Monday, January 19, 2009

what gear am i in?

motorcycle gear indicator
click for more pictures

Back in the day when I was a wee lad still shooting blanks I rode a dinky little 60cc Yamaha JT1. It had a "4 down" shift pattern with the neutral at the end. Sometimes when cutting fast through a tight turn, I'd downshift at the apex and goose the throttle only to be greeted with the engine freewheeling and screaming in neutral. Being leaned over for the turn, the bike would swiftly thud sideways down onto the dirt. Oops.

In the early 70s, Suzuki started putting high tech red LED gear indicators on their street bikes. They used a rotary switch attached to the end of the shift drum

Nowadays gear indicators require microchips and sophisticated algorithms to calculate what gear you're in based on "gear position signals" or road speed/engine speed calculations. This is what is known as "progress" - you need a tiny thumb-sized computer to figure out what a 50-cent switch used to do.

In any case. They are certainly a lot brighter than the hair-thin 7-segment LED display on my old GT550 smoker.

Various models from various manufacturers for various bikes. don't be an assclown and get the wrong one.

The Gipro unit has some "Timing Retard Eliminator" feature that is supposed to make certain bikes run better.

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