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Thread: Quick-shifter or manual shift?

  1. #1
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quick-shifter or manual shift?

    Ever fancied fitting a quick-shifter to your road-rocket - make yourself feel like a real racer, is it worth it? Dave (The Goat) Smith, Superbike test rider, racer and spannerman had one fitted to his Long Term Test Yamaha R1 but, just as it got round to 'hand the bike back' time, started wondering, just how useful it really was. In his words - thanks Dave - this is what he found.

    The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and it's started to get chilly, but worst of all, I'm starting to think about having to give my R1 back. Bugger. If you don't see much of me in the mag over the next few months, you can assume that the R1 and I have eloped to sunnier climes.

    I've had the HM quickshifter (from the lovely chaps at Race By Design) fitted for a couple of months now, and, for a couple of months, there's something about it that's been bugging me.

    Quickshifter facts. A quickshifter will:
    1. Make your bike feel around a billion times more like a proper race bike.
    2. Sap less concentration gear shifting on a race track than shifting 100% manually.
    3. Sap less physical energy by allowing you to hold the throttle pinned through gear changes.
    4. Reduce shift time enabling a quicker lap time.

    The first three facts I 100% agree with, but does a shifter actually make you faster? It feels like it does, but as a bit of conclusive evidence never goes amiss, I trundled off to Santa Pod for some quarter mile action. Three runs with the shifter disabled, then three with it working should do the trick. With a best of 10.12 shifting manually, I re-enabled the shifter and on the 6th run, recorded a 10.09, the terminal speed being 0.3 of a mile an hour faster. Although I went faster with the shifter enabled, this seemed to be due just about entirely to how well I got it off the line. A day at Santa Pod racing your mates is a proper laugh, but for a conclusive test some proper datalogging would give a clearer picture. So after blagging Bob's GPS wizardry, I popped up to Bruntingthorpe.

    As Bob said last month in his “I am your..” guide, a quickshifter never gets tired or lacks concentration. It also doesn't wake up grumpy with a hangover, suffer from caffeine deprivation, or have the arse from riding up the M1 in heavy traffic and rain.

    The graph (Unfortunately not reproducible here - Ken.) in the magazine this month shows a quick shifter shift, my best manual shift, and, most telling of all, my worst manual shift. The shifter will change as it says on the tin all day long, every shift the same. My best manual shifts will match the shifter, give or take a millisecond or two, but, and here's the thing, my worst shift took an appalling three tenths of a second as appose to the 73 milliseconds at which the unit (or me on a good day) is set. Now, if you're infallible, and like giving your right hand and wrist a good workout, then you'll do well to avoid any shifting device. For me, and my “show me a race track and I'll show you muscle pump” arms and hands, and (though I hate to admit it) the odd dodgy gear change, I'm saying I need all the help I can get. Two inaccurate gear changes a lap are worth over half a second after all.


    So there you are, it looks as though a 'shifter' will save you time and effort, and, if you are a track man could make the difference between being on the podium or back in your van in the paddock.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Quick-shifter or manual shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken
    Ever fancied fitting a quick-shifter to your road-rocket - make yourself feel like a real racer, is it worth it? Dave (The Goat) Smith, Superbike test rider, racer and spannerman had one fitted to his Long Term Test Yamaha R1 but, just as it got round to 'hand the bike back' time, started wondering, just how useful it really was. In his words - thanks Dave - this is what he found.

    The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and it's started to get chilly, but worst of all, I'm starting to think about having to give my R1 back. Bugger. If you don't see much of me in the mag over the next few months, you can assume that the R1 and I have eloped to sunnier climes.

    I've had the HM quickshifter (from the lovely chaps at Race By Design) fitted for a couple of months now, and, for a couple of months, there's something about it that's been bugging me.

    Quickshifter facts. A quickshifter will:
    1. Make your bike feel around a billion times more like a proper race bike.
    2. Sap less concentration gear shifting on a race track than shifting 100% manually.
    3. Sap less physical energy by allowing you to hold the throttle pinned through gear changes.
    4. Reduce shift time enabling a quicker lap time.

    The first three facts I 100% agree with, but does a shifter actually make you faster? It feels like it does, but as a bit of conclusive evidence never goes amiss, I trundled off to Santa Pod for some quarter mile action. Three runs with the shifter disabled, then three with it working should do the trick. With a best of 10.12 shifting manually, I re-enabled the shifter and on the 6th run, recorded a 10.09, the terminal speed being 0.3 of a mile an hour faster. Although I went faster with the shifter enabled, this seemed to be due just about entirely to how well I got it off the line. A day at Santa Pod racing your mates is a proper laugh, but for a conclusive test some proper datalogging would give a clearer picture. So after blagging Bob's GPS wizardry, I popped up to Bruntingthorpe.

    As Bob said last month in his “I am your..” guide, a quickshifter never gets tired or lacks concentration. It also doesn't wake up grumpy with a hangover, suffer from caffeine deprivation, or have the arse from riding up the M1 in heavy traffic and rain.

