any advantage to left or right shift - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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any advantage to left or right shift

I'm guessing some bikes may have left or right, not sure, any pro/cons having gear shift on right side?

Since the back brake does little, may be more comfortable shifting with right foot, sorry if my questions are silly.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanford View Post
I'm guessing some bikes may have left or right, not sure, any pro/cons having gear shift on right side?

Since the back brake does little, may be more comfortable shifting with right foot, sorry if my questions are silly.
If your rear brake does little, you're doing it wrong.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Martlet View Post
If your rear brake does little, you're doing it wrong.
+1

Personally, I think the layout we have makes sense. You've got your braking and throttle (i.e. speed adjustment) on the right side, and the clutch and shift lever on the left.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Martlet View Post
If your rear brake does little, you're doing it wrong.


I should of said the rear does not brake as much as front, but have been riding only 2 hours after many years
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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yes see it makes sense, are there bikes with a diff combo then the conventional?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 05:46 PM
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I work at a scooter shop that sells a bike where instead of a foot shifter, you shift it with a clutch on the left handlebar by twisting it up or down through four gears. I haven't ridden it but it looks like it could be fun but could also be a pain in the ass.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 07:27 PM
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I have a 1965 Triumph that still has the gear shift on the right side. I don't believe that any modern bikes out there have this combo any more.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 07:30 PM
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The shifting and brake layout was made standard by DOT regulations about 40 years ago, at least in the US. Although it's legal to modify after purchase to a right shift or even a hand-operated shift, manufacturers must stick to DOT regulations in order to sell new motorcycles.

Flat tracker motorcycles built before that used a right side shifter since the left side of the motorcycle was usually near the ground in a turn.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanford View Post
yes see it makes sense, are there bikes with a diff combo then the conventional?
I caught an episode of "Pawn Stars" where the guys were looking at buying an Indian motorcycle used during WWII. Everything was switched around...throttle on the left, clutch on the right, etc...Apparently this was done so guys could shoot from the cycle using their right hand without letting off the throttle.

They ended up buying the bike, but neither one would ride it home for fear of killing themselves since the controls were the opposite of what they were both used to.

They got it restored, and it looked pretty awesome.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanford View Post
I'm guessing some bikes may have left or right, not sure, any pro/cons having gear shift on right side?
I can think of a con... since 99+% of bikes out there have their controls the same way, if you have something different, makes for more of a chance to eff it up

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 08:36 PM
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Since a majority of the bikes in around 1975 or so were left side shift that was the direction the DOT went, left shift/left clutch/right hand brake/right foot brake/right hand throttle.

The arguement for right hand shift is it sort of balances actions and uses both sides of the brain for each function, braking and shifting.

Having ridden both, starting on right hand shift Bultacos I like the right side shift. Almost got me in trouble when my brother and I traded trials bikes, my Sherpa T for his Yamaha TY250. I'm going over a drop off trying to brake with the shift lever - not too functional. Still, if you ride both a lot it becomes an automatic function within a short time.

The real fact is it doesn't probably make any difference when one is used to a bike. The good part is the universal nature of all bikes for road use having the same layout - well at least all bikes made since around 1975.

It's a push... a draw, a tie.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks reason I asked, is in highschool I rode a bike with right shift( probably Brit) that I found easy to shift... I'm re learning, so practice,practice
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 08:57 PM
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I rode an old Bultaco with a right shift as well back in the days of the dinosaurs. It was difficult for my dinky little brain to make the switch when I went to my Suzuki in 1979, I wouldn't want to have to switch back again.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squally View Post
I caught an episode of "Pawn Stars" where the guys were looking at buying an Indian motorcycle used during WWII. Everything was switched around...throttle on the left, clutch on the right, etc...Apparently this was done so guys could shoot from the cycle using their right hand without letting off the throttle.

They ended up buying the bike, but neither one would ride it home for fear of killing themselves since the controls were the opposite of what they were both used to.

They got it restored, and it looked pretty awesome.
I had an opportunity to ride a VERY short distance on an Indian from the 30's that had, as you said, the throttle on the left, the clutch was operated with the foot, the gear shifter was lever on the tank, and the spark advance was a lever on the right hand grip. You actauly had to manualy advance the spark as you revved up the engine! I never got the bike out of second gear.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye_m_no_angel View Post
I had an opportunity to ride a VERY short distance on an Indian from the 30's that had, as you said, the throttle on the left, the clutch was operated with the foot, the gear shifter was lever on the tank, and the spark advance was a lever on the right hand grip. You actauly had to manualy advance the spark as you revved up the engine! I never got the bike out of second gear.
I might be afraid to get it out of first.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye_m_no_angel View Post
I had an opportunity to ride a VERY short distance on an Indian from the 30's that had, as you said, the throttle on the left, the clutch was operated with the foot, the gear shifter was lever on the tank, and the spark advance was a lever on the right hand grip. You actauly had to manualy advance the spark as you revved up the engine! I never got the bike out of second gear.
There was sure a lot going on when riding those bikes! We have it easy in comparison. I have a friend who has a few of those and it is interesting to see them get started, quite a ballet of coordination.

I don't think riding one of the right shift more modern bikes would be too bad; just a matter of getting used to it. In Grand Cayman, where I used to work, I could jump in a right hand drive or left hand drive vehicle without even thinking about it. I was afraid to try at first but found both to be pretty easy and natural (unlike negotiating their two-lane roundabouts that have sprouted up there recently--geez).

Cheers,

Mike


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Last edited by LWRider; 04-26-2012 at 11:42 AM.
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