I found myself circling my b-King again wondering "what next"?
The bike is really getting that touch street fighter look specially sense I
installed the Oberon bar end mirrors. As I made my way around the back and
to the front it hit me. The Two Brothers M2 exhaust has gold power tips and
a gold space all very visible. The tops of the fork dampening adjusters are
gold or brass as well. So why not gold levers. Soon I was off in cyber land
traveling all over the united states and Europe at the speed of light
(almost) searching for the perfect lever set. As an ex-dirt bike rider the
manufacturer ASV came to mind. They are a very high quality lever with a 5
year guaranteed that if you break them they will replace them. The also come
with a very hefty price tag of $135 each. Once I decided that this was the
lever set for me I placed my order with Cycle Gear. One week later the
levers were in my hands and I was setting up my camera gear. I normally
wouldn't video tape lever install but this one has had it's issues out there
in rider land. There have been many people who were not informed of an issue
with the clutch switch tabs that ship with the levers. Apparently if you use
the Suzuki tabs on the Suzuki B-king and I think Hayabusa as well, the end
result is a err code displayed on the instrument panel and the engines
ignition tries to cut out. Apparently the switch does not come into full
contact with the tab and this becomes an issue. The B-King forum had several
posts today alone. I contacted my nephew at Cycle Gear and he called the
manufacturer and they told him to make sure the Kawasaki-Yamaha tabs are
used. They are the largest of the tabs.
Armed with this information I felt a bit more confident. When I first read
the complaints I was concerned to say the least. With camera and tripod in
hand I went out to the garage. The levers were very nicely packaged and
everything was present and accounted for. The installation was pretty
straight forward. I disassembled the clutch lever first. Be careful not to
lose the brass bushing that engages the push rod as it is used with
the new levers. The install of the clutch lever took about 15 minutes and
allot of that was me messing with the video camera so all of you could see
close-ups of the switch in question. Once the lever was in place I inserted
the flat tip bolt and then the lock nut with about 5 ft lbs of torque.
I quickly moved on to the brake lever. On this side you have to install a
new push rod which ASV provides. Also installed is a new bushing that makes
contact with the brake push rod. On this side you install the Suzuki pad.
This makes contact with the brake switch that turns on the brake light. Once
the lever was in place I installed the mounting hardware and again tighten
it up to about 5 ft lbs. of torque.
Once the levers were installed the next and very important step is to make
sure the bike does not start in gear. I put the bike in gear with the
ignition on and depressed the start button. As it should be, the bike did
not start. Once I pulled in the clutch with the bike in neutral to life cam
the mighty 1340cc beast.
Now it was time to put on my riding gear and take it out on the road for a
test ride. I rode a block then pulled over and made a few minor adjustments.
The levers felt great as I rode down the road back to my house. The install
was a success and I did not encounter the problem that others have.
Now the bad news!
As always I always revisit my posts after
some miles of road test. In my opinion the ASV levers have
failed the Road-Quest.com road test. Here is what went wrong.
The levers are a universal fit. The kit comes
with clutch and brake switch tabs for several manufacturers.
Although they looked great and appeared well built they were not
designed for the Suzuki B-king. To get the optimal clutch
adjustment and avoid a clunky transition from neutral to 1st
gear, the lever position was insanely far from the grip. I have
large hands and I had issues with this. There was about a 1/4
inch of play between the bushing and the clutch slave piston.
There was no spring to take up this play. The laver basically
can move back and fourth all the while moving the clutch switch
in and out. This in turn, caused the bike to throw a FI error on
the panel and the bike started cutting out, lunging and bucking.
This occurred twice. One of which was in a turn at 40 mph. The
product to me is a safety issue and I have removed the levers.
Follow up... I have been in touch with ASV
Inventions and discussed the matter with Robert Morales. He was
very helpful and it seems there has been some inaccurate
communication from an employee to the public regarding whether
the levers are for a B-king. As it turns out the clutch lever is
not the proper fit for the B-king. The tab for the clutch switch
is not a proper fit as well as the fit of the rest of the lever.
It is recommended that if you have these levers on your B-king
you should contact ASV at the email address or phone number
below. Here is what ASV had to say.
"For the record- We do
not make a B-King Clutch lever.
Our part Number BRC511 BRAKE LEVER does fit and work properly
for the brake system, but the CRC545 CLUTCH LEVER which is made
for other Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha model clutch applications
does not properly fit the 2008-2009 Suzuki B-King.
If you or any of your forum members need any tech support from
ASV Inventions, please contact the ASV tech support dept. at
1-877-278-7000 ext 123 or
ASV Inventions, Inc."
I'm all for giving ASV a
fair chance to right things and have offered to evaluate a new
B-king lever if they chose to build one. Robert accepted and
will be shipping the new lever set to me as soon as it's ready.
Check back in 25 days or so for updates. I will post information
as I get it.
Update: I broke any communications on this
subject with ASV after being told by Robert Morales (owner ASV)
that they were too busy fulfilling new orders for "paying
customers" and didn't have time to ship me a set. So here is my
opinion... ASV makes a good lever for most bikes. I have had a
horrible experience with the owner and the service provided to
me when engaging them to resolve a major flaw in their product
(B-king Levers). Because of this I will not in good conscience
send anyone in their direction and recommend other great options
like Pazzo who has great customer service according to others in
the B-king forum. While I was getting the run around and empty
promises with ASV, Pazzo stepped up and made a lever for the
B-king and they got it right the first time.