MXA TEAM TESTED: ARC UNBREAKABLE MEMLON LEVERS
WHAT IS IT? ARC has risen to fame for its composite, unbreakable, folding Memlon levers, but for riders who don’t want nylon-style levers, ARC makes forged aluminum levers that mimic the Memlon shape.
WHAT’S IT COST? $69.99 (brake or clutch).
CONTACT? www.arclevers.com or (714) 543-0362.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with ARC’s Memlon composite clutch and brake levers.
(1) Memlon meaning. Marketing 101 always advises business owners to name their product with a name that is colorful, understandable and easy to pronounce, like Big Gulp. By no stretch of the imagination would Wall Street approve of the name Mnemlon. It is pronounced “Nem-Lawn.” What does it mean? Its origin is the Greek word mnemonikos (“memory”) combined with nylon (although the composite levers have no nylon in them). As Wall Street predicted, ARC owner Bob Barnett was forced to change the spelling of Mnemlon to an easier-to-read Memlon after the first year of production
(2) Design. It is obvious that ARC is a hard-core design firm that can’t stop reinventing the wheel—and the wheel in this case is motorcycle brake and clutch levers. ARC has something else going for it—high-profile test riders. With Eli Tomac, Zach Osborne, Austin Forkner, Weston Peick, Justin Barcia, Justin Hill, Josh Grant, Malcolm Stewart and Adam Cianciarulo providing input every week, ARC has its pulse on what the stars want. Some of those stars want unbreakable composite levers and some want forged aluminum levers, but they are all in agreement that they prefer the thicker shape of the Memlon composite levers over ARC’s previous forged aluminum lever. So, ARC redesigned its forged levers to be more like the composite levers.
(3) Performance. You don’t have to be a factory rider to get the same levers that are on the factory bikes. The Memlon levers are almost flawless. Plus, they fold in a crash and are solidly built. ARC experimented with 14 different mixtures of materials in search of the perfect degree of flexibility and crash resistance
(4) Quick adjust. The greatest part of the new forged ARC lever is the reach adjuster. It is a stroke of genius because of its simplicity. The lever has a small blade-like fin that fits into a cross-hatch groove in the adjuster bolt. The bolt can be turned in or out to change the reach, but once the fin interlocks with the crosshatch, the reach is set. Stunning engineering.
(5) Lifetime warranty. Since the composite Memlon levers are unbreakable, their lifetime warranty is a given. As for the forged aluminum levers, ARC will replace them for $15 (to cover shipping and handling).
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Three quibbles. (1) The price. Although it is the cheapest unbreakable lever made, it is much more expensive than most aftermarket aluminum levers. Factory teams run it because they can’t afford to lose a race because of a broken lever, thus the $70 price tag is just an insurance policy for them. (2) The shape. The Memlon shape is a little wider with more gripping space when compared to the previous ARC aluminum levers. Some MXA test riders preferred the thinner levers over the Memlon shape. (3) The flex. Memlon levers are more flexible than aluminum‚ which is why they don’t break. When sitting still in the pits, the MXA test riders could flex the levers very far, but once on the track, no test rider noticed that the levers had any excess flex.
MXA RATING: Factory teams will not run a product unless they have 100 percent faith in it, and ARC levers are on more factory bikes than any other lever. The motocross world has been crying out for an unbreakable lever for the last 50 years. Guess what? It’s here.