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How to Set the Gear Shift Lever on a Motorcycle

Updated February 21, 2017

The motorcycle gear lever is somewhat of a mystery to most people who have never ridden a bike. You can set this lever at a different height by loosening the bolt at the base of the lever and setting it to a comfortable range. They do make adjustable gear levers which have two bolts for raising or lowering the lever. For the most part, you only want to adjust the lever as far as this will allow, otherwise you are looking at a lot of work, and really, not that much gain. It is easier to get used to the position of the lever, than try and change it. Read on to learn how to set a gear lever on a motorcycle.

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Get on your bike so you are in a comfortable riding position.

Ask someone to hold the bike or prop it up so you can test your position in the full riding stance.

Tap the bike with your left foot where you want the lever to be. Take note of the position, and if possible mark this with an erasable marker or chalk. Have someone else mark it if you can.

Loosen the bottom bolt that attaches the lever to the clutch shaft. Some levers will also have springs that keep the lever in the right position. You will have to adjust these mechanisms so they raise or lower the lever.

Loosen or tighten the bolts in the spring mechanism. This will adjust the height of the lever. If you want to replace the lever, just remove the bolt at the base, and carefully wedge the lever off with a screwdriver or a wood dowel to reduce damage and scratches to the bike itself. Then replace with the lever you want.


Replacing a lever that better fits your ride style and stance might be a better option. Though most bikes can be adjusted to fit almost any rider, and are built for certain heights, not all the parts are custom. If you want a custom lever, buy an adjustable one with enough range to suit you and any other riders.


Do not pry too hard on your lever. You could twist and damage the clutch rod. Also, do not push up on the gear lever, because it could put stress on the inner click and pawl mechanism that sets your gears. If any of this sounds over your head, try to get used to the position of the gear lever, or take the bike back to the dealer and just ask for an adjustment.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screw driver or socket wrench
  • Allen wrench

About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.

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