Tuesday, October 3, 2023

    Latest Posts

    How to Build Your Own Jockey Shifter: A Step-by-Step Guide

    To make a jockey shifter, weld a shifter lever to a steel plate and attach it to the motorcycle’s frame. Then, install a shift knob onto the lever for shifting gears.

    Jockey shifters give bikes an old-school look while giving riders a unique, hands-free gear shifting experience. With the right tools and know-how, you can easily build one for your motorcycle. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make a jockey shifter for your bike.

    So, let’s get started!

    How to Build Your Own Jockey Shifter: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Credit: bikepacking.com

    Introduction: Why Build Your Own Jockey Shifter?

    Are you tired of using the same ol’ shifter on your bike? Want to stand out and have a truly unique ride? Building your own jockey shifter might just be the solution you’ve been looking for! In this post, we’ll go over the advantages of creating your own jockey shifter, including cost savings compared to buying a pre-made shifter and the customization options available.

    Advantages Of Creating Your Own Jockey Shifter

    Creating your own jockey shifter offers many advantages over buying a pre-made one. Here are a few key benefits:

    • Complete customization: When you make your own jockey shifter, you have complete control over the design, materials, and finishes used. This means you can create a truly unique shifter that fits your style and needs perfectly.
    • Cost savings: Buying a pre-made jockey shifter can be expensive. However, building your own shifter can save you a significant amount of money, especially if you already have some of the necessary tools and materials lying around.
    • Personal satisfaction: There’s something special about building your own motorcycle part. When you ride your bike and shift gears with a shifter that you made with your own two hands, you’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment that can’t be matched by using a pre-made shifter.

    Cost Savings Compared To Buying A Pre-Made Shifter

    As mentioned above, building your own jockey shifter can save you a significant amount of money. Pre-made shifters can cost hundreds of dollars, not to mention the additional cost of installation if you don’t do it yourself. On the other hand, building your own shifter can cost as little as $50, depending on the materials you use and the tools you have on hand.

    Here are some of the materials you’ll need to build your own jockey shifter:

    • Shifter knob: You can use an old knob from a pre-existing shifter or buy a new one.
    • Shift lever: This can be made from scratch using steel tubing or purchased pre-made.
    • Mounting bracket: You can make your own bracket or purchase one pre-made.
    • Hardware: Get the nuts and bolts you’ll need to attach the shifter to your bike.

    That’s it! With just a few basic materials, you can create your own jockey shifter and save money in the process.

    Customization Options

    When you build your own jockey shifter, you have complete control over the design. Here are some customization options to consider:

    • Material: The main components of your jockey shifter can be made from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and brass. Choose the material that best suits your style and bike.
    • Finish: You can also customize the finish of your shifter. Consider powder coating, painting, or polishing the components to achieve the look you want.
    • Knob design: The shifter knob is the part of the shifter you’ll be in contact with the most. Consider different shapes and designs to find the one that’s most comfortable and attractive to you.

    By building your own jockey shifter, you can have a truly custom and unique shifter that reflects your personal style and needs. Plus, you’ll save money in the process!

    Essential Tools And Materials

    Required Tools And Recommended Safety Equipment

    To successfully make a jockey shifter, you’ll need certain tools and safety equipment. Here are some of the essential tools and recommended safety equipment required for this job:

    • A drill
    • Drill bits
    • A tap and die set
    • A saw
    • A wrench set
    • Sandpaper
    • Safety goggles
    • Leather gloves
    • Earplugs
    • A dust mask

    Recommended Materials And Components

    It’s important to choose quality parts and components when making a jockey shifter. Here are some of the recommended materials and components you’ll need:

    • A steel rod or aluminum tube for the shifter lever
    • A knob for the shifter lever
    • A mounting bracket for the shifter lever
    • Bolts, nuts, and washers
    • A throttle cable
    • A wire for the clutch cable

    Selecting Quality Parts And Components

    When selecting parts and components for your jockey shifter, you want to make sure they are of high quality. Here are some tips to help you select the best parts and components:

    • Look for materials that are strong and durable
    • Choose parts and components that fit together properly
    • Stick to reputable brands with good reviews
    • Consider purchasing from a specialty shop to ensure you get the right parts and components for your specific needs

    Remember to handle all tools and materials with caution and to wear the recommended safety equipment to avoid any accidents. With the right tools, materials, and components, you’ll be able to create a jockey shifter that is both functional and stylish.

    So why not give it a try?

    Preparing For Assembly

    Identifying The Donor Motorcycle And Transmission

    Before making a jockey shifter, you need to identify the donor motorcycle and transmission. Here are the key points:

    • Research: Do some research to determine which donor motorcycle model and transmission are suitable for your project.
    • Check compatibility: Ensure that the donor motorcycle and transmission are compatible with each other.
    • Purchase: Once you have identified the right donor motorcycle, purchase it and start preparing for disassembly.

