Convert to foot shift

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Donny2guns
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:41 pm
Bikes: 2002 Rk Standard
1972 Ironhead Bobber
Location: Duluth MN

Convert to foot shift

#1

Post by Donny2guns » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:56 pm

Hey all. My name is Russ and I own a 2002 HD RK, and a 72 IH bobber I just finished building. I have always wanted to buy a pan but the money thing always got in the way. Well I finally came into a situation where I could get a 52 Fl. Only thing I dont like about it is that it has a tank shift. My question is what would I need to do to convert this to foot shift? Mousetrap kit from JP? Do I need to buy a ratchet top tranny? Let me know guys thanks Russ



Cotten
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#2

Post by Cotten » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:14 pm

Welcome Russ!

To start with, you would need an entirely different transmission 'lid', and perhaps a switch of the mainshaft cluster gear and third gear as well, besides all of the foot and hand hardware and linkages. And the priceless left gastank would no longer be appropriate.

You would be spending a lot of money just to depreciate the machine a lot more in the long run, particularly if the machine is anywhere near "stock".

You may not like the 'handshaker' now, but you would most likely come to love it. (IF you are into the charm, romance, and adventure of antique motorcycles, that is.)

.....Cotten

steve_wood
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#3

Post by steve_wood » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:26 pm

Russ:

I waited a long time to find the right machine for me (56 FLH). The ONLY thing I wish it had was the tank shift.

Cotten is right. The hand shift (and the left tank) are priceless. I'm sure you can learn it!

PS: With a hand shift, you have a built in excuse for NOT letting people ride it. Unless they also own an old bike, in which case you can probably trust them.

steve

john HD
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#4

Post by john HD » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:15 am

welcome aboard russ!

i have a foot shift '55 FL and i would not have given it a second thought if it had come with a handshifter.

i just like it because it is unique and old! i bet you could get used to one in short order.

and yes, i have ridden handshifters before and find them not all that difficult, except that darned 39 indian 4 my buddy has, everything is backwards!

john

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Re: Newbie here with first question

#5

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:41 am

and the number 1 reason why tank shifts are best is that an 8-Ball would look really stupid on a foot shift lever!
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Donny2guns
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#6

Post by Donny2guns » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:22 pm

yeah you guys are right. Should have mentioned it has a rocker clutch. I've never used one but from what I gather you heel- shift gear- then toe to engage the clutch right?

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Re: Newbie here with first question

#7

Post by john HD » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:28 pm

yes that is correct.

some of the guys around here will clue you into the technique.

john

sprucecreek
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#8

Post by sprucecreek » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:53 am

My 56 FLH has the tank shift, and it took a little getting used to. But, once you get the hang of it, no sweat. And it is a real conversation starter when folks are looking at your bike. :-)

With the foot clutch, toe down clutch engaged, heel down clutch disengaged. I have mine set up so it stays disengaged when I take my foot off, but others loosen the nut so that it has to be held down to stay disengaged. Pretty much whatever floats your boat. But, if you do set it to say disengaged, don't count on it to stay down--it will eventually vibrate forward to engage if you are not careful. I always make sure I am in neutral at the stop light.

Keep the tank shift--you will learn to like it.

Donny2guns
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#9

Post by Donny2guns » Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:43 pm

Well my train of thought is this. Ive always wanted a pan I have the King and The IH bobber. I wanted a special bike and this is it. Why have the rum dum when I can have the unique. Thanks for the info guys youve convinced me to leave her as she is it seems to me it would be idiotic not to now. When I get her home Ill post some pics. Now I have to wait until the damn snow goes away, its going to be a long dark winter here in N. Minnesota. I see a lot of you go to Davenport, is that for the Sturgis By The River rally or another rally? Myself, my wife and our friends go every year to Sturgis there. I wont be able to ride the FL down there (nowhere for the wife, and would be a long long ride on a Hard tail). Russ

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Re: Newbie here with first question

#10

Post by Cotten » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:21 pm

Russ!

The "Davenport" event for vintage machines isn't a "tribal party", but an AMCA National Meet: http://www.chiefblackhawk.org/

A quick punch on this Forum's "Search" function should bring up many photos and comments of past years' festivities.

A "hard tail" rigid frame really isn't so bad on modern roads, if your machine has the Factory designed seat suspension. Sitting on the frame, as many custom builders consider to be more aesthetic, often leads to anesthetics for lower back problems in later life!

....Cotten
PS: FlatheadSix Mike!
I was fortunate to find a real 3/4-sized eightball at a billiard supply, attached to a keychain. Apparently the smaller balls are 'regulation' in the Orient.

Donny2guns
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:41 pm
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1972 Ironhead Bobber
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#11

Post by Donny2guns » Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:49 pm

Dont know about the tribal party thing we are pretty low key but it's a good ride. Yes it's set up in the original config.

Arthur
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#12

Post by Arthur » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:02 am

My 49 FL had been coverted to foot shift before I got it and converted it back to hand shift. If you really wanted a foot shifter you would need a ratchet-type transmission lid, the shifter pedal assembly and a "mousetrap" clutch linkage mechanism, which converts the pull of the clutch lever cable into the fore-and-aft movement needed to operate the clutch. The latter is a pretty cool piece of equipment, but I agree with the previous post that you will probably like the the tank shifter and rocker clutch better once you get used to them.

kevsett
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Re: Newbie here with first question

#13

Post by kevsett » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:47 pm

If I mastered a tank shift foot clutch pan then anyone should be able to do the same. I've thought about a mousetrap foot shift conversion but I can't make myself do it.

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