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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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.
http://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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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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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
 

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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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^^^ yep, I know lots of old school riders who disagree with a few things that the msf teaches, and what courses like 'ride like a pro' teach, then I turn my bike around at full lock almost scraping the floor board and they go, 'where did you learn that shiet?' Of course it is very important to be comfortable on the bike. I would be willing to bet being uncomfortable is more dangerous then having too little or too much braking ability. So ultimately each rider can choose what works for them. I got used to using 3 fingers on my brake lever, the ride like a pro guy gave me a hard time about it and I broke out of it for that day, but now and again I catch myself doing 3 fingers.

Cruisers like mine 800 drifter, and larger ones like road kings etc... you can really lay on the brake. However, the vn750, being lighter and having dual front discs, you may be able to flip that sucker over or slide if the tire gives way.

Practice / practice / practice. I got some cones and I cant wait until better weather this year.

Kenny
 

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yep, I know lots of old school riders who disagree with a few things that the msf teaches
Like me ?....lol....
I ride the 2 finger deal when in traffic...when on an open road, all fingers are on the grips, as I can shift if needed w/o the clutch....actually, when on the Big Road, I do all my upshifting sans clutch after 2nd...

Also...not sure of the model years, but I know on the earlier ones (mines the oldest) the brake lever is bent outta the factory...
And I just looked at a pair off of an 86...same thing....guys with the newer bikes can chime in, but are the newer model brake levers straight ? If so, mebbe you can swap out for a newer model MC and lever. Take note on positioning the brake side though....the MC needs to stay fairly level....
It might help to tilt the bars themselves back a lil farther, level the MC, then match the clutch to that...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok so went out there this morning and checked things out, it seems that the reason the brake lever is a bit off or me is that it seems like it might be been bent a bit. I worked on bending it back up some (didn't want to get to crazy and brake it) and it seems to be much more comfortable. I do think I'm might adjust the bars some but I'm going to wait I take the bike over to M_Angell for that, just so I don't screw anything up. I've done some work on cars before, but uneasy about doing anything to the bike until I know a bit more.

when on the Big Road, I do all my upshifting sans clutch after 2nd...
Wolfie as I'm new to manual 2-wheel vehicles and didn't know you could shift up without the clutch. Does this harm the bike at all? Seems like it might be easier when on the road.
 

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You can do it with cars, trucks, bikes...after you get the rpms up in one gear, you place slight pressure on the shifter, then slightly back off the throttle....should slip right into the next gear if the tranny is good....I wouldnt suggest it for someone new though, not yet....I been riding bikes since around 1970, so I kinda got used to things...dont try it until youre used to the bike, else you'll grind yer gears....
No real reason to do it really, but on the hiway, I oft ride with my left hand off the bars (bad shoulder)...makes the sport bike riders crap their pants when they see me shift like that too, lol....
 

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I too ride two fingers, I think it makes it easier to put gradual pressure on the brake ( well, I guess I can add "used two, too, and to in one sentence" to my resume lol). And as far as up shifting with no clutch...I do that all the time too. That really freaks people out when you pass them while waving at them mid shift. I usually get double takes lol.
 

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just to add to wolfie, you can up shift and down shift as well without clutch, again not something I would do for new person, I have done it up and down if my left arm was busy doing something else

Kenny
 

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...usually a lil tougher downshifting though...especially on a worn tranny...youre usually way in the back, and Im in front, but I do it all the time....
Trucks and cars are usually easier to do it with....I went 6 months w/o a clutch in my 73 Nova SS...that was in the Adirondacks though, no traffic...neutral safety removed of course, lol....would start it in 1st or reverse....if one is used to it, you can actually feel the cogs synching...
 

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...usually a lil tougher downshifting though...especially on a worn tranny...youre usually way in the back, and Im in front, but I do it all the time....
Trucks and cars are usually easier to do it with....I went 6 months w/o a clutch in my 73 Nova SS...that was in the Adirondacks though, no traffic...neutral safety removed of course, lol....would start it in 1st or reverse....if one is used to it, you can actually feel the cogs synching...
totally agree with the downshifting. Got to get those rpms to match up and then she will slide right in.

I do use the clutch 95% of the time though. Got aftermarket plates in there cause after the intake / exhaust / rejet, the stock plates slipped quite a bit hitting 2nd hard.

kenny
 
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