Brake Grip question? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Brake Grip question?

My VN750 is the first motorcycle I've owned, and unlike my scooters in the past I've noticed that it seems that the brake grip or lever or a bit harder for me to grip.

I have somewhat tiny hands, and I was wondering if there is anyway to bring the levers a bit closer in, so I can grip them better without it causing issues with in my fingers.

I think if there is a way I can do this, then I'd feel a bit safer when riding, and also a bit more comfort.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 08:52 PM
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The levers are aluminum...if you heat them at the bend slightly, you can mebbe bend em in a little, but by doing so, you will lose lever travel....
Id just learn to keep yer thumb on the grip, then reach when needed....you dont need to have your fingers on the lever at all times....



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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
The levers are aluminum...if you heat them at the bend slightly, you can mebbe bend em in a little, but by doing so, you will lose lever travel....
Id just learn to keep yer thumb on the grip, then reach when needed....you dont need to have your fingers on the lever at all times....
Thanks!

I noticed I really don't have as much of an issue on the clutch lever, and it feels that the brake lever is bent down or tilted a bit more, so I wonder if I could just readjust the position a bit.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:26 PM
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It is not a precise measurement but with the bike sitting level measure from ground to the lever of the clutch and compare it to the brake, if much different then adjust the brake up and down to get it where they match, then see if that helps, if the brake lever is way low it would force you to extend your wrist in a very strange way to grab a hold of some brake lever. I know my 800 has a dial adjuster which brings the lever closer and farther away, I never really messed with it, it was at '3' out of 5 and i left it there. I do not know about the 750's.

do a search on the internet for short reach levers, I found some stuff, have a look

kenny
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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It is not a precise measurement but with the bike sitting level measure from ground to the lever of the clutch and compare it to the brake, if much different then adjust the brake up and down to get it where they match, then see if that helps, if the brake lever is way low it would force you to extend your wrist in a very strange way to grab a hold of some brake lever. I know my 800 has a dial adjuster which brings the lever closer and farther away, I never really messed with it, it was at '3' out of 5 and i left it there. I do not know about the 750's.

do a search on the internet for short reach levers, I found some stuff, have a look

kenny
Thanks Kenny and good idea, now I actually know a term to search for it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 09:50 PM
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I also think you may just need to adjust the pitch of the lever. I have short fingers myself and I don't have trouble reaching the stock brake lever.

When I got my bike I did spend a little time adjusting both the handlebar angle and the angles for the controls to the most comfortable position for me. The previous owner had messed with all of that and it was at some very weird positions.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 11:24 PM
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As Ceal recommends, rotate the brake lever up so your fingers just touch it with your fingers extended straight out, in line with your arm, palm on the grip. That should be most comfortable and give you the most reach with your fingers.

Edit: See KM's comment in the next post about resting only two fingers on the brake lever while riding.
I concur with what he says and that is what I do too.

Mercury describes a lever with a dial adjustment to bring it closer to the grips.
I have seen a picture of one in our gallery I believe.
Not sure, but it might have been on Dianna's sidecar rig.

Check this thread for info about a company called Flanders where he got an adjustable lever.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=412

It is still listed for my '91 with a round master brake cylinder.
VN 750 A7 Vulcan W/5-Way Adj --- 402-32104

They don't have one listed for the 1985 to '90 models with the rectangular master cylinder.

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Last edited by OlHossCanada; 03-09-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 10:30 AM
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I never measured my levers I do however stand a several feet in front of the bike and eyeball them to get them even.

You really only need to be able to get your two first fingers (index and middle) on the lever, not all all four of them...and only up to the first joint behind the fingernail... If you need to grab the brake harder than this, you can wrap the other fingers over it as you pull the lever in.

There was a thread here recently on "adjustable levers" you might find usefull.

I don't know what kind of grips you have on the bars, but obviously thinner ones would make the reach shorter.

I always ride with those first two fingers resting on top of the lever.(being carefull not to actually move it in any....this can cause a problem) when I need to brake, I roll the throttle off with my palm, and this action pushes those fingers farther foreward around the lever so I can brake.

98% of the time you should only need to use those two fingers to stop the bike.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 11:24 AM
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KM good post. From what I learned at the riding courses I took was that you always want to use all 4 fingers up there and leave your hand off the brake while riding. If you see a situation coming up you get your fingers up there ready to pull on some brake. Just saying what the beginners, advanced, and ride like a pro course have said. I suggest everybody take a motorcycle course, not only does it help with points on the license, it counts as a defensive driving course and will reduce most insurance rates (at least in NJ it does). I took my first course before I bought the bike, the advanced course at about 8,000 miles. The ride like a pro course at 45000 miles. Now have 51K and no accidents with bike (other then getting rear ended, was in the process of getting to the shoulder, I was not quick enough). But I knock on wood, I also do not blame my lack of accidents on luck alone.

Oh yeah, those milege numbers are just on this bike, I have about 10k on a 71 honda CB550 - that bike was tricky, I learned on that and am convinced I can ride almost anything (have got to try those suicide shifters). The clutch did not work on that bike at one point, it would stall if you are not feathering the throttle, back tire would loose air and get squirrely when taking off - she was a charm.

Courses are great - I suggest um to everybody.

Kenny

Last edited by Mercury; 03-09-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-09-2013, 12:08 PM
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I second taking a riding course....not just for the insurance discount.

I should have pointed out many old school riders disagree with the MSF stance that you should NOT ride with one or two fingers on the brake lever.

My arguements against this is it only takes a fraction of a second to move your fingers to the lever....but at speed if something bad presents itself, that fraction of a second can translate to a life or death difference.

Most modern bikes with disc brakes can be hauled to a stop with just those two fingers. (I only needed one on my FJR)

If the practice allows you to stop the bike a bit sooner, to me this is a good thing. Most riders I know do this... "Cover the lever with the two first fingers"....contrary to what many rider courses teach.

I've learned from reading reports of accidents here that many riders go down simply because they over braked with the front lever. In a panic situation, it's not hard to believe they grabbed the lever with all four fingers and as of a result of fear or adrenaline they squeezed to hard.

So please take my practice here as a suggestion. Go with what you feel is the "right way" to you. This simply works for me, makes better logic to me, but most importantly is the way I'm used to riding as I've done this for the last 40 years...so not going to go over if its right or not...

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