Handshift bikes are the most fun, they give you that genuine mechanical feeling, but mechanical fun often leads to mechanical hangovers. One common thing is that the shift lever gets worn out over time and the hole gets oval. This gives the shifter a clunky feel that’s not all too solid, so the best way is to get the transmission out of the chassie and get the lever out of the rotary top, then you weld up the hole and drill a new one, an easy fix pretty much. But here’s another way to go about it if you don’t feel like taking the transmission apart...
Go find a piece of aluminium the size of a magic marker and measure the shifter arm to drill it the right size.
Doing the washer and bushing in one piece is just as easy as doing the bushing, just measure up the width of the shift lever.
Here’s our little bushing buddy ready to shut the oval pie-hole. Make sure you get the OD big enough to fully fill out the oval hole. It should not be possible to press it inside the hole before...
...you bring out the file and make it the same shape as the oval hole, you want a slight press fit here so go easy on the hard liquor before going file wild.
Weld a small washer to the shifter arm, and make sure you get it on straight so it won't bind up.
Get the bushing in the shift lever from the inside, then use a set of pliers to press it in place. This little aluminium clunk-correction only takes one and a half hour, and it gives a huge difference to riding quality and getting your gears in smooth, and after this you don’t have to worry about missing gears any more, so you can relax, have a bottle of Gin and go back to worry about the rest of the bike again.
Nicke Svensson / Richmond / 11-04-2012