Motorcycle Quick Shifters: Improving Shift Speed By Up To 500%

Confused about motorcycle quick shifters? Our quick guide explains what they are, if they cause transmission damage, and how fast they can really shift!

Been wondering what the solution is to slow gear changes?

The answer is a motorcycle quick shifter.

These are devices that are fitted to the likes of MotoGP bikes to get almost perfect gear changes – as quickly as 80ms.

Given even a fast manual gear change is around 0.4s, you’re looking at a device that can improve your shifting speed by up to 500% – on a bad day.

How You Shift Gears

You probably slot into one of the three camps below:

  1. I change gears by rolling off the throttle fully and using the clutch, before changing gear
  2. I slip the clutch slightly even when the throttle isn’t off, to change gears quickly
  3. I crank through the gears without rolling off the throttle, or using the clutch.

If you’re in camp one, there’s nothing going on that will damage your bike.

Slotting into camp two means you’ll be replacing the clutch on your bike more regularly than others.

And if you find yourself in camp three, you might land yourself with an expensive gearbox repair bill; shifting without using the clutch isn’t good for your motorcycle!

How Fast You Shift Gears

Depending on method and technique, you should be shifting in well under 1 second. In fact, you should be closer to 0.5s, possibly leaning towards 0.3s.

How Fast A Motorcycle Quick Shifter Changes Gears

A motorcycle quick shifter allows a quick gear change usually within 0.1s, without letting off the throttle or using the clutch.

But, how?

The Basics – How Motorcycle Quick Shifters Work

The setup of different motorcycle quick shifters can vary slightly. But the principle is the same. 

They cut the strain and load on the gearbox for the exact amount time it takes to shift.

As you engage a gear, your motorcycle quick shifter is going to cut either the ignition or the fuel supply for literally a few milliseconds.

That’s quick enough to get that perfect up shift, without letting off the throttle or using the clutch.

Are Motorcycle Quick Shifters Bad For A Transmission?

Assuming the unit is working correctly, it’s likely a quick shifter will shift more fluidly than you will, and therefore damage and wear to a transmission isn’t increased.

However, there are two types of quick shifter available:

  • Ignition Cut
  • Fuel Cut

Basically, one will temporarily cut the fuel, reducing strain and load on the gearbox. The other will cut the ignition.

So, which one is the best?

If there’s a choice, go for a ignition cutting quick shifter.

Why?

Especially on newer bikes, there are secondary injectors. If these don’t pick up the signal from the ECU, they’ll not be cutting fuel supply or reducing strain; your gearbox will get damaged.

This won’t happen with a ignition cut quick shifter.

Who Makes The Top Motorcycle Quick Shifters?

We’d be focusing our attention on two brands here that make motorcycle quick shifters:

  • DynoJet
  • HM Racing

What’s Next?

I’m a motorcycle nut, just like you.

Bookmark our motorcycle page, and jump on our email list and I’ll drop you a line when I post up something new.

Written by
Grant Draper

Grant's a motorcycle geek, outdoor enthusiast & confirmed racing nut. He road tests all the gear he buys, and then gives his feedback here on NoobNorm.

He also details any quick fixes he stumbles upon, whether that's to stop brakes on motorcycles sticking, or unusual noises coming from gaming wheels.

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Written by Grant Draper