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100 thoughts on “The Truth About Cheap Motorcycle Levers | Sportbike Track Gear

  1. It wasn't a design flaw or sloppy/tight tolerances in the lever that caused his brakes to lock up, it was 100% user installation error.

    His master cylinder plunger rod wasn't set INTO the pivot bushing hole but rather was (incorrectly) resting on the outside of the bushing after he put the levers on (easy to do if you don't know what to look for), and after a few pulls on the brake lever during his short ride the brake fluid pressure built up inside the lines because the plunger rod wasn't able to fully extend all the way out to release the pressure.

    Without that rod being in the hole it's like the brake lever is constantly ever-so-slightly being pressed, and every pull just adds to the pressure inside the lines until… well… sick ass unexpected stoppies happen while riding in traffic. Lol.

    I know this as a matter of fact because the same. exact. locking-up issue happened to me after I installed these same. exact. levers incorrectly.

    The day it happend to me I did some googling and found out about the importance of the MC plunger rod being INSIDE the pivot bushing hole, so I re-installed the same levers correctly, and ever since — 4 years later and 30k miles ridden on my 636 — I haven't had a single problem again.

    But if someone wants to pay $100 extra for a piece of paper with instructions that the cheaper levers don't come with, then by all means, go right ahead.

    TL;DR: this video has seemingly good intentions, but is ultimately misleading. And your 2 buddies who crashed at the track were just looking for an easy scapegoat to blame for why they went down (but I don't have any evidence for that lol).

  2. Not an accurate test in my opinion. You said it yourself at 5:30… you need grease or lubricant on the bushing. Also the little bit of play in the levers is minimal when they have tension on them which they would have once they are installed. Still a great video. This brings awareness to potential hazards. The clamp that holds my front brake lever to the handle bar rattled loose while driving home from work. The feeling that rushed through my body when I grabbed my brake and it just went limp and hit my throttle was one I never want to experience again. Always do a pre-ride inspection!

  3. No damn way in hell am I paying rizoma prices for leavers. I've been running cheap eBay leavers on my bikes since eBay started selling them. I probably ordered over a dozen levers and never had a issue out of any of them except for the occasional color fade but they're so cheap I'll just order another pair. Master cylinders are a different story. I don't cheap out on those for obvious reasons.

  4. I was very skeptical at the start of this video, but I listened to the end and I'm glad I did. I had literally just ordered levers from Amazon just like the ones that failed. Fortunately I still had time to cancel the order. I will now research levers more carefully. I did not give much thought to the purchase. They are "just" levers, right? Duh! Brakes very important, not gonna work if the levers don't… Thanks for opening my eyes a little.

  5. I have used cheap levers on many bikes over many years, sports bikes, cruisers, you name it. NO ISSUES, ever. I would say lack of knowledge on the customers behalf, poor installation. Check and lubricate any moving parts prior to installation. You get cheap and nasty, and cheap, reasonable quality and then something like RIZOM, top quality but overpriced…..

  6. I will say on MZS's part, they have updated instructions included with their levers and Exact install instructions to avoid this exact situation since this happened to this guy. With any new products, there's always periods of trial and error, and working thru unforseen issues, but they should have done a lot more real world testing of their product before mass producing them and selling them to the general public, and that R&D is the difference between companies like CRG and MZS…

  7. China knock offs in EVERY field they focus on copy not understanding WHY things are that way , so function always fails. You can’t skip r&d and cut in line riding off coat tails of others.

  8. i'm going to share this with a friend of mine. he just had this same issue. i told him after the fact to never buy bike parts on ebay and amazon. luckily he didn't get hurt but he absolutely could have! thanks for putting out quality content!

  9. I have these levers on my GSXR, and although I’m not 100% confident I don’t know if they’re that bad. However, I will buy and go back to OEM

  10. This guy seems really seedy and whoever runs this channel is pretty aggressive in the comments with the insults and scaremongering. I don't live in the US but if I did, I wouldn't spend a single cent with these guys. I'll stick to my cheap levers that I've had absolutely no problems with.

  11. Hah funny story, I crashed the bike in my profile pic 5 mins after installing a set of cheap Ebay levers. What a mistake that was. Machining was off and it was pressing in on the master cylinder. Pressure built up and as soon as I went for the lever I was on the ground.

