RHS gear change and LHS brake

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RHS gear change and LHS brake

What was the last bike manufactured that had the above please?

Conversely what was the first bike that had RHS brake and LHS gear change?

I can see why bikes moved away from foot clutches and gear levers on the side of the fuel tank but why change the gears and brake from one side to the other?

Cheb wrote

What was the last bike manufactured that had the above please?

Royal Enfields were coming like that until very recently. They have a cobbled together conversion now.

Cheb wrote

Conversely what was the first bike that had RHS brake and LHS gear change?

Back in the pioneer days they tried pretty much everything - so back in Edwardian times when they stuck the first motors in bicycle frames I guess.

Cheb wrote

I can see why bikes moved away from foot clutches and gear levers on the side of the fuel tank but why change the gears and brake from one side to the other?

USA highway department legislation requirements in the '70's ISTR.

right/left foot gear change.

Having lived through it I can tell you what happened and why the change.
Start from the end of WW2 where British bikes were dominant in the UK and held a sizeable chunk of the markets abroad, notably the USA. They were standardised to right foot gear-change and left foot back brake (and the layout of the hand levers for that matter) across all makes and models by general agreement.
Along come the Japanese who make massive inroads into the markets, but with their gear changes on the left foot and the brake on the right.
As you might expect there were lot of accidents where riders tried to do emergency stops with the wrong foot, and quite a few fatalities.
Quite reasonably the Americans decided to put a stop to this and standardise the control layout for all new bikes, and those which did not comply weren't allowed to be imported. So of course every manufacturer had to follow suit.
Sadly for me they chose the Japanese layout.
I used the word 'sadly' because I tried for two years to unlearn left foot braking and relearn it as a right foot action, but it just didn't work, I had to think which foot to use for every gear-change and every braking every single damned time. Even then I sometiomes got it wrong.
These days I ride a maxi-scooter which being an automatic is 'a push-bike with a twist grip'. for controls.

I dunno, but it seems I read somewhere it was to just make things standard from bike to bike. Which is a good thing...A friend of mine purchased a clapped out Bonnie chopper (mid sixties vintage).One of those jobbies where they welded a hard tail in place of the rear subframe. Unfortunately they didn't put on proper forward controls. Anyway, Flash (as we called him, I'm pretty sure it was irony) showed up at my house after purchasing the thing for about $999 more than it was worth (yep, he paid a thou fer it). He wanted me to take it for a ride. So, being a nice friend I humored him by folding myself in half to get on it. Oh, it had a ninety foot long springer front end. Anyway, I got about 100 yards down the road before it became apparent that my Brit chopper survival distance was less than 200 yards. Sooooo, I went for the back brake, on the RHS of course and got the Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm of having it in too low of a gear for the speed. Natch I dabbed for brake again, RHS, BBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMMMM - nob heads never learn. I then performed a twelve point turn and went back, in first gear, on the road side. Great chopper Flash, it'll look nice once you've fitted forward controls, replaced the forks, filled the bondo around the coffin tank, fixed that HD rimmed/Triumph hubbed rear wheel so it doesn't rub the chain, rechromed the wheels, painted it, cleaned off and rebuilt the engine, replaced the handlebars, installed a front brake and then douse in gas & light up. Never again.

I think you'll find it was a bit like riding on the left or right of the road. Each country tended to go its own way at first. Most Brit bikes seem to have had left foot brake whereas the Japanese had RH brake. I don't know where the other countries put theirs in the first place, but they all appear to standardise these days.Now, the left hand throttle - that's really something........

Bike Breaker wrote

I think you'll find it was a bit like riding on the left or right of the road. Each country tended to go its own way at first. Most Brit bikes seem to have had left foot brake whereas the Japanese had RH brake.

But the Japanese drive on the left - just like us.

If you want to truly confuse yourself : Try jumping from a modern bike, to a Brit bike (say, Matchless G3), then onto an Early BSA Bantam.The Bantam gears are on the right, but the other way up to everything else, errr I'd have to be sitting on the damned thing to know which way round they are though. Great fun bike.

FJSRiDER wrote

But the Japanese drive on the left - just like us.

That wasn't quite what I meant. My meaning was that it was a decision made independently of what was happening elsewhere, not that left side drivers deliberately had right side gear changes.

Riceburner wrote

If you want to truly confuse yourself : Try jumping from a modern bike, to a Brit bike (say, Matchless G3), then onto an Early BSA Bantam.The Bantam gears are on the right, but the other way up to everything else, errr I'd have to be sitting on the damned thing to know which way round they are though. Great fun bike.

Most Brits are 1 up and the rest down. The Bonnie (T120R)is 1 down and the rest up, as, I think is the Banty.The LE is in from neutral and down for 1st, out into neutral and up for 2nd and through neutral straight down for 3rd. Just like a car. A proper right hand gear change.

RiceBurner wrote

If you want to truly confuse yourself : Try jumping from a modern bike, to a Brit bike (say, Matchless G3), then onto an Early BSA Bantam.The Bantam gears are on the right, but the other way up to everything else, errr I'd have to be sitting on the damned thing to know which way round they are though. Great fun bike.

I'd forgotten about the 1 down/rest up \ 1 up/rest down \ neutral/all up \ they're all in there somewhere just kick it around 'til you find something.Do Vespas still have a twist grip change?Bwana,

Bike Breaker wrote

That wasn't quite what I meant. My meaning was that it was a decision made independently of what was happening elsewhere, not that left side drivers deliberately had right side gear changes.

Ah.I suspect the Japanese copied what the American market wanted - I know that Meguro/Kawasaki copies of the BSA with right foot change - but by the '60's and you were 'meeting the nicest people on a Honda' the US market was massive and so they had 'copied' the Harley brake and gearchange pattern.Later some legislator, paranoid that they would get sued by a thick, overweight, burger munching dullard, decided all US market bikes had to have a left foot change and right foot brake sometime in the early '70's.This caused all sorts of appalling bodges until new gearbox designers were used - and is still the case today. Scooters (above 50cc I think) are limited in number as above a certain figure of imports they have to have a right foot brake pedal! The Honda CN250/Helix, which is very popular in the states, has this!

Cheb wrote

Do Vespas still have a twist grip change?

who gives a shat?

My 1975 Laverda has the gear and brake levers the "wrong" way round.It's not a problem until I ride the ZX7R (which I do far more often) then I have to think about it.

I recall that around 1974 was the time they were standardised as research showed that a large percentage of accidents were due to people riding bikes with unfamiliar controls.The Triumphs around that time had an extended gear change shaft that came out through the primary drive case and looked like a right balls-up.Worked like one as well hence the rising suns setting on the then British motorcycle industry,I got a Yamaha 650 XS2 and left them blowing smoke in my dust.See ya suckers. :burnout:

Tomcat wrote

You're right about the linkages though, the last of the old Commandos (the 850 Mk3 with the electric start that didn't) had a godawful crossover shaft, should stayed right-footed

I know an old chap who has converted his 400/4 to rh gear shift because he fancied the bike but was used to Brit iron. It's small and light, so as he ages he can still go on riding.

Had a 1970 T500 Suzuki, the gearchange shaft on them went right through the engine with spline on each end so you could have it left or right change, rear brake was cable operated so it was easy to swop that over too. Dunno what other models did the same

Bez wrote

Had a 1970 T500 Suzuki.

Me too,I had a 72 model as well,you must be old.

errrr, Yes

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