What Are The Causes Of Poor Shifting In Motorcycling?

•February 1, 2018 • Comments Off on What Are The Causes Of Poor Shifting In Motorcycling?

The use of motorbikes has increased dramatically in recent years. IN fact, between 2010 and 2015 there was an increase of 22.3% in motorbike registrations! Motorbikes are attractive due to their low running costs, the ease in which they can negotiate traffic and the feeling of freedom every time you ride one.

This is why motorbike sales have increased so much and are likely to hit the million mark in the next few years.

Of course, not everything is perfect in the world of motorcycling. You still need to complete basic maintenance tasks yourself. Other issues can actually arise from the way you ride as opposed to a lack of maintenance or an issue with the engine. Shifting, or more accurately, poor shifting, is one of these. There are several common causes:

Shift Pedal

Most motorbikes will allow you to adjust the shift pedal; this is to make it as comfortable as possible when changing gear. However, if you adjust the height of the shifter too dramatically then you’re likely to find that it actually claps against the linkage. This effectively prevents you from shifting gear as the linkage is unable to move into the full release position.

The first step if you have a shifting problem is simply to examine the external shifter.

Clutch Drag

This is most noticeable when your bike is cold. The shift lever will seem very hard and the bike will not want to go into gear. In general this is because the clutch cable needs to be adjusted.

All you need to do is loosen the locking adjustment in your cable and then work the clutch lever a couple of times. Swing the handlebars to full lock in both directions before retightening the locking adjustment. You should be looking to add approximately ¼ cm to your clutch handle play.

The difference should be noticeable!


You might be surprised to realize that your size does matter. If you are trying to ride a bike that is too big for you, or too small, then you’ll not be able to operate the controls effectively. Something as simple as not bringing the clutch leaver in properly will give you shifting problems.

Clutch Lever

Your clutch lever needs to be released slowly to ensure the spines on your gearbox blend together seamlessly. This will create a smooth shift without any noticeable drag or any risk of locking your back wheel.

To aid this you can blip the throttle, this helps the engine revs match the road speed which will give you a much smoother shift.


It is possible that your clutch is worn out, causing you to slip while changing gears. Assuming the clutch cannot be adjusted, this is one situation where you’ll need to change it.

The alternative is that too many bad shifts or just wear and tear have damaged your gearbox; it might need rebuilding or replacing.

In many cases a poor shift is directly related to the way you operate your motorcycle but it is also worth checking out all the possibilities before committing to any one solution.

Van life: Nao Tomii on his 1999 Volkswagen Eurovan Winnebago Camper

•July 28, 2015 • Comments Off on Van life: Nao Tomii on his 1999 Volkswagen Eurovan Winnebago Camper

As much as we’d like for it to be so, man – not least of all the family man – can’t live on driver’s cars alone—occasionally, he needs practical transportation, too. And when it comes to transporting multiple passengers across multiple state lines across multiple days (or weeks, or even months) and living out of that very transportation module, does it get much better than the iconic Volkswagen van? We think not. Here, we talk to Nao Tomii about his van ownership experience.

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Guest contributor: Michael Ardelean on his 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 (964)

•March 19, 2015 • 8 Comments

My name is Michael Ardelean, and about two years ago I bought the 1990 Porsche 911 that you see here. There were a couple of quirks that influenced my decision:

  • I live a pretty minimalist lifestyle and I don’t have a lot of tolerance for uneccessary stuff, and I stay busy so I value time above all else. So I was looking for something purposeful and also reliable.
  • I have an aversion to disposable things, and I get a little bit sick thinking about how car companies know that their customers only keep their cars for 2-5 years and thus probably build new cars accordingly.

So basically, I wanted something with the narrow body and old school ruggedness, but with semi-modern power and working AC. Old enough to be cool, but nothing too precious.

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Berlin’s Corbusierhaus has the most amazing light of any parking structure we’ve ever seen

•August 13, 2014 • Comments Off on Berlin’s Corbusierhaus has the most amazing light of any parking structure we’ve ever seen

There’s something about Berlin and its car parks.

Unité d’Habitation of Berlin (German: Corbusierhaus) is an apartment building located in Berlin, Germany, designed by Le Corbusier following his concept of Unité d’Habitation. Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation concept was materialised in four other buildings in France with a similar design (source).

One gets the feeling that if Caravaggio could paint the inside of a parking garage, it would look a bit like the one at Corbusierhaus.

(Images: K_A_Y)

Benton Performance

•June 22, 2014 • Comments Off on Benton Performance

This is one of the more visually striking modern automotive videos we can recall seeing. Kudos to all of the folks involved in its production for pushing the artistic boundaries of what an automotive film can be.

You can see behind-the-scenes stills from the film here, as well as take a look inside Benton Performance’s garage from our own earlier feature here.

Guest contributor: Sina Pourcyrous on his 1983 Peugeot 505 STI

•May 5, 2014 • 10 Comments

This is the story of my reborn 1983 Peugeot 505 STI.

My dad bought it brand new off the showroom floor in July 1983 in the San Francisco peninsula. It was his daily driver for nearly 20 years. Growing up as a child, my father was my role model, so the car inherently became something that I admired, to the point that it kicked me into a lifelong obsession with cars at a time when most kids were playing with crayons and Play-Doh. My parents still say that “Peugeot” was one of my first words.

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Assorted grab bag of stuff we like

•March 10, 2014 • 9 Comments

Getting right to it.

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