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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have spent the last few days doing research on levers. I'm not sure if I'm just incompetent with research or there simply aren't that many options. I run across a lot of chinese levers, but I have read quite often to stay away from those. The reason I'm looking for new levers is because I dumped my bike and my clutch lever got bent.

Here are some options I been looking at:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-Aluminu...Red-/271996467132?vxp=mtr&hash=item3f5440b7bc

Which look similar to the Pazzo's levers. then I have found these

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-Adjusta...Red-/271996465791?vxp=mtr&hash=item3f5440b27f

then lastly I found these

https://www.spearsenterprises.com/yamaha-r-3.html


Can you guys give me advice on what to do? or if there are any other levers.
 

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I would trust FungShui as he has had multiple sets of chinese levers with no issues. See how easy you bent the oem, do you want to do that to a $150 set? No, it hurts worse then you just look for a cheap set again.
 

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If you are highly likely to drop your bike again, might as well buy the 13 dollar OEM levers.

Also should be noted to use grease on your levers. I have found that many people seem to change out their levers and never grease them up.
 

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I would trust FungShui as he has had multiple sets of chinese levers with no issues. See how easy you bent the oem, do you want to do that to a $150 set? No, it hurts worse then you just look for a cheap set again.
Thats how I feel with replacing levers lol. Never agian. So back to the cheap ones, I have never had a problem with any of them, and have used them on multiple bikes. There are cheaper ones than the ones OP listed. Mine were $23ish dollars from Hong Kong or China.

EDIT:

Just to add, in a different forum, we discussed the chinese vs Pazzo lever deal, and one guy took apart a chinese set and it fit his Pazzo lever parts just fine.
 

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Thats how I feel with replacing levers lol. Never agian. So back to the cheap ones, I have never had a problem with any of them, and have used them on multiple bikes. There are cheaper ones than the ones OP listed. Mine were $23ish dollars from Hong Kong or China.

EDIT:

Just to add, in a different forum, we discussed the chinese vs Pazzo lever deal, and one guy took apart a chinese set and it fit his Pazzo lever parts just fine.
I don't think the complaints of chinese levers are about how well the knockoff's dimensions are, but a matter of them retarding or outright braking under normal use which is the main concern. People can do anything they wish. Me personally, I stay far, far away from chinese levers. Aesthetic mods are one thing, if saving money involves risking your life in the process, well good luck with that trade-off. Hope it works in your favor. Like I said, OEM is 13 bucks. If you don't want to spend 150 bucks because you feel like its a waste of money, hence you know yourself and you will most likely drop your bike once again, those OEMs are not only cheap as dirt, you can trust your life with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OP: I doubt that I will be making the same mistake twice, the drop was out of my control as I had a Deer jump out in front of me, maybe next time I'll be more aware of the situation but when a deer jumps out at you for the first time you freak out. Can someone send me the link to the OEM levers, I have been looking for them and I have not been able to find them. Guys thank you all for your advise!!
 

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OP: I doubt that I will be making the same mistake twice, the drop was out of my control as I had a Deer jump out in front of me, maybe next time I'll be more aware of the situation but when a deer jumps out at you for the first time you freak out. Can someone send me the link to the OEM levers, I have been looking for them and I have not been able to find them. Guys thank you all for your advise!!
Clutch lever here, part #11 , $13

http://www.procaliber.com/oemparts/a/yam/54fdc98387a86510e82103c3/handle-switch-lever

Brake lever here, part #8 , $13

http://www.procaliber.com/oemparts/a/yam/54fdc92587a86510e821031a/front-master-cylinder

Shipping is about $20 unless you place an order over $99, then it's free.
 

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crg is making them now-i have ventured into the chinese market for the first time and everything i have received is junk-all parts have to to be modified to fit correctly-from the carbon fiber parts i got for my fz-07 ,supposedly titanium rotor bolts that did not fit,the levers for the r3 which had enough slop in them to keep the brake light on all the time-all freakin junk-got some crg levers-perfect fit and finish.never ordering chinese stuff again,.
 

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CRG levers are made in California (near Santa Cruz) and PAZZO levers are made in Canada (British Columbia), and are great products with unique design and features like infinite adjustment, etc., but they're REALLY pricey, way beyond the time and materials put into them, as is common with any Boutique parts. Five times more expensive never equals five times better quality. You can almost always find unbranded, no-name parts of similar quality for much less and most people would not want to pay for levers that cost the same as 5% of the bike cost.

Many other US companies are selling in-house branded levers that are all made in China and are quality products also, albeit with more generic designs & features.

China has the largest and most modern CNC production in the world and is used by companies all over the world as an outsource manufacturer.

They use the same materials and the same CNC machines as North American manufacturers.

