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Discussion Starter #1
Bought some new levers for the KVS and they worked great until the front brake just randomly locks up while riding. It’s gradual too. It locks up over about 10-15 seconds. I remove the handle, install it (to get out of the road and all), and then brakes are fine. It’s done this twice. Only had them for two days.
 

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New levers shouldn't have anything to do with your brakes locking up. Did you install the stock OEM bushings from the old levers? Did you make sure the cable isn't binding or kinked? I would take them off and retrace your steps to see what you may have done to cause this very unsafe situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There were no bushings on the levers. I have never had a problem with my brakes until the levers. The only thing I can think of is that I have the wrong levers. It does look like they push against the button behind the lever a little bit while it is not being squeezed. Once the brake fluid heats up, it expands and pushes the little button out against the lever. I just don't understand why it would be fine once I remove and then reinstall the lever.
 

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You MUST!!!! reuse the Bushings from the Old Levers on the new Levers or the New levers will not function properly!!!!! This seems to be a common oversight people are making.
 

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The Bushings are silver cylinder shaped that go into the round opening of the new levers in order to fit properly. I don't have a picture of the bushings but here is a picture of my levers I used. You can clearly see the round opening where the bushing goes into.
 

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There is no bushing for the brake lever. I misspoke my saying levers. At least mine didn't have one.
Your stock OEM levers do have bushings. Your new ones may not. That's why you reuse the OEM bushings in your New Aftermarket levers. Or they will not fit properly and will be loose and could cause issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your stock OEM levers do have bushings. Your new ones may not. That's why you reuse the OEM bushings in your New Aftermarket levers. Or they will not fit properly and will be loose and could cause issues.
I'll double check the old lever when I get home. I still don't understand why the brake would start locking up.
 

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Not sure why it would lock up either. Doesn't make any sense. I may have been wrong about the bushing. I think it may only be necessary on the clutch side. It's been a while since I did mine. I thought it was on both levers but it could have just been on the Clutch side. Check the tension on the brake cable and make sure that barrel nut isn't twisted. Something definitely isn't right and it's not safe to ride it like that.

If you suspect the levers I would put the OEM levers back on and see if it still does it.
 

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Yes, you only need to use the brass bushing on the clutch side. Aftermarket (at least the ones I have) have the brake side hole made to fit the stock shouldered bolt. The front brake works off the master cylinder. There’s no adjustment or cable. Your master cylinder piston may be jamming. Your not supposed to remove it when changing levers either. Check and see if the plunger is moving freely when you use your lever and make sure you didn’t overtighten the nut. If you still have problems, switch back to your OEM lever and see if the problem goes away. Who knows if that aftermarket lever is made correctly. There’s so many out there to buy now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I’m just going to put the original lever back on and see if it happens again. I’ll inspect everything in the process. I bent the tab accidentally on the new lever anyway after the first time it locked up. So it’s a little ugly at the moment. Only paid $25 for them. So not too upset if they are the problem. Hell, I hope they are the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So it locked up again on the way home. Luckily there was no traffic. After I took off the new lever and put in the old, there is definitely a defect in the new one. The old one doesn’t apply any pressure at all on the button behind it. The new lever did. Which I think is the reason it would lock up as the brake fluid heated up and expanded. Going to look for a better quality lever I guess. Stupid eBay... :/
 

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Just a thought outside of the levers... when I bleed my brake system it says it's very important not to leave an air bubble in the brake lines, because a bubble of air will expand as it heats up, slowly applying the brake until it locks up. Just giving you another thought as to what might be happening. Good luck with the new levers.
 

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So it locked up again on the way home. Luckily there was no traffic. After I took off the new lever and put in the old, there is definitely a defect in the new one. The old one doesn’t apply any pressure at all on the button behind it. The new lever did. Which I think is the reason it would lock up as the brake fluid heated up and expanded. Going to look for a better quality lever I guess. Stupid eBay... :/
Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to double check mine now also. I put new ones on, but never rode the bike with them yet however. Jamming levers & locking brakes are not good!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just a thought outside of the levers... when I bleed my brake system it says it's very important not to leave an air bubble in the brake lines, because a bubble of air will expand as it heats up, slowly applying the brake until it locks up. Just giving you another thought as to what might be happening. Good luck with the new levers.


Thanks. I thought about that but I haven’t done anything else with the brakes and I didn’t have the problem until after the install. I let the bike cool down and went for another ride with the original levers. No issues. I think it’s just a defect or the fact that I bought a cheap no name brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to double check mine now also. I put new ones on, but never rode the bike with them yet however. Jamming levers & locking brakes are not good!


Good luck! I hope yours work well. I’m sure they will. I’ve read about people having the same issue but with brake levers that do actually have a bushing. I’m pretty sure mine just have too much of a hump that is pushing in the button behind he lever.
 

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I had the same problem with some cheap levers I bought on AliExpress. They claimed to be for our VS and initially they fit but the next day when I rode to work the front wheel locked up after just 5km. I had to get my wife to bring the original lever so I could do a roadside repair to get to work.
The problem is the cam lobe on the lever itself where it presses the small piston on the master cylinder is too big and applies a very slight amount of pressure to the brake while it's at rest. When the heat builds up from dragging the brake it gradually locks until it seizes the wheel.
I fixed mine by making a template from the OEM lever and grinding the new lever to the same shape with a dremmel. I had to take as much as 5mm off to get it right.
No problem since after 1000's of kms later but if you're not skilled at precision fitting then I suggest you send em back and get a refund asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I had the same problem with some cheap levers I bought on AliExpress. They claimed to be for our VS and initially they fit but the next day when I rode to work the front wheel locked up after just 5km. I had to get my wife to bring the original lever so I could do a roadside repair to get to work.

The problem is the cam lobe on the lever itself where it presses the small piston on the master cylinder is too big and applies a very slight amount of pressure to the brake while it's at rest. When the heat builds up from dragging the brake it gradually locks until it seizes the wheel.

I fixed mine by making a template from the OEM lever and grinding the new lever to the same shape with a dremmel. I had to take as much as 5mm off to get it right.

No problem since after 1000's of kms later but if you're not skilled at precision fitting then I suggest you send em back and get a refund asap.


That’s exactly what I figured was happening. I thought about doing the same thing but the first time it happened i almost got in an accident and when I tried to figure out what was going on, I accidentally pushed the lever back too hard and bent the tab that the spring rests against. So now it’s ugly. I’ll just get a new set.
 
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