Don't do it.
One of the coolest parts of spending a whole bunch of your time on a single thing like motorcycling is that you live in that neighborhood long enough to see your knowledge grow. Usually, as a direct result of that growth, your perspectives also shift and change over time. You might, say, learn that a decision you made 9,000 miles ago was actually not that great—and, with any luck, simply switch it out for something better.
The story goes like this: I had a new-to-me bike, and I also have fairly small hands. The bike that was now mine had its standard levers on it—and they felt huge and uncomfortable. A pair of adjustable short levers seemed like just the thing. At the time, I also didn’t have a ton of money to spend.
So, I did what any number of people in my situation have done and still do—I headed off to the forums about my bike and researched what other people were doing. After careful consideration, I chose some anodized aluminum eBay specials, clicked “Buy It Now,” and waited for them to arrive.
They looked OK when they got here, and they didn’t feel terrible at first. Over time, the sun faded the “anodized aluminum,” so what had been black levers with red accents became almost gunmetal-y with pink accents. Still, that wasn’t the dealbreaker.
No, the reason I’d caution any and every rider against making this particular money-saving decision is this: There are no solid detents locking your adjustment settings in place after you decide how far out you want your levers to sit. That, my friends, is a safety issue waiting to happen.
After awhile, the vibrations on your bike could start to readjust your levers as you ride—completely without your knowledge. That’s bad enough, but even worse is if the little switch just keeps rotating around, and eventually sticks your lever out in an open position, so you can’t pull it in. Going to grab a handful of front brake and finding that your lever is stuck open and you can’t fully engage it would be a total nightmare.
In my case, while my levers did start adjusting themselves, thankfully I was always able to actually use both my clutch and my front brake before uninstalling those levers. However, I also made plans to replace the bad ones with some proper ones.
Before I could order them, my wonderful SO got me some gorgeous CRGs as a birthday gift. Neither of us is affiliated in any way with CRG or any dealer that sells them; we’re just two motorcyclists who buy things.
The craftsmanship on these things is truly beautiful. They look and feel fantastic, and while I’ve only had them on the bike for a few hundred miles, the feel is like night and day. Even when the cheap imitations were brand new, they never felt this good. Clicking the selectors to go between positions is incredibly satisfying and solid. They stay exactly where I put them, and the action is so smooth.
I’m not saying that you need to go buy these specific levers—but I am saying that cheap imitations can be an extremely unsafe way to save money on bike bits. So, make good decisions, ride happily and safely, and enjoy.