If you have ridden Enduro or MX bikes then the chances are you have snapped or bent at least one clutch or brake lever in your life time. If not, you either have a set of wrap around reinforced hand guards or you need to go away and try harder! Even the smallest bend to a lever can ruin a days riding with levers smashing into knuckles or slipping off just at the wrong time and if it snapps too short its a ride ending moment.
There are a number of solution, fit wrap around style hand guards, these are good (essential for harder Enduro events IMO) but there is a slight increase to the risk of breaking a wrists in an accident should your hand get caught. Flexible levers are another option, typically most on the market flex up or down and obviously the clutch can already bend toward the handlebars 😉 Some clutches like the Brembo units have a small amount of outward flex built in. This typically isn’t much (I’ve bent two standard levers in two months). Enter the Renthal Intellilever Gen 2!
The Renthal blurb says:
The revolutionary design of the Gen2 Intellilever allows the lever to dislocate during a crash, then easily pop back into place. The design of the lever allows it to dislocate in a full 270 degrees of motion in any direction, not just up and down or forward like most other unbreakable levers on the market. Improvements to rider ergonomics, finish, fit, feel and function are all part of the new Gen2 Intellilever.
At RR we say, it does all that, and makes your mates look silly if they lean on your clutch lever! But we digress, notice here we are talking about the gen2 version of Intellilever, this is available as a complete clutch perch or as a lever assembly. We have hold of the lever assembly for the KTM 6 Days long-termer. This in theory allows for direct replacement of the stock Brembo lever. The unit was purchased from a nameless online retailer specified for the 2015 Six Days. Upon receipt the box said clearly 2006-2013. Its true the bikes use the same master cylinder for the hydraulic clutch however the 2014-215 bikes have hand-guards that bind on the lever. Our resident spanner monkey was able to shave away the required amount of plastic from the inside of the hand-guard to allow the lever to fit. Only time will tell if this has weakened the hand-guard too much. Fitting the lever (our fitment issues aside) is a simple task and should take no more than a few minutes, good quality instructions are included but you will need to be able to read in order to use them.
So how does the system work? The Renthal Intellilever is a two part design with the lever hub being connected to the lever arm by a spring and cable design. Pulling the lever towards the bars locks into the keyed connection point between the two lever halves and results in a solid lever feel with no flex. Place enough pressure in any other direction and the spring compresses allowing the lever to move as per the snazzy diagram above, release the pressure and the lever moves back into place. We have noted during testing that the lever does not always snap back into the correct position and sometimes requires a quick pull after dislocation to ensure it seats properly. An inconvenience much smaller than trying to fit a replacement lever whilst the clock ticks by.
Intellilever mmmmmmm Intellilever.
The construction of the lever is from the (and I quote) “finest aluminium available”, no doubt this is escorted on beds of rose petals and Lilly pads before being smelted and hard anodised to ensure the joint is not chewed into a million pieces by the Intellilever spring. Joking aside it is certainly of good quality construction. Maintenance is a matter of keeping dirt out of the spring and a little PTFE or WD40 type spray to lubricate and prevent corrosion.
- It’s a bendy lever in all the right ways and not the wrong way
- Extra level of adjustment on Brembo Hydraulic Clutches
- Pricey (circa £70 per lever)
- May not work with all hand-guards even factory ones
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