    Disassembling The Donor Motorcycle And Transmission

    Once you have the donor motorcycle, it’s time to disassemble it. Here are the key points:

    • Gather tools and equipment: Collect all the necessary tools and equipment required for disassembling.
    • Remove parts: Carefully remove all the parts of the motorcycle and transmission, including the cables, fuel tank, handlebars, and wheels.
    • Label parts: As you remove the parts, label each one to make it easier to reassemble them later.
    • Store parts: Properly store the removed parts to prevent them from getting damaged or lost.
    • Remove the shift lever: Remove the shift lever from the transmission, leaving the shift fork in place.

    Inspecting, Cleaning, And Restoring Essential Parts

    After disassembling the donor motorcycle and transmission, it’s crucial to inspect, clean, and restore essential parts to make sure everything runs smoothly. Here are the key points:

    • Inspect: Thoroughly check each part for wear and tear. Look out for dents, cracks, and rusted components.
    • Clean: Use a degreaser to clean all the parts until they are free of dirt and debris.
    • Restore: Repair or replace any damaged parts or components.
    • Reassemble: Once all the parts are cleaned and restored, start reassembling them. Ensure each part is correctly placed and securely fastened.

    Making a jockey shifter requires proper preparation, careful disassembly, and thorough inspection, cleaning, and restoration of essential parts. Follow these steps carefully to create a jockey shifter that is safe and functional.

    Step-By-Step Assembly Guide

    Designing The Shape, Size, And Style Of The Shifter Lever

    When designing your jockey shifter, keep in mind the shape, size, and style of the shifter lever. Consider the ergonomics, aesthetics, and feel of the device. Here are some points to consider:

    • Shape: Rounded or angled. Consider the grip, comfort, and ease of use, and how it will fit in your hand.
    • Size: Length and diameter. Ensure that the shifter is not too big or small for your hand. Keep in mind that the diameter should match the grip.
    • Style: Sleek or bold. Consider the overall look and feel of the shifter. Is it an extension of the bike’s design, or does it make a statement on its own?

    Fabricating The Shifter Lever From Raw Materials Or Modifying A Pre-Made Lever

    You can either fabricate the shifter lever from scratch using raw materials like aluminum or brass, or modify a pre-made lever like a bicycle brake lever. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Fabrication: If you choose to make the shifter yourself, you’ll need to know how to weld and shape the metal. Use templates and patterns to ensure accuracy and symmetry.
    • Modification: If you choose to modify a pre-made lever, you’ll need to cut and reshape it to fit your design. You also need to ensure that it’s strong enough to handle the pressure.

    Selecting And Modifying Foot Pegs, Toe Clips, And Other Components

    Footpegs and toe clips play a crucial role in the functionality and aesthetics of your jockey shifter. Here are some important points:

    • Footpegs: Should match the shifter’s style and design. They also need to be of the right size and shape.
    • Toe clips: Are optional but can help you shift gears more efficiently. You can make them from scratch or modify existing ones.
    • Other components: Other components like cable tension and linkage parts affect the shifter’s overall performance. Make sure they’re of high quality and match your design.

    Installing And Testing The Shifter Lever To Ensure Comfort And Functionality

    Once you’ve fabricated the shifter and selected all the necessary components, it’s time to install and test your creation. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Installation: Before installing, ensure that all the components fit securely. Use clamps or screws to hold everything in place.
    • Testing: Test the shifter to ensure that it shifts smoothly, and that you can easily reach it with your hand and foot. Make sure there’s no binding or slack in the cable tension.

    Fine-Tuning The Position And Angle Of The Shifter Lever For Ergonomic Use

    The position and angle of the shifter lever can affect your comfort, ease of use, and overall riding experience. Here are some important points to consider:

    • Position: The shifter should be in a comfortable and accessible position. Keep in mind the shape and size or your handlebar and footrest.
    • Angle: The angle of the shifter affects how easily you can shift gears. Make sure the angle is adjusted to provide a smooth, swift shifting experience.

    Adjusting And Modifying Other Components, Such As Cable Tension And Linkage Parts

    After testing and fine-tuning the shifter, you may still need to adjust or modify other components to ensure everything works smoothly. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Cable tension: Adjust the cable tension to ensure that it’s not too tight or loose. This will prevent binding and ensure that the shifter works smoothly.
    • Linkage parts: Check to make sure that all the linkage parts are strong, sturdy, and properly lubricated. If you need to replace any parts, ensure that they match your design and performance needs.

    Final Checks And Finishing Touches

    Double-Checking All Connections, Bolts, And Fittings

    Before finalizing the jockey shifter, it is essential to double-check all connections, bolts, and fittings. It ensures that everything is appropriately assembled and safe to use.

    Key points to consider when double-checking:

    • Check all connections for any loose or unsecured areas.
    • Inspect bolts to ensure they are tightened to the correct torque specification.
    • Ensure all fittings are adequately in place and appropriately sealed.
    • Review wiring to ensure it is correctly wired and attached.

