YZF-R125 Handlebar risers vs clutch cable

So when I did the handlebars conversion and made up the new clutch cable, I kept it following the OEM design where it has a corner just before going into the clutch lever assembly…like so:

On the left you can see the 90 degree elbow..

For whatever reason, that doesn’t really seem to work too well on the new setup. This was something I only discovered when trying to learn to pop wheelies the other day…

In normal riding you drop the clutch and the bike moves off, all good. But what I hadn’t realised is that the resistance to movement from forcing the cable through the 90-degree elbow is meaning the clutch isn’t dropping 100% right away – it engages but then isn’t fully engaged till the cable has “settled” and the excess has worked its way through the 90-degree bend up next to the lever.

This may not seem like a big deal but learning how to wheelie is something I’m pretty firm on at the moment so this needs resolving.

I think the culprit is the 90-degree bend in the clutch cable, and possibly also because the clutch cable was old and knackered (having previously been an old Neos rear brake cable).

I tested manually restoring the lever to it’s fully engaged position and the clutch already seemed to engage better. It’s actually only a tiny bit from fully engaged but it seems to make a noticable difference and probably won’t be helping clutch wear either.

The 90-degree bend also doesn’t really work that well in terms of cable-routing on the new bar setup. It probably matters more on the oem setup since there’s less space around the lower clip-ons, but for here it seems to be not ideal. So combined with that it’s causing issues engaging the clutch it’s time for it to go.

Hence I’ve got a nice shiny brand new Neos rear brake cable where the teflon liner isn’t all knackered, which should help make a new smooth-running cable, which will also have the 90 bend removed.

Also my hands aren’t that big or strong so the actual reach to the lever means that if I have the clutch set so that it engages where is comfortable for me (quite close to the bar), then there’s lots of slack in the cable which leads to shoddy engaging. But if I set the clutch where it engages better (tho still not properly), I struggle to reach it or have the strength for many repeated pulls (also it’s weird af who does that).

So I’ve ordered a set of these adjustable brake & clutch levers from my friends at VegrentPower in china, where I got the nice CNC handlebar risers from too. Apparently these are a drop-in replacement for the original levers, but which should apparently give me adjustable reach, so that I can set the clutch to where it engages perfectly, but also have the lever close enough to the bars that I can reach it comfortably.

New levers should slot into the OEM carriers and allow adjustable reach, whilst having the ideal clutch engagement.

I’ll hopefully be making the new and improved clutch cable this weekend so the clutch action should be better which would already be an improvement. The levers are coming from china so will be a while yet.

I will keep you posted. Fingers crossed it all works out 🙂

Leave a Reply