650SS Rearsets

marshg246

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I'm working on a beautiful 1967 650SS that has rear sets. They are pretty but downshifting (raising the lever) is nearly impossible. The throw is very long. With boots, I cannot raise/twist my foot high enough to downshift. With regular shoes, it's barely possible. The owner wants to keep the look but wants to be able to shift - he cannot get into 1st gear at all. I've verified that the gearbox works great - it's definitely caused by the rear sets. Does anyone have a 650SS (or similar) with rear sets that work? If so, can you point me to where I can get them?
 

Bodger

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FWIW I've had two 650SS's with "Dunstall" type resets. These are the kind commonly seen for sale. The shift feel was a bit vague compared to a standard shift, but they could be set up to shift acceptably though all the gears. I have tried a reversed standard lever and that was terrible. The 650SS and Atlas gearbox/frame/engine relationship is exactly the same so there is nothing specific to the 650SS that should effect the functioning of a particular type of rearset. To me the biggest issue is that with the standard seat and tank and clip ons and rearsets the seating position is pretty uncomfortable if the rider is in the not so young demographic.
 

marshg246

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FWIW I've had two 650SS's with "Dunstall" type resets. These are the kind commonly seen for sale. The shift feel was a bit vague compared to a standard shift, but they could be set up to shift acceptably though all the gears. I have tried a reversed standard lever and that was terrible. The 650SS and Atlas gearbox/frame/engine relationship is exactly the same so there is nothing specific to the 650SS that should effect the functioning of a particular type of rearset. To me the biggest issue is that with the standard seat and tank and clip ons and rearsets the seating position is pretty uncomfortable if the rider is in the not so young demographic.
Ya, even if shifting worked well, I couldn't ride it for more than 10 miles. Laid down holding onto the clip ons with my feet somewhat forward of my 70 year old hips is not good. That's a part of the problem - ankle won't lift high enough. The 40-something owner is more flexible, but he struggles even more then me.

I'm not a fan of rear sets so I have almost no experience with them. Don't know who made these - I'll see if they look like Dunstall. I'll post a picture when I get a chance.
 

t ingermanson

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Does the linkage rod have clevis ends or heim joints? I always trade mine out for heims. Takes the bit of wiggle out that can mean the difference between a shift and not. Otherwise, a shorter shift arm would be needed. If you can give a dimension from pivot to pedal rod thingy, I'll check what I've got for something shorter.

There's also the approach of changing the leverage by redrilling one end or the other to decrease the travel of the pedal.
 

Bodger

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Ya, even if shifting worked well, I couldn't ride it for more than 10 miles. Laid down holding onto the clip ons with my feet somewhat forward of my 70 year old hips is not good. That's a part of the problem - ankle won't lift high enough. The 40-something owner is more flexible, but he struggles even more then me.

I'm not a fan of rear sets so I have almost no experience with them. Don't know who made these - I'll see if they look like Dunstall. I'll post a picture when I get a chance.
I know this is not the technical solution you are looking for, but I always ride my older bikes with a pair of soft Bates leather boots. Makes for more "feel" and a correspondingly more sympathetic shift. I have a 650ss that I ride regularly. With standard footrests and conventional bars - not "Vincent straights" - the seating position is more natural than on any modern bike I have ridden. I'm not suggesting though that your customer switch. The cafe racer look is like a drug. DAMHIK
 

marshg246

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Here's a picture. I just realized that part of my problem is my size 14 feet. My stepson who has normal sized feet has less trouble that me but the same as the owner. It does look like a shorter lever at the front would improve things. Right now the pedal is adjusted as high as it will go. Much lower and it hits the exhaust pipe when upshifting.

Rearset.jpg
 
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Dunstall's have a adjustable rod with both L &R hand thread.
If your "old" joints can't get first gear, the old timers here use the back of their heel to select first.
 
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Right now the pedal is adjusted as high as it will go. Much lower and it hits the exhaust pipe when upshifting.

