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Shorty levers vs. OEM for beginners

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pH
During my afternoon commute home today I was actually thinking about the forum and how much great information is available/shared. As a veteran rider I know a lot but I certainly don't know everything so I appreciate having this forum to refer to and learn from. Suddenly as I was down shifting I had a small "moment" and was reflecting on the FZ-07 engine braking - it's a blessing and a curse! Very uniquely different than most bikes. Pros and Cons. I was thankfull that I upgraded to "shorty levers" and wanted to share my experience with "newer riders" and also hear from other experienced riders that have upgraded to shorty levers. The draw and feel is so much more improved not to mention aesthetics. You have more control with less effort. I'm new to the forum so if this opinion had been posted and debated previously I apologize but otherwise if your new to riding and looking to build more trust and confidence with your bike/skills I would encourage you to ditch the stock levers and consider a shorty upgrade. pH
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mjh937
I installed standards length adjustable levers. I was surprised how much better the clutch was when the lever could be adjusted to where I want it. If you go short or standard I recommend upgrading to adjustable levers.
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tino206
Can't wait to get my shorties

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pH
So much more control with less effort!

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hippiebikerchick
I'm a newer rider and I don't understand how a shorty clutch lever is more adjustable than the stock lever. I have mine set up so I can shift with two fingers. Could you please explain to me what you are talking about?

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anips
I'm a newer rider and I don't understand how a shorty clutch lever is more adjustable than the stock lever. I have mine set up so I can shift with two fingers. Could you please explain to me what you are talking about?
For me, I have small hands and adjustable levers allows me to not have to open my hand wide open to reach the clutch.  I like short just because my whole hand fits the shorty lever (i.e. my whole hand when placed on the clutch, my pinky will be just before the end).  But any adjustable whether shorty or regular length will allow you to adjust the clutch much closer to the handlebar so you don't have to reach as far.  That's what I noticed at least.
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bmwpowere36m3
I'm a newer rider and I don't understand how a shorty clutch lever is more adjustable than the stock lever. I have mine set up so I can shift with two fingers. Could you please explain to me what you are talking about?
It's not that the shorty lever is more adjustable, just that many aftermarket levers (regardless of length) feature an adjustment that allows you to change how far the lever sits away from the bar "at rest" (just like the stock brake lever).  If you have small hands/fingers the stock clutch lever is quite a reach... because it sits quite a bit away from the bar.
As far as the length [of lever], I'd go so far as saying the majority of riders don't use 4 fingers on their clutch/brake levers.  Most find that 1-3 fingers is sufficient and the "long" factory levers can be a nuisance... not so much the brake lever, but the clutch.  Using 4 fingers on the factory clutch lever allows you to pull it all the way in to the bar, no problem.  However when you start using 1-3 fingers... depending on your hand the lever will hit one of your fingers still resting on the grip and thus not allowing you to pull the clutch lever all the way in.
I'll probably go to shorter levers at some point... I use 1-2 fingers on the brake and 2-3 fingers on the clutch lever when shifting, but 4 fingers if I have to stop or take off.
 
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thestache
Any particular brand of shorty you guys recommend. I just realized these might be a huge benefit to me as I was realizing how much I was downshifting on these curvy backroads

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pantheraleo
Any particular brand of shorty you guys recommend. I just realized these might be a huge benefit to me as I was realizing how much I was downshifting on these curvy backroads
I think Pazzo shorty levers are a great value. But any brand is better than oem. I rarely use more than two fingers.

