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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-2014 02:12 PM
Smiley 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.
03-21-2014 11:38 AM
DaveC
Quote:
Originally Posted by waltermitty View Post
Pirelli Angel is comparable to PR3/4.
I have the Angels, and they are definately better than the stockers. I like 'em.
03-21-2014 10:29 AM
80-watt Hamster
Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post


GOOD advice IF you bent your FRONT brake lever....
Looking back, it seems the original post didn't specify front or rear. I just assumed front since people tend to refer to the rear brake lever as a pedal; or maybe that's just me.

But yeah, a rebend on the rear is probably fine, and something I need to get around to myself.
03-20-2014 08:36 PM
waltermitty Pirelli Angel is comparable to PR3/4.
03-20-2014 07:32 PM
Lours_Polaire
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeusSys View Post
This post is super helpful, I checked out the Michelin website, and when you click "GRIP" as feature, the PR4's become greyed out and only the PR3's become an option.
I used their tire selector feature located here:
http://motorcycle.michelinman.com/ti...93,27697,27702

Do you think that Michelin is the best tire for the Versys 650 to replace the OEM? Someone local to me is selling the Pirelli Diablo brand new set for $279 (CDN)
Almost anything is better than the OEM

But you probably spill for another reason (oil patch, sand ...)

The "new" tire are very much better than the old oem, but it's at higher speed that they will shine the most, at low speed, it's not that big of a deal

My 2 cents

Glad you were not hurt, neither to much of the bike

LOP
03-20-2014 07:00 PM
ZeusSys This post is super helpful, I checked out the Michelin website, and when you click "GRIP" as feature, the PR4's become greyed out and only the PR3's become an option.
I used their tire selector feature located here:
http://motorcycle.michelinman.com/ti...93,27697,27702

Do you think that Michelin is the best tire for the Versys 650 to replace the OEM? Someone local to me is selling the Pirelli Diablo brand new set for $279 (CDN)
03-17-2014 12:42 PM
Lours_Polaire
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiley View Post
as others have stated, your spill might have been caused by the tread release compound on new tires.
When i mount new tires i go to an empty parking lot and do figure 8's in increasingly tighter angles until i get to the edge of the tires. Then i know i won't be surprised by a slip on the road. Only takes 10-15 minutes and is a good control exercise for slow speed riding.

+1

lop
03-17-2014 08:14 AM
Smiley As others have stated, your spill might have been caused by the tread release compound on new tires.
When I mount new tires I go to an empty parking lot and do figure 8's in increasingly tighter angles until I get to the edge of the tires. Then I know I won't be surprised by a slip on the road. Only takes 10-15 minutes and is a good control exercise for slow speed riding.
03-17-2014 02:41 AM
chwhnd I had a spill last October that had my rear brake pedal wrapped around the footpeg, removed it and with a vice and a lot of patiants I got it back to straight, have put a lot of miles on since with no issues, if I happen onto a spare one I will get it but until then I waste O time thinking about it and enjoy the ride, if you were talking about the front brake lever I would replace it because they are as these guys say very brittle.
03-16-2014 08:56 PM
rydbayb Boned! Get that thing fixed, looking good and back on the road. Not many white ones out there - gotta represent! Was on mine today, would be ticked if I dinged it but at least you're OK. Not going to change my OEMs till they wear down. Had a similar situation but since it's a pretty light bike I was able to save it by getting my foot down (leg hurt for weeks). After that, I always look at the road when entering a hard curve. Gravel and grease a big time hazard and won't move out of the way for you. I know it sucks, make this an opportunity to throw on a few farkles.
03-16-2014 02:30 PM
fasteddiecopeman
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghahl View Post
...1) Any ideas on bending back a brake lever?
2) I have heard the stock dunlops are crappy--plasticy rubber with very little grip. Have you guys had better luck? If not, any tire recommendations?

