When I was looking for an aftermarket perch/lever setup for my crf450 I ended up pulling the trigger on a NEXT Generation Perch/Lever combo. When reading the marketing materials it was listed as a composite “unbreakable lever” and CNC machined perch with “on the fly” cable adjustment. To top it off, they have a lifetime warranty if the lever were to ever break, so I figured, why not.
Upon opening the package, it looks pretty cool. It’s anadized and definitely has a bling factor to it. Unfortunatly, that’s about where the compliments stop.
Installing this was a little tricky and the cable didn’t really adjust correctly. I’m not sure why, but I assume it’s because they have a universal pull instead of one that is matched to each manufacturer like other aftermarket companies do. After getting it all mounted up I tried adjusting the lever by pulling it a few times. Granted I have a crf450 and it doesn’t have the easiest clutch pull, but the lever actually snapped in half within 10 pulls…Not good for being “Unbreakable”. Unfortunately the item was unable to be returned as it was now considered “used” condition.
Luckily Matrix Concepts was good about their warranty, So they sent me a replacement lever after emailing them a few pictures of the busted one. They said that it must have been a fluke and I had within 2 days and installed.
After riding with it a few times, I still could never really seem to get the lever adjusted properly with the right amount of slack, pull, and feel that I wanted. It always had a stiff pull with a spongy engagement point. However once I got riding I didn’t seem to notice it too much, although I’m not a super picky rider.
This is when the second problem arose, I tipped over in a slippery turn at Monster Mountain MX. Normally this isn’t a huge deal, however the lever snapped off again! This time it broke almost right at the knuckle and was a major pain in the butt. It’s one thing when it breaks in the garage, but way worse in the middle of the track. Luckily I did have another spare with me in the truck. (always bring spare parts when you are far from home!)
After this, I had enough of it and took it off my bike when I got home. I called Rocky Mountain again (Great Customer Service!) and we worked out a solution to replace it with a Works Connection setup. The initial cost is only about $6 more, but believe me, it is well worth it.
Overall, I would say that the NEXT Levers need some refinement. It’s a cool idea on paper and in pictures, but I would have to think that any amount of testing would have let them know that it is a subpar product, especially for $130. I give this product a 1 out of 5 stars. And a huge shout out to Rocky Mountain ATV/MC for helping me to get this disaster over with and onto a better product.