View attachment 17934
You can always reset the angle of the gearbox shifting arm by clocking it counterclockwise on the splines to move the shift lever up if the threaded rod has run out of adjustment in the upward direction. Then you extend the rod stop to micro adjust it back down the other way... You probably know what I'm saying, but I mention it because sometimes we miss the obvious
 

Bodger

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Is that washer in the picture an "extra" or one that lost it's home?
 

marshg246

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There's also the approach of changing the leverage by redrilling one end or the other to decrease the travel of the pedal.
I'll study this possibility. If the clevis will still work, it should look OK - just have to be sure that the lever will clear inside he clevis.
 

marshg246

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You can always reset the angle of the gearbox shifting arm by clocking it counterclockwise on the splines to move the shift lever up if the threaded rod has run out of adjustment in the upward direction. Then you extend the rod stop to micro adjust it back down the other way... You probably know what I'm saying, but I mention it because sometimes we miss the obvious
Ya, already did that to get the lever up. It was hitting the exhaust with the rubber when I started. It's in the best place I can get it right now but the throw is a problem. The only way I can downshift is to take my foot off the peg, angle my toes in towards the lever and lift. Can't use my heel - big feet and exhaust pipe. Also, without the foot peg and gearshift rubbers, it is almost usable as that gives more clearance but then can't angle toes p high enough so have to shift by lifting whole foot.
 
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Originally, I had the cheapo commando specialties rear sets, then I traded up to the Madass dunstall rear set copies. The cheapo's looked cheap, but actually seemed more ergonomic. After I changed over, I actually held the "Cheapo's" up to the new rear sets to try to copy the relationship of where the foot peg and the shift lever were because I had become comfortable with position of the "cheapo's".

I did just sell the commando specialty ones a few weeks ago, so no chance of swapping A for B... I have a size 13 shoe, so I feel your pain... almost...:cool:
 

marshg246

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Now I'm really confused! I drilled the lever attached to the gearbox to make the effective length of the lever shorter by about 3/4". Now, it will not shift at all! Shifting by hand while turning the rear wheel in the normal pivot hole works, in the lower hole - not all all. No, nothing is binding. I guess I'll try to measure the pivot angles with a normal lever, the rear set lever in the normal pivot, and the rear set lever in the shorter pivot - time for some trigonometry I guess.

I would appreciate knowing the length of the two arms from center to center on a rear set that works.
 

robs ss

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If so, can you point me to where I can get them?
I made a set for my featherbed 500 - essentially the same frame as yours. I used a set of universal rear sets as the basis - only had to make the "lever plates" for brake & gearshift. Best part is that you control the lever length & hence the ratio, You also determine where you put the toe-piece.
The Tarozzi is an excellent design, in that the entire footage length is the bush so you will never get any slop.
I used "fixed" pegs on both sides and the RGM kickstart lever clears them without the need for a folding peg.
Cheers
Rob
12. 4 Jan 2013.JPG
 

robs ss

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Here's some shots of making the brake lever plate - can't find the gearshift ones just now.
I remember the hardest part was making the large hole, which needs a step in it - I don't have a mill or lathe.
1.JPG2.JPG3.JPG4.JPG
 

marshg246

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Any luck with getting these to work?
More or less. It turns out that the lever being shorter made it impossible to up or down shift. I got a PM that gave me an idea. If the lever is at noon and the length is adjusted so the pedal barely touches the exhaust on an upshift, all gears work well by hand. With my big feet, and boots it's still difficult, but workable. Installing the lever one spline clockwise or counter-clockwise causes the shifting problems. The owner hasn't tried it yet - I'm working on the belt drive being full of oil right now. I'm also trying to find a solution to the center stand - someone cutoff the foot lever since it interferred wiht the exhaust required for the rear sets - there is no side stand and no way to put the center stand down by foot!
 

marshg246

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I made a set for my featherbed 500 - essentially the same frame as yours. I used a set of universal rear sets as the basis - only had to make the "lever plates" for brake & gearshift. Best part is that you control the lever length & hence the ratio, You also determine where you put the toe-piece.
The Tarozzi is an excellent design, in that the entire footage length is the bush so you will never get any slop.
I used "fixed" pegs on both sides and the RGM kickstart lever clears them without the need for a folding peg.
Cheers
Rob
View attachment 18045
Slightly hard to tell but it looks like your shift arm is longer than the one I'm working on and maybe even longer that the vertical part of the shift lever. It also looks like you were able to use standard exhaust. It all appears to be a much better solution. Also, you don't have to fold the foot peg to kick start. Good job!
 

t ingermanson

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More or less. It turns out that the lever being shorter made it impossible to up or down shift. I got a PM that gave me an idea. If the lever is at noon and the length is adjusted so the pedal barely touches the exhaust on an upshift, all gears work well by hand.
Hmmm. I was wondering if an obtuse angle at the linkage rod and gearbox shift shaft lever may not exert only rotational force, splitting it with force just side-loading the shaft. Maybe so. Did you try the shorter lever at a noon position?
 

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