BETTER LEVER is Made in the USA
Please read the notes found below the videos before watching the "how-to" videos.
5 speed bikes require cutting the lever off, 6 speeds don't. The Better Lever install is the same for both.
For 5 speed bikes. You can do this repair process yourself or have your tech do it for you. A rotary tool is used to cut the old lever off. The typical Dremel type tool has enough power to do the job. A powerful 5 amp cutting tool without a speed control is a great tool, but not for this job. You need to be able to control the cutter easily. Turn the cutting tool's power to a controllable setting but high enough that lets the tool cut easily without bogging it down and overheating it. Use a flexible extension shaft and small (7/8 in) cutting wheels. The extension shaft has a thinner handle that will allow you to reach into the work area and make the job easier. The Dremel 420 is a good size cutting wheel for this job. Double two of them back to back under the tightening screw to support each other and they won't be so fragile. Set your cutting tool to a workable speed and take your time and be patient, it is more of a "take it easy" type job than a "wham-bam, it's done". If it is necessary to cut the lever's arm off I like to use Dremel's 540 thicker and larger diameter cutting wheel after I wear it's size down on a piece of scrap metal. Make sure you have good light and the area is clean. Your lever is installed the way you receive it, with the etched numbers on the same side and the shorter bolt going in the curved bottom side of the lever. The "how-to" video mistakenly says that the long bolt goes in the back, the part with the curved bottom, it doesn't, the short bolt does. Don't play with your lever too much, you may cause a bolt to gall from the heat that comes from dry threads. If this happens, let it cool off and a drop of oil on the threads will loosen it up. Disconnect the long shift rod that goes from the inner lever near the front cylinder and back to the transmission lever and set it aside.
- Take the tightening bolt out of your old lever and see how far it moves around on the shifter shaft. Notice the side to side movement of the lever on the tranny shaft. You have some room to move it toward the tranny or the primary to give you more working room on the other side of the lever. A piece of wood between the lever and the tranny case or primary case will make a lot of smoke from the cutting wheel but it will hold the lever away from the case and give you more cutting room on that side of the lever. Move the wood to the other side of the lever when you start to cut on the other side.
- Put on your safety goggles and ear protection.
- You can use a telescoping magnet to hold the small piece of lever when you pop it apart. Jam damp non-flammable rags COMPLETELY AND TIGHTLY under the lever to catch a piece BEFORE IT FALLS WHERE YOU CAN'T FIND IT. IF YOU DROP A PIECE DON'T RIDE YOUR BIKE UNTIL YOU FIND AND REMOVE IT. IT COULD BE BETWEEN THE FRONT DRIVE BELT PULLEY AND THE PULLEY GUARD CAST INTO THE TRANSMISSION CASE AND CAUSE THE BELT TO TEAR OR GET JAMMED RESULTING IN REAR TIRE LOCKUP.
- If you contact the tranny's shaft a couple times when you are cutting don't worry, but obviously avoid it.
- If your lever is loose enough that it will lay horizontal facing the front of the bike, a deep cut all the way across the clamping part is enough to use your large flathead screwdriver to break the clamp apart. A twist of a large flathead screwdriver in the cut can pop the pieces apart. If you have a large flathead screwdriver with a square shank put a wrench on the shank to give you extra torque. If it doesn't pop apart cut a little deeper all the way across the lever and try again. Once it's cut deep enough it will snap apart, it is pretty soft metal. DO NOT CHISEL OR BEAT THE CLAMP APART you may bend the shift shaft. If the lever won't lay down horizontal you will need to cut the arm off so you have an area to work with to make a deep cut across the clamp part of the old lever before you pop it apart with the screwdriver. REMEMBER to jam damp rags under the lever to catch parts that come off of the clamp. Use your magnet to clean up the filings from the cutting process.
- On 6 speed bikes, remove the stock clamping bolt and slide the stock lever towards the primary case and off the tranny shaft.
- For both 5 and 6 speed bikes. Now you are ready to install your Better Lever. Your tranny shaft may look pretty worn but don't worry, your Better Lever is designed to keep a tight clamp on it. I told my mechanical engineer that gripping the worn shaft was part of the concept and he made it work.
- Remember that stainless steel is not attracted to a magnet. PLACE RAGS UNDER THE TRANNY SHAFT TO CATCH ANY PIECES THAT MAY DROP. You don't want to have to take the rear tire off to find and retrieve the piece that falls between the pulley guard on the tranny case and the belt.
- Place the top and bottom pieces of your Better Lever together with the etched numbers on the same side of the lever. A clamp with a gap is formed, not a complete circle. The front part of the lever should have a gap between the top and bottom pieces, like a traditional one-bolt type lever.
- With the beam side of the lever facing you, put the shorter bolt through the hole on the right side of the beam and thread it into the bottom piece a couple of turns. Use non permanent threadlocker. The curved edge of the bottom piece will be on the right side of the lever when looking at the beam. The bolt should turn smoothly and easily, if it doesn't you may have it cross threaded. Don't force it to turn, back it out and try it again.
- Slip the BETTER LEVER over the shifter shaft with the flat side facing the transmission. The flat side has the etched matching numbers on both the top and bottom pieces. The curved edge on the bottom part will face the rear tire. You will see the centering groove on the transmission shaft, that's where the bolts go.
- Put the longer bolt in the front hole with non permanent thread locker, and thread it a couple or three turns. Remember, it should turn smoothly and easily. BOTH BOLTS should now be threaded into the bottom piece, but LOOSE, loose enough that the top and bottom pieces don't touch each other.
- Position the lever just like the stock one, leaning towards the front of the bike in about the "eleven o'clock" position. Now turn and tighten the REAR BOLT FIRST and bring the top and bottom pieces together so they are TIGHT. AFTER the rear bolt is tightened then do the same for the front, making sure it is TIGHT. I've installed levers with the bike on it's side stand and simply with an L shaped allen wrench and a box end wrench to turn the allen. For the final tightness check, once again, I start with the rear bolt and then go to the front one. I re-position the allen so that I can get an outward pull on it, pulling away from bike with me facing the side of the bike. When the bike starts to move toward me, I know it is tight. Reinstall the long shift rod that goes from the lever near the front cylinder and back to the transmission lever. Your foot levers should be where they used to be before your old stock lever got loose. Check the rest of the foot controls for tightness, especially the front inside lever on the shaft that your foot levers are attached to. Now you are ready to ride. Notice how easy it is to find neutral and how little effort it takes to upshift and downshift through the gears. That's the way our bikes are supposed to work.
- Throttle therapy helps to keep us sane, just try to not bang it so hard when going wfo through the gears...... have a great ride last longer!