Think of it this way – the time you spend while shifting gears is when the rear wheel does not get power and hence no acceleration. The time without acceleration is precious time lost. Although it is in seconds, this matters a lot on a race track. That’s why track bikes have been equipped with quickshifters for a long time. In this article, we explain about QuickShifters and how they are helpful.

What is a QuickShifter?

Quickshifter
Quickshifter

While riding your motorcycle and changing gears, riders will have to roll off the throttle, pull the clutch, tap the gear lever, release the clutch, and then twist the throttle again. With a quickshifter, the rider doesn’t need to use the clutch or throttle at all. All one needs to do is tap up with your foot, and the quickshifter will handle everything for you. Since there is a lesser human intrusion, the bike is quicker and therefore has better performance.

How does it work?

Here is a small video that explains how it works.

Usually, on a regular motorcycle, without a quickshifter. The rider closes the throttle, then pulls the clutch lever to disengage the drivetrain from the engine. Engine rpm reduces, and once there is no power flowing through the transmission, the gears are unloaded, permitting the shift dogs to release the current gear combination. Once the rider changes gear, it engages the drivetrain to the engine when the clutch lever is released and finally twist the throttle.

Most useful on the track
Most useful on the track where even milliseconds matter

Before quickshifters, racers used the clutchless upshift, which involves cutting off the throttle for an instant to disengage the drivetrain, selecting the next gear, and then pinning it on the throttle again. A quickshifter eliminates the required motion of the throttle. The quickshifter is able to disengage the transmission by manipulating the ignition on the spark plug. When you tap the lever to go up a gear, the quickshifter reduces the load on the drivetrain by temporarily stopping the ignition or cutting the fuel to the engine. This is done in less than a second, just enough time for the new gear to slip into place. The rider can keep the throttle pinned even while changing gears, courtesy of the quickshifter.

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Is the QuickShifter useful?

KTM 390 Adventure
KTM 390 Adventure is equipped with quickshifter

A rider can enjoy having the quickshifter installed in their motorcycle because of its many benefits. Shifting usually requires a rider to make two-timed, synchronised motions, but with the quickshifter, all you need is one simple movement. A quick shifter also increases the speed of your motorcycle. It is safe and enhances the overall performance of your bike too.

If you’ve never used a quickshifter, you should know a few things about them. Firstly, they’re not automatic. This means you still need to know when to shift, and you need to initiate that shift by yourself. Secondly, they tend to work best without human intervention. So during the upshift, the throttle needs to be wide open, and on the downshift, it needs to be closed. This is contrary to what riders have trained to do before the era of quickshifters, so that requires time and practice to get adjusted. It’s also important to know these work better in higher gears for the same reason your own shifts smooth out in the higher gears. The reason is, the ratio jump is smaller as you move up the gears numerically.

Verdict

Quickshifter
Quickshifter

If you’re a person who wants a sports bike(faired or naked) and plans to have regular track days, then the quickshifter is made just for you. The track is where the quickshifter makes the most difference. That doesn’t mean it is useless anywhere else, more like it will be used less. Their ability to increase speed and enhance motorcycle performance while remaining safe makes them an easy suggestion to any rider. It is a pure unadulterated performance that helps the rider concentrate on other things prioritising safety. It is something that you can live without but having it is definitely more fun, so you can make the decision.

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