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2004 GSXR 600, 1992 GSXR 750, 1983 XN85 Turbo & some Euro bikes
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Available for right around $40 on Amazon I took a punt and ordered a set for the yellow submarine. The why is detailed in another post but suffice it to say I ordered the set for a reason.

I installed them shortly after they arrived yesterday. It was a simple and straightforward install. Only took me the 20+/- minutes because I cleaned up the pivots and regreased everything.

The good is; the look really nice. Billet and black anodized with anodized red adjusters. Finish is quite nice visually. Functionally? Not exactly.

I have sets of very high quality CRG levers on another bike and some similar ones from Pazzo on my 996. Both are exceptionally well engineered and the adjusters work really well. These MZS levers are not in the same league though.

Thing is they’re not horrible either. The problem for me is how they function for me and my expectation of how they should. That’s where things get a bit messy.

1st off the levers don’t fit as precisely as the CRGs or the Pazzos. The clutch lever is sorta floppy like the el cheapo Cycle Gear lever that it replaced. To be fair, there are some included shims that I may try this weekend to see if that tightens things up a bit.

The brake lever is a different yet similar story. The OEM lever is fine and may well go back on. The thing is, the MZS lever has a funky kink in it. This brings the lever closer to bar. Fine for maybe my wife and her tiny hands.

With my gloved mitts though that kink hits my ring finger if I use the 2 finger braking I’m used to. If I use 3 fingers it’s fine. I adjusted the lever all the way out at its highest setting and still not much change in the result. There in lies my other issue. It feels like there is excessive free play at the outer end of the stroke. Almost a half inch.

That brings me to the adjusters. While definitely nice looking when adjusted to the fullest both adjusters are comically swept to the point of looking like they’re off the numbered adjustment scale.

In actual use, the clutch works just fine. The brakes….annoying. The more I think about it, the more I feel like swapping back to the OEM brake lever. I’m going to try and get the free play down to more like 1/8” or so first as I think that will alleviate my issues.

I guess for under $40 I shouldn’t be as critical but hey, my expectation was not exactly met. As I stated up front though, they do look very nice. Once I get them sorted (or replaced) I’ll post further impressions.

If I had to give a numbered rating of my initial impressions, I give them a 5 out of 10 for function. 10 out of 10 for cosmetic quality. Overall, based on those 2 scores 6 out of 10.
 

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Pics? "Tuning" levers?
 

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2004 GSXR 600, 1992 GSXR 750, 1983 XN85 Turbo & some Euro bikes
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After some further research (a euphemism for reading the directions) I’ve discovered there is a free play adjustment. Thus, I will investigate that further later this weekend.
 

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After some further research (a euphemism for reading the directions) I’ve discovered there is a free play adjustment. Thus, I will investigate that further later this weekend.
Yeah there is a clutch cable adjustment at both ends, remember.

I wind in the lever-end adjustment fully, first, to give maximum purchase on the thread adjuster at that end, and back off a turn or two for the adjustment either way. Then gross adjustment at the clutch end, back to fine adjustment at the lever end, leaving a mm of play.

I test for play at the clutch spindle end rather than the lever end. Grab the clutch lever and wiggle it manually, if it clonks back and forth then clearly there is enough play, so minimise that until there is just the smallest wiggle left in the gearbox-side actuating lever.

The adjustment on the new lever should be only to adjust the reach of the lever.

You probably know/figured that out all of that^ already, just a reminder.

My bike has been equipped before I had it with short ASV levers and short clipons. The total width is super-narrow, about 600mm I think. Very pleased with those, it is exactly what I like to have. Motorcycles are impractical transport at the best of times but the one advantage I appreciate is that 'there is no traffic'. We get a lot of dense traffic in the UK that is 'filterable', so a narrow bike means easier to thread traffic. I think the widest part of by bike is actually my own shoulders, so if I can get through a gap, the bike can! ;)

Do these levers of yours make for a narrow setup? They look like they are based on the short ASVs.

Simple as the ASVs are they do the job perfectly and feel good. Other than possible patent infringements, I am surprised I don't see copies of the ASV adjuster, because it works so well, so easy and precise to adjust. If those got damaged, I'd be torn whether to try cheaper ones like these or just pay for direct replacement of the ASVs.

They look very similar, but the adjuster can make a world of difference. Also, the ASVs have a flip-forward function, so any loads forward just make the lever flex forward, never going to bend back for that reason or trap your fingers. Do these do that? I can't figure from the photo whether these do that too.
 

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Ever since I heard one story of a cheap lever causing a crash, I never even considered wasting my time/money on something that would essentially cause me to second guess. Glad you posted an honest assessment based on knowledge and experience bc this shows why these simple products vary so much in price. You get what you pay for remains true.
 

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2004 GSXR 600, 1992 GSXR 750, 1983 XN85 Turbo & some Euro bikes
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just so there is no misunderstanding, when I stated the clutch lever is “floppy” that has nothing to do with adjustment or free play. It means it’s floppy at the pivot and is not as precise fitting there as I’d like.

