Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Lowered Shift Lever for Maria

Back in October of 2006, having recently acquired Maria, my 2004 R1150RT, I had felt the need for some additional legroom and had bought and installed the Suburban Machinery Lowered Peg Kit for my motorcycle. Here's the link for that posting: LINK

They did the job and gave me about an inch or so of needed legroom so my knees would not bind up so fast or easily on the longer rides.

However, since I'd lowered the rider pegs, the stock shift lever was now a bit higher than normal. I'd read online where others had bought the same peg lowering kit and they had simply "adjusted" their shifting motions and adapted to the new position of the shift lever relevant to their lower foot position. I did the same and it worked out great. No need to get the shift lever lowering kit from Suburban Machinery I said to myself back then.

Well, having recently bought "real" motorcycle boots, I had started missing the shift to second gear once in a great while. Mostly it happened on long rides after a long stretch of no shifting and my legs having gotten a bit stiff and tired. Sometimes it happened when I was briefly distracted or not concentrating hard enough on smoothly shifting. Regardless, it had become an annoyance to roll the throttle on only to find myself in neutral! Rather embarrassing too. : )

So I spot this auction on Ebay from Australia, won it and got a used shift lever lowering kit that was made by Suburban Machinery. Right about half price from MSRP including shipping from Australia.

Here's the lowered gear shift lever

Here's the stock gear shift lever

The main difference from the stock shift lever is the 60'ish degree bend from the main part of the lever. Installation was not too bad once I figured out where a couple of bolts where that were holding the side plate onto the motorcycle and how to remove the old gear shift lever. It pays to be patient and I managed to do it without damaging anything. The only painful part as always is removing the tupperware in order to get to things.

Took Maria out for a 10 mile test ride after I buttoned her up and it's definitely different having the new shift lever where it's at! I did some hunting for a while for the peg since its smaller than the oversized peg cover I'd placed on the stock gear shift lever before.

Still, it did not take me long before I was smoothly shifting up and down the gears. It's much nicer on my left foot now to upshift, no more ackward position of the foot. Shifting down is so much easier now, I don't have to lift the left foot from the rider peg anymore!

It'll take a few miles to really get smooth on the shifting but I am more than pleased with this new farkle for Maria and me.

Before (pic from 2006)


Note how much closer to being level with the rider pegs the gear shift lever is now

Yeah, she's a little dirty, but that's because I'm riding every day! Rain or Shine.

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