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How do you straighten bent clutch lever?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Jomac, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. Dropped the bike today, at a standstill after practising an e brake (or how not to do one).

    The clutch lever is bent but usable and I have been told that if I try to staighten it, it being an alloy lever, it will snap.

    Would appreciate any tips on how to staighten it that may reduce chances of it snapping. If I have to buy another one I will never hear the end of it from the partner.
  2. Prepare for partner-rage; if it has a significant bend in it, the chances of it breaking as you try and straighten it are high. SO here's an idea. Presuming she doesn't know yet, suggest you get a spare clutch lever and a spare brake lever, 'just in case' :LOL:.
  3. Yup, don't try and straighten it. Either live with it as it is or buy a new one.

    If you don't want to spend too much money then see if you can get an aftermarket lever, they are available for many models.
  4. Levers are cheap.
    You can try to bend it back, but you will only snap it.
    Just buy a new one and stick it on, then carry the bent one in your tool bag on the bike, could get you outa trouble if you drop it again away from home.
  5. Bent alloy levers will break if you try to straighten them with any form of leverage but generally you can tap it straight with a hammer if you take the lever off and set it on something solid (eg;concrete) and tap it a number of times, DO NOT try and get it straight with one or two hits, hit it hard enough to be able to see some movement, just keep tapping until it is straight, done it heaps of times.
  6. Thanks for the tips, will tap gear lever gently.

    But since it is usable and likely to break I will time it for when it will not be so inconvenient.

    Like the idea of keeping spare as second, but don't like the idea of dropping it again. Feels rather silly lying beside of bike in middle of road.

    Oh and my partner is male and I'm not gay (not that I have problem with being gay).
  7. Vaguely ontopic and yet not - Curious that the Bonnyville doesn't have a pre-notched clutch lever like the other Triumphs? (A notch intended to weaken it, so that when dropped the tip snaps off sacrificially rather than the entire clutch lever bending/breaking)
  8. There is a notch in the lever!
    I had come to a awkard stop with left leg down and fought to try to keep it upright after locking up front, in a kind of mini tank slap...so was a gentle drop, perhaps explains why lever is not snapped.
  9. This will work I wuold do it on a peice of wood rather than concret and only for the clutch lever (never straiten a brake lever) Use a plastic tip or hard rubber mallet not a hammer..
  10. Hmmmm yeh, I'd possibly do it on a block of wood to prevent marking the lever, but I still think the sudden impact of a steel hammer has better effect than the shock absorbing characteristics of plastic or rubber.
  11. Had a better look at it in the bright of daylight.

    Looks more like the stubby bit that leads of the handle that is bent rather than the lever.

    It is out by about an inch and quite usable. Was thinking I would just leave it, atleast until I'm over doing stupid things like dropping it.

    Don't know how I managed not to break off plastic lights? A little scrape in the pipe and the back of the mirror. Chunk in the road missing where foot peg dug out a hole. At least now I can brag about scraping peg! :oops:

    I must have practised e-braking 100 times on 250 with little more than the odd rear end skid. Was such a shock to lose it on the upgrade bike.
  12. Somebody once told me you could bend the levers after boiling them...
  13. I think warming them might make the metal bend easier
  14. The best way to find the correct temperature to straighten an aluminium lever is to warm the lever using whatever heat source is available to you until a match stick or pine splinter will just start to smoke & char when you hold it against the lever. Don't ask me exactly what that temperature is -all I know is that it works.
    If you have an oxy acetylene set available to you, wipe an acetylene only flame over the lever leaving behind a black carbon surface. Return the flame to neutral and heat untill the carbon dissappears off the surface. Straighten away :) :)
  15. Spend $10 bucks and buy a new after market one?
  16. I'd certainly be getting a new one just in case.

    It's a good idea to keep spare brake and clutch levers under the seat anyway, in the unlikely event of it ever happening again.... ;)
  17. They still get the bend out without the damage or dents a hammer will leave and the gentler you are the less likely the cast alloy will crack ..
  18. Another trick (passed down from my grandfather) is to wet a bar of ordinary soap and scrape some soap on the part to be softened. Heat with a propane torch (from the un-soaped side) until the soap goes brown and then black. That will be about 350C. Let the part cool.

    Keep in mind that aluminium re-hardens fast, so it may need to be annealed a few times.