Thanks!
I'm assuming you're referring to the rear brake lever? If so - heat to dark red, re-bend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghahl View Post
...though they did only have about 50 miles on them. Have any of you had similar experiences?
From now on allow yourself at least 100 miles before getting aggressive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80-watt Hamster View Post
I don't recommend attempting to bend the brake lever back, as it's designed to break as Gigitt said. A rebend, even with heat, will weaken it considerably. Replacement levers aren't that expensive anyway....
GOOD advice IF you bent your FRONT brake lever....
03-16-2014 12:48 PM
goat12 Glad you're ok! I rode the stock Dunlops for some time without any kind of real drama; but having moved on to Michelin PR2's in hindsight I would have swapped them out the day I bought the bike. I think most any of the commonly recommended tires here is a pretty nice improvement over the Dunlops. Personally, I'll likely stick to my Michelins.
03-16-2014 11:54 AM
MaverickAus There is nothing wrong with the stock tyres, however having said that the Michelin PR2's I replaced them with are a lot better. Better feel and they are lasting a lot longer than the OEM Dunlops. Sorry you came off but at 15 MPH it has little to do with the tyres as twowheels said.
How bad is the brake lever bent? Can you post a photo of it?
03-16-2014 11:27 AM
twowheels
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghahl View Post
Hello Team,

I am excited this thread exists, thanks in advance for all your help. I have a white 2013 Versys. I like it so far, but I've already spilled around a corner at an intersection...at 15 miles an hour! The rear dunlop slipped and the bike and I ended up on the pavement. A couple questions:

1) Any ideas on bending back a brake lever?
2) I have heard the stock dunlops are crappy--plasticy rubber with very little grip. Have you guys had better luck? If not, any tire recommendations?

Thanks!
Remove your brake lever and heat it with a propane torch before bending back. Replacement levers are really cheap ($12) on ebay. Save some money and replace it with a generic brand lever rather than a Kawasaki brand lever.

Let your Dunlops wear down to the wear bars and replace them with a higher quality tire. They are not so bad you need to replace them before they wear out.

You can choose from 3 tire categories:
- adv tour tires (95% pavement / 5% dirt roads) - some minor loss of pavement grip over sport tour tires on pavement but better traction on dirt roads, excellent wet grip
- sport tour tires - best combination of pavement grip and tire life
- sport bike tires - uncompromised pavement grip, short life expectancy due to soft rubber compounds used

Dual compound tires, tires that use a harder rubber compound in the center and softer rubber on the edges will wear better, grip better and last longer.

Chances are that if you spilled at 15mph in a corner it was not the tires but because you had your hand or foot on the brake or were accelerating too hard coming out of a corner, or perhaps hit a patch of oil or anti freeze on the road, some gravel, or some frost or ice. Remember never brake past the point of turn in, in a corner, never downshift in a corner - do it before, and be very gentle with throttle transitions in a corner. Suggest reading Twist of the Wrist 2 or Proficient Motorcycling. My point is that even the least grippy knobby tires used on pavement will not cause you to go down in a 15mph turn.
03-16-2014 10:54 AM
ZX6RTraded
Quote:
Originally Posted by paddlesome View Post
Shinko 'Ravens'
+1 I am very pleased with my set. Just make sure you take it easy the first couple hundred miles to get them properly scrubbed in.
03-16-2014 10:39 AM
weljo2001 Get a new lever. Went with PR3's for my last 2 sets for the Versys now they have the PR4's. I just ordered a set of PR4-GT's for my FJR
03-16-2014 09:42 AM
IanThomas As some others have said I wouldn't recommend bending your lever back. When it comes to brakes don't cheap out. They are cheap enough to replace. As far as the tires I just got my 2013 white versys yesterday brand new leftover and already rode it around a bit. If the bike is brand new one thing to keep in mind is that they are coated in a oil to preserve them. It makes them very slick until they get worn in. This is true for any new tire. So I would suggest wearing them in slowly. Sorry to hear you went down but glad everything is OK.
03-16-2014 09:30 AM
paddlesome Shinko 'Ravens'
03-16-2014 08:58 AM
80-watt Hamster I don't recommend attempting to bend the brake lever back, as it's designed to break as Gigitt said. A rebend, even with heat, will weaken it considerably. Replacement levers aren't that expensive anyway. As for the tires, there are as many opinions as members of this forum. Consensus seems to be that the stocks are crap (though they wear great), and that almost any thing else is an improvement. Common replacements are PR3, BT023, ContiMotion, and Angel ST. I went with the Diablo Rosso II and have been pretty happy so far. Search tires and you'll end up with more info than you'll know what to do with.
03-16-2014 06:59 AM
Capn Kirk

I rode 6200 miles on my OEM Dunlops. Never had an issue. I always am overly cautious with brand new tires, especially the first hundred or so miles until they get roughed up a bit.


There are too many unknown variables during the time of your spill that I cannot offer you a useful analysis. Have you taken the MSF class? I rode for over 20 years before I took the class with my wife. I must say I learned some things that have made me an even better rider now that I know a bit more about why motorcycles do what they do.


Glad your OK!
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