Technical advice: Changing to a race-pattern gearbox

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MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

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Q. I ride a Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5 and would like to change it to a race-pattern gear change ie. 1 up 5 down as I find shifting up when in a corner on track near impossible.

It looks like I could just spin the connector 90 degrees around the shaft. Could it be that easy? Also why are road bikes this way?

A. Rotate it 90 degrees and you’ll need the weirdest foot movement known to man to change gear. It needs to go around 180 degrees for a one-up, five-down pattern.

As for the reason road bikes have the pattern they do, I think it’s because the US market was the biggest for the Japanese when they first expanded in the 1960s and our US cousins regarded it as the logical choice.

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Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs