How to Install Motorcycle Levers

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How to Install Motorcycle Levers

Motorcycle levers are an essential component for rider safety, controlling both the brake and the clutch. For a high level of protection, buyers must ensure that the levers work consistently and do not stick. Any damage to the motorcycle levers can potentially affect the vehicle's ability to function correctly and can lead to collisions or injuries. The best way to ensure that the levels are working correctly is to check them regularly and install replacement levers, if necessary.

Motorcycle levers come in various styles, configurations, materials, and finishes. Customised options include bone or knife shaped levers, and popular materials, such as aluminium and steel. The levers are also found in various sizes, designed to fit differently sized hands. When purchasing motorcycle levers at retailers such as eBay, buyers should consider the various types, understand the differences between original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and third party spare parts, familiarise themselves with the factors that help them to install the correct product, and learn how to install the components properly.

Types of Motorcycle Levers

There are several types of motorcycle levers. Although each type is intended to function in the same way, each varies slightly with respect to where it is placed on the motorcycle. When used properly, levers allow the rider to control important motorcycle operations. For a description of each motorcycle lever type and its correct placement, buyers can consult the table below.

Motorcycle Lever


Front brake lever

Normally positioned on the right grip of the motorcycle handlebar

Controls the operation of the front brakes

Squeezing the lever applies pressure to the brake and helps to slow the motorcycle's momentum

Used in tandem with the rear brake pedal to maintain proper control of the motorcycle during braking

Rear brake pedal

Connected to a lever that activates the rear brakes when foot pressure is applied

Located on the right footrest

Clutch lever

Normally positioned on the left side of the motorcycle

Attached to the left grip of the motorcycle's handlebar

Operated by the left hand

Must be disengaged to shift between gears easily and safely

Gear stick lever

Allows the rider to shift through a series of transmission gears as the motorcycle accelerates and to downshift during braking

Usually located on the left side of the motorcycle, just above the foot pedal

Operated by the rider's foot, which either pushes down on the lever or lifts it

Before riding a motorcycle, buyers should ensure they have a basic understanding of each lever and the function it performs. Doing this helps to maintain good road safety and prevents accidents.

OEM Motorcycle Levers vs. Third Party Spare Parts

Motorcycle levers come in two different varieties: OEM and third party spare parts. When choosing the best type, buyers should consider the type of riding that they do, as well as personal preference.

OEM Motorcycle Levers

OEM motorcycle levers are those that are made by the motorcycle's manufacturer. Due to their compatibility, these levers are guaranteed to function at an optimum level. Buyers that want to ensure the best performance should purchase the same type of OEM levers that were on the factory new model of the motorcycle.

However, a disadvantage of OEM motorcycle levers is that they tend to project from the handlebars. This means that they can break easily with heavy use. This is especially evident with off-road and dual-sport motorcycles that see a lot of impact. Buyers may find themselves replacing these parts constantly, or may decide to choose third party spare parts as a more durable alternative.

Third Party Spare Parts

Third party spare parts are those manufactured and sold by a company other than the OEM. These levers may be custom designed, and are a popular option for those looking to add a touch of style to their motorcycle. In addition, many third party spare parts have additional features, such as quick and easy adjustment, that are not featured on their OEM counterparts.

When purchasing third party spare parts, buyers should ensure that the levers function properly. Some of these levers have a tendency to stick or do not move as easily as OEM levers. Therefore, buyers should purchase third party spare parts from reputable manufacturers so as not to compromise safety for aesthetic appeal.

Factors to Consider When Installing Motorcycle Levers

There are various factors to consider when installing motorcycle levers, including the body proportion of the rider, make, model, and year of the motorcycle, type of motorcycle, and lever covers. These components help to ensure the ultimate safety while riding.

Body Proportion of the Rider

Riders should never attempt to adapt physically to the lever settings. Instead, the lever settings should be adjusted to fit the rider. This may require adjusting the seat or handlebars. Riders should install motorcycle levers that fit their hand size to ensure safety and comfort. When clutching the motorcycle levers, the rider's wrist should be straight in relation to the forearm. If this is not the case, stress may result and lead to more serious long-term injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve damage. Poorly fitting levers also decrease the quality of the grip, which compromises the safety of the rider.

Take into account the lever length, circumference, weight, and the distance that it is installed from the grip. Levers are made in both standard and short lengths. Some levers have knobs, allowing for easy adjustment, while others require manual modification. If the motorcycle levers are not sized properly for the rider's body, there is a chance of back and neck ache, tight shoulders, tingling in the fingertips and wrists all the way up the arm, or other symptoms.

