Dirt Rider - - Tested - —Sean Klinger

I’m too young to re­mem­ber plas­tic dirt bike levers, but it doesn’t take much imag­i­na­tion to see how that could be a hor­ri­ble idea. And when “com­pos­ite” levers came back on the mar­ket, that’s what a lot of peo­ple thought they were. But I can say that th­ese are def­i­nitely a whole dif­fer­ent thing from cheapo plas­tic levers.

Next Com­po­nents’ Smart Levers aren’t the first of the new gen­er­a­tion com­pos­ite levers on the mar­ket—that honor goes to the ARC Mem­lon levers. But, rather than piv­ots and springs to al­low a lever to move, not break, in the event of a crash, th­ese Smart Levers are made from a stiff but flex­i­ble com­pos­ite ma­te­rial that bends, rather than breaks. Next calls it LCP-10 Liq­uid Crys­tal Poly, and it has a slightly matte fin­ish that is grip­pier than glossy metal.

First off, I’m a huge fan of the Mem­lon levers—not just be­cause of their non-break­ing qual­i­ties, but I love the wide ver­ti­cal sur­face they have. They are just com­fort­able on my fin­gers and nice to pull. In that re­gard, the Next Com­po­nents levers seem a lit­tle slim­mer but still wider than typ­i­cal levers. One com­plaint some rid­ers had of the Mem­lon is that there was a small amount of flex when pulling in the lever, yet I didn’t have any flex with the Smart Levers. They are def­i­nitely stiffer, and rid­ers didn’t even no­tice that th­ese levers weren’t alu­minum when they hopped on the bike. We didn’t have any slams while test­ing the levers, but just bend­ing the levers with our hands, they are much harder to bend, and they snap back to their orig­i­nal shape on their own, rather than hav­ing to be bent back.

I do wish the clutch lever was ad­justable but, over­all, th­ese levers have a very sleek look and a cool de­sign that doesn’t use any hinges or springs and shouldn’t leave you with a DNF be­cause of a bro­ken lever. MATRIXRACINGPRODUCTS.COM (661) 253-1592


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