Servicing and replacing an adjustable clutch lever
Hopefully, you have already read the previous article and have bought your new clutch lever and perch. Installation isn't quite as easy as a brake lever, but you shouldn't find it too difficult.
Here we have the adjustable-reach lever from a '97 ZX-6. Part # is 46076-1165. Kawasaki uses the same lever for many of its bikes. It is a relatively common part, and you can find it on eBay for fairly cheap. It's about $36 new at Ron Ayers.
As your seller may not know the Kawasaki part #, the description is: It is the split-ring mount, adjustable-reach clutch lever, #46076-1165. According to Ron Ayers, Kawasaki put them on these bikes:
You don't want the kind which has a single piece ring mount. Those are similar to the stock EX250 part, which needs to be slid down off the bar, after everything else is taken off.
This is the back side. The #1165 lever has the same clutch switch as the EX250. You want to take this nut at the bottom off, but there is little clearance between the clutch switch and the nut, so you should remove the switch. It is easily removed, with only two screws holding it in place. The switch can be easily taken apart and cleaned.
Here is the switch removed. It has three plastic clasps holding it together. Once you remove the screws, the assembly splits in half, allowing one to take out the parts and clean off the contacts. Apply some light lubricant on the spring and the plastic plunger, then reassemble.
Now that the nut is free and in the clear, it can be removed without worry. This lever perch has no threads at the top or the bottom, so the only part holding the bolt in is this nut. The stock EX250 clutch perch, however, IS threaded on the ends. That's why it's important to remove the nut FIRST on the stock perch.
With the bolt removed, the lever can be taken out from the perch. It is a two-piece assembly, held together with the brass collar shown here. This brass collar can be pushed out by hand. It isn't held there by any threads.
You can also just pull the two halves of the perch apart. The picture here shows them half way apart. The right side is the brass collar, the middle is a spring, and the left is the adjuster. Don't lose the spring.
Here is the collar removed. This one is shiny because it has already been cleaned. The important thing to know is that the clutch lever rotates around this surface. The collar is the friction surface between the lever and the axis.
And here is the lever adjuster. The adjuster is held in place with a screw. You also see the spring in the hole there. Take apart the adjuster, scrub it with a toothbrush and some soap, and apply whatever kind of grease you have in the garage.
For assembly, you go in reverse direction of the disassembly. Lubricate the outside of the brass collar, and fit it into the two-piece lever assembly. The collar also has a groove in it. It's a good idea to put some lubricant in there as well. The nut that holds the bolt / pin should have blue loctite applied. This is the grade for hand-removable parts.
Shown here is the indicator for what setting the lever reach is at. It is just a recessed triangle, to point at a number on the adjuster knob. If you were so inclined…
you could paint it your favorite color. The bike is instantly made faster. Or at least prettier.
Now for the final installation. A few notes about installing the unit. The stock clutch perch does not come apart like the new one. (Yes, we've said that before.) It needs to be slid down and off the handlebar, or cut off. Sawing away at it may not be the easiest method, but, given the trouble many members have with removing the bar ends, it's your choice. The grip comes off very easily with some soapy water. (This would be a time to replace your grips, if, like many members, you're not in love with the stock ones.) The switch unit, with the turn signals and choke, is held in position with two screws. The bar end has one screw, and lots of red loctite.
This switch unit also has a plastic bit that fits into a hole in the handlebar. It will only go in one way. Otherwise, the unit won't screw back on to the handlebar. Here is the protruding bit on the back side of the switch housing that interferes with the bar.
And there is the hole it fits into. There is a definite front and back to the bar, and many people take a while to figure this out. As long as you don't turn the bar, you'll be fine. If you flip the bar direction, you'll end up wondering why it doesn't fit well.
The clutch perch then slides down and off the bar without much of an issue. The new one goes on without a hitch. Apply blue loctite to the two hex head bolts that clamp the perch onto the bar, and screw them in. Re-install the switch unit, then the grip, and then the bar end. Then, you're done.