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thestache
Any particular brand of shorty you guys recommend. I just realized these might be a huge benefit to me as I was realizing how much I was downshifting on these curvy backroads
I think Pazzo shorty levers are a great value. But any brand is better than oem. I rarely use more than two fingers.
Yeah that was what I started to notice today, constant shifting from 2-4 on the back-roads, and I realized my hands are not very long...well I knew that already :) :) 
Thanks @pantheraleo
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fooschnickens
I'm a newer rider and I don't understand how a shorty clutch lever is more adjustable than the stock lever. I have mine set up so I can shift with two fingers. Could you please explain to me what you are talking about?
For me, I have small hands and adjustable levers allows me to not have to open my hand wide open to reach the clutch.  I like short just because my whole hand fits the shorty lever (i.e. my whole hand when placed on the clutch, my pinky will be just before the end).  But any adjustable whether shorty or regular length will allow you to adjust the clutch much closer to the handlebar so you don't have to reach as far.  That's what I noticed at least.
There's also people with long fingers or big hands who can't use the two finger method because the stock (or even standard length aftermarket) levers crush their fingers still around the bar. This is especially true for me because while I am capable of two-fingering the clutch, my ring and pinkie fingers are NOT happy about it after a couple gear changes. Once I get my tail tidy ordered, a set of levers is next on my (quickly shrinking) list of things to buy. 

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No Hater
Despite the fact that I commonly shift with 3 fingers I decided to not get the short levers but, rather the normal length. Simply based on the fact that I often sit in traffic holding the clutch in with four. They are still shorter than stock and have the great benefit of being completely adjustable and more comfortable. The above levers mentioned of course are really nice although I went with the chinese machined ones and they work and look great.
 
 
These are the type I got.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-Pair-Adjustable-CNC-Long-Brake-Clutch-Levers-For-Yamaha-MT-07-2014-/321597503695?hash=item4ae0b478cf&vxp=mtr
 
 

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speedingtickets
Anyone's mechanic against aftermarket levers? Mine said no way, but I can't find any flaws. I checked the front wheel to see if it is breaking, it is fine. I took everything apart, put the Yamaha levers back on, spun the front wheel, put the aftermarkets back on. Has anyone gotten this advice from their mechanic? Maybe some bad levers made in the past?

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pantheraleo
That certainly didn't ruin my day. My front brakes don't move at all when the brake lever is fully out, nor do the react in any way for over 1/4" of pull.
 
How does Mike know that NONE of the aftermarket levers are safe? He's inspected them all? Not all aftermarket levers are manufactured in China, and some Chinese products are of good quality.
 
If you are more comfy with your OEM levers, go with them.

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No Hater
I installed standards length adjustable levers. I was surprised how much better the clutch was when the lever could be adjusted to where I want it. If you go short or standard I recommend upgrading to adjustable levers.
I went with the non-shorty levers too. I am quite happy with them over stock. They are still shorter but, the difference in clutch control when you can move it to where you prefer is a huge difference. I decided on the normal length levers for when I sit in traffic (an extra finger helps just a bit more with fatigue). I prefer to sit with my clutch in at a light in fear of idiots coming my way.
 

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speedingtickets
That certainly didn't ruin my day. My front brakes don't move at all when the brake lever is fully out, nor do the react in any way for over 1/4" of pull. 
How does Mike know that NONE of the aftermarket levers are safe? He's inspected them all? Not all aftermarket levers are manufactured in China, and some Chinese products are of good quality.
 
If you are more comfy with your OEM levers, go with them.
Mine are straight from China and I love the way the operate and look, it is just that when someone who has done more work on bikes than everyone on this forum put together gives them a thumbs down, I kinda freak. I just took everything apart, put stock on, and put aftermarket back on again. I checked the front wheel to make sure it spins. I can not find any flaws. Now I am very unsure. I would bet that Mike has seen some crap out there to sway him away from these things all together. Maybe the aluminum cracks or wears out over time, maybe the hex bolts while they look it, are not SS and the heads pop off after a while. Mike said he frequently puts the factory levers back on, not the other way around. For $12.50 each shorty lever(and they are shipping for free), how much quality do you think goes into these? It is a critical, heavily used part of the bike, and if it fails because I was hung up on aesthetics it could kill me.