  12. Same thing was happening to me with some eBay shorty levers on my gsxr600. Took them off put the OEM back on and threw the cheap shorties in the trash

  13. I bought mzs levers for a press photo thing before I saw your vid. Keep in mind I have Puig everything else, and I ride monday-friday. I rode with them for one day and knew they were crap stay away

  14. I have the M2Z levers for my cbr500r. They feel nice but have all the poor fitment you describe. I felt the clutch cable rubbing inside the lever when pulled. The OEM had a rounded piece that the cable would ride on to be smooth. I've taken them off because I wasnt about to have my clutch cable snap from excessive wear. The brake lever worked fine but had excessive play within the perch and adjuster. No more cheap parts for me. I'll pony up for a high end lever if I decide I really need them.

  15. I have a 15’ Ducati Panigale i use for the track and three days before I was scheduled my bike fell over on the stands and the safety loop on the end of my clutch broke off. Afraid I wouldn’t pass tech inspection I got the MZS levers off Amazon because, like you said, they were cheap. I’m shopping for replacements right away, luckily they got me through some hard braking at the track but I won’t chance it again. Awesome video 🤙🏽🤙🏽

  16. thanks for sharing your opinion man. appreciate it. but half the video being PC talk, i dont know…. seems very extreme… is this much apologizing and making sure no one can get even 1% offended needed nowadays in the states? :/ what a sad world we're living in…

  17. This happened to me on my gsxr 1000 with Amazon levers. Completely locked up……I noticed I needed more n more power to keep the bike moving….. soon as I pulled the clutch in I almost went headfirst over the handlebars

  18. Wow, thank you for this video. This is one of those things I always wondered about and don’t dare to change on my bike.

  19. The end result of the video applies to ALL riders, regarding any new gear. (no matter who makes it) Inspect your new gear, BEFORE you install them, AFTER you install them, do a pre-ride check , and then an "in/on-ride" check. If it works properly 100 percent, include it into your weekly/monthly maintenance intervals. If it does not function the way it is advertised, RETURN THEM, immediately.

  20. I bought some cheap chinese levers called "ride it" this vid makes me wanna buy some quality ones. But..they have been on my bike for 2yrs and no probs. I check them every other ride after watching this vid.

  21. Don't compromise safety to save a couple bucks…
    My creed I live by,
    "You Can't Get Laid If Your Dead!"

  22. This guy is probably promoting other products, because as far as I know the R6 has hydraulic brakes upfront and don't need any bushing to turn, so the story of his buddy locking up his brakes is a total lie

  23. He's not lying about cheap levers. I had a set of shorty eBay levers. Wasn't going fast 0-5 mph at Max. Went to make a left turn, and the brake lever ended up hitting my front cowl (the part where the mirror is), and because I didn't expect it the bike jolted, I couldn't catch it and ended up dropping my bike.

    Switched it to the OEMs and it had no issues..

    I'm not saying all cheap levers are bad.. I got shortys on another bike, cheap eBay. And work fine. But they are hit or miss

  24. I’ve had Chinese levers on various bikes with no probs. That said, I take your points and I have seen some of the brake locking videos. On my R6 track bike I have what appears to be CRG levers that have obviously faded into a dark bronze colour that seems to be associated with Chinese levers. Does this mean my levers are fake? Also, do you ship to UK? We are very limited in terms of choice over here.

  25. I spent max $30 levers from eBay from CB. Had it for 2 years and no issues. I'm happy my "cheap" eBay stuff

  26. Wow! You have amazing videos with such detail & common sense, it’s fantastic! Best motorcycle channel hands down. Thanks for all the great info! Subscribed!

  27. When you pull the lever it pivots on that larger hole at the end of the lever where it attaches with shoulder bolt it pivots on to the lever base that clamps onto the clip-ons. When you apply the brakes the lever pivots on that large hole that has a shoulder bolt going thru the lever and its base allowing lever to pivot back and forth when brakes or clutch are applied and released. Sounds like your trying to mislead people on how the levers work to make them sound unsafe so people buy your product instead of an inexpensive set. IDK even know what that pivot does your talking about I just checked out a set of cheap levers and they don't even have that extra bushing. $25 set of levers from China look great and never had an issue with binding. If anything that loosey goosey extra play you pointed out would keep it from being able to bind ever. If that loose play does really bother someone they could always tighten the bolts. But in my 30+ years of riding street bikes I've never heard of a lever locking up someones breaks unless it was severely corroded, even though you describe it like a guaranteed occurrence with a cheap set of levers. I'd be more worried about corrosion or water & air in the fluid causing corrosion in the calipers so they get spongy or hang up and don't release.

