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Aftermarket Sportbike Levers Guide


But, they're just levers...right? At first glance, the uninitiated might assume that motorcycle levers are nothing more than a stylish cosmetic piece for a bike. Tried-and-true sportbike riders, however, recognize that like most aftermarket motorcycle parts, a good lever provides a range of benefits as well. Both on the road or in the unfortunate event of a crash, having a quality lever for a bike is an investment that pays off in more ways than one.

True, the plain-Jane stock levers might get the job done but they often don't offer the features available on a nice set of cnc-machined brake and clutch levers.

Safety in Features

Riding confidently often translates into riding safely. Levers, just like suspension, clip-ons and footpegs and rearsets are how the rider controls the motorcycle and, as such, these parts of the bike necessitate customization in order for the rider to be comfortable and confident in the bike's feel. Having levers that are too far, short, long, wide for your grip will pose a problem.

Most stock levers don't have a wide enough range of adjustments  or features available for riders to properly dial in their hand controls. This is why its important to set up your bike to ride the way you need it to. Aftermarket levers play a pivotal role in customizing your bike for comfort, safety and looks.

Materials, Customization & Personalization

Sportbike Levers
Many aftermarket sportbike levers are made from stronger materials than their stock counterparts, so they provide an advantage in safety right off the bat. CNC-Machined aluminum is the popular process for aftermarket levers, allowing the manufacturer to develop the shape, features and textures of the lever.

Utilizing aluminum allows the levers to be beautifully anodized in many different colors as well as powder coated. Usually, you can pick and choose the colored lever components to come up with a truly custom look for your own motorcycle.

Shorty or Standard Length

With stock levers, it's common for riders who only use a few fingers on the brake or clutch to get their gloves caught on the back of longer levers (since they usually rest the fingers they aren't using behind the lever). Riders who choose shorter, aftermarket levers won't run into this issue, as they have plenty of clearance for their fingers but some riders opt to keep standard length levers to lessen the need to 're-learn' the controls.

Riders with larger hands, though, might feel that their current lever isn't comfortable enough. In these cases, standard length levers will offer better grip and a smoother feel when riders operate the bike. It's even possible to use a staggered combination with a short brake and long clutch (for example) or vice versa.

Micro-Adjustments for Lever Reach

In addition to providing greater safety and comfort, aftermarket levers often allow for a wider and more precise adjustment range for the lever reach. The lever reach is the distance from the grip to the lever. This reach should be comfortable and effective for both the brake and clutch levers.

This adjustment for reach lets riders set them up in the position that is most convenient for their riding style, improving their abilities on the road or track in turn. Most aftermarket levers offer 8-10 different positions that can be set on-the-fly. On-the-fly adjustments can compensate for brake lever fade due to excessive heat during aggressive braking.

Folding or Non-Folding

Some levers (like Pazzo Levers) even have the ability to pivot during impacts, lessening the chance that they will break. This is an important feature for the survivability of the lever during a tip over or crash - as it's not easy to ride with broken levers! This choice is popular for track day enthusiasts and racers alike. They also look wicked!

What Motorcycle Lever Brands Stand Out?

Pazzo Levers
Pazzo Racing Levers
There are plenty to pick from, but Pazzo Levers (designed and manufactured in Canada) are well-known by riders for their looks and quality. These levers are easy to install (most can complete the process in about five minutes) and made from strong aluminum that is both lightweight and resistant to physical force.

Their adjustable nature allows riders to position the levers away from the handlebar grips at one of six preset distances, and the varied color options (which include UV-protected IFX Candy varieties) cover something for everyone. Any riders needing to replace the stock levers on their motorcycles should give them a look before checking out anything else.

Aside from Pazzo, there are any leading manufacturers of sportbike aftermarket hand control levers including CRG and Vortex. Many of these brands are available from major online motorcycle parts stores and installation is straightforward.

Installation Notes

While the installation of aftermarket motorcycle brake and clutch levers - for most bike models - can be had by simply removing your stock levers and replacing them with new levers, hand controls can be a very sensitive part of the motorcycle so if you're not sure about how to go about it, we definitely recommend seeking a qualified mechanic to install your levers for you.

For more customization options, check out Rizoma Grips and Supersprox Sprockets review next!

By Daniel Relich

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