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Quixote
The FZ-07's brake lever operates differently than the gixxer's and doesn't have the same problems with aftermarket levers. 
One of our members (@montyst) who's in the know, posted this reply to the same question back in January: Don't panic
 
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rick
That guy sorta described what happened incorrectly. He said those aftermarket levers held the brakes on ever so slightly. You don't have to have the brakes activated even slightly to cause this.
 
What he meant to say was that with the lever out, the piston inside the master was pushed in far enough to close off the return of fluid from the lines.
 
And yeah, this can cause serious problems when the fliud gets heated up and starts to expand.
 
To know this won't happen, just giving the wheel a spin is not enough as it'll only happen after the brakes get good and heated. So what you must do to be sure, is remove the lid to the master and look down inside to where the piston pushes into the cylinder. If you squeeze gently, you should see some fluid flow out of the hole. If you can't see the hole in front of the piston or there's no little wave of fluid in the reservoir, you might be in trouble on a hot day after some hard braking.
 
I don't think the brakes will instantly lock up. You should feel them drag noticeably at 1st. But it will get worse and they will stop you cold w/o you touching the lever until they cool back down.
 
So yeah, by all means, check this if you swap out the levers for non-OE, even if they are expensive. .
 
BTW, a hydraulic clutch will suffer the same issue with a generic lever that's not exactly right - only this situation will cause the clutch to slip as the motor gets hot - end result is the same - you park and wait.

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Lusiphur
Sounds like its time to change mechanics

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norcal616
I never liked shorty levers...they are just for looks in my book...good ole OEM parts are cheaper and better in the long run...

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Lusiphur
They are not just for looks. The non-adjustability of the stock levers makes it difficult to properly use them for a lot of people with small hands.
 
In these cases, the OEM levera are a safety issue.
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zesty
That guy sorta described what happened incorrectly. He said those aftermarket levers held the brakes on ever so slightly. You don't have to have the brakes activated even slightly to cause this.  
What he meant to say was that with the lever out, the piston inside the master was pushed in far enough to close off the return of fluid from the lines.
 
And yeah, this can cause serious problems when the fliud gets heated up and starts to expand.
 
To know this won't happen, just giving the wheel a spin is not enough as it'll only happen after the brakes get good and heated. So what you must do to be sure, is remove the lid to the master and look down inside to where the piston pushes into the cylinder. If you squeeze gently, you should see some fluid flow out of the hole. If you can't see the hole in front of the piston or there's no little wave of fluid in the reservoir, you might be in trouble on a hot day after some hard braking.
 
I don't think the brakes will instantly lock up. You should feel them drag noticeably at 1st. But it will get worse and they will stop you cold w/o you touching the lever until they cool back down.
 
So yeah, by all means, check this if you swap out the levers for non-OE, even if they are expensive. .
 
BTW, a hydraulic clutch will suffer the same issue with a generic lever that's not exactly right - only this situation will cause the clutch to slip as the motor gets hot - end result is the same - you park and wait.
This happened to me with the ebay levers I purchased.  Brakes would stiffen up a few miles into riding.  Switch back to the stock lever and everything was good again.

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phicurious86
I've got CRG Shorties and I really like them. The ability to adjust how far out the level end is from the grips is definitely the best feature. As for comparing the short levers to standard: The shorts take more muscle to pull in , which results in having a little more feel to the lever pull (especially clutch side), but that also means that holding the clutch in at a light can get a little annoying on the forearm. I'm assuming it'll only be a matter of time before I have a rippling left forearm. 
 
The only thing I'd really nitpick is that I've noticed that on warm mornings the front brakes will sometimes be incredibly squishy and seem not to activate on the first pull in (the back brake works just fine). I have to pump the front brake lever a couple times to get the brakes to feel normal and then they're absolutely fine after. I'm honestly not sure if it's an aftermarket lever issue, a temp issue, a fluid issue, or what. I'm going to mention it to my mechanic at the next service and see what he has to say.
 

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