Monthly Archives: November 2007

If it ain’t broke…

I read on an Internet forum that it is advisable to once in a while check the gear lever mechanism of the Pan European motorcycle. Underneath the vehicle, it is exposed to road salt and spray, and if not looked after can cause clunky gear changes.

So last weekend I took it off. First of all one has to remove the belly pan in order to get access to the gear lever. Belly pan removed, I took the gear lever off. At least, that was the plan. As I undid the bolt holding the gear lever to the gearbox shaft, it sheared off. After some drilling, hammering, and swearing, I finally got the gear lever off the bike. Drilling the sheared bolt out of course damaged some of the threads, so I re-tapped them. During the re-tapping, the clamp mechanism broke in two. Some swift welding later, I had a usable gear lever again.

Apart from that, it was in pretty good condition anyway! I put it back on the bike and re-attached the belly pan.

However, this morning on my commute in to work, I needed to change down a gear. Pushing down on the lever with my left foot, I was surprised to find the lever gently subsiding underneath the bike. Still in 5th gear, I managed to take the next exit which happened to be a motorway service station. In the carpark I removed the belly pan and had a look at the gear lever. The bolt was missing, with the result that the clamp mechanism was just rotating around the gear shaft. Not carrying a stock of bolts with me, I called the AA.

An hour or so later the AA man arrived and from his toolbox produced an M6 bolt which he proceeded to fit. I was soon on my way again. The problem I then had was that the gear lever had been reattached at the wrong angle and was actually too high; to change gear I had to completely lift my foot off the footpeg to reach the lever!

So when I got home this evening I once again removed the belly pan and the gear lever. Reattaching it in the correct position, I tightened the bolt. Unfortunately this had the effect of splitting the clamp mechanism again.

I’ve ordered a replacement gear lever (found one on Ebay) but as a temporary fix I’ve solved the split clamp mechanism by using a radiator hose clamp.

It just shows, that old adage is quite true. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!