[FrontPage] [TitleIndex

Shifter Mod


I'm going to outline how I installed brand new ball joints on my shifter linkage. Although I did this on my '83 V65 Magna, I'm sure that it can be adapted to other models as well. Replacing these joints should take out a majority of the slop in your shifter and make the action smoother. As you've probably seen, the stock ball joints were meant to be quite permanent. Honda doesn't sell an OEM replacement for the joints; the entire shifter assembly must be purchased, which is pretty expensive. Not only is $ a factor, but you also get the same old 1980's style joints, which suck. A lot. OK, let's do this.

Parts Needed

This is what you're going to need from McMaster-Carr:

(1) 6275K33 Metric Ball Joint Linkage M6 X 1 Threaded Male Stud

(1) 6275K33 Metric Ball Joint Linkage M6 X 1 Threaded Male Stud

*Note: These can be found at the bottom of Page 1053 in the online catalog. Yes, they have the same Part #, you just specify a different thread when you add each to the cart.*

You're also going to need two M6x1 stainless steel nuts to secure the ball joints, and some Loctite of your choice, preferably at least 242 (Blue, Medium).

Part #'s subject to change.


  1. Remove the entire shifter assembly from your bike.
  2. Separate the shifter lever and shifter arm by removing the linkage rod.
  3. Clamp the shifter lever in a vise and grab the cutting tool of your choice. I recommend a dremel with a fresh cut-off wheel, but a hacksaw will work fine. Just stay away from chainsaws and explosives.
  4. Cut the old ball joint off flush with the shifter lever.
  5. Look at the surface. You should just barely see a 6mm circle. This is the stud of the old ball joint stuck in the shifter lever.
  6. Grab a hammer and a small punch. Knock that stud out the other side.
  7. Grab one of your new ball joints. Any one, it doesn't matter.
  8. Coat the threads in blue loctite, insert the ball joint stud in the hole, and spin that M6x1 nut on. Tighten that bugger down! *NOTE: Do NOT use a washer here
  9. Wipe off the excess loctite.
  10. Using your cutting tool of choice, cut the stud flush with the nut.

Repeat steps 3-10 with the shifter arm. Reinstall the assembly in your bike, and enjoy!

To make it super tight, I'm going to have a machine shop turn a new plain bearing for the pivot bolt. I plan on having the tolerances tight, but to also have lubrication grooves cut in for grease. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Added Note: I'd like to explain why I did NOT use a washer under the 6mm nuts. If you use a washer and/or don't cut the stud flush with the nut, the stud/nut WILL hit the footpeg mount and the bike will not up shift properly. So no washers, and cut them studs flush with the nuts.


The shifter pivot is three pieces.

  1. The hole through the shifter arm itself
  2. The barrel that the shifter arm pivots on
  3. And the two sided bolt that holds it together

Part number 2 is longer than it needed to be on my bike causing extra slop. I ground it shorter with my bench grinder, BUT NOT SO SHORT THAT IT WON'T BOTTOM OUT, MAKING THE SHIFTER TIGHT AND IMMOVABLE WHEN THE BOLT IS TIGHTENED.

ShifterMod1.jpg ShifterMod2.jpg ShifterMod3.jpg ShifterMod4.jpg ShifterMod5.jpg ShifterMod6.jpg ShifterMod7.jpg