Motorcycle News (UK) - - GARAGE -

1. Quick­shifters

These elec­tron­i­cally cut the power to the en­gine for a frac­tion of a sec­ond, re­duc­ing the force on the gears and al­low­ing you to shift up. But they can cause ex­cess force on the dogs if the cut is too short (dogs are the teeth that hold the gears to each other) which causes round­ing off and the bike jump out of gear.

Dog teeth v syn­chro 2

Both work in a sim­i­lar way but car gear­boxes use syn­chro hubs to change gear, where bike gear­boxes use dog teeth. Car syn­chro hubs are heavy and take up a lot of space, dogs work well with a bike’s se­quen­tial gear­box, are lighter and eas­ier to pack­age.

Chain ten­sion 3

Keep­ing your chain too tight will even­tu­ally dam­age the out­put shaft bear­ings lead­ing to an en­gine re­build. But a loose chain can make gear changes er­ratic. Chang­ing gear with­out the clutch can dam­age the dogs like a badly set-up quick­shifter. Crash­ing also dam­ages gear­boxes – when the rear wheel sud­denly stops mov­ing it sends mas­sive forces back through the out­put shaft and into the gear­box.

Main­te­nance 4

Keep your chain cor­rectly ad­justed, and use the best rec­om­mended oil as gear­boxes get ex­tremely hot and are of­ten poorly lu­bri­cated. Many en­gines have their breather in the gear­box, which can lead to cor­ro­sion from the toxic waste gases. Apart from that, most gear­box prob­lems come from miss judged rider in­put.

5 Im­prove your gearshifts

Make sure your gear lever is ad­justed for how you sit and your size of boots. This helps im­prove the pos­i­tive change of gear. Keep the chain ad­justed cor­rectly and use the clutch to change gear.

False neu­trals 6

This hap­pens when the se­lec­tor drum hasn’t ro­tated enough to en­gage a gear, which could be down to in­suf­fi­cient pres­sure on the lever or a weak de­tent spring on the se­lec­tor star. These are of­ten one of the few parts of a gear­box you can get to with­out strip­ping the en­tire en­gine, which is good news if your bike is af­flicted.

The dog’s bite needs to be strong for slick gear shifts

Po­si­tion the lever cor­rectly to avoid gear­box dam­age

Quick­shifters can put ex­tra stress on the gear­box’s dogs

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