  28. My buddy ordered some super cheap levers and they litteraly fell apart while he was riding! I agree certain things you just shouldn't cheap out on! Nice video!

  29. Hello B,
    I'm a new rider and I broke my clutch lever on my 2016 Moto Guzzi v7ii Racer. I was looking at the Niree adjustable/foldable levers. Besides OEM, I cannot locate a good reliable aftermarket replacement. Any advice on this? Thank you, sir.

  30. Would you NOT use the verbiage: I"I will EDUCATE you", please! You speak and act like someone who needs to be educated on many levels… You could use instead something like "Let me explain something to you", or "let me tell you a story"… On the other hand, there are a lot of people even lower educated then you are and you attract those like flies come to crap…

  31. I actually had a set of those levers in my amazon cart. Three quarters through this video I went and removed them. Thank you! I'm picking up some ASV levers instead on Monday from a local store.

  32. Buy American! You get what you pay for….it's that simple.

    Now quit shopping at Walmart in the boy's section…ha ha!

  33. i know i'm late to the party here but I was wondering if you could shoot me some help.
    went down on my 08 gsxr 600/750. Looks like I need to replace my bars and levers. Any chance you can shoot me a quick dream list on what to put up top? I see a lot of opinions floating around, but credibility is a bit of a thing.
    Not gonna hold it like gospel or try to make you accountable or anything. Just kinda want a bit of a direct professional opinion on the topic. Dont wanna have to spend the money twice ya know? lol

  34. I respect as a businessman for actually caring for your customers and looking up someone on YouTube that ordered something from your website and you were able to reach out to him and resolve his issue!

  35. Gosh damnit. Literally just put those mzs levers on my bike and they absolutely suck. Wish I would have watched this video first.

  36. When it happens you dont even know its coming. they will engage the brakes all by themselves….
    https://youtu.be/q3zGZudOwbg

  37. They're all coming from China! Just examine the quality of parts. I didn't want to spend $200 on a clutch lever!! Adjust the plunger when changing levers!!

  38. Heys Brian,

    I know this is kinda 1 year old but here it goes, I falled in the pit of buying some FXCNC levers (same as those chinese levers) and my immediate feeling was that I needed to apply like double the force on the lever to apply almost the same amount of braking power. I put the OEM lever on today but didn't yet get a chance to ride it and see if the lever is the problem.

    What do you think it is? And can you explain the "science" behind it?

    Btw, awesome videos, I've learned alot from you. GJ

  39. Bro I Bought the same MZS Shorty Levers from amazon and they are terrible, ! Very first test ride front brakes locked up and skid about 50ft !!!

  40. Hello, I wish I had watched this video before I had bought one. Upon inspection the little thing that needs to rotate on the brake lever actually rotates with no problems or tension. Does this mean I can use these? Cross pin***

  41. The MZS shorty levers I just installed on my XSR are not that style with the barrel on the brake lever. There is a pocket full of grease on the stock brake lever that the actuator rides in and the MZS lever works perfectly fine. Yes the more expensive ones have tighter tolerances, and nicer fit and finish, and are higher quality; but the MZS levers are not pot metal or something like that, they are machined aluminum and work just fine.

    AK47s have a lot of "slop" built in and are the most reliable rifles of their type ever made. AR15s get gummed up because tight tolerances are too tight for some dusty and dirty conditions. Yes that is a broad analogy but it goes to show that tight tolerances are not necessarily automatically better just "because". My MZS levers are not dangerous, the tolerances are fine. I looked them over carefully and inspected how they work and tested them and properly lubed them, especially because of all the horror stories I saw before purchasing them.

    I wanted to test how shorty levers felt in general on my bike to see if I like it enough to spend more on more expensive levers. After installing these, I don't really see the need for more expensive levers. Maybe if I have $150 – $300 burning a hole in my pocket I'll get nicer ones someday but for now these are fine, at least on this particular bike.

