Give us a brake!
EP Front Brake Lever Protectors are fast becoming the accessory to have. But what is a brake lever protector?
First off, let’s start with a short history lesson. So-called an innovative safety component, the use of a front brake lever protector for racing was officially introduced as a statutory requirement to avoid accidental application of the front brake under racing conditions in 2011 by way of a ruling by the FIM, MotoGP’s ruling body.
One of the best examples of front brake-mishap occurred in 2006, when Ducati rider Sete Gibernau had a coming together with Loris Capirossi at the start of the Catalunya GP. Gibernau’s front brake accidentally went on as they collided and he and the bike went arse over apex. Several other riders went down as the result of flailing man and machine and all before the first corner. The introduction of brake lever protectors has dramatically reduced such incidents and, at the same time, saved teams a few Euros in damage repairs.
Strange but true, lever protectors have been around a lot longer than most would think but under a different name and for a different reason. Off-road bikes (motoX, rally raid etc) have worn hand paddles for many years to prevent stones hitting levers and the rider’s hands. In 1984, an Australian brand came to market with a simplified two-point mounted wraparound bar to save hands and levers being hit by tree branches, rock faces and whatever else these adventure bike riding-types come across. At a guess we’d say terra firma…
We are an honest bunch here at Evotech Performance and readily admit that we didn’t have time to develop brake lever protectors – fabricating our wide range of motorcycle accessories is a 24/6 occupation. Another reason is that our EP Short and Folding Brake and Clutch Levers are as popular as the day we first sold them. But then, one day in 2018, one of our supported BSB teams asked if could assist in further developing a brake lever protector already being used. So we did. The results of which are best given by a man who knows their worth.
Chris Anderson is the crew chief of Tarran Mackenzie, McAMS Yamaha and he recently had to say this about the EP Brake Lever Race Protector designed for the teams Yamaha R1 bikes: “The front brake lever protectors are mega; we haven’t yet had a lever snap-off with EP protectors in place.
“The front brake master cylinders are £2,500. We’ve had five crashes so far and not had to replace a lever let alone a master cylinder. What a saving! If I bought a road bike, a brake lever protector would be the first thing I’d buy. In fact, we sent three damaged – that’s damaged not broken – protectors back to Evotech Performance today for product evaluation purposes.”
Collaboration between Evotech Performance and its supported racing teams is quite important because of the feedback we receive. As a testing ground for some road-based EP accessories, the race track (short circuits and roads) is the perfect proving ground so as to speak. Because the McAMS brake lever protector worked right from the off, we finally produced a road-going version for the 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 followed by other models.
Further development with our supported race teams led to refinements of the racing brake lever protector, which inevitably filtered through to the road-going versions. Suffice to say, our EP Front Brake Lever Protector Kits are made in the same way (CNC machined from billet aluminium) and, on some models, feature a bespoke EP handlebar mounting system. As well as protecting the lever blade, it is also fair to say they actually provide a high level of protection to the brake master cylinder and switchgear as well. This makes them both suitable for track day and road use – especially road use when a matching EP Clutch Lever Protector or EP left bar end weight is used.