is that I had to move the whole brake, master cylinder, mirror set up inward to clear the switch on the throttle assembly. Below is a shot of that. Itís hard to see, but there is about .002Ē clearance between the lever and the switch. Just enough so that it doesnít interfere with the brake lever.
A real tight fit !
Once all this was complete, for some reason I donít really understand, I had to bleed the brakes. When this was complete I was good to go. No more applying the brakes with my finger tips! The adjustment as measured in the photo below ranges from 90mm on setting #1 to 60mm on setting #4 in 10 mm increments.
Ducati part number 62610031B $62 and change.
Alternative Brake Levers
The alternatives are:
David H. Park #711 is working on getting ASV to supply an unbreakable clutch/brake lever. You can see information on www.asv-usa.com.
This is what it will look like.
Alternative Brake Pedals
Q. For me, the brake pedal is too short. Anybody know if there is an extension made for it? Yes I saw the (Touratech) one in FAQ but it is relocation with some extension and is expensive. I am happy with the placement, just not the length. I find it a long reach from the peg. A web search has turned up nothing but I know we have some fabricators on the list so I thought I would bring it up. Tim Galdencio, Chain Gang #1325, '03 F650GS Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Florida.
Brake pedal enlargement.., 30 bucks. www.BMWSCruz.com. Art 884
ASV - (Not yet available)
It is adjustable for reach as well as has a hinge so that if you drop the bike or otherwise move the lever it doesn't break. As it is made from a single piece of CNC aluminum it didn't break. The changes that you need to make are shorter clutch cable by a smidgen (I have specs and have them made at MotionPro) and you need to bypass the clutch safety start switch (otherwise you can only start in neutral). The brake lever is available but not fitted to the BMW. ASV would need to do some CNC mods and I've sent them a complete BMW lever set to do this ala what I did with the Scott's disc guard. Cost will be about $75. David H Park #711
$80 each. He notes: I like it a lot (even though my lever was built upside-down and the adjuster is on the bottom of the lever)." Richard #230 has their levers
My experience with the Wudo clutch and Brake levers was that they really don't work all that well on the F650-I took the brake lever off, it didn't work well at all and went back to the stock lever. The clutch lever is still on but I've not gained much by having it. IMO, save your money . Keep looking cause sometime there will be a clutch lever that will reduce the reach and do it well. Its not here yet. Bill #391
Check out http://www.bmwscruz.com/SHOP/BMW/sku.html They sell Wunderlich levers. I have no idea what the Wudo cost, but it looks like the Wunderlich cost US$65 for the Classic and US$79 for the GS/Dakar. Spakur #1117
Have them set on #4, closest to the grip. The clutch and brake are effortless, smooth and very luxurious...., like the rest of the LT. I do not have them on my Fs but they would definitely be an improvement even though my hands are NOT small. Shorter, faster clutching and braking. Art 884
Assuming they are at least of the quality of the adjustable levers offered by almost every Japanese manufacturer for the larger streetbikes, jiggling loose should not be any concern at all. The Japanese have been putting these on bikes for a very long time - street only models though. I like the ones on my Busa, have them set at next to farthest from the bar, I give them absolutely no thought - but if the bike falls and breaks a lever, I'm sure they'll be expensive to replace - on the level of $80+. Gar 673 East Ky Gar, '97 classic, red
I used the new clutch lever for 200+ miles. The
reach is a bit closer, but not as much as I had hoped. Before, the very tips of
my fingers could reach the lever. Now, the entire distal joint is over the
lever. My left hand wasn't as sore from holding the clutch in at stops. I just
need to adjust it a bit more because now I can't shift into neutral while
completely stopped and I never had problems with that before. The quality of the
Wunderlich part is very nice. BTW, I have ordered online from Santa Cruz BMW
several times and have never had any problems. They have always had want I
wanted in stock and shipped right away. Bonnie #1158 -- Northern Illinois -- '02
Tip to avoid un-usable Broken Levers in a Fall
by David H Park, #711
If you do a lot off-roading, or are going on a long trip that might end with you dropping the bike inadvertently, you might like to consider this tip.
Drill a hole in the end of the
levers that way the knob will break off leaving you a workable lever. Cheap,
easy to do and will save you some $ as well as levers if you're in the field.
Q. Do you drill the hole vertically (top to bottom of lever) or horizontally (front to back), and about what size hole?
A. You drill the hole toward the end of the lever where the "ball" part is. Don't make it too big, the size will be self explanatory (use common sense). Again not too far toward the end, just a bit off the end. If you check out some other bike's levers you'll see that they have a "crease" toward the end, same idea different method. See DHP's web site for pics.