Keith Farmer 2018 Superstock Champion

Quickshifters are quickly becoming commonplace on new bikes – and not just sports bikes, a lot of regular road bikes have them too.

But what’s wrong with using a clutch? What benefits do quickshifters have? And why would we want them? Motorcycle Sport & Leisure talked to Gareth Hopkins from HM Quickshifter to find out.

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Quickshifter

Q: What is a quickshifter?

Gareth Hopkins (GH): “A quickshifter allows for clutchless gearshifts on a motorcycle; meaning riders do not need to engage the clutch or roll off the throttle to change gear.”

 

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Q: How can they help me?

GH: “Because they eliminate this need to roll off the throttle and use the clutch, the actual gear shift is done far quicker (in milliseconds) meaning you can not only save time, but focus fully on riding the bike. Quickshifters are used in racing paddocks around the world, from MotoGP to British Superbikes.

“It also makes the actual shift much smoother and a good quickshifter is the kindest way to treat a gearbox thereby significantly reducing wear and gearbox failures.”

 

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Q: What about road riders?

GH: “Increasingly, the latest Superbikes to hit the market come equipped with quickshifters. Whilst their primary function is to help on-track, the device simplifies the process of gear shifting for normal riders; giving a more enjoyable riding experience. Some systems are good, some poor.

“Why? Well, the answer is cost. Some designs cost pence, while the strain gauge type used by HM Quickshifter is in the hundreds of pounds.”

Quickshifter

Q: Are there different types?

GH: “There are various different types of quickshifters on the market. Many of them use a conventional switch mechanism. Whilst these shifters provide the rider with clutchless shifts, the fact they use mechanical parts can make them prone to breaking. They are inaccurate, and as there is a movement of parts to activate, the feel of changing gear is lost.

“The more advanced shifters, such as those we build at HM Quickshifter, use Strain Gauge technology which means that there are no moving parts, so they are ultra-accurate and reliable.”

Quickshifter Unit and Rod

Q: Can I fit one myself?

GH: “Yes! Our units come as an all-in-one package that can be plugged directly into any bike loom, without the need to cut or splice any cables. We also ensure that the bike electronics are not affected in any way so you can simply plug and play.”

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