Not many things can end your day on the track or trails as quickly as a broken clutch lever. Luckily the days of spending countless dollars and hours changing out weakly built levers may be coming to an end thanks to innovative designs from companies like ASV Inventions.
Invented and designed by Roberts Morales, the CNC-machined 6061 billet aluminum levers are available for all makes and models. But that’s not the big selling point; ASV claims the levers are unbreakable. With a suggested retails price of $75, they had better be as good as the 5-year warranty suggests, so we put them through rigorous testing to see if they lived up to the hype.
Even at first glance, it’s clear the ASV levers are constructed to be much thicker and durable than a standard lever. This probably adds some heft to the clutch and brakes levers, but it’s not significant enough to make a difference for racers looking to shed a few pounds.
Installation is quick and easy, taking no longer than a standard clutch or brake lever. It took me all of 10 minutes to slap these ingenious bad boys on my KX250.
One feature that the ASV levers have that most don’t is a pivot screw which allows the rider to adjust the reach of the lever to fit the size of a rider’s hand. If you have big old mitts, just adjust the pivot screw with an allen wrench and let the lever to the outmost position. Vice versa for those with smaller hands.
Once the lever is fitted to the bars it’s easy to see how the unbreakable apparatus works. In fact, it’s a wonder somebody didn’t come up with the design sooner. Morales cleverly put a spring-loaded pivot on the upper portion of the lever which allows the actual lever to push forward when pressure is applied and then, using the spring, snap back into position, making a break darn near impossible.
I took my KX into the hills of Oregon and put the levers to the test on a rain soaked day at John’s Peak. All it took was one fall to see the lever’s smart design at work. Early in the day I lost the front end around a slick corner and my bars slammed to the ground. In most situations my lever would have quickly snapped or bent, but the ASV worked as advertised and bent backwards. I lifted my bike up and the lever snapped back into place. No harm, no foul.
Unfortunately, I did unintentionally push the ASV invention beyond it’s limitation at the end of the day when I was navigating a severely rutted downhill slope when I again lost control, my bike went down and when I lifted my bike back up, the pivot bolt had broken. The lever worked correctly, I just hit the ground at a funny angle and the bolt snapped in two.
After talking with others in the area who ride with ASV levers, my situation was an anomaly, and few had ever come close to breaking their levers.
“I’ve been riding with ASV for almost 2 years and I’ve never broken a lever,” said Western Four Stroke Nationals rider, Devin Watson. “I’ve crashed countless times, even landed on people and I’ve never even come close to breaking one.”
My disappointment at breaking the lever was alleviated after I sent it in and received a brand new one in its place. Morales takes care of his customers with a 5-year, no questions asked warranty. Of course, you need to fill out the warranty card and send it in.
The only other complaint we could dig up about these truly unique levers was that it’s a good idea to lube the retractable spring after every use. Just like the springs that snap your pegs into place, if you get them wet and forget to lube them, the springs tend to rust slightly.
I can hear many riders right now questioning the expense of the levers, which after you do a little number crunching, actually works out to be a good deal. Say you break just one aftermarket adjustable clutch lever a year. At $49.95 for a MSR Adjustable Clutch Lever, you would only need to go two years with an ASV lever before the lever paid for it self. Now do the same for brake levers and the cost looks much better than before.
Overall, ASV has come up with a truly unique and usable hardware invention. At $75 per lever, they’re not cheap, but they are certainly worth the price if you can dig up $150 for both the brake and the clutch levers. You’ll never have to change levers again, well almost never.
Clutch Lever: $75
Brake Lever: $75