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Discussion Starter #1
So I bough the bike with the after market brake lever. Even set at 6 the lever squeezes against my two fingers left on the throttle. I only ever two finger brake. What has anyone done about this? I know that a lot of guys are changing from oem. The profile is way different than the oem lever. I am considering just cutting the lever off at the point it squeezes against my fingers. That would be right around the notch on the lever.
 

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Adjust the plunger that goes from the barrel in to the master cylinder. Screw it out a couple of turns and you'll get earlier activation of the brake.

 

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Have you tried bleeding the brakes? Air in the system will cause the lever to move closer to the bar under braking.
 

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CRG are one of the good ones, imo, get that plunger adjusted and completely replace / flush the brake fluid and then see where you are.


CRG says that part number fits these Monsters for a brake lever - is yours one of these?

MONSTER S4R/S4RS '06-'08 RB-517
MONSTER 1100 '09-'12 RB-517
 

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If you are adjusted to position #6 and are hitting your knuckles something is wrong.

1. start with a good brake bleed to make sure there is NO air in the system. While bleeding observe the fluid return in the reservoir, if it is a long spurt you may have too much bleed down.

2. adjust bleeddown ** WARNING** if you adjust this adjustment too far it can cause your front brakes to lock up and not release causing a crash!

Lengthening the adjustment reduces bleed down and shortens the amount of fluid pumped into the reservoir, this gives a firmer lever but some safety margin must be kept for when the system heats up and expands. With little fluid in the reservoir and watching for the squirt adjust the bleed down adjuster to make sure there is some fluid shooting into the reservoir and lever travel is good. Where a aftermarket lever came on the bike a former owner may have screwed this adjustment up. Many brake systems have removed this adjustment from the system for just this reason though the clutch still comes with an adjustable bleed down, simply put it is hard to kill yourself with the clutch out of adjustment.
 

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So I bough the bike with the after market brake lever. Even set at 6 the lever squeezes against my two fingers left on the throttle. I only ever two finger brake. What has anyone done about this? I know that a lot of guys are changing from oem. The profile is way different than the oem lever. I am considering just cutting the lever off at the point it squeezes against my fingers. That would be right around the notch on the lever.
Bleed the brake system then leave it overnight with the lever tie-wrapped to the grip.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
It has Motul RBF 600 fluid and a good bleed. I am very confident about that. The plunger adjustment may well be the answer. I put the stock lever on and it feels fantastic. A lot of clearance. I don't need the CRG. It just looks nice. That is the only benefit I see. The bike is an S4RS.

Edit:
I just went and put the CRG back on. When I looked at the OEM lever installation, there were two full threads showing on the plunger threads. I knew that the CRG was installed with no thread showing. In fact the plunger screwed into the CRG very freely and into the OEM lever with a lot of resistance. It seemed bottomed out with two threads showing on the OEM. So this is how I installed the CRG .... same number of threads showing. It is all the difference in the world. Great information guys. I will for sure report back when I go for a rip on my ride home.

Anyone else with these levers installed? How is your plunger adjusted?
 

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Anyone else with these levers installed? How is your plunger adjusted?
I've had CRG's on several bikes - Pazzo's, Rizoma's - all need slight adjustments since most require you to remove the barrel and plunger from the stock lever and transfer it to the new one.

But Ducvet makes an excellent point that I should've noted - do not adjust the length too far - there needs to be space for the fluid to expand so the front brake doesn't lock up once it gets hot.
 

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there is a little grub screw (usually in the bottom of the barrel, but 1198sp's photo shows the thread at the top of the barrel and looks like no grub screw in it) the locks the pushrod adjuster. some aftermarket levers are delivered with it lose, some without a grub screw at all. usually the pushrod then winds itself off and you get a lot of freeplay.

often the oem ones are loctited in, and you need to heat them up to get them to move. i think it's a 1.5mm hex from memory - they're tiny.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Solved.


Fine tuned the plunger and problem solved. Brakes feel just terrific. Great grab, great modulation feel. I have the adjustment set to 4 and feel like I could be very aggressive with the lever feel. Love it. Thanks so much for sharing.
I would still like very much to know exactly how other people have the plunger adjusted with these levers. I am as close to exactly two threads showing as I can determine. I should have counted turns from full in maybe. Could not see anything in our workshop manual for any spec of any sort. Also would like to have information regarding what limits could get us into a front lock up scenario. Things like turns out from full in or something. Wouldn't it be nice to know you haven't adjusted too much plunge.

