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/5 front brake lever, reach too long…

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by korinthias, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. korinthias

    korinthias Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Oddometer:
    257
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Hi, I'm fairly new to the forum and have an R60/5 1972. Whilst I'm generally finding the ergonomics great, I have some issues with the comparatively long reach required to pull the front brake lever. As I have some arthritis, I'd just like to find a way to get the lever in closer to the handlebar grip.

    I've done a bit of cold-bending by putting a tube over the lever and gently and progressively edging it inward, but I'm still finding that I have to kind of gather the lever in quite a way before it starts to apply the shoes to the drum. Conversely, if I then screw the adjuster out further, the reach is so long that I can't apply much force.

    While looking at the Motobins (UK) website, I noticed that the R60/6 lever has a dogs-leg which would presumably bring it closer in. Does anyone know if it would fit onto the /5 throttle housing?

    Here are a couple of pics from their website, they are obviously different, but the pivot-point / mounting angle do look quite similar:

    61061.jpg

    61063.jpg

    Maybe someone has tried this before…?
    #1
  2. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,642
    One simple cure, if you can reach the lever comfortably, is to dial in some freeplay. The closer the engagement point is to the bar, the greater control you have. Just make sure that you get full brakes before the lever hits the handlebar.
    #2
    photorider and korinthias like this.
  3. korinthias

    korinthias Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Oddometer:
    257
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Thanks to Plaka and BMWrench for the suggestions so far… Yes, I should have mentioned, after an overhaul the brake should now be working at optimum. The shoes have been relined, the hub skimmed and the shoes arced to the hub. New cable, twin brake arms re-greased and carefully positioned. The TLS brake has been set up following Duane Auscherman's advice here: https://w6rec.com/5-front-drum-brake-adjustment-and-repair/ and various other sources online and in manuals etc – in other words, the brake should be (and probably is) working well.

    The problem I have, because of arthritis, is the distance I need to reach to the front brake lever and the range of movement required at the lever before the shoes start to bite.

    I have tweaked the lever inwards a bit by progressively cold-bending, on the basis of 'cold-flow' that Duane describes here: https://w6rec.com/bmw-motorcycle-controls-and-cables-adjustment-and-replacement/

    Nevertheless, with my slightly gash hand the range of movement required is a bit much.

    Hence I was asking about the 'dog-leg'lever on the /6 series bikes and whether it would retro-fit on the /5s?
    #3
  4. aptbldr

    aptbldr easy rider

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,592
    Location:
    Upstate South Carolina, USA
    Thinnest possible handgrip.
    #4
  5. spo123

    spo123 Man About Town

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,335
    Location:
    North Shore Mass. USA
    Yes, the dogleg lever will fit and function correctly.
    #5
  6. korinthias

    korinthias Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Oddometer:
    257
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Thanks – yes, I did originally have the later kinda square fluted grips, but changed to the correct thinner Maguras which helped… a bit!
    #6
  7. korinthias

    korinthias Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Oddometer:
    257
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    That's the answer I was looking for! Every little helps, as they say. I'll give it a try.

    Thanks!
    #7
  8. korinthias

    korinthias Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Oddometer:
    257
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Couple of pics, one showing the machine in question, one showing the (slightly) straightened lever. Apologies, I've only just been able to get home to take a few snaps.

    IMG_4685.jpg

    IMG_4686.jpg

    You may notice a few departures from stock, and a little oil underneath. I must tackle the crankcase breather sometime…
    #8
    spo123 and aptbldr like this.
  9. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    17,406
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii
    You may have a problem with the brake switch not contacting the lever correctly. Won't know until you try it. I had to do some modifications to the lever when I did a similar swap on a '76 R90/6 (different perch, different switch, though).
    #9
    spo123 likes this.