How to Fabricate a Custom Jockey Shifter: Step-by-Step Guide

To make a jockey shifter, you will need a shifter handle, a shift lever, a small piece of tubing, and a few hardware items. Making a jockey shifter requires some mechanical skill and knowledge, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be a rewarding project.

A jockey shifter is a type of motorcycle shifter that is operated with a hand towards the front of the bike instead of a foot. It is a popular choice for custom-built motorcycles and gives a unique retro look to the bike.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make a jockey shifter. So, let’s dive in!

How to Fabricate a Custom Jockey Shifter: Step-by-Step Guide


Tools And Materials Required

List Of All The Necessary Tools Required

Before diving into the process of making a jockey shifter, it’s essential to have a set of tools that can help you get the job done with ease. Here’s a rundown of all the necessary tools you’ll need to make a jockey shifter:

  • Welding machine and accessories
  • Grinder
  • Chop saw
  • Hand drill
  • Tap and die set
  • Metric wrench set
  • Clamps

List Of All The Materials Required For The Fabrication

Apart from the tools mentioned above, you will need specific materials that are essential to make a jockey shifter. Here’s a list of all the necessary components and materials that you’ll need to complete the fabrication:

  • 1/2″ steel tubing
  • 1/2″ steel rod
  • 1/4″ steel plate
  • Steel shift knob
  • Clevis pins
  • Spring
  • Lock nut
  • Rubber o-ring
  • Bearings

In order to make a strong and durable jockey shifter, make sure that all of these materials are of high quality.

Making a jockey shifter requires precision and attention to detail while fabricating different components and welding them together. But with the right tools and materials, you can easily make a custom jockey shifter that can fulfill your requirements.

Preparing For Fabrication

Creating a jockey shifter is one way to customize your motorcycle to get the perfect ride every time. The shifter system requires a unique fabrication, and you’ll need to be prepared before you start. Here are some helpful hints for getting your workspace ready for the task and staying safe throughout the process.

Preparation Of The Workspace

Before fabricating your jockey shifter, make sure your workspace is ready. This will make the task easier and safer. Here are some ways to prepare your workspace:

  • Clear the workbench of any other items other than the materials you will be using.
  • Organize your tools and materials in an accessible manner.
  • Ensure that your workspace is well-lit to reduce eye strain.

Safety Measures To Be Followed During Fabrication

When fabricating your jockey shifter, safety should be a top priority. Here are some safety measures to follow during the fabrication:

  • Wear proper protective equipment, including gloves, respirators, goggles, and a face shield.
  • Ensure that all power tools and equipment are in good working condition and properly grounded.
  • Keep your work area clean and organized to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Avoid distractions and interruptions during fabrication.

Remember to take frequent breaks to stretch and rest your eye muscles. Taking these simple steps will help you ensure that your workspace is ready for fabrication and that you remain safe while making your jockey shifter.


Step-By-Step Fabrication Guide

Are you a motorcycle enthusiast looking for a personalized feel when riding? A custom jockey shifter can offer an excellent solution! The unique design allows you to operate the shifter with your foot while retaining the classic look. In this step-by-step fabrication guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to build your own custom jockey shifter.

Keep on reading to find out more.

List Of All The Steps Required To Fabricate The Custom Jockey Shifter

Here’s a straightforward list of all the steps required to fabricate your custom jockey shifter:

  • Gather materials
  • Cut and drill the lever
  • Weld lever to shaft
  • Create a mounting bracket
  • Install mounting bracket to frame
  • Connect cable
  • Install shifter knob
  • Test and adjust
  • Paint or coat
  • Show it off

Detailed Explanation Of Each Step

Let’s review each of these steps in more detail:

1. Gather Materials

You’ll need a couple of tools, including a welder and a saw, and easily sourced materials such as:

  • Lever arm
  • Shaft
  • Mounting bracket
  • Shift knob
  • Cable

If necessary, acquire additional materials according to your design and specification.

2. Cut And Drill The Lever

The first step in building a jockey shifter is to drill a hole in the lever arm. The hole must be wide enough to fit the shifter shaft. At this stage, you can also cut the lever arm to the desired length, depending on your preference.

3. Weld Lever To Shaft

Now, weld the lever arm to the shifter shaft. Be sure to hold the lever securely in place during welding to ensure that it is correctly attached to the shaft.

4. Create A Mounting Bracket

After attaching the lever arm to the shifter shaft, create a mounting bracket for the shifter. You can make it from flat steel bar stock or any other appropriate material.

5. Install Mounting Bracket To Frame

The next step is to install the mounting bracket to the motorcycle frame. You can attach it with bolts or by welding.

6. Connect Cable

With the shifter and mounting bracket attached, connect the cable to enable it to shift gears. Ensure the connection is secure while retaining some cable slack to allow for free movement.

7. Install Shifter Knob

Next, install a shifter knob at the end of the shifter shaft for added comfort and control. The knob can be made of materials such as metal, wood, or plastic.

8. Test And Adjust The Shifter

Test the shifter and make adjustments if necessary. Ensure that it’s working correctly, and the cable has enough slack to shift gears. The shifter should be comfortable for you to operate and should not interfere with any other controls near the foot area.

