How To: Fit a Motocross Bike Gear Shifter

How-To Guides & Tutorials  |  4 August 2020

How To: Fit a Motocross Bike Gear Shifter main image

A dirt bike gear shifter can take a fair amount of punishment - it's either being kicked down with the weight of your leg when you are coming into a corner a little too hot, or you're frantically clicking through the gearbox down a long straight.

Why would you replace a motocross bike gear shifter?

If your shifter has been damaged and has a loose or wobbly feel, there are a few things which could be the cause. The teeth on the inside of the spline can become rounded off, the spline can become broadened or the locking bolt could be stripped from over-tightening.

The cause of the rounded teeth or broadened spline are typically because a gear shifter has been made out of a softer material than the actual gearbox spline itself. They're made this way so that in the event of a crash your shifter will fail before the force of the crash is transferred into your gearbox, potentially costing thousands of dollars, whereas a shift lever is in an affordable price range.

How to install & adjust a dirt bike gear shifter:

As there are literally hundreds of makes, years and models of off-road bikes available, it's crucial that you get the right gear shift lever that's compatible with your bike. Even the bike model being out by just one year can mean the new gear lever will simply not fit, so ensure you check twice before you pull the lever out of the packet.

Step 1 - Set the height of your gear shifter: Although everyone customises their bike set up to suit themselves, the majority of people will never touch their gear shifter height.

Standard settings place the tip of the shifter to sit as close to level with the foot peg as possible. We've heard of riders who have motocross boots with extra thick soles lift the shifter up a notch, but if you start with setting the lever level you should be pretty close to feeling right.

Step 2 - Push the lever onto the gear shaft: Once you are happy with the angle of the shifter, you can push it onto the spline. Remove the locking bolt to allow easy application. You will soon know if the lever is the right size as the shifter should be snug all of the way.

If it's too tight, you won’t be able to put it on at all, and too loose and the interlocking teeth of the shifter lever and gear shaft will not hold, and the shifter will slip down.

Step 3 - Apply locking bolt and tighten: The locking bolt will either be a pinch bolt set up or a capping bolt, which is fastened to the end of the gear selector shaft.

Check your owners’ manual for your bikes torque settings. Once tightened, the shifter should have no free play feeling, but bear in mind the locking bolt is usually small, so be careful not to over tighten them or you may strip the bolt.

Step 4 - Check gear lever action: Ensure easy gear selection up and down is achievable - your lever should not hit on the engine case or bike frame so pay attention to make sure you have the correct lever on or you could wind up stuck in 1st for a weekend!

Step 5 - Get out for a ride! That is enough working on your bike for one week, now get out there and get some time in the saddle!

Check out the massive range of dirt bike gear shifters at MXstore:

If you have any further questions about gear shifters or fitment of bike parts, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at MXstore

Comments (2)

Suzuki DR650 gear shifter.

Getting the old gearshift lever off is often a hiccup too. Some advice on this would also help. They are often tight. So without damaging it and the spline it needs to be levered off carefully. A wooden wedge behind and sloooowly worked off in a straight horizontal plane ? Thank you, Bob Piper. Canberra.

4 June 2017

Pro circuit 2016 kx 450 pro circuit gear shift

Unable to fit the gear shift as once on the spline you are unable to place the bolt in gear shift due to not enough room between frame and gear shift as the stock bolt comes in horizontal not vertical like pro circuit any feed back would be appreciated thanks

29 May 2017
Sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your gear lever. As you didn't leave any contact information can you please contact us at and one of our team will gladly assist you further!
MXstore Response

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