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Thread: Swapping shifter from right to left side on 439

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    941

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    You can learn any throttle/shifting/braking system in an amazingly short time. Decades ago, I thought like you that having the front brake lever on the right was the natural thing to do because I'd been raised on r.h. front brake bikes. It was okay, but there was a reason that the left-shifting Harleys were built that way: for pulling away from a stop on an uphill! Yeah, with a left hand brake you can hold the bike on a hill after disengaging the l.foot clutch (r. foot on ground), putting the bike in gear with a crossed-over left hand, and gradually lowering the left toe while turning the r. throttle, the real "key" coordination.
    The only thing I haven't gotten accustomed to is Indian's left hand throttle.

    All these variations are only a matter of practice. And learning them is often only a matter of one "OH MY GAWD" moment like you described in stepping off the curb, there in London. You'll discover that your body is a very quick learner!

    For a primer in "Harley Handshift," go to Post four in this thread: http://www.caimag.com/forum/showthre...andshift-Help/
    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Sargehere; 02-26-2013 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Central Illinois, USA
    Posts
    4,343

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    Folks,

    Although bored'n'razed upon left-shift machines, I have often been required to road-test right-shift machines, inspite of my ingrained instincts.

    The trick to the switch-over, or even vice-versa, is a simple re-wiring of your brain, accomodated by keeping your hand on the shift knob.

    Put it upon the bar next to the grip if you must, but not upon the grip where your habits will take over.

    Results may vary.

    .....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    301

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    Brilliant idea Cotten. I am going to try the hand on the shifter on my Indian.
    Bob Selph
    1933VC/1934LT Sidecar
    1940 Sport Scout
    AMCA#15215

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    209

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    Sarge, thanks for that insight on the HD left brake. I had never considered that. Makes sense even if it was not an intentional feature by the design guys.

    The hand on the shift is worth a shot. When we were kids and got our first car with a shifter on the floor, be it auto or std, we all rode around with our right hand on the shifter because it made us feel like badasses, right?

    regards,
    Rob
    Rob Sigond
    AMCA # 1811

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lamoille County, Vermont
    Posts
    1,147

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    When I first learned to drive a 3L Bentley (Throttle in the center, clutch left, brake right) I just always kept repeating to myself "Brake right, go center, brake right, go center."

    It didn't take me long to get the Bentley center throttle figured out. There are good techniques. The problem (as mentioned above) is that when Thurston Blivetsphincter, octogenarian, pulls his Pontiac Bonneville out in front of me and I am muscle-memory'd to a specific bike... I become a bug splat on the fender of a Pontiac.

    But willing to work on the Chief before giving up on learning to ride it 'right.'

    Cheers,

    Sirhr

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Claremont, NH
    Posts
    97

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    It will be simple you will learn to ride the Indian and the HD will sit in the corner waiting for you to come back which you won't hahahaha fire away boys!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    High in the B.C. Rockies....
    Posts
    5,353

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    That one made me grin Phil..... You won't hear pot shots from my direction. I'm still a little brand confused. That Slojo fella has a term for such things....
    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,325

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    There is an exploded parts diagram for the Harley left to right shifter adapter, which could give clues for how to do it on the Indian.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    209

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    Thanks. The Indian parts book clearly shows all the bits and pieces required to make the swap on the shifter.

    regards,
    Rob
    Rob Sigond
    AMCA # 1811

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    143

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    Traditionally the Indians were right hand shift, left throttle. You could get them the opposite, the dealer could switch it at your request, for a nominal fee. Of course that's not including foot shift models like verticals. My 1930 4 cyl. was converted to left shift and right throttle when I got it. My buddy who has Harleys even switched the foot clutch lever at the trans. on his chief to make it "toe to go" by rotating the lever so the rod connects at the bottom position. This is shown in the Chief manual. It just made it easier for him, he's in his 80's and set in his ways. Whatever helps you enjoy the ride is what it's all about. Just have fun!

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