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V-Star 650 Classic Clutch Fixes – The Clevver Lever

So, I said in an earlier post that I’d tell everyone about what enhancements have been made to the clutch on my bike to make it more user friendly.  Well, I’m finally getting around to it now :wink:

There are two modifications to my V-Star when it comes to the clutch.  Both have made a positive difference in separate ways, but together the effect is more than you’d think.  The first of the two modifications I’ll explain is the replacement clutch lever I recently fitted called The Clevver.

The Clevver - A great improvement on the stock V-Star clutch lever

The Clevver - A great improvement on the stock V-Star clutch lever :D Photo from The Clevver website - Click on the picture to go to their site.

 You might be wondering just how much difference a clutch lever can make and I don’t blame you.  The Clevver is basically two changes that actually makes a huge difference.  What they’ve done is modified a new factory clutch lever by drilling a new seat for the end of the clutch cable to change the point where it connects to the lever in relation to the pivot point.  They also milled out the channel the cable passes through to the adjuster so it doesn’t kink or wear excessively.  By moving the cable attachment closer to the pivot point, they’ve increased the size of the “friction zone” and reduced the force necessary to pull the clutch lever toward the grip.

If you’ve never heard about the “friction zone” you’re probably wondering what it is and why making it bigger is better.  Well, that zone is where the clutch is between full engagement and full disengagement.  If you’ve ever driven a manual transmission car, you know all about this.  It’s that range of clutch pedal movement that you use to start off from a stop without stalling, hopping the tires, or doing a smoky burnout :P

Motorcycle riders slip the clutch much more than car drivers do and for good reason.  At slow speeds, modulating the clutch engagement allows for much more precise changes in power delivery to the rear wheel than moving the throttle does.  This is how motorcycles can be so nimble at slow parking lot speeds.  If you ever see someone on a bike making a well executed U-turn on the street or nicely done parking lot maneuvers, look closely at their left hand and you’ll see them working the clutch somewhere in that friction zone.  The guys duck walking and waddling their bikes around the gas station and through U-turns are probably either in neutral or trying to fake it in first gear and they won’t be doing nearly as much with that left lever :wink:  Motorcycle clutches are usually made to endure this extra duty and most (mine included) actually run in an oil bath to help keep them cool :cool:

Illustration of the stock V-Star clutch lever actuation from The Clevver's website - Click this image to go to The Clevver website

Illustration of the stock V-Star clutch lever actuation from The Clevver's website - Click this image to go to The Clevver website

The factory stock V-Star clutch system is very similar to my experience with old Alfa Romeo Spyder sports cars.  The friction zone is nearly non-existent and slipping the clutch is done more with pressure than movement.  Sure, the same maneuvers can be done correctly and they can be done well, but it’s extremely difficult to do them that way.  Adding some extra travel to the friction zone makes all those slow maneuvers easier to do :)

How The Clevver accomplishes this is really very simple.  Moving the end of the cable closer to the lever’s pivot point is just like moving a weight on a lever closer to the fulcrum or pivot point.  Think of a teeter totter on a playground.  If you have a kid on one end it takes a certain amount of force to push the other end down toward the ground and move that kid up.  If you move them closer to the center pivot point, it takes less force on the far end to move that kid, but they’ll also move a shorter distance.

Illustration of the V-Star clutch lever actuation with The Clevver from the manufcaturer's website - Click this image to go to The Clevver website

Illustration of the V-Star clutch lever actuation with The Clevver from the manufcaturer's website - Click this image to go to The Clevver website

Both of these things happen with The Clevver.  The same amount of clutch lever movement now produces less movement from the clutch cable and less effect on the degree of clutch engagement which in turn means that there is more lever movement available for that friction zone :)  The other effect is to reduce the amount of force required to move that clutch lever which leads to reduced fatigue when a rider has to work his or her way through slow traffic for example.  It really is a win/win product.

The Clevver website is here, the FAQ is here, and their explanation of the theory is here :)  Pricing is currently $39 + shipping and handling which comes to $44 in the U.S. right now and it’s not much more overseas.

I’ve had The Clevver installed on my bike for a few weeks now and I think it’s well worth the price.  It does exactly what the manufacturer says it does, it doesn’t cost much, and it only takes a few minutes to install.  One little hint for anyone installing a Clevver on their bike – You’ve got the cable end free anyway so it’s the perfect time to break out a cable lube kit and lubricate that clutch cable :wink:  I highly recommend this product to anyone who rides a V-Star :thumb:

There’s one last thing I want to say in case anyone thinks there might be some deeper reason for me writing this post.  I found out about this product somewhere on the Internet that I can’t remember right now, I paid for it myself, and the manufacturers of The Clevver had no idea I was going to write it.  I was not asked to write this by anyone and I haven’t received any compensation for writing it.  The only thing I did before pressing publish was to email the post to the product manufacturer to have them re-check the facts and to get their approval to use their photo and graphics.  I’d like to say thanks to Roger for his approval :D

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back soon :wink:  Have a great day everyone :thumb:

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4 comments to V-Star 650 Classic Clutch Fixes – The Clevver Lever

  • julie cubitt

    My bf son was about to work on the clutch and I found this web site in the many i looked at to double.check he was doing the right thing! I so do not kmow how to fix a thing but use to be married to.someone for many years who thought they did and made more problems then they coukd fix lol!!! I sure hope it makes my 650 2007 custom vstar ride better.. Im a lady rider and this is my first bike! Why the motorcycle company do not fix their product issues for.safety of owners of their products i will never understand! Thank you for writing about your find!

    Julie

  • Eric

    Thanks for this report. I recently bought a 2007 V-Star 650 Classic (my first bike since 20 yrs ago), and I immediately noticed the small friction zone and the fact that the friction zone didn’t start till the lever was almost fully released. I’ve owned several manual xmsn cars, so I knew this wasn’t normal. I’ve only put ~200 miles on the bike so far, but I’m still having trouble with this occasionally. It’s just hard to quickly release the couple of inches or so to the beginning of the friction zone and then slow the release to a snail’s pace at the exact point needed without blasting through the friction zone altogether (stalling the engine if starting – especially uphill).

    How many miles have you put on your Clevver so far, and are you still happy with it? It the cable showing any signs of wear at the lever end?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  • Jeff,

    Thank you for your excellent article on the Clevver! I bought it for my 650 Custom & am waiting for the package to arrive! :) Great to have come across your article, thank you again. Safe Riding!

    Regards,
    Vishnu

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