***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

I just installed Kuryakyn brake and clutch levers on my Vulcan, and when I took it for a test ride THE FRONT BRAKES LOCKED UP !!! This happened as I was in a slow corner on some sand-covered blacktop by a construction site and I went down. I scratched up the right edge of my brand new windshield, bent the foot brake lever and sprained my ankle . . . but I'm otherwise alright, except for my pride.

I think this is what happened. The little nipple on the brake lever was too high and would not let the master cylinder release. I must have used the brake lightly several times before this corner (I had ridden about 2 miles by then, several stop lights) and the friction heated everything up and expanded it. When the front wheel hit the sand the friction between the road and the wheel was not enough to keep it turning, so it just stopped. Motorcycles are mostly stabilized by the gyroscopic action of the front wheel, so when this stability suddenly dissappeared, I went down.

All I had to do to release the brake was to remove the new Kuryakyn lever.

There was a Sears store right there, so I bought myself a file and adjusted that lever right in the parking lot. Interestingly, I had tested the brake in my driveway before leaving home. It may have been one of those things where the spacing was very close. It was cold today (about 45 degrees F) and it could be that using the brake a few times warmed up the fluid and the resulting expansion was enough to get things past where the master cylinder could release. In any case, if you are using these levers BE VERY CAREFUL to check that the brake master cylinder is not being pressed upon when the lever is at rest.

Now I think I had better search on the topic of "polishing out scratches."

Bill
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 10:37 PM
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Re: ***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

"Motorcycles are mostly stabilized by the gyroscopic action of the front wheel, so when this stability suddenly dissappeared, I went down."

Although this is true, in this case, if you were going fairly slow and leaned into a turn, you more than likely "went down" because you lost traction and nothing else. If you were on ice...and the wheel was still turning, the same thing can happen.
Gyroscopic forces on the front (and rear) wheel mostly come in to play at higher speeds, and when the bike is running straight. Losing traction in either wheel while in a turn can have you on the ground quickly.

I am curious about the lever however. If it was made improperly, you might want to call the company and perhaps even seek damages. Do make sure they sent you the correct lever though, as the Vulcan used diffrent master cylnders on some models.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 07:45 AM
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Re: ***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

There are two different sets of brake levers for the VN750 that correspond with the change in the Master Cylinder. The rectangular one is from 85-90 and the round one from 91 and all years after.

7426 // $29.95 _ORDER NOW
Wide Style Levers for Kawasaki (pr)
Fits: '91-'05 Vulcan VN750 (all).

I don't see any levers listed for the earlier models. What year is your bike?

Dianna
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2000 VN750 Sere (Serendipity)
1990 GL1500 (Ole Blue)
1986 VN750 EVie (project bike, heavy custom)
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ARVROC # 12 Coordinator and Crowd Control
OKVROC # 18 (H)
TNVROC # 45 (H)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

Knifemaker, you are absolutely right about the traction thing, and I was only going walking speed when I got dumped. I shudder to think about this happening at a higher speed . . . as it is I have some new purple color on my foot and it was definitely a "Motrin Morning." As for a damages claim, I suspect that Kuryakyn would just blow me off and it wouldn't be worth the trouble. I just won't be buying any more of their products.

Dianna, sorry for the oversight in my post. My bike is a '99 VN750 and the levers ARE the 7426 (46092-1170+46092-1172 is on the back of the package as well). Also, this is a problem with the mold used, as the mold marks show that the problem did NOT result from flash or any such thing.

Bill
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 09:43 AM
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Re: ***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

Then I would say contact Kury's Customer Support. I have found them to be outstanding in the past and they are one company that still believes in Customer Service and satisfaction. Surprising in this day and age when most company's do just blow ya off..

Dianna
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Patriot Guard Rider
2000 VN750 Sere (Serendipity)
1990 GL1500 (Ole Blue)
1986 VN750 EVie (project bike, heavy custom)
VROC # 11628 / 25000-H
ARVROC # 12 Coordinator and Crowd Control
OKVROC # 18 (H)
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-19-2005, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: ***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

You are quite right, Dianne, and at the very least this will give them the chance to make a design change. I just sent them the following:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I recently installed your finger lever set (7426) on my Kawasaki Vulcan 750 (1999 model) and a flaw in the brake lever design caused my front brake to lock up after riding roughly two miles, thus causing an accident. There is a more complete description of this event at: https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1012

Upon looking at the probable cause of this event, it appears that the "nipple" that presses upon the brake master cylinder is too prominent by about 1 mm, thus preventing the master cylinder from releasing the internal pressure under certain circumstances.

PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS!!!!! My accident was at a very slow speed, but it does not take much imagination to see that it could have been much worse than it was.

Thank you,
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-05-2005, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ***WARNING*** Kuryakyn levers

Well, its been two weeks and still no word from Kuryakyn. I hope this means that they are seriously looking into the problem, but it could also mean that their lawyers have advised them to not acknowledge the problem for liability reasons. Which is to say, they may well intend to ignore it and just hope it goes away. I guess well see. In the meanwhile, I hope that everyone is passing the word, and those of you with Kuryakyn levers are giving them a hard look. A slow speed dump is one thing, a higher speed accident or one in heavy traffic could well be a different thing entirely.

I strongly recommend that if you have these levers (and I certainly like mine, after modifying them) you take the brake lever off and take a look at how far the master cylinder piston is depressed when you put it back on. You can see this quite easily, just pull out the bolt that the lever pivots on and hold the lever in place with the part that rests on the master cylinder snug against it but not depressing it, and the tab that prevents the lever from pivoting outward also snug. The hole in the lever should be slightly offset in an outward direction parallel to the handlebar, indicating slight spring tension from the master cylinder with the bolt in place. If the master cylinder is holding the lever too far outward, then when the bolt is re-installed the master cylinder will be depressed by the amount of the offset, which in my case was roughly a millimeter or so before I filed it down and enough to prevent the pressure from bleeding after the brake was used. If you do find an excessive offset, a little work with a file on the nipple that depresses the master cylinder can quickly fix it.

If I hear anything from Kuryakyn Ill post it here.

Bill
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Blown off . . .

Well, it's about 10 days short of four months since I contacted Kuryakyn and I haven't heard a peep from them . . . so I think it's safe to say that they blew me off. Caveat Emptor folks.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2006, 10:44 PM
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Did you send them another email? Lots of things can happen to emails these days.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2006, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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I'll send them a certified letter today. There was no bounce on the first email. I think they got it.

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