    The graph (Unfortunately not reproducible here - Ken.) in the magazine this month shows a quick shifter shift, my best manual shift, and, most telling of all, my worst manual shift. The shifter will change as it says on the tin all day long, every shift the same. My best manual shifts will match the shifter, give or take a millisecond or two, but, and here's the thing, my worst shift took an appalling three tenths of a second as appose to the 73 milliseconds at which the unit (or me on a good day) is set. Now, if you're infallible, and like giving your right hand and wrist a good workout, then you'll do well to avoid any shifting device. For me, and my “show me a race track and I'll show you muscle pump” arms and hands, and (though I hate to admit it) the odd dodgy gear change, I'm saying I need all the help I can get. Two inaccurate gear changes a lap are worth over half a second after all.


    So there you are, it looks as though a 'shifter' will save you time and effort, and, if you are a track man could make the difference between being on the podium or back in your van in the paddock.

    Ken.
    Interesting stuff; I'd like to try one myself... have you?

    I have friend with an FZ-1 that has this set up....

  3. #3
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Re: Quick-shifter or manual shift?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken
    Ever fancied fitting a quick-shifter to your road-rocket - make yourself feel like a real racer, is it worth it? Dave (The Goat) Smith, Superbike test rider, racer and spannerman had one fitted to his Long Term Test Yamaha R1 but, just as it got round to 'hand the bike back' time, started wondering, just how useful it really was. In his words - thanks Dave - this is what he found.

    The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and it's started to get chilly, but worst of all, I'm starting to think about having to give my R1 back. Bugger. If you don't see much of me in the mag over the next few months, you can assume that the R1 and I have eloped to sunnier climes.

    I've had the HM quickshifter (from the lovely chaps at Race By Design) fitted for a couple of months now, and, for a couple of months, there's something about it that's been bugging me.

    Quickshifter facts. A quickshifter will:
    1. Make your bike feel around a billion times more like a proper race bike.
    2. Sap less concentration gear shifting on a race track than shifting 100% manually.
    3. Sap less physical energy by allowing you to hold the throttle pinned through gear changes.
    4. Reduce shift time enabling a quicker lap time.

    The first three facts I 100% agree with, but does a shifter actually make you faster? It feels like it does, but as a bit of conclusive evidence never goes amiss, I trundled off to Santa Pod for some quarter mile action. Three runs with the shifter disabled, then three with it working should do the trick. With a best of 10.12 shifting manually, I re-enabled the shifter and on the 6th run, recorded a 10.09, the terminal speed being 0.3 of a mile an hour faster. Although I went faster with the shifter enabled, this seemed to be due just about entirely to how well I got it off the line. A day at Santa Pod racing your mates is a proper laugh, but for a conclusive test some proper datalogging would give a clearer picture. So after blagging Bob's GPS wizardry, I popped up to Bruntingthorpe.

    As Bob said last month in his “I am your..” guide, a quickshifter never gets tired or lacks concentration. It also doesn't wake up grumpy with a hangover, suffer from caffeine deprivation, or have the arse from riding up the M1 in heavy traffic and rain.

    The graph (Unfortunately not reproducible here - Ken.) in the magazine this month shows a quick shifter shift, my best manual shift, and, most telling of all, my worst manual shift. The shifter will change as it says on the tin all day long, every shift the same. My best manual shifts will match the shifter, give or take a millisecond or two, but, and here's the thing, my worst shift took an appalling three tenths of a second as appose to the 73 milliseconds at which the unit (or me on a good day) is set. Now, if you're infallible, and like giving your right hand and wrist a good workout, then you'll do well to avoid any shifting device. For me, and my “show me a race track and I'll show you muscle pump” arms and hands, and (though I hate to admit it) the odd dodgy gear change, I'm saying I need all the help I can get. Two inaccurate gear changes a lap are worth over half a second after all.


    So there you are, it looks as though a 'shifter' will save you time and effort, and, if you are a track man could make the difference between being on the podium or back in your van in the paddock.

    Ken.
    Interesting stuff; I'd like to try one myself... have you?

    I have friend with an FZ-1 that has this set up....
    I haven't had the opportunity to try one yet, Eric. (If I had money to spare?) So, I just make do with clutchless upshifts and lightning quick (That's geriatric 'lightning') clutched downshifts. Come to think about it I don't know of anyone who has one fitted - not even any of our uber- fast club members.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Quick-shifter or manual shift?

    "I haven't had the opportunity to try one yet, Eric. (If I had money to spare?) So, I just make do with clutchless upshifts and lightning quick (That's geriatric 'lightning') clutched downshifts. Come to think about it I don't know of anyone who has one fitted - not even any of our uber- fast club members."

    Same here - and I would bet the difference in improved shift times, etc. is fractional - and thus relevant mostly only for actual racers at the very highest level of competition.

    I'd rather invest in some chassis/suspension upgrades....

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