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Problems with gear change

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by d_n2blue, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I've been riding for about 4 months now and loving it! When I first started I was very slow to take off from a standstill but I am getting better. Now I can take off easily but the problem I face is when I try to take off a little faster I almost always stuff up the gear change to second and either hit neutral or miss the lever all together, quite embarrassing.

    This was baffling me until I recently realised what was happening, the foot peg was folding under the pressure of my foot! I tend to lean over the front a bit when taking off and I guess that also changes the angle of my foot on the peg. I had a closer look at the foot peg and it looks like it can only hinge upwards so I'm quite surprised this is happening.

    Has anyone had something like this happen to them? Any suggestions to try to stop this from happening?


  2. Perhaps the gear lever is incorrectly positioned (too low?) and that's why your foot is folding up the footpeg when trying to change up?
  3. I ride a cb400 and a vtr1000. The cb400 is a little more forgiving with the gear changes particularly in the city as there isn't a million nm's of torque trying to rip the splines off of your second gear at low revs, and I didn't hit as many accidental neutrals on that as I did on the firestorm. A quick adjustment of the firestorm gear pedal made it sit a little lower so I no longer have to kick my toe up so high to knock it in to gear.

    Have you adjusted, or do you know how to adjust the gear pedal so it's in a safe, comfortable and useable position for you?
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  4. I haven't adjusted the pedals, I just got used to their current position. Maybe it's a good time to adjust them, I presume on the gear lever just turning the rod in either direction will raise/lower it?
    I guess I should try both raising and lowering it, I have noticed on the down change I mostly need to lift my foot off the peg to hit the lever since I find it hard to angle my foot up enough to get on top of it, but at the same time it feels like it is difficult to get underneath for the up change. I don't have great mobility in my ankle which is probably part of the reason.
  5. There's two ways to adjust the gear pedal - The rod connecting the pedal to the gearbox spline is for fine adjustment. Be careful when using this as one end is reverse threaded so lefty loosie righty tighty doesn't work for one side but it does for the other. Just be gentle with the lock nuts, examine the exposed thread and that will give you an indication of which way to turn the nut to loosen and tighten as needed.

    So crack both lock nuts on each end of the gear arm and then spin it, you'll be able to see the pedal raise or lower depending on which way you spin. Dab of loctite on the thread then do up the lock nuts to hold everything in place.

    The other way is a more coarse adjustment (sounds like you'll need this at first) and it's where the gear arm joins to the gearbox itself. There's (usually) an m6 bolt that will take a 10mm spanner to loosen. Draw a texta line across the housing and the head of the spline so you can see the current position, then put the housing back over the spline one tooth away from where it was - just one tooth makes a surprising difference in pedal position. Adjust to your liking and then tighten the m6 bolt back up when you've got the pedal close to where you want it, then use the gear arm threads (explained above) for finer adjustment.

    I'm sure I've got some photos of me doing this, if I can dig them up I'll post them.
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  6. Thanks Steve for the write up!

    I'm pretty mechanically minded so it should be easy to do. After looking at the bike though, the adjustment rod is quite rusty especially on each end where the nuts are so it might be hard to adjust.
  7. You'll be right, spray a bit of inox or wd40 or something to loosen the rust and then maybe some rust proof before you tighten up?
  8. If you're not sure whether to raise of lower the position of the gear lever, go and have a look at a motorbike shop and see what sort of relationship there is between the footpeg and the gear lever on other similar bikes to yours. That will give you an idea of the typical position and you can use that as a starting point.
  9. Thanks for the help guys. I rode the bike today and tried to think about how my foot felt. Feels like I could benefit from lowering it a little, I will try that first.
  10. As a rule of thumb I like to have the brake pedal positioned so that when my toes are on the pegs and I slide my foot forwards, I don't have to lift much at all to get my foot into braking position - it's right there, on the brake and ready to go. So i guess setting up this way is different for different heights of people as the angle your ankle sits at will decide where the brake pedal must be for when you move your foot forwards.

    For the gear pedal, I like to have it as high as possible where I can still comfortably upshift, and for it not to be too much trouble to stick my toe on top of to slam down through the gears in an e stop for example. It usually ends up around the same as the brake pedal, not because I'm OCD and want both pedals similar, but because I like to be able to lazily slide my left toe forward off the peg and land it on the gear pedal without kicking it.

    Have a play around and work out what you like, and make sure it's safe. Calling me a dodgey footpath mechanic would be both overqualifying me and giving me accolades of which I am undeserving, but I'm happy to give you a hand if you feel the need. I find there's something quite confidence inspiring about having a mate, even if they know nothing about the task at hand, stand aside with crossed arms and morally support the process. I'm happy to be that guy if that guy is needed
  11. How does a foot peg fold?
    Maybe be a bit more deliberate with your changes. See if you can feel the lever before you change. Sort of gently preload the lever.