Harley Sportster with shifter on left side?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by orangello, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. orangello

    orangello New Member


    I was like :confused: :eek: . It doesn't look like something I would enjoy riding, but it was interesting. I've never had a bike that shifted on the right.

    Anybody know whattheheck that is in that ad? WTH engine is that?
  2. rifleman1

    rifleman1 New Member

    ive never seen this before i thought maybe it had a foot clutch with a jockey shift but it is just set up diffrent i guess,i personally would not like that im use to a standard shifter on the left.

  3. havasu

    havasu Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    Here is a snippit copied because I'm lazy...

    at one time the Triumph,BSA,Norton, and the Harley Sportster were right side shift,left side rear brake. This ended with a U.S. government mandate in 1974' You could solve your problem with an electric shifter and a EFM auto clutch though and by also using a unified brake system. The electric shifter would simply use two buttons one to shift up and one to shift down.And by using the auto clutch system the clutch disengages when you let off the gas. The unified brake would operate both front and rear brake off one pedal,or lever either the foot or front hand lever. there is also an electric shift on the market that eliminates the use of your clutch. These are all modifications that if properly installed will work just fine for you,I modify bikes for disabled riders a lot.
  4. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

    Old Sportsters shifted on the right. Along with Triumph's, BSA's, Ducati's and probably other
    European bikes. Big Harley's shifted on the left. Then the Japanese FLOODED the world with
    affordable fun motorcycles---which all shifted left foot. Eventually the rest of the world
    switched to left foot, expecially if they wanted to sell motorcycles!

    Had a Ducati for a while right out of high school. 250cc single, set up for dirt (probably a good thing
    it wasn't a road bike). It shifted right foot, and it was DOWN to shift UP. I
    would forget which bike I was riding, come screaming down on a corner , stomp down with my right foot to
    hit the brake and shift it up a gear. After going on my a$$ about a hundred times I sold it.:)
  5. motorcyclenut

    motorcyclenut New Member

    Before 1974, most European brands had rear brake on left, and shifter on the right. Harley Sportster was also one. Some of the old Yamaha's had the shifter shaft extend all the way through the gear casing so they could be converted to right hand shift for Class C flat tracking (no brakes on those racers). I took my m/c license road test in 1969 on a Benelli 125 that had the shifter on the right, and no turn signals either, we used our hands signals.
  6. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    It took my a while to get used to the heel, toe shifter on my Honda. I could not imagine trying to shift on the right side of the bike. That sounds like a wreck waiting to happen.
  7. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    If anyone wants a true motorcycle experience (without riding) go to a vintage race. There is nothing like watching guys, some 80 years old, going through the curves, tank shifting, laying rubber down. That blows away anything the superbikes have to offer.

    I can witness this at mid Ohio track.
  8. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    I don`t have a bike now, but when I did the shifter was on the right, weather it was hand or foot !..............
  9. Ez2b

    Ez2b New Member

    Yeah that's weird I would assume I'd probably get hurt on that down shift a gear and applying on the break Wow.ops
  10. orangello

    orangello New Member

    It sounds like pain waiting to happen to me too.
  11. wittmeba

    wittmeba New Member

    I've had mostly Japanese bikes and they all have the shift on left 1-down, 4(or more) up shift pattern.

    I had a 250 AJS Stomer Motocross about 1972 (Orange version) that had the shift on the right and 1-up and 3 down. It was exciting to say the least in emergency stops when changing from one to the other. Looked just like this:

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014