Brake lever has poor feel when adjusted in closer


Donating Member
When I got my bike I adjusted the brake lever so it was a little closer to the grips. Which made it easier to grab. I think I had the adjuster on 5. The lever has no effort until I pull it in at least 1/2 inch. I was playing around with it and if I set it at 1 it would have immediate effect. I ended leaving it at 2 which was a compromise between feel and making it easy to reach. Shouldn't the lever have the same feel no matter where it was adjusted? I was just wondering if anyone else had this problem or noticed it? I replaced all of the brake fluid in the front and bled them properly when I got the bike a few months back so I know that isn't the problem.
I imagine this is just due to the design of the levers and not just my bike, jut wanted a confirmation that others have this as well.
mine is set on 5 for two fingered action and it is the same as any other setting. I have been in the master cylinder and seen that it doesn't open and allow fluid in earlier for any of the settings. Dunno why yours is that way. Perhaps it is an optical-illusion or something...
I went out and double checked what the differences are. I think I have it figured out. When you change the adjuster the point of force actuated on the cylinder changes. On 1 it pushes on the side closer to the rider, it may also push on the whole cylinder. On 6 the point is more towards the headlight, and a smaller contact area. With the setting on 1 you get a more positive feel, with it set at 6 you really have to pull on the lever to get the same amount of braking force. It almost seems like the lever is bending when set at 6. On 1 or 2 there doesn't seem to be the same kind of feeling. The harder you pull the more it resists.
That bending lever feeling you are getting is probably the stock brake lines expanding. I presume you have stock brake lines? You should not get a different feel for each lever setting in a perfect world. They should be the same. The only difference of that adjustment is the distance from the grip the lever is at rest. The master cylinder piston should not be actuated any differently.

The 1/2inch you mention is probably the expantion of the stock brake hoses while they load up and absorb your squeeze on the lever. The rubber lines will balloon slightly and expand. Steel/carbon/Kevlar lines don't expand. They give you almost immediate braking as you move the lever. These line allow about 1/4" of lever movement (to cover the reserviour port with the master piston) and then they stop moving. You can feel the disk pads squeezing the rotors at that point. The harder you pull, the harder the squeeze on the rotor. There is very little movement though. It is just more feel of the braking action.

Is that what you are experiencing? I have changed over to steel lines on every bike I have owned because it feels so much better. The total braking is not much better, but you can feel the amount of braking at small levels. It is nice when you are leaned way over in a turn and have to lose some energy to stay on the road. You can feel the front end traction if it is about to give out and low side.
I have the stock lines but when I have the adjuster set at 1 or 2 I have MUCH better brake feel. Now I just put a slight pressure on the lever and the brakes engage without the 1/2 inch of movement on 6. It is strange since I am so used to 6 but I like the instant reaction I have now. Try putting it on 6 and then go back to 1 and you can feel a big difference. I was planning on getting steel lines for the better feel but I don't think I need them now since I am getting better feedback.
I put kevlar lines on and didn't hink I would feel much of a difference... I was wrong. The feedback is pretty awesome!