In 2017, a few good tips by Motorboy
about chain adjustments and sloppy shifters caught my attention.
I took note of his comments figuring that I would eventually examine the shifter on my 2015 Versys 650 to see if it had similar side to side movements
While tinkering on the foot-pegs and also installing a centre stand, I decided to examine the side to side slop and wiggle on my bike’s shifter.
I was surprised to see that the side to side movement was the same as on Motorboy
’s bike; i.e.: a clearance of about 20 thousands of an inch (.020 inch or 0.508 mm).
After removing the shifter mounting back plate, I tried to remove the bolt that holds the shifter foot-peg. It was definitely too soft and too tight. Although I used heat, the Allen bolt head simply destroyed itself.
I used a cut-off wheel on my angle grinder to cut off the head of the Allen bolt.
Look at the amount of red Loctite in the following pic! No wonder it wouldn’t move.
Note: I could have used more heat … but I didn’t want to damage the black paint on the shifter mounting back plate.
With lots of heat and a pair of vice grips, the bolt was removed from the foot-peg mount. The threads inside the foot-peg mount were then cleaned to permit inserting a new M10 bolt.
Items involved: shifter, shifter mounting back plate, foot-peg step holder. The threaded portion of the OEM bolt will be replaced with a new one.
Instead of looking for a 15 thousandth of an inch shim (.015 inch or .381 mm), I decided to use my benchtop belt/disc sander to slowly remove material from the inside tip of the peg holder.
Easy does it … I didn’t want to go too far. I was eventually able to remove close to .015 inch from the end of the peg holder.
While I had the shifter in hand, I decided to add a straight grease fitting (¼ inch x 28) towards the rear of the shifter assembly.
A Class 8.8 bolt (M10 – 1.25 x 25 mm) will replace the Allen bolt that was destroyed.
A small amount of blue Loctite and a lock washer (overkill … I know) will ensure that the foot peg does not easily loosen itself.
The inside of the shifter assembly was filled with Bel-Ray waterproof grease before final assembly.
Measuring the gap or side movement of the shifter assembly now shows approximately 5 thousands of an inch (.005 inch or .127 mm).
The modified shifter has been used for all of the 2019 riding season.
IMHO it now operates more smoothly than before.
I can now easily grease the shifter through the grease fitting.
If the shifter assembly ever needs to be removed, it will be much easier to loosen the newly installed M10 hex bolt than to struggle with that cheap soft OEM Allen bolt.