For those of us that have to move between standard road shifting patterns of 1 down and 4 or 5 up to our track/race bikes of 1 up and the rest down, blonde moments can be very, very expensive indeed when you screw up between shifting patterns on the bike for you, the bike or both.
Many bikes are quite easy to change based via the shift arm being “flipped” 180 degrees to move simply and quickly either direction. When you have a shift rod through the frame, things get quite complicated so over the last few years some manufacturers have revised their proprietary designs to make use of the kick stand mount area. The Daytona 675 and MV F3 800 are two examples of this trend.
The very passionate folks at Design Corse in the UK were kind enough to work with me on an install on the MV F3 800.
The parts arrived vacuum sealed, nicely laid out and it was very easy to see what you were getting. That makes getting the parts out of the packaging very easy too, one at a time instead of everything at once stuck to the sealer!
Now, time to get busy and take the OEM parts off !!!
You should never be in a rush to get things apart, so figure out where to start and what is going to be involved in regards to tools, areas being worked on, ancillary fasteners that may be involved and what sequence to do things in. I like to see the overall task rather than keep knocking out random tasks in no particular order. Having spent a few minutes getting all the tools I needed together, I figured out what to do in what sequence based on the instructions supplied.
Task 1: remove the bolt securing the shift arm to the output shift rod from the engine.
This needed a shortened 5mm allen (already modified from other jobs many years ago).
I left the shift rod in place in order to complete the next series of tasks.
Task 2: loosen all the jam nuts on the quick shifter and shift rod assembly.
The quick shifter has a slot for a 10mm wrench and then you need a second 10mm wrench for the jam nut.
The shift rod has a slot for an 8mm wrench but the jam nuts are 10mm.
I found it easier to remove the rear set to gain access to the lower jam nut.
At this point, I could remove the shift arm and shift rod, leaving me with these two components and the OEM rear set with shifter attached.
As the shifter was now not needed, it was removed and set aside.
All I was going to reuse was the OEM foot peg bracket (to be installed last), quick shifter and the shift arm. All other hardware was supplied in the kit from Design Corse. As I was going to keep the kick stand on this bike, I chose not to use the spacers to eliminate the kick stand (race application only obviously).
Before the bottom bracket could be mounted, there were some other tasks to complete. Task # 1 was to remove the 5mm allen head bolt holding the arm from the rear kickstand bolt to the catalytic converter.
Once that was removed, the 10mm nut behind the rear facing 8mm allen head bolts for the kickstand assembly to the frame was removed.
Now you can remove both 8mm allen bolts from the frame mount very easily.
Don’t short cut these steps or you’ll need a magnet for hidden parts !!!!!!
The 8mm allen bolts were removed, the Design Corse bottom mount bracket put in place and the bolts tightened up again with just a little amount of blue loctite.
Once the bottom bracket was secured, the quick shifter was attached to the shift arm once the spacer had been placed correctly.
The heim joint was screwed all the way into the quick shifter initially.
You CANNOT forget this step as the shift rod won’t function at all without the spacer.
The lower heim joint on the rod was then bolted into the shift arm with the hardware supplied. That gave us a very rough and ready first look at the ensemble of parts. Note that you may need a tap for the shift rod threads.
Once we had assembled the parts we needed to see what was out of alignment. Ideally the shift arm should be at 90 degrees to the rod and in the above picture that was not happening. Therefore we needed to look at the holes provided on the shifter for mounting the rod as well as rod length and shift arm position.
It took a little work and some careful consideration, but we got everything set where we wanted it to be.
Next task was to see which way round the toe shifter would be. Given my shoe size is a US 10 I opted for the toe shifter mounted furthest away.
Thankfully that was the right decision!
Now with everything set where we wanted it to be it was time for blue loctite on the following bolts:
bolt through upper heim joint on the shift rod to the shift arm
bolt through the lower heim joint to the shifter
bolt through the lower bracket for the shifter
bolt for the toe piece to the mount plate
bolt for the mount plate of the toe piece to the shifter
Once all the Loctite was completed, the nuts to the shift shaft and quick shifter were tightened. I personally will be adding a little silicone to those nuts so they don’t come loose ( you can use thin safety wire too).
Next up is to see how the precision machined Design Corse hardware fares on the track in terms of ease of shifting compared to the OEM set up.