Quickshifters - how on earth did we ever ride without them?We aren’t sure, but we’re bloody glad they exist. And the best part is, now you won’t have to live without one as Paul from Black & White Bikes takes us through how to install one on your machine…
This is important! If you’re installing your shifter on a machine that comes with one as standard, make sure you have your replacement gear linkage rod, and that it’s the right length. Make sure all the wiring is good and nothing is damaged before installation.
This is where the real work starts. Of course, getting into the air box is completely dependent on what make and model you have, but usually it won’t be too much of a challenge. Find a nice clean area for your bike, and get a pot ready to collect all the bolts you’ll be taking off.
On this particular machine, a Yamaha MT-10, the first course of action is to get rid of the seat (and pillion seat if separate), before gently removing the side panels. This should only be about three or four bolts, but if you’ve never removed yours before, be careful as the plastics can be fragile. On a faired machine, you should be able to leave your fairings on.
Now you’ve got the side panels out of the way, it’s time to disconnect the tank so you can get into the air box area. This usually consists of a bolt under the seat, one at the front and possibly one on either side, before gently lifting the tank and disconnecting the breather pipes, fuel and electrical connection.
Now your tank should be completely loose, it’s time to take it off. The job can be done with the tank just rotated back, but if you’ve come this far it’s always best to just take the whole thing off. It will avoid unnecessary damage and will make the process easier.
Now you have a tank-less machine in front of you it’s time to get into the air box, which means taking the cover off. Loosen off each of the bolts around the side, taking care not to drop or lose them if they aren’t captive. The cover should come off pretty easily now, and while you’ve got it off, it’s always a good idea to make sure your air filter is nice and clean.
Now that the top of the engine is uncovered, it’s important to cover the bell mouths so absolutely nothing can fall in, as that would have disastrous consequences. To plug them, you can either use tissues and tape, or a clean rag.
To remove the air box now, make sure all of the breather pipes have been removed. Usually, there will be one or two floating around, alongside a pair valve. Once these have all been removed, you can remove the air box.
This is the important part of the job, as although it can be a pain in the ass on some bikes to locate, it’s necessary to make the ’shifter function. Once you’ve located the ignition coils, and made sure you have access to each, it’s time to get down to business.
Now’s a good time as any to properly unpack the shifter and lay out the wiring where you roughly want it to be, so when you’ve plugged it all in you don’t have to mess around with the cables.
This is also where you want to find a good place for the control box. The best place is under the seat, where it can be shielded from the elements and have the best chance of surviving any big knocks or crashes. They’re pretty robust, but look after it anyway.
Now, you’re all prepped to connect the quickshifter to your machine. Connect up the wiring loop for each plug, making sure they’re all in correctly and neatly. This has to be done for each cylinder.
With your quickshifter now connected, follow the cabling down and try and spot the main earth – usually this will be just behind the tank, and pretty clearly visible. Undo, and attach the shifter cable in, making sure you don’t lose any of the existing connections. If you can’t find the main earth here, then any long bolt that would make a good quality earth is usable.
With your cabling all connected and in a good position, tidy it up with some cable ties at various points. Try and follow the path of the other electronics on the machine here, and don’t run it too close to anywhere that could get hot or be exposed.
Your wiring should now be in nicely, so it’s time to get to work on the shift rod. This particular MT-10 comes as standard with a quickshifter, in which case we have a new rod (of identical measurement) waiting. Unbolt the rod from either side, but be careful as it can have a left-handed thread. Before removing the shift rod, it’s always worth taking a picture so you can relocate it in exactly the right place. Leave the main sensor from the standard module connected though, or it may throw you some warning lights.
Now you’ve got your shift rod removed, install the new one onto the new rod, ensuring that there’s minimal slack within – these have to be inch perfect to work spot on, every time. Once this is done, bolt the shifter back on to the machine, and check out the picture to locate it perfectly.
Now you can route the wire up through, inside the chassis and up to the control box. Leave a little slack on this part to make sure none of the wiring gets ripped apart.
With the wiring now complete, plug it into the loom, and voila. It should be all ready to rock and roll now!
With everything good to go, it’s time to tidy any remaining bits of wiring and cable tie anything that’s majorly loose. They can be fragile, so secure them as safely as possible!
Now that your quickshifter is installed, it’s time to replace the air box and air box cover. Repeat the steps of removal and make sure you have removed all signs of tapes or rag from the bell mouths.
Replace the tank, taking care that all of your wiring is out of the way of any sharp edges. Make sure you stick the hoses back on securely, and if necessary, giving them a little bit of grease will make life much easier.
With the tank back on, it’s time to bolt the plastics back on and stick the seat on.
With some quickshifters you will need to do this step with access to the control box, but for the Healtech system, it can all be done via Bluetooth. So, with the ignition on, open the app on your smartphone and go through the ‘set up wizard’ and adjust accordingly. Now it’s ready to go!