Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Elgin County SW Ontario
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Straightening bent brake/clutch levers
I am re-posting this here (originally answering a question from a new member).
I just got the April issue of Motorcycle Mojo, and interestingly there is an article on straightening alloy brake and clutch levers.
It is quite long, so I will attempt to condense it. First, inspect for cracks, if any are found don't bother going any further.
Put in soft jaw vice, heat with propane torch, NOT acetylene, it's too hot.
Use a bar of soap to monitor temperature; as you heat the lever, rub some soap on heated area. Once the soap melts and begins to look like black shiny resin, you can begin to straighten. Slip a steel tube over the lever and pull GENTLY on it, you will feel it give. Make sure inside edge of steel tube is chamfered to avoid damage.
Start to straighten at thickest part of the bend. Use tiny increments and reapply heat while monitoring temperature with the soap. Let it cool on it's own. Do not immerse in water or oil.Then reapply heat and straighten the sharper bends (if compound bends are present), gently and tiny increments. Trace a good lever to get proper shape. When close to original shape you can straighten a broader area by heating whole lever, place over a two- by- four and lightly tap with a rubber mallet.
When straightened, inspect with a magnifier and if you see any cracks that may have developed, chuck it out. If ok, file or sand scratches or scrapes. There is more on the cosmetics but I won't go into that here.
He does state that levers are fairly cheap, but this is useful for OEM levers that can't be found. Also useful if you need one now and want to ride while waiting for replacement.
Hope this helps, I think it's useful info.