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Position of clutch and front brake levers


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Hi All, I have been riding for many (40+) years, but I am totally new to the sport.

Bought recently a Cota 315R and I am having a hard time finding a comfortable position for the levers, the clutch in particular.

Holding the clutch with my index finger ends up pinching my fingers or hitting my knuckles. From various pictures and videos, I see setups that are dramatically different, WRT inclination and horizontal position on the handlebars.

I know the answer is "whatever works best for me", but when learning I find easier to start from a neutral setup and progressively adjust from there.

Any suggestions? 
Thanks!

 

 

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Adjust the lever out so the clutch bite is a little before the knuckles hit the lever.

Set both levers in a fairly neutral position just slightly below level. If you go too low it affects the position of your whole body.

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Agreed, the clutch should disengage before the lever hits your other knuckles. I ride with quite a steep decline in the levers while others run them horizontally, some a slight decline, some a slight incline. Then you have the group that use their middle finger for the clutch!!

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 You should ride a modern bike with both index fingers on the levers most of the time. Closer to horizontal to the ground. If not go back to your Enduro bike! LOL. Check out how most of the top riders do it. Don`t ask someone that has no clue, either.

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14 minutes ago, lineaway said:

 You should ride a modern bike with both index fingers on the levers most of the time. 

Jaime busto uses his middle finger. Ricky carmichael used his middle finger. It works for some

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 Thats because they learned wrong and its almost impossible to change after years if muscle memory. I think we have one guy in our club that uses the middle finger out of 100.

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 Just go out and try your middle finger. 4 years ago I severed the tendon at the last joint of my clutch finger. I tried and tried to use my middle finger. I finally gave up and re-adjusted my levers and made my own clutch springs as my finger was so weak I could hardly hold the lever in.

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I used my middle finger as a teenager, but got told by everyone to use my index. I agree, now i couldn't use my middle finger through years of index finger use. But it obviously isn't that big of a disadvantage, if even, if guys at the top use it. I always thought mx riders got away with it because you didnt have to be that critical with the clutch but then i seen busto using his. Im certainly not advocating the OP to start trying his middle finger

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Thank you all.

I have been riding using both middle and index fingers to pull the clutch; despite being 20 y/o, the Cota is my first bike with a hydraulic clutch 🙂

To recap, clutch lever needs to fully disengage before hitting the knuckles (makes sense, will do this during the WE) and almost horizontal (right now it's pointing down a lot, even after adjusting from the previous owner).

What about the distance from the grips? I measure roughly 3 inches (~8 cm) now, that is way less than the previous owner (!?!?!)

 

 

PXL_20220422_195559566.jpg

PXL_20220422_195749033.jpg

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All the top riders have the lever closer to the grip for better feel and short throw. I do just the opposite for the most leverage. I can remember I always suffered from arm pump from holding on so tight and I would end up bleeding all over if it was a long event. Now it scares me that my grip is so weak and its been over a decade since I have had any arm pump. 

Edited by lineaway
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IMO your lever angle looks ok. Thats what i ride with, but most others would be between that and horizontal. Your lever needs to be closer to the end of your bars. Youre aiming for your index finger to position in the most inward bend part of the lever, ie about the 2 5/8 inch mark on your ruler.

Edited by faussy
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Don't be afraid to mess about and experiment with it.  It is the best way to learn.  Take photos and measurements before you start, then if it goes wrong, or is worse, then you can just put it back to where it was beforehand.  

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Hmm , been fighting with lever position / angle for a while now , it's doing my head in .

 

I used to have the levers pointing almost vertically down but recently I've been coming a bit further back nearer horizontal - a lot of people had commented that I was doing it wrong ....but I thought I knew better :) 

Problem with having them pointing down is you can end up riding wrong and puting a lot of weight on the bars , riding with straight legs , and on steep downhils your wrists are bent in a terrible angle when you crouch and put your weight to the rear of your bike .

 

By keeping them nearer horizontal it encourages you to bend legs , keep weight back and you are also able to brace against the bars when hitting obstacles coming down hills etc . 

I'm using short levers and do move them inboard a long way . 

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