Why Dirt Bike Gear Shifter Ain’t As Good As They Used To Be

dirt bike gear shifter

Some of the common types include the conventional shift, the clutch shifter, the rack and pinion, and the automatic. In addition, there are some dirt bike shifters that are interchangeable between various types of vehicles, so make sure you have the right type for the vehicle you will be using.

The conventional shifter has the most common type of operation. The gears are placed on the right side of the vehicle, with the left gear towards the back of the vehicle, and the right gear towards the front. There is a brake light beneath each gear, which when flashing indicates that it is in operation.

The Clutch Shifters

A close up of a bicycle

The clutch shifters on the other hand are different, as it utilizes a clutch rather than a shift. The clutch in these shifters allows the motor to engage when the accelerator is released, which allows the bike to slow down when coming to a sudden stop. Although they use a clutch, there is usually not enough power built up in the vehicle when the car stops to reduce speed, which can make it difficult to control. The racks and pinion are the two types of shifters.

The rack and pinion shift is most popular amongst off-road enthusiasts. These shifters utilize a hydraulic system that gives the gears the power to change gear. The gear shift fluid moves up and down the gears, which makes the gear ratio change. The gears do not necessarily need to be shifted manually; however they are very useful in shifting from one gear to another, such as when changing from fifth to third. With these gears, it is necessary to watch closely the fluid levels.

The Sprocket Gear Shift

On the other hand, the sprocket gear shift changes gears with the help of a crankshaft. These shifts work quite differently than the rack and pinion gears on a dirt bike. The chain guides the sprocket teeth and when these teeth catch some dirt, the chain tightens the sprocket thus disengaging the chain from the sprocket. It is for this reason that the sprocket gears on a dirt bike are also designed to be more durable than the ones used on a street bike.

The final type of gear shifter is the chain drive. This type of gear shifter shifts gears by way of a chain and is similar to the gearbox used in automobiles. The chain drive shifter works in a very similar fashion to the gearbox, whereby the transmission engages when you release down on the pedal. The chain guide has a geared section on either side and this guides the chain to a specific gear. This type of dirt bike gear shifter is the most common and easiest to use.

Not Always Easy To Install

Though all of these types of gear shifters can be purchased for dirt bikes, they are not always easy to install. Many people who own dirt bikes are inclined to simply install all of them and call it a day. However, it is a better idea to install only those gears that are absolutely necessary for your bike. In addition to this, if you encounter difficulty in installing a particular type of gear, it may be wiser to replace the same with another similar item that you can easily acquire.


For those who do not have any experience with dirt bike gear changers, it is advisable that you employ an expert to do the job. Though the job may look simple enough, it needs precision work. An expert can easily change gears on your bike without causing any damage to the bike. Another option is to purchase a dirt bike gear shifter kit. With these kits, changing gears on your bike becomes hassle-free.

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