In some cases China out-sources production to other countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma (where wages/production costs are much lower than in China) and these may be of lower quality.

If there is a problem with Chinese-made levers, etc, it's generally an issue with the engineering design and, at least in my experience, that is a rarity.

I've used Chinese-made levers and other parts on my bikes for over 8 years and have never had an issue with any of them. Japanese-made parts are very high quality, too. China is the new Japan.

I HAVE had problems with more than a few American-made parts over the last 4-5 years. "Made in the USA" doesn't necessarily mean 'quality' like it used to.

Shop wisely and you'll get good quality stuff. You don't have to spend $200 or more for a set of high quality levers, unless you want to.
 

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I went with levers from Spears. Had an issue with the first set I received but Greg's top notch customer service fixed the issue and even threw in a free coozie :)

Recommend Spears 1000%
 

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CRG levers are made in California (near Santa Cruz) and PAZZO levers are made in Canada (British Columbia), and are great products with unique design and features like infinite adjustment, etc., but they're REALLY pricey, way beyond the time and materials put into them, as is common with any Boutique parts. Five times more expensive never equals five times better quality. You can almost always find unbranded, no-name parts of similar quality for much less and most people would not want to pay for levers that cost the same as 5% of the bike cost.

Many other US companies are selling in-house branded levers that are all made in China and are quality products also, albeit with more generic designs & features.

China has the largest and most modern CNC production in the world and is used by companies all over the world as an outsource manufacturer.

They use the same materials and the same CNC machines as North American manufacturers.

In some cases China out-sources production to other countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma (where wages/production costs are much lower than in China) and these may be of lower quality.

If there is a problem with Chinese-made levers, etc, it's generally an issue with the engineering design and, at least in my experience, that is a rarity.

I've used Chinese-made levers and other parts on my bikes for over 8 years and have never had an issue with any of them. Japanese-made parts are very high quality, too. China is the new Japan.

I HAVE had problems with more than a few American-made parts over the last 4-5 years. "Made in the USA" doesn't necessarily mean 'quality' like it used to.

Shop wisely and you'll get good quality stuff. You don't have to spend $200 or more for a set of high quality levers, unless you want to.
This is not 100% accurate. I work in a high precision machine shop in San Diego, and we constantly deal with this issue. Customers always want stuff super cheap because they "can get it made overseas for $XXX". We cost slightly more, but guess what, the quality is different. I can't even tell you how many customers have had us prototype a design and run the first batch, then taken the job and sent it overseas, only to come crawling back a year later with a whole pile of problems and scrap parts made overseas and had us start the job again, and often times, try to rework all the scrap parts they got made in China or Taiwan.

CNC machines are not child toys and they aren't magic. You can't just show it a picture and have it give you a perfect part. There's an art and a finesse to machining and manufacturing. It actually takes a pretty smart person, pretty careful person, with a certain calculated way of thinking to not only operate a CNC machine (I don't mean push the button and throw a part in a bin, that's what you get overseas), but design a process that will consistently produce good parts, program the machine with proper tools, proper cutting order, proper toolpaths to remove the metal a certain way in a certain order, deburr the edges so things fit together smoothly, properly setup the machine and tools, carefully operate, load, unload, inspect parts, take measurements, manage tools and tool life, make adjustments to account for ambient temperature, changes in the cutting coolant, tool wear, plating compensation, etc.. In a country where children or completely uneducated, unskilled people are doing a lot of the work and working ridiculously long hours with little supervision and being paid by quantity produced, you just don't get the same quality of parts, period. You'll get some good, some bad, a lot of variation, or a lot of bad. And guess what, you get those parts whether you like it or not, you get what you get, which means, the garbage gets sold right along side the good parts.

Yes, they may own the same CNC machines and yes, they may use the "same" metal (it's not always the same, some of their metal is just garbage, it has impurities and other contaminants in that aren't supposed to be there that cause all sorts of problems during manufacturing). Is it possible to get a good part from China? Sure, are you going to consistently get the same quality of parts as a country using highly educated, higher paid employees who care about their job and enjoy what they do? Absolutely not.

And yes, you can get a good motorcycle part that will do its job and is made in China for less, I'm sure I own several. But don't go saying that Chinese manufacturing is top notch and equal or even close to manufacturing in any first world country when you have no experience in that area. That just isn't true and is a bit insulting to anyone who works in precision manufacturing here in the US or anywhere else in the world. Have proper expectations. Consider what the part is doing, and how critital it is that it function well or be manufactured well. If you're talking about frame sliders or swingarm spools, it's probably not super critical that they be manufactured correctly. But moving parts, controls especially that you use constantly while riding, I would consider buying higher quality parts that will have a better fit and finish and operate better for longer.

