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Modify front brake lever on Virago to make it straighter

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Pintsized, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Hi There,
    Ok i have small fingers and I want to change the angle of my front brake lever to make it "straighter".
    A Yamaha spare parts department say there is not other lever made for that bike. Suggestion is whacking it with a hammer but this could weaken the lever. Hmm not sure i want to do that!
    Any suggestions? Or is the whacking with a hammer ok?

  2. Apparently the trick is slow heat & slow bending, but when I tried a bike mech to do this for me he ended up snapping 3 new levers - so good luck!
  3. Got to admit I wouldn't be happy about modding a brake lever. Clutch, yes, but not the brake. Having had the end pull off a front brake cable many years ago, I can attest that it's a pretty sickening feeling when you need to give it a good squeeze and it just lets go :shock: . I've also had previously abused levers snap on me (clutch only so far :) ).

    Hopefully someone on here can advise as to the availability of aftermarket levers, or even a suitable replacement master cylinder that allows more choice.
  4. Don not apply heat, this will change the grain structure in the ally - snap time!

    I use a small tube passed over the ball ens of the lever and apply gentle moderate pressure until the lever starts to move - it will and without breaking!!!

    get a spare just in case tho!!

    Have done this many times, even done trackdays with them on - no issues!
  5. Yep heating is bad although even gradual pressure can still weaken Al alloy.

    Better option is to find a bike place that actually knows their stuff, and see what levers from other bikes will fit, even if it's not a Yamaha. Iideally take the existing lever into the store so you can measure it up against what they have in stock.
    There's a fair degree of similarity between Japanese bikes and there's a good chance the lever from another bike might fit and be the shape you're chasing. I had no problems fitting the clutch lever from an RZ Yamaha and the brake lever from an RGV to a 250 Suzuki Katana - both of which improved the angle (and replaced the sucky painted originals with chrome :)).
  6. Ok taking all things into consideration i would rather not "bend" the leaver with heat or other. So can anyone recommend a good bike shop that knows their stuff (anywhere sydney metro) because i called the place where i got my bike from and they could only suggest bending it. I would rather replace it.
  7. There are a few mechanics around.

    Flywheels at alexandria
    Clubman motorcycles at St Peters
    Action motorcycles at the City
    MCA at the City

    theyre the ones i know of but there are plenty more around.

    I must say that some otherwise respectable posters have given advice which is woefully dangerous and stupid.

    A bent or straightened alloy lever can and will break at any time without warning. If you lose a clutch lever suddenly that can be awkward - a brake lever that breaks is most likely to occur under extreme usage when you absolutely must have it.

    The correct method is to remove a small section of the material on the back edge of the brake lever which contacts the piston in the master cylinder, or use an offset bush in an enlarged pivot bolt hole in the lever itself.

    The latter can be crafted by any competent machinist. The former you could do yourself, depending on how the stop light switch is set up, and whether you can apply a small amount of spring pressure to keep the lever in contact with the piston.


    Trevor G
  9. Screw That!

    Hi there...
    Grateful for everyones advice.
    After many calls to various bike shops (have to say they were not particularly helpful) i dropped in to my local dealer in Chatswood. Nice young man named Jon gave me the details of someone to call....Sam at MAW in Castle Hill. I spoke to her on the phone and she said she would call be back after doing some investigations. Couple of hours later she called back with the solution. I picked up a new lever on Thur arvo. The fix seems simple enough with a self tapper being placed in the end of the lever. Its being fitted today so all going well this fix will work.
    Cheers to all.