9. Paint Or Coat

Once you’re satisfied with the final product, paint or coat the shifter to prevent rust and help it blend in with the bike’s aesthetics.

10. Show It Off

Finally, proudly display your new custom jockey shifter and enjoy the ride with a personalized feel.

Installing The Custom Jockey Shifter

How To Install The Custom Jockey Shifter

Installing a custom jockey shifter can be a great way to update your motorcycle’s look and add a personal touch to it. However, if you’re not familiar with the process, it can be a bit intimidating. Here are some tips and tricks to make the installation process easier:

  • Start by removing the stock shifter: Before you can install your custom jockey shifter, you need to remove the stock shifter. You can do this by unbolting the shifter from the transmission housing and lifting it out of the way.
  • Install the new shifter bracket: Once the stock shifter is removed, you need to install the new shifter bracket. The bracket is what holds the jockey shifter in place, so it’s important to make sure it’s installed correctly. The installation process will vary depending on the make and model of your motorcycle, so consult your owner’s manual or a mechanic if you’re not sure how to proceed.
  • Connect the shifter assembly: After the bracket is installed, you need to attach the shifter assembly to it. This assembly includes the jockey shifter itself, as well as any linkages or cables that connect it to the transmission. Again, the installation process will vary depending on your motorcycle’s make and model, so refer to the manual or seek professional assistance.
  • Adjust the shifter: Once the shifter assembly is connected, you need to make sure it’s adjusted properly. The jockey shifter needs to move through its full range of motion smoothly and without any binding or resistance. You may need to adjust the position of the bracket or the length of the linkages to achieve this.
  • Test the shifter: Once the shifter is installed and adjusted, take your motorcycle for a test ride to make sure everything is working properly. Make sure the shifter moves smoothly and that you can shift through all the gears.

Tips And Tricks To Make The Installation Process Easier

  • Take your time: Installing a custom jockey shifter can be a time-consuming process, but rushing through it can lead to mistakes. Set aside plenty of time and work carefully to ensure that everything is installed correctly.
  • Consult the manual: Your motorcycle’s owner’s manual should have detailed instructions on how to remove the stock shifter and install a new one. Make sure to consult it before starting the installation process.
  • Seek professional help if necessary: If you’re not confident in your ability to install the shifter yourself, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. A mechanic or experienced rider can help you avoid mistakes and ensure that the shifter is installed safely and correctly.
  • Test the shifter before riding: Before hitting the road, make sure to test the shifter while the motorcycle is stationary. This will help you identify any issues before you’re out on the road where they could cause a problem.
  • Be patient with adjustments: Adjusting the shifter can be a finicky process, and it may take some trial and error to get everything working smoothly. Don’t get frustrated if it takes a few attempts to get it just right.
  • Use quality components: A custom jockey shifter is only as good as the components it’s made of. Invest in high-quality components to ensure that your shifter is reliable and long-lasting.
  • Consider the ergonomics: A jockey shifter can look great, but it needs to be comfortable to use as well. Consider the placement and shape of the shifter, and make sure it feels natural to use.
  • Seal exposed parts: Once the shifter is installed, make sure to seal any exposed parts with a high-quality sealant. This will help keep dirt, water, and debris out of the shifter mechanism.
  • Don’t neglect maintenance: Like any other part of your motorcycle, your custom jockey shifter requires maintenance to keep it working properly. Make sure to clean and lubricate it regularly, and check for any signs of wear or damage.

Installing a custom jockey shifter may seem daunting, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a rewarding upgrade for any motorcycle enthusiast. By following these tips and tricks, you can make the installation process easier and ensure that your shifter is installed correctly and functions smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Make A Jockey Shifter

What Is A Jockey Shifter?

A jockey shifter is a type of gear shifter used on motorcycles. It is mounted on the top tube of the bike and operated by the left hand.

Why Use A Jockey Shifter?

A jockey shifter allows the rider to shift gears without reaching down with their foot. It can also give the bike a classic, vintage look.

What Materials Do I Need To Make A Jockey Shifter?

To make a jockey shifter, you will need a shifter lever, a shift gate, a hinge, and various bolts, nuts, and washers. You may also need a drill and welding equipment.

How Do I Install A Jockey Shifter?

To install a jockey shifter, first remove the existing gear shifter from your motorcycle. Then, attach the shifter lever to the hinge and the shift gate. Finally, attach the shifter assembly to the top tube of your bike.

Is A Jockey Shifter Legal?

Jockey shifters are legal in most states, but the legality may vary depending on your location. It’s important to check with local authorities before installing one on your motorcycle.

Can Beginners Use A Jockey Shifter?

It is not recommended for beginners to use a jockey shifter. It requires more skill and coordination than a foot shifter, and may be dangerous for inexperienced riders.


After reading this tutorial, you should be feeling confident and enthusiastic about making your own jockey shifter. With the detailed instructions and valuable tips provided, you can now start working on your project with ease. Remember, safety should always come first when creating any mechanical device.

Make sure to use proper protective gear and work in a well-ventilated area. This is not a project to rush. Take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process. Once your jockey shifter is complete, test it out and show it off to your friends; you deserve to feel proud of your accomplishment.

Thank you for choosing this blog for your jockey shifter-making journey, and we hope you witnessed how gratifying it is to make something with your own hands. We can’t wait to see your finished creation!


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