Pretzel

I like bagels. 🙂 Those traditional, from Cracow. I liked them since I was a kid. I come from Cracow, so as a child I had opportunities to eat lots of them. In my opinion, the best are with sesame. I like pretzels too but as for me, it is a bagel copycat. I have never checked what was first – pretzel or bagel. 😉 Although, what KTM used in their 690 Enduro many years after the recipe for baked goods has been perfected, is missing the good taste. By users very often called “pretzel”.

When a motorcycle is parked, one unlucky drop can cause rear brake lever to be pushed against clutch cover, leaving a little dent in it. Another drop and another cut. And so on… After a few like this, the cover will have a small puncture. I do not think I have to write anything more about it… Additionally, crashing to a side while riding can twist the lever into funny shapes reminding aforementioned baked goods. 

It is true we still try to master offroad skills. Due to the learning curve, we drop motorcycle more often than we would like to. After a few drops clutch cover had small cuts and brake lever took a slightly different shape. This time I managed to square it up, but next time material it is made of may not hold the tension.

The genuine brake lever is very thin, fragile and too “bendy”. I do not want to think what constructor had in mind while creating it – his problem. My concern was to replace it with something more bulletproof. There are few companies on a market that offer aftermarket parts. As my friends like to say: “Good things have to cost its price”, but I add to it “…or you have to search good not to overpay”. 😉 When I searched for a lever replacement, I had to take into account budget planned for modifications. I could not afford to take too much out of a piggy bank, as we would go bankrupt before we even leave for a journey. 😉

I was during the search when on Facebook KTM 690 Enduro / Husky 701 fun page a friend announced releasing a test batch of his products. I found a rear brake lever on a list as well. After talking to Wojtek from 3D Moto and getting some information and pictures of a lever, I ordered two for our bikes. A price for one was almost the same as for genuine unit from KTM (but half of a price of other aftermarket competitors), but construction did have nothing common with its prototype.

The new brake lever is massive. The arm is much thicker and taller what makes it much tougher. It is heavy as well, weighs 302 grams – 173 grams more of used material, which reinforces its construction. The weight is very important to us and every gram counts. But firstly, a lever is installed at the bottom and does not influence the motorbike centre of gravity. Secondly, I prefer to have a heavier but more resistant unit. Due to the above reasons, we called it “Fat Bertha”. 😉

Assembly did not cause me a problem and all elements fitted well. I was also able to properly adjust the lever position. With a genuine, I did not have enough adjustment on a bolt and brake pump to get it how I liked it. I could not lower it far enough, and while sitting I had to lift my heel off the footrest to properly control rear brake. Wojtek confirmed he changed arm angle a little bit as he experienced a similar issue when riding his motorcycle. If someone prefers to have it a bit higher, there is still a lot of room to lift it up.

In front of a lever, there is a small hole which has been made to pull a steel wire through it and attach to an engine guard. So-called „snake” gives extra protection to the lever during the crash. Properly installed steel wire reinforces the construction, not allowing the lever to be bent out. It also decreases the possibility of branches getting stuck between the lever and the engine, what can happen to a person riding through a thick bush.

As a test batch needs to prove its usability and durability, we could not fail the designer. During the return after the winter break (which I spent on bikes modifications), I “ploughed” somebody’s field with the lever and experienced few bike drops. 😉 I did not want it, but as it happened it was good to check if anything has suffered. Luckily, including brake lever, everything held its shape. 🙂

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3 Comments

Borys · 2 November 2019 at 13:00

I’m glad to see Fat Bertha hard working on your bikes Folks!
Hope she’s going to keep well trough the whole your Long Journey!
Best Regards,
Borys (Wojtek).

    Luki · 13 November 2019 at 18:36

    Hi Wojtek.
    I think it proved it’s reliability and strength to me. Albania roads on our recent Eurotrip helped with more tests 😉 Except a nice groove left by a stone during one of the crashes Monika had, it works great!!
    Thanks once again!

John · 29 May 2021 at 21:43

Looks dangerous. What if your foot slips off the peg, and onto your rear brake? I always want to lift my toes to activate the brake, so that I can not accidentally activate the brake.

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