    Applying Protective Coatings And Finishes

    After ensuring that all connections and fittings are correctly assembled, you are now ready to apply protective coatings and finishes. Applying a protective coating will help prevent corrosion and protect the shifter from damage.

    Here are a few things to keep in mind when applying protective coatings and finishes:

    • Use a suitable protective coating for the type of metal you’re working with.
    • Clean the surface thoroughly and remove any debris, dirt, or rust before coating.
    • Apply a primer before the topcoat to ensure maximum adhesion and durability.
    • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and application instructions carefully.

    Testing And Troubleshooting The Shifter In Real-World Use

    Testing the jockey shifter in real-world use is of utmost importance. It ensures that the shifter is working correctly and meets your expectations. Testing and troubleshooting will help you identify any issues before they become significant problems.

    Here are some crucial points to keep in mind when testing and troubleshooting:

    • Test the shifter on a flat and smooth surface to get accurate results.
    • Check that the gear changes are smooth and demonstrate no sticking or dragging.
    • Ensure the clutch and brake levers are working correctly and comfortably within reach.
    • Troubleshoot any issues that arise during testing, such as improper shifting, malfunctioning brakes, or clutch issues.

    By following these key points, you can make sure your jockey shifter is assembled correctly, protected, and performing optimally. Happy tinkering!

    How To Build Your Own Jockey Shifter: A Step-By-Step Guide – Final Thoughts

    How to build your own jockey shifter: a step-by-step guide – final thoughts

    Recap Of The Diy Jockey Shifter Project

    Creating a jockey shifter is a fun and rewarding project that can help you achieve a unique look for your motorcycle. We’ve explained the basic steps in creating your own jockey shifter. Here’s a quick recap of the steps:

    • Use a saw to cut a slot in a length of steel pipe
    • Weld the slot to a pivot tube, which can be secured to your motorcycle’s frame
    • Attach steel rods to the pivot tube and shift lever
    • Install the chrome lever and knob
    • Practice shifting to make sure everything is working smoothly

    Potential Next Steps For Further Customization And Fabrication Projects

    If you’re already comfortable with basic welding and fabrication techniques, there are many ways to customize and enhance your jockey shifter. Here are some potential next steps:

    • Fabricate unique shift levers, such as a skull or animal-shaped lever
    • Customize the length and shape of the pivot tube to fit your specific motorcycle
    • Integrate the jockey shifter with a suicide clutch for an even more streamlined look

    Tips for maintaining and improving your jockey shifter in the long run

    Once your jockey shifter is installed, you’ll want to keep it clean and well-maintained to ensure optimal performance. Here are some tips:

    • Regularly clean and lubricate your jockey shifter to keep it functioning smoothly
    • Check bolts and welds periodically to ensure everything is secure
    • Consider upgrading to stronger materials, such as stainless steel, for increased durability

    Building your own jockey shifter takes time and effort, but the end result is a unique and functional addition to your motorcycle. Whether you’re customizing it yourself or taking advantage of professional fabrication services, a jockey shifter is sure to make your bike stand out on the road.

    Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Make A Jockey Shifter

    What Is A Jockey Shifter?

    A jockey shifter is a style of shifter commonly used on chopper motorcycles. It is a hand-shift mechanism that allows the rider to shift gears on the motorcycle using only their left hand.

    What Are The Benefits Of A Jockey Shifter?

    Jockey shifters offer a few benefits over traditional foot-shift mechanisms. They can be easier to use for riders with disabilities or injuries, and they can also provide a more unique and customizable look to your bike.

    Can I Install A Jockey Shifter Myself?

    Installing a jockey shifter can be a relatively simple process, depending on your experience with motorcycle mechanics. However, it is always recommended that you have a professional mechanic perform the installation to ensure proper functionality and safety.

    What Tools Do I Need To Install A Jockey Shifter?

    Typically, you will need a few basic tools to install a jockey shifter, including a socket set, wrenches, pliers, and an allen wrench set. Consult the installation instructions or a professional mechanic for a complete list of necessary tools.

    Are There Any Safety Considerations When Using A Jockey Shifter?

    Yes, using a jockey shifter requires the rider to take their hand off the handlebars to shift gears, which can be potentially dangerous. It is important to practice shifting in a safe environment and to always keep both hands on the handlebars while riding.


    Crafting a jockey shifter may not be the easiest task, but it is not impossible. By following the steps discussed in this guide, you can have your very own jockey shifter in no time. Building the shifter requires some level of creativity, patience, and basic welding skills, but the end product is rewarding.

    Remember, safety is always key, so take extra caution when handling sharp and heated objects. Whether you’re a diy enthusiast or someone who has been itching to try out something new, building a jockey shifter may be the challenge you’re looking for.

    Now that you know how to put together a jockey shifter, it is time to gather your tools and get to work. Soon enough, you will be cruising through town on your custom chopper, shifting gears with pride knowing that you made your jockey shifter with your own hands.

    Latest Posts


    Don't Miss

    Stay in touch

    To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

    error: Content is protected !!