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Brake Lever Confusion

Download this guide in full with pictures PDF icon (62KB).


Members often wonder why I quiz them in great detail about their bike as there is a mistaken but common view that CZ and JAWA parts are the same. If only they were!


I hope to produce a few articles to show some of the differences and this is possible now we have our super laser printer, so this is Article One and we are looking at the alloy brake levers from a CZ model 472 and from a JAWA 638.

motorcycle brake levers


There are 2 pictures on this page showing the CZ and JAWA dogleg style levers and if you examine the picture above you can see that the top CZ lever has a rounder profile and different cut away near the bolt hole to the lower JAWA lever. In the lower picture you can see that when the levers are aligned they also have quite a different bend. There is no doubt that you could fit the JAWA lever to your CZ if you did some grinding away in the area above the bolt hole - to change the profile of the area that fits into the handlebar clamp. There has to be a severe risk of weakening the lever if you do this. That is not a chance worth taking with a brake lever though I would not worry much about modifying a clutch lever as there are less likely catastrophic circumstances if the lever snapped and you can always use the autoclutch mechanism to get home. Some JAWA’s had black plastic type levers which are fine if you have long fingers. These can be replaced with the alloy dogleg lever but you will have to replace the cables at the same time as the nipple ends are different. It is important to say if your bike has plastic levers when ordering cables.


There are also variations on earlier type levers so give whatever details you can when ordering. Making a pencil sketch outlining your lever (even if bent or broken) can help ensure you get the right part. A lever currently costs about £7.50 including postage.


By Pete Edwards


A parts request from Andy Williams at Worcester prompted this article. He has a crash damaged 472 and needed a lever and the cast alloy headlamp mounting brackets. I was unable to help with the brackets and suggested he had his original ones welded as that will probably be cheaper than buying new ones, if they are available. So the advice is 1) don’t crash 2) take care where you stand your bike 3) keep original parts until you get a replacement.


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