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The Ultimate LHRB -The "TWO" by CLAKE Australia

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For those of you who don't know who CLAKE are, they are an Australian company who specialise in the design and in-house manufacture of advanced controls for motorcycles. Let me start by saying that other than lending them my bike to test stuff on I am on no way affiliated with the company, I just like what they do, they are only 1/2 hour down the road and they are one of the remaining few of a dying breed -an Australian manufacturing company. I'd imagine that you star spangle bannered dirt-bike riding cousins can appreciate this... Anyway, CLAKE has been around for many years, their first product was the CLAKE Pro-Lever which is a combination clutch and rear-brake on one lever. Basically the CLAKE replaces the clutch lever and as you pull the lever in, the first part of the travel is the clutch and at an adjustable point in the travel the lever starts feeding on rear brake.

Next was the CLAKE "ONE", a light pull single-finger clutch that uses a spring to make the clutch lighter. The assistance provided by the spring is adjustable so the clutch can be as heavy as standard or as light (or even lighter) than a trials bike.

Recently I've been trying out a prototype of the latest product from the CLAKE, the TWO.
Basically the TWO is an innovative way to combine the clutch and the rear brake, with seperate levers. There are a few key differences between the TWO and any other Left Hand Rear Brake (LHRB) setups, in a nutshell they are:

1. The brake lever operates on the same plane as the clutch lever so the rider doesn't have to move their hand to reach for the LHRB. There is a "loop" in the brake lever that enables it to run past the clutch lever without you finger hitting it (see photo's below)
2. The Brake is VERY powerful and can be adjusted via the use of cams. I had to fit a "gentler" brake cam to mine in order to provide the feel required for my somewhat un-coordinated left middle finger, I'd imagine once I get a better feel for it I could go for a little more power but I'm not sure if it would be of any use.
3. The Clutch features a similar spring assistance mechanism to the ONE, so once again via the use of interchangeable and infinitely adjustable cams (well there 400 different ones to choose from), the clutch can be set to anywhere from the weight of a standard clutch to so light that's it's difficult to control. The "curve" of the clutch assistance can also be altered in order to account for clutches with different feels like a KTM bevel-spring unit or a Rekluse auto-clutch.
4. The TWO features the ability to dial in "overlap" between the clutch and brake, so the last part of the clutch lever travel can feed on rear brake like a CLAKE Pro Lever or conversely the last part of the brake lever travel can feed on some clutch, creating a LHRB with an automatic slipper clutch!

The result is a super light clutch with an amazingly easy to reach, very powerful LHRB with the ability to independently adjust virtually ever aspect of the clutch and brake feel as well as overlap them if desired.

Ride Impressions (after 2 rides):

Angel Gear
I run a Rekluse on my bike and I prefer to ride technical terrain so I'm no stranger to the Rekluse angel-gear. I've have had some monumental crashes on steep hills as a result of accidentally rolling backwards once I come to a stop, or worse still, flipping the bike whist trying to stop it from rolling backwards by holding throttle on.
The TWO is a very effective method of eliminating the angel-gear issue. The LHRB lever is easy to reach in a panic and it has ample power to hold the bike on the steepest of slopes. It also makes taking off on a hill easy for rekluse owners because you can basically hold the brake on, feed the throttle on, then slowly release the brake. This gives better control of the torque being delivered to the rear wheel than using the throttle alone and traction is even easier to find...
I was riding at the Wildwood rock extreme endure complex on the weekend and tackled all of the hardest slopes and sections, including the "pro-line" through the Beta rock garden. Thanks to the TWO I made it through all of the difficult bits with zero angel gear issues and by the end of the first lap "angel gear fear" was but a distant memory and confidence levels were up.

Before fitting the TWO I never realised how much the application of the rear brake foot lever when riding down hills on the pegs twists the body and throws the riders ballance out. If the rider is on the pegs with their weight back as far as possible, the natural tendency is the point their toes up. In order to get to the traditional rear brake pedal, the right foot is pointed so the riders hips are twisted anti-clockwise and the right leg is totally tensed in order to provide adequate feel to the pedal. By using a LHRB instead, the right toe can be pointed up just like the left one and the riders hips can be alighned with the bike. Combine this with the ability to relax the right leg and the result is an instantly noticeable ability to better manouvere the bike from side to side and a greater overall feel of control. With more control comes more confidence and with more confidence comes more speed which in turn makes things easier due to the incease gyros etc and the whole thing snowballs from there. It didn't come naturally at first, but thaks to some timely advice from Cowpat I started conciously using the LHRB instead of the pedal. Once I figured out how to do it and realised how much easier it made the gnarly rocky downhills it clicked within 1/2 a lap (15 minutes) and I pretty much used the LHRB on all of the downhills from then on, especially as I started to get tired.

General riding/cornering
I struggled to come to terms with using the LHRB for general riding. I pretty much always have my finger on the clutch and use it a lot (even with the rekluse) so I never really got the hang of using the LHRB for cornering etc. There's many years of programming to undo there and we're talking about an old dog and a new trick so it will be a little while before it becomes anywhere near automatic however I can definintely see that it would be handy in some situaitons (off-camber right hander's for example). I know a few people who run a Clake Pro-lever and have subsequentally removed the rear brake pedal all together and they're no slouch on a bike so there's definately some merrit in the concept, it's just a matter of burning the LHRB pathways into my head...


Lastly, I did a one-take video review on my camera goggles, my apologies for the poor production qualities, it's the first time I've attempted such a thing...



The photo's below are of the prototype that I have fitted to my bike. The levers on the production unit will be one piece and substantially sexier...






I've also attached a couple of pics of the "ONE" that I was playing with for a while, it's a brilliant bit of kit, especially if you have a bike with a heavy clutch.





Lastly, I did a one-take video review on my camera goggles, my apologies for the poor production qualities, it's the first time I've attempted such a thing...








Edited by oakwombat
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