Make, Model, and Year of the Motorcycle

When installing motorcycle levers, buyers should take into account the vehicle's make, model, and year of manufacturer as this identifies the correct product. Incompatible motorcycle levers can present a huge safety issue and may lead to accidents. Some motorcycle levers are advertised as "universal fit levers", which means that they fit multiple motorcycles. While these levers are ideal for buyers that have more than one motorcycle or are thinking about exchanging their bike in the future, they often require modification and customisation because every model of motorcycle's handlebars, grips, hardware, and cables are different. For those unable to find motorcycle levers that match the make, model, and year of their motorcycle, universal fit levers may be the only option.

Style of Motorcycle

When searching for motorcycle levers, buyers should consider the style of motorcycle that they own in relation to the lever material. The type of material chosen affects the weight and durability of the vehicle. For example, buyers with sports motorcycles should search for lightweight levers in order to decrease resistance during racing. On the other hand, those with off-road motorcycles should search for more durable, heavyweight levers that can withstand the rugged outdoors.

Motorcycle Lever Covers

Motorcycle lever covers are designed to be placed over the lever to provide better gripping traction, as well as to protect the rider against the cold or hot metal. These covers are available in various colours, patterns, and materials, including synthetic and natural fibres, allowing riders to customise their vehicle. Some lever covers may even have additional features, such as fringes.

Installing Motorcycle Levers

In order to ensure rider safety, buyers must have a strong understanding on how to install motorcycle levers properly. Whether replacing a broken lever or performing a modification or enhancement, the levers are all installed in the same way. However, there may be a slight difference with respect to how each type is mounted. To see specific instructions for the motorcycle, buyers should consult the owner's manual or a repair manual.


When installing a motorcycle lever, buyers should have several tools, including channel lock pliers and an open ended spanner. The tools required may differ slightly depending on the motorcycle manufacturer.

Installation Process

The installation process is quite straightforward and requires basic knowledge of hand tools and the motorcycle's design. Once the old lever has been removed, install the end of the clutch cable and the anchor pin into the new clutch lever. Buyers should then place the lever into position in the handlebar mount before sliding the pivot pin into place. The retaining ring then needs to be reinstalled with snap ring pliers. Next, tighten the clutch cable-adjusting nut so that there is 0.1 to 0.3 centimetres of free play at the hand lever. Finally, slide the cover over the adjusting nut on the clutch cable. When finished, buyers should test the clutch or brakes carefully to ensure that the lever is installed and can be adjusted properly.

Buying Motorcycle Levers on eBay

eBay gives riders access to a wide variety of motorcycle levers. Buyers can begin their search by typing in any related key terms, such as "motorcycle levers" into the search bar at the top of eBay's home page. For a more selective search, or to find items within a certain price range, buyers should use eBay's advanced search feature.

When browsing and searching, buyers sometimes see "Top-rated seller" icons near the item titles. This icon is intended to inform buyers of the most reputable sellers in the eBay community, giving buyers confidence when purchasing items sold by those sellers.

Searching by Location

Depending on your budget, you may wish to limit your search to items being sold close to home. To find local sellers, buyers can filter the listing pages by item location. This allows buyers to limit the distance from a specific postcode. By using the "sort" feature, buyers can arrange listings by distance in order of nearest location.

Buyers should always communicate clearly with sellers to find out if they allow local collection. This information may also be listed in the item description. While some sellers may not allow this delivery type, others are willing to work with buyers to ensure a positive transaction and to help to eliminate postage and packaging costs.


Motorcycle levers are hand-operated components that allow riders to control the brakes and clutch of the vehicle. It is important to ensure that they are always in full working order because they impact the safety of the rider. Motorcycle owners should be extremely cautious when searching for and installing the levers, and ensure that the replacements work properly.

When searching for motorcycle levers, buyers must first decide whether they want to buy an OEM part or third party spare parts. Third party spare parts may often be more stylish and versatile, but they may also present a greater safety risk when compared to their OEM counterparts. Buyers should also consider the type of their motorcycle, including the make, model, and year, as levers are often designed for a particular vehicle. The weight of the lever impacts the motorcycle's ability to function, so should not be overlooked. With so many types and design options to choose from, eBay can help buyers to find the perfect motorcycle lever for their riding needs.

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