Sorry to be blunt, but how the hell do you damage the head on a steel lever bolt? They are hardly made of cheese as some claim and only need 1.5-2 Nm torque to hold the lever firm. I’ve never used anti-seize on my 985 lever bolts, just a sensible torque and never had a problem. You’d really need to crank them up tight to have damaged the head or not be able to get them out.
Rather than buy Ti replacements buy alu bolts, then you’ll get a good feel for how to attach a lever firmly but be delicate with lever bolts. Ok, so that isn’t a sensible suggestion but over torquing alu bolts does give a good lesson in how not to over abuse steel or Ti bolts.
The bolts have been replaced with M5 x16 aluminium bottle cage bolts – only 3/4 of a turn past finger tight – adequate clamping capacity .. The allen heads are much deeper no chance of rounding out – I think part of the problem with the original xtr bolts was also that they were very flush… Hope I get bike back early next weelk …. I still want the ti though – will use bottle cage again they are easy to oick up and look sweet – Blue ones!
Your woes may only get worse with alu replacements unless very careful with tightening. If you managed to round the steel originals then just having the deeper head may not really help. The bolt shank is liable to snap if over-torquing the alu bolts, even if the head remains intact. Sounds like you have the right approach to tightening though. Finger tight and only just tight enough for the lever to not rotate on the bars. Steel or Ti would be better for most people.
Its a long winded gratuitous thread – sorry about that – So I’m not surprised that folk wouldn’t/couldn’t read from beginning – But I wouldn’t have considered the situation thread worthy had I over torqued – the fact that I didnt and bolt still failed was/is the premise all this highly dull nomsense …