Shiny, but wrong!

Bespoke Motorcycles has recently been entrusted to service and tune a beautiful CB 500/4 Honda which was brought over from the USA.

The owner mentioned the clutch operation was not particularly good. When I tried the clutch lever, I noticed considerable play and a harsh grinding feel when it was pulled in. Unfortunately, in the quest for shiny, the previous owner had replaced both lever pivot bolts with stainless steel socket head set screws which were nicely polished, but were threaded their full length through the aluminium levers (see the first photo), so every time the front brake or clutch were used (or the bike vibrated) the stainless threads were sawing their way through the soft alloy levers.

The remedy? We bored the worn levers and machined two new bushes to press into the levers to correct the chewed out oval pivot holes back to the correct, original (round) size. Then, we turned two new stainless pivot bolts with (unthreaded) shoulders of the correct length to pass through the new bushes. The levers and new pivot bolts were polished, the clutch cable lubricated, and the whole lot reassembled with waterproof grease to the pivots.

The result? That 'new bike feel' with the correct parts working as they should.

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