Adjustable Clutch Lever

WHY? Old, arthritic hands, that's why.  Working the clutch lever normally isn't too much of a chore for me, but on cold days repeated use of the clutch--like driving in heavy traffic--can cause my hand to ache.  I really loved the adjustable/hydraulic clutch lever setup on my Kawasaki Vulcan and was really disappointed to see that Honda had elected to use an adjustable lever on the front brake but not the clutch on the ST1300.  On a recent visit to the local YamaHondaKawaZuki megastore I was looking over the new GL1800 when I noted that it had the adjustable clutch lever, and it appeared to be of similar size and configuration as the one on my ST1300; it looked to me like the parts might be interchangeable.  As an added bonus I liked the looks of the black levers on the Wing.  No doubt some other enterprising ST owner has made this discovery before, but I'd never seen it done, so I decided to experiment.  As usual, the local dealer didn't stock the Gold Wing lever (part #53180-MCA-006) and wanted $55 to order it.  I declined the offer and found the same part at Ron Ayers web site for about $38.  Thanks to Jim Flaherty for pointing out that you can get some nice chrome levers, reasonably priced, at chromeworld.com.

THE PROCESS: Once again, I received excellent service from Ayers.  I received an instant order confirmation, then a shipping/tracking notification when the part shipped; it arrived at the door five days later.  I removed the clutch lever from the cylinder assembly and compared it with the new lever from the GL1800.  They are almost identical in configuration, but the GL lever had a cast tab near the pivot end that did not appear on the stock lever.  Thanks to Leo Palmer for providing a shot of the GL lever and tab in question (below).  No problem--a quick pass with the Dremel cutting wheel and a little filing removed it completely; a bench grinder would also work well.    You might get the job done with a hacksaw, but it's hard to hold the lever in a vise.  I fitted the new lever to the cylinder assembly, and it bolted right into place.  The entire operation took me about 10 minutes and could certainly be accomplished anyone with a set of hand tools and a file or hacksaw. 


this view of the GL lever shows the tab that must be removed

Now I had a problem in that I had a black clutch lever and a natural-metal finish brake lever.  I ordered a GL brake lever from Ron Ayers and was disappointed to discover that it uses a different fulcrum system than does the stock ST lever.  No problem--I used a hammer and punch to switch the fulcrums, and the black GL lever fit just fine.  The brake lever mod took me less than 15 minutes.  See the pic below to see what part (the fulcrum) needs to be swapped.  Take care not to damage the bushing in the process, as it holds the fulcrum and lever mounting bolt in place.


I used the black fulcrum from the GL lever so that it would show up better in the picture

RESULTS: Wow--what a difference!  Now I have a choice of 5 different settings for my clutch pull.  Setting #1 feels pretty much like the stock clutch, while setting #5 requires much less effort and has a much shorter pull.  This is a great setup for a rider with small hands or one who, like me, prefers a clutch that doesn't require a great deal of grip strength.