Motorcycle Control Parts Guide

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In this article, I will be creating a reference guide on the majority of basic/common components & parts of a motorcycle along with a brief description of what the device does and where it may be found on a motorcycle. 

Hand Controls

  • Clutch Lever

The clutch lever is located in front of the left handgrip along the handlebar. To use the clutch lever: Use your left hand to variably pull the clutch lever in towards the grip. Using this control separates power from the motor to the rear wheel.

  • Front Brake Lever

The front brake lever is located in front of the right handgrip along the handlebar. To use the brake lever: Use your right hand to apply/pull the brake lever towards the grip. The more force or pressure applied to the brake lever directly controls how much braking force is applied to the front wheel.

  • Throttle 

The throttle is built into the right handgrip To use the throttle: Place the right hand on the grip and twist the handgrip. The more you twist the grip, the more fuel gets delivered to the motor resulting in more power/higher RPMs from the motor.

  • Tech & Accessories

Adjustable Pull-In-Distance with Clutch & Brake Levers: This accessory or mod typically is found as an aftermarket part. It allows people with shorter hands or people that want to adjust how far they have to reach/where the controls activation points are in their travel range.

  • Motorcycle clutch lever

Short Hand Levers: This type of lever takes customizing your controls one step further by shortening the lever length to require fewer fingers being necessary for the control (typically allowing for only 2 fingers to be used). 

This type of Accessory/Mod is usually done by people that race motorcycles (for most riders this mod is not recommended especially to new street riders).

Riding Handgrips: Every motorcycle has handgrips on either side of the handlebar, but there size and styling can vary depending on the type of bike you have. The grips can usually be swapped out for different styles usually for aesthetic purposes.

Other reasons to change the handgrip are:

  1. For a different size grip or material
  2. To add a feature like heated handgrips

Some handgrips have sliders on the end to help prevent serious damage to you or your bike in the event of a simple fall.

Throttle Locks & Cruise Control: Throttle locks are typically aftermarket devices that mount onto the throttle side grip to prevent the throttle from returning to a neutral or to the idle position. And when the grip is let go of, to maintain an RPM that will hold a wanted speed. 

True cruise control is very rarely added after the fact due to the amount of work that would be needed to install correctly. If a bike has cruise control, the bike likely came with it.

Handlebars: Most motorcycles have aftermarket handlebar replacement options or have factory handlebars that can be adjusted to modify body, limb, wrist and/or hand position. 

Some people take it too far, I think, but to each their own.

  • Rear Brake Pedal

This brake pedal control is found in front of the right-hand side footpeg. To use the rear brake pedal: Using the Ball of your right foot, push down on the pedal. The more force used on the brake pedal, the more braking power is delivered to the rear wheel.

  • Gear Shifter

The gear shifter is the control on a motorcycle that changes the transmission’s gears up or down. Scooters and a few automatic motorcycles may not have this control. There are also some motorcycles that have paddle or button shifting as an option but are few and far between.

To use the gear shift: With your left foot. Use the ball of your foot to push down for downshifting and use the top of your foot “base of your toes area” to push up on the lever to shift up a gear.

The gear shifter operates sequentially, meaning you have to go through each gear and can’t skip any. The lever itself operates like a ratchet, after changing gears either up or down, you have to let the lever reset itself to the middle position before you can change gears again.

  • Pegs

The pegs are for resting and protecting your feet as well as to give you a reference point for using your foot controls. 

You can have your feet in one of two positions:

  • Have the ball of your foot on the peg and move it forward and back on the controls as needed 
  • Have the heal or crest of your foot on the peg but your foot pointed outwards (the foot can get caught on the road in turns). Your feet just don’t want to be hovering over/under the control.

This is the complete guide to motorcycle control parts.

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