How to Make a Jockey Shifter: The Ultimate Guide.

To make a jockey shifter, you need a shifter lever, cable, and mounting brackets. Jockey shifters have been a popular choice for custom motorcycle builders looking for an alternative to the standard foot shifter.

This type of shifter uses a hand-operated lever to change gears, allowing for a unique riding experience. To make a jockey shifter, you’ll need a shifter lever, cable, and mounting brackets. Specific sizes and materials will vary depending on the bike and personal preference.

It’s crucial to take the time to ensure everything is installed correctly, using proper tools and techniques to avoid any safety issues. With some basic mechanical knowledge and the right parts, you can add a jockey shifter to your bike and customize your riding experience.

How to Make a Jockey Shifter: The Ultimate Guide.


Understanding The Jockey Shifter Mechanism

Jockey shifters have become increasingly popular over the years as they offer versatility and ease of use. For those who are unfamiliar with the mechanism’s working, it may seem confusing or complex. However, understanding the components, operation, and benefits of a jockey shifter is vital to making one and utilizing it to its utmost potential.

Parts And Components Of A Jockey Shifter:

The following are some of the fundamental parts and components of a jockey shifter:

  • Shifter arm
  • Shifter knob
  • Linkage
  • Clutch lever
  • Pivot
  • Cable or rod

Explanation Of How The Mechanism Works:

The jockey shifter operation is rather straightforward, but it requires some getting used to. When the rider initiates the shifting process, they begin by pulling the shifter arm (attached to the shifter knob) upwards, pulling the linkage. This movement initiates a chain reaction of events that results in the engagement of a specific gear.

The clutch lever then pulls the cable or rod, which in turn disengages the clutch. Finally, the biker can shift up or down by moving the shifter arm up or down. The rider then releases the clutch lever, and the jockey shifter linkage engages the gear.

Benefits Of A Jockey Shifter Over Regular Shifters:

Here are a few reasons why a jockey shifter may be a more suitable choice compared to a conventional foot or hand shifter:

  • A jockey shifter provides an effortless and more comfortable way of shifting.
  • The shifter knob and lever’s placement is more ergonomic, resulting in less fatigue when riding for longer periods.
  • It provides smoother and quicker gear shifts that are useful when maneuvering through tight spots or making quick decisions on the road.
  • It eliminates the need for a foot shifter as the rider can perform the operation without lifting their feet off of the ground, which reduces the risk of tip-overs.

Jockey shifters are an excellent alternative for those who want to improve their riding experience. By understanding their components, operation, and benefits, you can build one yourself or have it installed and enjoy a comfortable and efficient ride.

Tools And Materials Required For Making A Jockey Shifter

Making your own jockey shifter can be a satisfying diy project that saves you a ton of money. However, to build one, you will need some essential tools and materials. We will provide you with a comprehensive list of tools and types of materials required for making a jockey shifter, as well as some guidance on where to source these materials from if necessary.

Comprehensive List Of Required Tools

To make a jockey shifter, you will require a range of tools, including:

  • Angle grinder
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Welding machine
  • Hacksaw
  • Cutting wheel
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Clamps
  • Vice
  • Center punch
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver

Types Of Materials Needed To Make A Jockey Shifter

You will also need different types of materials for this project, such as:

  • Steel tubing: The size and shape of the steel tubing will depend on the builder’s preference and the bike.
  • Torpedo shifter: You will need to source a torpedo shifter that will be used in the construction process.
  • Welding supplies: You will need welding supplies such as welding rods and gloves.
  • Bolts and nuts: You will need these to hold the shifter in place.

Additionally, you can use specialized materials such as leather, rubber or chain for the handle grip.

Guidance On Where To Source Materials From If Necessary

It’s essential to have access to high-quality materials to make sure that your shifter is robust and durable. You can source most of the materials from your local hardware store or metal workshop. In case you can’t find everything you need, you can check online shops such as ebay or amazon.

These online platforms offer a wide range of materials at affordable prices.

Making a jockey shifter is a fun and achievable project for any motorcycle enthusiast. However, before you start, we recommend you to double-check all your tools and materials to ensure you have everything you need. When you have all these necessary items, crafting a jockey shifter becomes smooth and straightforward.

Steps To Make A Jockey Shifter

Are you interested in enhancing your motorcycle’s style with a jockey shifter? Making your own jockey shifter is an excellent way to achieve this. Here are the step-by-step instructions for making a jockey shifter:

  • First, you’ll need to gather the necessary components. You’ll need a ½-inch rod, ¼-inch steel bar, an old shift lever, and a spring. Make sure that you have all the components before you start assembling.
  • Cut the steel bar and the ½-inch rod into the desired shape and size. You should cut the steel bar to six inches long and the ½-inch rod to eight inches long.
  • Drill a hole in the center of the steel bar that is large enough for the ½-inch rod to fit through.
  • Take the old shift lever and cut off the end that connects to the transmission, leaving you with only the lever arm.
  • Weld the lever arm to the ½-inch rod. Make sure that it is firmly secured and will not come loose.
  • Insert the ½-inch rod into the hole in the steel bar.
  • Install a spring to the jockey shift lever, this helps to increase the intensity needed to shift gears and ensures smooth gear-shifting.
  • Finally, attach the new shifter to your motorcycle, making sure it is firmly mounted.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Building your own jockey shifter can be a fun and rewarding process, but it’s important to avoid some common pitfalls. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

-using poor quality components that could fail while you’re riding

-not following the steps correctly, which could result in an unsafe shifter that may cause an accident

-not securing the shifter correctly, which could cause it to come loose while you’re riding, or result in a bumpy ride

-not testing the shifter before riding it, which could mean you discover any faults while you’re on the road

Suggestions For Troubleshooting Common Issues During The Assembly Process

While building a jockey shifter can be a fun activity, there may be some issues that can arise during the assembly process. Here are some helpful suggestions for troubleshooting these common issues:

-if the shifter is not shifting smoothly, it may be due to the spring. Try adjusting the spring’s tension until the shifting becomes smoother.

