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Bronze member
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2,572 Posts
OK, I’ll be the first...why? Unless someone has a physical limitation and can’t change gears with their foot, what’s the reason for this? Looks convoluted and unnecessary. We went away from hand shifters for convenience and safety. To each his own.
 

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3,485 Posts
It's a Rube Goldberg addition to replicate an old, bad design, for which some have nostalgic fondness. Nostalgia is often not rational.
 

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Rider
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Suicide Shifters were aptly named in my book. Mate of mine lost his left leg in a mountaineering accident and there is/was a charity to enable disabled motorcyclists wherever possible to keep riding. Using air equip hoses and linkages through the rear frame they moved the gear change to the right hand side for him free-gratis. It didn't look anything like that but on a sports bike it wouldn't have looked as much at home as it does on the Indian above.
 
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Read Only
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...and while it's not for me either, it sure was an interesting modification. I bet it is a hoot to ride. Just think of all the looks and discussion one would get with that set-up.
 

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I have a foot clutch,many call suicide shift,bikers that have them,call that a jockey shift.
The reason for it is the clutch plate on early Harley's didn't disinguage far enough,and you had clutch creep at a light.so a mouse trap was installed to extend the throw with the limited travel of a clutch handle.
Then they made a mousetrap eliminater,that was a shortened clutch shaft.but that took one hell of a grip to pull in the clutch.
Then came ram jet retainer,to hold back the clutch basket,to cure the dragging clutch,but still hard to pull in the clutch.
So then folks put in a clutch pedal with a dog chain to the clutch arm to be able to disinguage the clutch.
Could have bought a heal toe clutch rocker,but hard to find and expensive.
The open primary and belt drive came about due to mostly the tin inner covers cracked at the bolt holes in the front case,and you couldn't tighten up the shift handle on a ratchet top with the inner primary in the way.
So there ya have it,broke ass bikers starting a trend.
 

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Hey ! All you haters..
My first streetbike experience was with my dads hand shifted /foot clutched antique Harley. Rode it for 40 years - usually only on special occasions..
It is a lost art - like piloting a taildragger .. If you can do it well, do it safely, you are "woker" than most everyone else and you get to wear an extra feather in your cap...
But, in this, there is no participation trophy, only the bitter taste of failure because you suk ...




:p
 

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5,087 Posts
I've seen a few pics of hand shifters on the new models but not seen on in real life. I kind of like the idea, even if just to start up the bike in the street, put it into 1st with the hand shifter and ride away, but use the toe shifter after that.

A while ago an old man came over to my bike as I was filling up. 'Is that a new model Indian?' he asked. I told him it was and he said, 'I didn't know they had new ones, but I couldn't see the hand shifter so I started to wonder.' I've no idea how old he was but I added a few years once he said that. :)
 

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Rider
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548 Posts
Looks pretty cool, but wouldn't put one on my bike. My granddad had one back in the day and used to tell me don't ever buy a bike with one. That's been more than a few years ago but think of him every time I see one of those shifters, so thanks for the memories :)
 

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I'd be afraid of accidentally shifting into reverse..
 
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