Furthermore, a lot of the products out there that look the same and cost about the same from different generic brands...guess what, they're made in the same factory by the same people with the same machines. Pick whichever one you want, they're often the same parts.
 

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I will certainly concede that China has a way to go as far as consistency is concerned, but they have made huge leaps forward in quality over the last couple decades.

They are now the #1 producer of CNC-made parts in the world and they DO have state-of-the art factories with the best available milling machines doing the majority of that work.

I very seriously doubt that ANY children, unskilled and/or uneducated workers are operating CNC milling machines. And a Mom & Pop CNC operation running out of a shack somewhere would be a rarity. Leasing machines would be out of reach for any small business (it's not common in China except in the very large-scale companies) and the cost of a CNC machine isn't within reach of anyone like that. Even the small Prototyping mills cost $6,000 to $12,000. Small verticals cost $35,000 to $50,000 new, larger ones are in the $100,000 to $250,000 range and for large-scale production you're looking at several Million $ to get started.

The stock R3 levers are made from pot metal and have lots of play in them, but will function safely and perfectly well for the projected lifespan of the bike. The Yamaha quality control legal team would not allow otherwise.

Cheap doesn't equate to unsafe in this case, though it may in others. My adjustable Chinese levers may not be the fanciest looking but they look pretty darn good (especially compared to the stock levers) and function perfectly well (the clutch lever even uses the stock R3 bushing and O ring and has almost NO play as fitted). They're T6061-T6 aluminum and cost me $37.00 shipped.

Quality parts CAN be made that don't cost an arm and two legs.

I DO have experience in this area. I once worked for a small local company that made thin metal parts, using multiple processes including elctro-plating, laser cutting and etching. Our primary customers were design engineers and inventors who wanted small batch prototypes made for testing and proof of concept purposes.

Once final designs were produced and tested, most of those were then sent to overseas production facilities (probably 75% to China/Taiwan/Hong Kong) for the large production runs. Once all the set-up was completed by the production engineers in the manufacturing country the first batch of parts was sent back to us for quality control inspection before mass production was signed off on.

Many of the Chinese (and Thai, Indonesian or Malaysian) companies doing the production were ISO 9001 certified and had ongoing quality and safety inspections to ensure consistency. I've been to some of their factories and seen first hand how they make stuff. Including CNC Climate-controlled "Clean Rooms" and other Precision Manufacturing areas. And that was 10 years ago and I know for a fact that they've come a long way since then. It's insulting to the Chinese to say they can't match us, or any other country, in manufacturing. Fortunately, the days of tired old slogans like "The West is the Best & The East is the Least" is long gone and it's mere hubris to believe otherwise.

China isn't a 3rd world country anymore and their manufacturing can match any country in the world. Does all of China's manufacturing meet that high standard? Absolutely not! Does all of the U.S.'s manufacturing? Also, not!

Companies like PAZZO and CRG are definitely Boutique Producers (that's the industry term for them, not an attempt by me to insult them), making small batches of product. Great products, sure, but the low production runs equate to high prices. I'd love to have a set of CRG's or PAZZO's on my R3 but I don't have deep pockets. I'd love to own a Ferrari or a Tesla also but I make do with my "lowly" Scion xB. And considering the quality control problems Ferrari & Tesla have had over the years I'd bet my Scion is much more reliable in the long run.

Could China take a set of PAZZOs and make knock-offs with the same quality? Sure, and I'd bet someone in China has done exactly that, as well as someone making an inferior, but still safe, set of cheap counterfeit ones.

There are certainly cases of bad products being made, as in India with the KTM RC390 and Duke 390 wheels, where some were shattering when hitting potholes due to porous castings. This tends to be uncommon and gets corrected very quickly if a company wants to stay in business. Teething problems on new products are the norm and are quickly corrected.

As far as U.S. manufacturing goes, we've been on a downhill trajectory for many years due to the WTO and Free Trade Policies making it more profitable for U.S. companies (read: Corporate Greed) to either move their factories overseas or out-source production from offshore companies.

The number of highly skilled workers in the U.S. is pitifully inadequate and many companies here have had to bring in foreign designers and engineers (on H1-B and L-1 visas) to fill the void. A great many of those come from India and China and are all highly educated and skilled.

I'm sincerely glad that you like your job and care about quality in your work. Good on ya for that! I really mean that. But I think it's ludicrous to think that all, or even most, American workers in manufacturing "care about their job and enjoy what they do". I certainly haven't seen that. Can they still make quality products, sure, since keeping their job depends on it. But, in my experience at least, to most of them it's "just a job & a paycheck".

China has gone through the same timeline as Japan as far as manufacturing goes; from making cheap, shoddy goods to making high quality goods, over a period of a couple decades. Have they finished that transition yet? No, but it's only a matter of time. In the meantime, I still say you can easily get high quality parts for your R3 from Asia.