Thanks again for solving this issue.
 

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the spec is that the compensating port in the master is not blocked. make sure you can push the pads back and have the fluid return to the reservoir. if you can't, it'll lock the brakes on once the fluid gets warm and the bike will go no more for a while.

you can usually see fluid push back into the reservoir when you initially pull the lever in, even on the type you have. that's the best test.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When I made the adjustment yesterday I did take the reservoir cap off to look for returning fluid. I think it is because the reservoir is full that I was not able to see fluid movement. Since the brakes work as expected; applying pressure when the brake is applied and then releasing means the pads are being pushed back. I don't understand how to test the way you are saying ...... I imagine I am missing something.
 

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The important thing is to check for some free play in the lever. The lever should move 5%–10% of its range of motion before feeling resistance at the lever. During this range of motion you should see a squirt of fluid into the reservoir.

As the brakes are applied the piston moves forward with the lip of the seal covering the compensating port. Before this port is covered, piston motion forces excess fluid back into the reservoir. So, if you look into a reservoir just as the piston begins to move you will see slight fluid motion. Once the compensating port is covered, fluid trapped in the hydraulic system cannot escape. Beyond this position the piston moves fluid to apply the brakes.

If the piston is positioned incorrectly such that the compensating port is covered and there is no free play at the lever, when the brake fluid heats up and expands during normal operation, the fluid cannot compensate for the increased volume by returning back to the reservoir, and instead, pushes the caliper pistons and actuates the brakes — locking them up, perhaps inconveniently and unsafely.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
This is great information I think. I would still like to be able to measure something as a maximum distance or length since it is a safety issue. I also don't want to beat something to death that may not need to be.

On a side note, I was applying a bit of grease to the area and spun the bearing that the cog pushes against. Have a look at the picture. The bearing is torn apart. This bike has not been down ever so that would not be the reason for the breakage. I wonder if maybe it wore because the previous owner had the brake adjusted out so far trying to get better engagement and so pressuring against the bearing heavily. I know that on my clutch lever if I try to set the distance higher than 4 there is a lot of pressure against the same bearing on that lever. I am only showing this because I would not have seen this before total failure if I had not spun it to get grease around the bearing. Other owners of these levers may want to have a look to be safe. Mike at CRG immediately offered to send out a replacement.

I also am attaching a video. Listening carefully you will hear a click. It is exactly at that point where my brakes engage. Is this the same for you guys? Can an experienced person tell me if this looks like correct travel? ..... I just want to forget about this brake and go ride....
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0euwt8oh14q8smp/Click.MOV?dl=0
 

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When I made the adjustment yesterday I did take the reservoir cap off to look for returning fluid. I think it is because the reservoir is full that I was not able to see fluid movement. Since the brakes work as expected; applying pressure when the brake is applied and then releasing means the pads are being pushed back. I don't understand how to test the way you are saying ...... I imagine I am missing something.
get some expanding (snap ring, circlip) pliers and use them to push the pads back. if the pads will go back (pistons being pushed fully back into caliper) then fluid can flow from the pressure side of the master cylinder piston back into the reservoir. you'll see the reservoir level rise. if it can't flow, the brakes will lock on when riding.

pulling and releasing the lever means nothing. you need to ride it. but take the tools with you to adjust this when you ride it. if you have the compensating port blocked what happens is the front brakes will start to come on as the fluid expands. the bike starts to slow down fairly quickly then just stops, with the brakes locked. then you go nowhere until it all cools down. make take a while.

if you wind the pushrod back as soon as the compensating port is uncovered, the brakes will release, as the fluid can escape back into the reservoir.

these are pretty close to my pair: https://toolfinderaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/knipex-retaining-ring-plier-170mm-4510170.jpg
 

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Just for reference....on my 821 anything less than 1/4 turn out will block the return...drive like 5 mph and drag the brake....as they heat up let go of the lever...if you continue on at 5mph the fluid is returning...if you still feel continual resistance slow to 1 mph because it's about to lock up
 
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