-if the shifter is too rigid, it may be because the spring is too stiff. Try using a softer spring to increase flexibility.

-if the shifter is too loose, it may be because the spring is too loose. Try tightening the spring to increase the shifter’s stiffness.

-if the shifter is not positioned correctly after mounting on the motorcycle, try adjusting the mounting position by loosening the bolts slightly. Check for clearance between the pedal and the ground.

By following these helpful suggestions for troubleshooting common issues during the assembly process, you can ensure that your jockey shifter is safe and functional. With a bit of practice, you’ll be shifting gears smoothly and with ease in no time!

Installation And Testing Of Your Jockey Shifter

Comprehensive Instructions For Installing Your Jockey Shifter On A Motorcycle

Installing a jockey shifter on a motorcycle can be a bit overwhelming if you’re doing it for the first time. However, with the right instructions, it’s a pretty straightforward process. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you install your jockey shifter on your motorcycle.

  • Start by placing the transmission in neutral and disassembling the stock shifter assembly. Make sure to remove the shifter lever and all its components.
  • Install the jockey shifter mount onto the transmission by using the provided hardware. Ensure that the mount is securely installed with the correct torque specification.
  • Assemble the jockey shifter with its components as per the instructions provided. Attach the mounting plate on the top of the transmission lid according to the provided specifications.
  • Once you have installed the mounting plate, attach the shifter arm to the mounting plate, ensuring that it properly aligns with the shift drum pins.
  • Test the shifter’s placement by shifting the bike through all the gears, making sure that the transmission is responding correctly.
  • Secure the jockey shifter in place with the provided hardware.

Tips For Proper Adjustment And Testing To Ensure Smooth Shifting And Safe Riding

After you have installed your jockey shifter, you need to make sure that it is adjusted correctly to ensure safe and smooth riding. Here are some tips for adjusting and testing your jockey shifter:

  • Adjust the jockey shifter linkage to ensure that it is neutral when not in use.
  • Adjust the cable slack to make the shifting feel firmer and smoother.
  • Test the shifter adjustment by shifting through all the gears to ensure that they engage smoothly.
  • Ensure that the jockey shifter does not interfere with the rider’s footrest while shifting.
  • Check the shifter mechanism often to ensure that it is maintained and continues to function correctly.

Recommendations For Additional Modifications Or Accessories That Can Enhance The Performance And Functionality Of Your Jockey Shifter

Installing a jockey shifter is just the beginning of modifying your motorcycle’s shift mechanism. Here are some additional modifications and accessories that can enhance the performance and functionality of your jockey shifter:

  • Upgrade to a stronger clutch spring to handle the added stress of jockey shifting.
  • Install an air shifter to make shifting even easier.
  • Add a heel-toe shifter to make shifting more comfortable and improve your motorcycle’s styling.
  • Consider installing a quick shifter so you can shift without the need for clutch use.

Overall, jockey shifters are an excellent addition to any motorcycle’s shift mechanism. With some basic knowledge and this guide, you can install and adjust your jockey shifter with ease. Remember to always test and maintain your jockey shifter for safe and smooth riding.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Make A Jockey Shifter

What Is A Jockey Shifter?

A jockey shifter is a type of gear shifter used on motorcycles. It is a lever mounted on the bike’s tank that allows the rider to shift gears without using their foot.

How Can I Make A Jockey Shifter?

Making a jockey shifter involves attaching a lever to the bike’s tank and connecting it to the gear shifter mechanism. This can be done using welding equipment and basic hand tools.

Is It Legal To Use A Jockey Shifter?

The legality of using a jockey shifter varies by location. In some areas, it is legal as long as the bike has a foot-braking system, while in others it may not be allowed at all.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Jockey Shifter?

Using a jockey shifter can make shifting gears more convenient, as the rider can keep their foot on the pegs while shifting. It may also give the bike a unique, vintage look.

What Are The Risks Of Using A Jockey Shifter?

Using a jockey shifter requires the rider to take their hand off the handlebars, which can be dangerous if not done correctly. It is important to practice using the shifter before riding with it on the road.


Crafting a jockey shifter from scratch is an engaging project that can result in a customized and functional device beyond compare. By learning the basics, gathering the right materials, and practicing good measurements and assembly techniques, assembling a personalized jockey shifter can be a rewarding and satisfying experience for any motorcycle enthusiast.

Also, make sure to add your unique touch to the final product by painting or decorating your jockey shifter. Additionally, the process of building a jockey shifter also offers an opportunity to learn new skills and experiment with new tools, which can come in handy in future motorcycle-related tasks.

So why not take on the challenge of making your very own jockey shifter today and enhancing the riding experience on your beloved bike with a custom shifter that fits your style and needs perfectly?

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