Let's not overlook the fact that the R3 itself is made in Indonesia, to Yamaha standards, and it's "A Good Piece of Kit"!:) Does it have some issues? Sure, but it's a low cost bike that was intended to be a Beginner Biike, built to a price point to be competitive with it's rivals. Still, all in all........
 

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The only part that I'm going to bother with is that you are seriously missing the issue at hand here:

"As far as U.S. manufacturing goes, we've been on a downhill trajectory for many years due to the WTO and Free Trade Policies making it more profitable for U.S. companies (read: Corporate Greed) to either move their factories overseas or out-source production from offshore companies.

The number of highly skilled workers in the U.S. is pitifully inadequate and many companies here have had to bring in foreign designers and engineers (on H1-B and L-1 visas) to fill the void. A great many of those come from India and China and are all highly educated and skilled."

The problem with US manufacturing shipping jobs overseas is not born with the company's greed, it's born with customers not wanting to pay to support US manufactured goods. Demand is always the driver, not supply. If you want to make a change to US manufacturing, it starts with you, the customer, supporting the companies that are fighting for that change. If you want companies to make good products in the US where costs are higher, than you have to be willing to support companies in the US making good products with higher costs.
 

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I agree with that. As long as there is demand for $4 T-shirts from WalMart, possibly made by children in Pakistan or wherever, companies will provide that. But greed is always a factor in play in any corporate business where management must appease stockholders by maximizing profits at any costs. And when I say Corporate, I'm talking Corporation with a Capital C, the big global conglomerates, where Greed is undeniably a primary factor in business decisions. Small corporations generally act differently.

Typical scenario is “700 U.S. workers lose their jobs because a company moved the business to China? Well, the stockholders demand a decent dividend and return on their investment, so it had to be done. We just can’t compete with labor costs for workers of just $2.00 a day”.

Patented $13 pill suddenly costs $750? Pure Greed. Now, the type of American company that I can really get behind is like the one that just announced it’s going to sell a compounded version of that pill for $1, and STILL make significant profits. We need more businesses like that.

For better or worse, 1st World economies are driven by consumption and consumers are the real job-creators. No consumption = no jobs.

The Middle Class can generally (though less now so than 8 years ago) afford to make an informed choice and spend a little more to buy a higher quality U.S., or even locally-made, product, and support U.S. businesses.

The poor have fewer options and for them it can come down to “buy that cheap product from the Dollar Store or do without”.

To use an example from the forum: $1150 shock from a U.S. company? Same shock for $700 from a Thai company? I personally can’t afford either, but if I could I’d be placing that order in Thai. Difference of only $50, I'd be ordering in English. Plus, there's nothing to stop an American company from buying a dozen or more of those shocks from the Thai company and selling them in the U.S. for $850.00, making the same profit AND giving the U.S. buyer a better deal. All 3 benefit that way, so it's a Win-Win-Win situation!

I try to support local businesses whenever possible and attempt to buy fewer, better, things that I know will last but as I stated, I don’t have deep pockets, being semi-retired, and have to try to “get the most for the least” for my hard-earned money. That being said, I DO have my limits and I won’t buy from places like WalMart or Amazon (because of how they treat their employees) or Starbucks (because of their predatory business model).

We are all part of a global economy now, like it or not, and buying a product made in a less-developed country raises us all up a little bit.
 

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I re-read your reply and was amazed at the sheer arrogance of some of it. To state that “ (I don't mean push the button and throw a part in a bin, that's what you get overseas)” is patently ridiculous. If you had visited some of the Chinese State-of-the Art Precision Machining factories in Chongqing, Shenzen, Guangdong or Shanghai (and I HAVE) you’d understand that they are as good as any in the world.

Thye're using the latest model Haas, Okuma, Hanwha and Mori Seiki mills and Mazak lathes, making parts for all industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical and defense. They’re even using the same Brown & Sharpe inspection equipment (in climate-controlled rooms) that we used at the company I worked for here in Colorado.

The software engineers, Cad-Cam designers, engineers, and machine operators in these plants are as smart, talented, dedicated and skilled as their counterparts in ANY country. To state otherwise is just plain ignorant.

Your words: “But don't go saying that Chinese manufacturing is top notch and equal or even close to manufacturing in any first world country when you have no experience in that area. That just isn't true and is a bit insulting to anyone who works in precision manufacturing here in the US or anywhere else in the world.”

Why would the fact that precision manufacturing workers in ANY other country can match American workers for quality and precision be insulting. That’s not any reflection on you or any person that works in the industry. It’s a reflection on just how far those other countries have come in recent decades. That should be celebrated, not denigrated.
 
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