The free play adjustment I’m referring to is in the brake lever. That comes too close to the bar for my liking. My CRG & Pazzo lever equipped bikes barely move before brake application and do not come close to the bar at full application.

Neither of those bikes have radial master cylinders though. Which brings me to the use of after market levers. Choose wisely to quote the knight from Indiana Jones. Not all levers are created equally. That said, the MZS levers are not poorly made.

If you’ve read about cheap levers causing brakes to lock up and a rider to crash, sorry to say that there are 2 parts to those stories. If you install a brake lever, OEM or otherwise and you as the installer don’t check for sufficient free play at the outer end of the lever travel….well the resultant crash is on you not the lever manufacturer.

Fitting levers seems simple but there are basic mechanical principles involved. If you install your own, and you fail to observe those principles you’ve no one to blame for a negative outcome but yourself.

I’ve read of exactly one cheap Chinese lever brand where it was impossible for a professional mechanic to get sufficient free play in the brake lever for safe operation. That business stopped carrying those levers as a result.

Lack of free play = minute application of the brakes which results in locked up brakes and a likely crash. Similarly the clutch lever requires a bit of free play as well. Although the results of a lack of free play there are less drastic as a slipping clutch doesn’t normally end in a crash.

The MSZ levers have no such issues. Once I get out to the garage and mess about for a bit, I’ll report back with my results of shimming the clutch lever pivot and adjusting the free play on the brake lever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Stay tuned then. I emailed the company and apparently there is an updated adapter (the part between the lever and master cylinder) they are sending me with an adjustment for the free play.

They’ve been really helpful and prompt in their responses. Just waiting for the lever adapter to arrive. They shipped it several days ago and sent me a tracking number so it isn’t smoke & mirrors or anything shady. They told me how long it should take so I’m waiting.

I thought I’d already updated here regarding the levers and shims and what went on after my last post. I dunno where that post went. To recap, I tried to shim the clutch side. What I discovered was the shim would go in fine until I started to get close to the pivot, and there it would bind.

That said to me that the lever perch was wider at the opening than at the pivot. That meant the drop that broke the OEM lever had spread the perch “ears” apart making the after market replacement lever floppy. That translated over to the MSZ lever.

I used a large “C” clamp along with a non-shouldered bolt and a scrap of 1” X 1/4” thick flat stock with a drilled hole to close the end of the perch back up. The MSZ lever sits neatly and precisely in there the way it should. IOW, the floppies was not on them, it was on the lever perch.

The brake lever had no such adjustment available as what was depicted in the instructions. I shimmed the relief hole in the lever “barrel” (see below)and got closer to what I was after. So, I removed the shim and emailed the company.
Tool Audio equipment Automotive tire Gas Bicycle part

I was simply going to update this thread once the adapter got here and I installed it. As you brought it up….I figured I’d update where things stood right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Last week Friday, a small package arrived from MZS Tuning. The new “adapter” pivot arrived. I’d intended to install it this weekend buuuut….went new car shopping instead. Came home with a 2023 Toyota Venza Hybrid. Wife’s car…I ride to work everyday rain, cold or shine. Here’s the new Venza:
Wheel Sky Tire Vehicle Car


Anyway, finally found some time today to assemble the new adapter & lever.
Tool Sleeve Hand tool Composite material Font

Here is everything disassembled (no disassemble!) and laid out. The new adapter is at the top. The adjustable plunger pin well visible facing up.

Assembly is simple. Set the spring in place, hold the spacer in place and join the two parts. Compress the spring into the seats with one hand, drop the screw in the hole with the other. Add the washers and lock nut. Tighten up and you’re done.

Electronic component Font Fashion accessory Machine Electric blue


Old lever adapter above and to the right. Next up, fitment on the bike and adjustment of lever free play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Had a short period of good weather to get to the garage and install the new brake lever with its replacement adapter. As expected, it went fine without issue. I adjusted the free play adjuster to the point that I could fit the lever and dropped the bolt in.

Upon testing the lever feel, free play and stroke; I decided that it needed a touch more free play and backed the adjuster out a half turn. After some further testing I adjusted the free play out further until the lever moved beyond where I was comfortable and added just enough back in to get it where I was.
Automotive tire Light Bicycle frame Tire Bicycle handlebar


Feels pretty good now. I went out for a short test around the block to see if there was any significant front brake drag. As soon as I took off….seriously like 50 feet from my drive, the rain starts. By the time I get to the end of the street, my visor is completely covered in beaded up water.

I headed straight back. Made a left onto the main road through my ‘hood, turned left again back onto my street and….front end goes skating. Dabbed my left foot down to get the front end back under me and success. Stayed upright but made my way back to my place in super slow mo (for me anyway) and back into the garage.

Too close a call at too slow a speed for me to be pfaffing about. Back inside the house now. Maybe I’ll mix up some filler and try to make a bit of progress on my retro-mod project. Gonna call the new levers for the Yellow Sub complete.

MZS was painless to deal with, the responded promptly to my emails and shipped me a solution at no extra cost to me. For the small money I paid, the levers look quite nice, they work as well as any other high dollar lever I have and the after sales support was excellent.
 
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