How to Change the Clutch Lever on Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

Vehicles clutch levers provide considerable mechanical advantage to the rider. Mounted on the left side of the handlebars, it is positioned to be used by the left hand, leaving the right hand free to control the throttle and the front brakes. Several clutch lever options are available on Vehicles chrome levers, polished aluminum, wide "comfort" grip and "e-z pull" levers. Wide and/or e-z pull levers are preferred Vehicles persons with relatively weak left-hand strength and can help overcome the pressure of the clutch spring.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Clutch Lever on a Harley

Park the motorcycle on a smooth, level surface and place the ignition switch in the "Off" position. Turn the handlebars to the right until the handlebars rest against the fork stop to provide better access to the clutch lever and perch.

Locate the cable adjuster at the middle of the clutch cable and twist clockwise until the adjuster is seated against the cable sleeve. This will loosen the cable and place the clutch lever at its loosest point.

Remove the anti-rattle screw and clip from the bottom of the clutch lever perch using a Phillips head screwdriver. Place these aside for re-installation.

Locate the retaining ring that secures the clutch lever pivot pin to the perch and remove it with a retaining ring pliers or needle nose pliers. Set the ring aside and push the pivot pin upwards until it can be removed.

Pull the lever out of the perch. At this point, the lever will be attached only to the clutch cable. Push out the cable anchor pin to release the clutch cable from the lever.

Insert the clutch cable into the new clutch lever and secure it in place with the anchor pin.

Insert the lever into the perch and secure it in place by sliding the pivot pin into place. Attach the retaining ring to the underside of the pivot pin.

Replace the anti-rattle clip and screw, tightening them with a Phillips head screwdriver.

Twist the mid-cable adjuster counterclockwise to tighten the slack in the cable, leaving 1/16 inch to 1/8 inch of slack at the clutch lever. Pull and release the clutch lever to ensure that the cable is moving properly within the cable sleeve.

Items you will need

  • Retaining ring or needle nose pliers

  • Phillips head screwdriver

  • Replacement clutch lever

  • Service manual (optional)

 How to Change a Clutch Lever on a Kawasaki Motorcycle

Twist the cable adjuster on the clutch lever perch clockwise to place the lever at its loosest point. Unscrew the acorn nut from the bottom of the clutch perch using a socket wrench.

Unscrew the pivot bolt that secures the clutch lever to the perch with a screwdriver. Pull the clutch lever away from the perch. Pull the clutch cable out of the channel cut into the lever and remove the cable end barrel from the lever's catch. Discard the old clutch lever.

Slip the cable end barrel into the catch and route the cable through the lever's channel. Slide the clutch lever into the clutch lever perch. Insert the pivot bolt and tighten with a screwdriver. Screw the acorn nut onto the bottom of the clutch lever perch, tightening it with a socket wrench.

Twist the cable adjuster counterclockwise to tighten the cable. Adjust the cable so that the clutch lever has an 1/8 of an inch of free play.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench and sockets

  • Screwdrivers

  • Replacement clutch lever

 How to Change the Clutch Lever on a Harley Ultra Glide

Cover the front fender and fuel tank(s) with clean shop rags to help prevent paint damage in the event of a tool being dropped while working. Slide the rubber boot protecting the clutch cable adjuster up the cable by hand to expose the adjuster. Loosen the adjuster lock nut with the wrenches and screw the adjuster in, effectively reducing the length of the cable sleeve.

Actuate the clutch lever to pull the slack in the cable up to the lever. Put on the safety glasses, then remove the clutch lever pivot pin snap-ring located on the bottom of the pin. Push the pivot pin upwards and out of its housing. Pull the lever from the housing and disengage the cable ferrule from the clutch lever.

Insert the clutch cable ferrule into the new clutch lever and engage it in its retainer in the lever. Pull the outer clutch cable sleeve away from the lever to gather the slack at the top. Thread the inner cable through the slot in the housing and pull the lever up to its position, keeping tension on the cable to prevent it from disengaging from the lever.

Insert the clutch lever pivot back through the housing and the lever. Install the new clutch pivot snap-ring onto the pivot, insuring that it snaps fully into its groove.

Pull the lever back fully and guide the barrel at the top of the clutch cable outer sleeve into its recess in the housing. Back off the clutch cable adjuster until most of the slack is out of the cable. Check factory specifications for clutch cable final adjustment.

Items you will need

  • Clean shop rags

  • 2 crescent wrenches

  • Safety glasses/goggles

  • Outside snap-ring pliers

  • New clutch lever

  • New clutch pivot pin snap-ring

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