  42. When you buy the MZS levers it shows this in the instructions and that it can lead to brakes not locking up if you dont install it right

  43. F*** you know what you're totally right. The front brake on my GSXR 1000 is totally f**** rigged by the guy I got it from. And you know what he did crash. I rebuilt it kept saying I was going to put new brake levers and s*** I had some here but I can't figure out where I put them so I've been writing it like that. I knew better to but I had basically forgot about it till I saw this video. I was looking at lovers thinking to myself well f*** this one's only $15 and these are a hundred and fifty what the f***

  44. What are some decent levers with Reservoir that are affordable?? I got 2001 GSXR 1000 K1.. actually it's where the reservoir bottle connect to the cylinder there next to the lever. I just took the f**** duct tape off it holyshit!! The little tube part in there is freaking plastic and it's broke the freaking duct tape was holding it together. OMG I was doing like a hundred and forty on this f**** thing recently

  45. Dam!!. I was actually looking at those exact levers on freaking eBay thinking those look pretty Burley..
    I'm so glad I came across your video you may have just saved my life between the duct taped freaking Reservoir put on some shity levers to I probably would have died. As soon as you said something I forget what I looked at the bike pull that tape off it was like holy s*** I've been running it like that for 2 months what an idiot I am and the guy got it from well am I going to say

  46. Those cheap lever are used only for low cc engines.. Like 125 150 to 300. Wont recommend to a higher cc.. But me. For me there both fine for that. It only takes a good care and maintenance.. But its up to u…

    And by the way DONY EVER BUY CHEAP MOTORCYCLE PRODUCTS THAT ARE MADE IN CHINA. Dont. There are other asian countries that have cheap and BETTER QUALITY that wont kill u.. Or cause an accident. Trust me..

  47. Just because it’s cheaper to buy doesn’t mean it’s of less quality. I bought a copy of my bmw levers and they are exactly the same as the OEM was probably made in the same factory

  48. Sheesh, the bushing problem is such an easy fix.. Use the original bushing – if it doesn't fit properly, widen the hole with a drill, simple! That's what I did to my cheapo levers and they work perfectly, feels pretty good not to spend a fraction of the bike's price on fucking levers, all you need is just to use your brains a little more 😉

  49. Thank you for this video! It's documented that this has happened to many riders, who knows how many riders have died because of cheap unregulated Chinese parts .

    If you had a crash and you suspect it was caused by Chinese levels…change your levers – BUT keep your levers and
    purchase receipt, packaging, etc (and document your damage) – we need some kind of legal action against these manufacturers, I'm looking into it, but this type of thing could take years. But please keep your receipts/documents (very important) for going forward with any type of lawsuit. I will be posting in videos like this one with updates and once things get going will setup a formal website.

  50. Thank you for this video! It's documented that this has happened to many riders, who knows how many riders have died because of cheap unregulated Chinese parts .
    If you had a crash and you suspect it was caused by Chinese levels…change your levers – BUT keep your levers and purchase receipt, packaging, etc (and document your damage) – we need some kind of legal action against these manufacturers, I'm looking into it, but this type of thing could take years. But please keep your receipts/documents (very important) for going forward with any type of lawsuit. I will be posting in videos like this one with updates and once things get going will setup a formal website.

  51. i was looking into buying some of these to replace the broken ones i have, but now i think if its better or if there i any way to make some shorty's out of my oem ones that the end broke off

  52. I bought a few things for my bike and bicycles from China/ Taiwan/Hong Kong. Let me tell you more often than not they have zero quality control. They plate things there and then don’t chase the threads afterwards. They don’t check tolerances . I had a wheel skewer that was so oversized on the diameter it wouldn’t fit in the wheel. I stopped buying their garbage. I can’t tell you how many times I asked for a refund of Chinese EBay garbage.

  53. Thanks for this valid lesson. I was looking for new levers, trying to get a cheap replacement. Ofcourse quality doesn’t come that cheap, so I’ll look into the CRC levers instead.

  54. I have those same exact MZS levers installed on my new to me 16' R3, I dont even like the idea of aftermarket levers, and now that I have watched this vid i definitely know I will replace them back to stock. Thanks for sharing,

  55. i prefer with this money to take a brembo rc19 all brake lever system.And of course is better your than china products with 30-40 dollars.But chinas got some real offers there isnt all products fake and cheap.

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