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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Quick Review - New Doherty Levers

I recently decided to get new clutch and brake levers for my Vincent Comet, as the old ones were not only worn out, but had the wrong fulcrum length. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to go for British made Dohertys at the whopping price of £60 plus post for the pair.

Sadly, it seems that British craftsmanship ain't what it used to be. Finish on the blades is poor, the chrome plating on the levers is flat and thin. The threads for the mounting clamp are metric, as is the pivot screw, so this means that I can't use the nice stainless BA screws from the old levers. Other than that they do the job, but I'd have been much happier paying half the price for them.

It's sad when a once illustrious name is tagged to sub-standard goods.

So, what is fulcrum length? Many people are unaware that levers were originally specified with different 'pull ratios'. The distance between the centre of the pivot and the centre of the cable nipple was available with 3 different measurements - 7/8", 1" and 1 1/16". The longer the measurement, the more pull and stiffer action, the shorter the measurement, less pull and easier action.

If you have a dragging or stiff clutch, it might be worth checking that the levers are to the correct spec. It's also an effective way of 'tuning' the feel of your front brake. It won't solve other problems, but it may well help.

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