Quaife 6 Speed gear cluster

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Hi All -

I have a question, hoping someone can provide some insight.

I have an opportunity to purchase a Quaife 6 speed gear cluster made for a Commando. Of course I realize that a stock 4 speed tranny is perfectly sufficient and this is a bit much, especially for the street. I also realize the 6 speed was meant mainly for the race track.

I currently have a Quaife 5 speed and a CNW hydraulic clutch in my ‘74 850, and really enjoy it. I am building a bit of a hot rod from a MKIII basket case I purchased, and am interested in the 6 speed as a result.

I have a couple of questions, hoping someone can help with the answers.

1) Will the 6 speed cluster fit/work with the MKIII given left side shift requirements?
2) Will the kick start shaft fit with the 6 speed cluster.

Thank you all in advance for you help.

Tom
 

gortnipper

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I dont think the 6 speed will work with the kick or a mk3.

If you look at the Quaife site, the cluster is race only, has a cam drum and comes with Mag cases.

 

madass140

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yes Im fairly certain the 6 speed is race only, no kick start, 2 options for 5 speed. although I cant see why you cant use it in a MK3
I think you have to make a bearing support from what I remember from fitting a race 5 speed.
 
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Thank you all for you comments!!

Looks like it will be questionable at best with the MKIII and not kick start capable.
Even if it works without the kickstart, it appears the gearing would not be street friendly.
Thanks again!
 

SteveA

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5 speed Quaife gears are thinner than 4 speed...6 speed gears are thinner than 5 speed...fine for say a 500 single...

But they would really struggle with 850 torque.

I think I should mention it is fine looking at the Quaife site, but as far as I know it is still Mick Hemmings that actually builds the boxes. I understand he has sold plenty of 6 speeders to 350/500cc single cylinder racers.

TTi boxes are somewhat heavier duty in just about every department. Which is OK if you are not fixated on building a lightweight.

I really wanted a 6 speed TTi for my short stroke 750, and it would have handled the power, but when it came to it, I didn't need a 6 speed and it has been fine with 5!
 
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SteveA is spot on.

I was told the website 'hasn't been updated in years' when I spoke to them, and it was clearly inaccurate according to the Quaife employee I spoke to.

I was advised by the Irish Road Racing Champion (on a 920 Seeley) to get a TTI and forget about Quaife.
Apart from the fact that he no longer needs a Maney outrigger bearing to stop the Quaife mainshaft flexing, he doesn't have to worry about missed gears either.

When you look at the vastly increased high gear bearing support and overall robust design of the TTI, it makes the decision so much easier.
 
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madass140

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that smugmug reference comes up on all my posts, its not specific to 6speeds or
anything else. I dont think I ever posted ot even took pics of this modification
 
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When I spoke to Bruce Verdon, he told me the TTI he makes, is a copy of a Quaife. When I asked him if the 6 speed TTI would cop 80 BHP, he said 'yes, easily'. The only other 6 speed Quaife type box I have encountered is in my mate's 350 Manx. The original Quafe box dates from the 1960s. Back then we probably did not have really decent steel in motorcycles. If a Quaife box was cheap , I would grab it. But I wouldn't use it behind a Commando engine.
 
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Fast Eddie

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I think he meant ‘copy’ in classic racing terms. Meaning it’s an external / visual copy and so is allowed in classic racing.

I do not believe he was referring to the internal design, which I am quite sure has no relevance to Quaife at all.
 
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I think he meant ‘copy’ in classic racing terms. Meaning it’s an external / visual copy and so is allowed in classic racing.

I do not believe he was referring to the internal design, which I am quite sure has no relevance to Quaife at all.
I haven’t seen one in the flesh, but Quaife did produce a cassette-style 6-speed box with a drum shift. Whether that’s what’s actually available or not I couldn’t say.
 
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I think he meant ‘copy’ in classic racing terms. Meaning it’s an external / visual copy and so is allowed in classic racing.

I do not believe he was referring to the internal design, which I am quite sure has no relevance to Quaife at all.
i don't think you are right. When I spoke to Bruce, it was about the internals. I don't believe anybody these days would make a 6 speed box from scratch without copying. In fact I don't think the TTI looks like the Quaife. The one in my mate's Manx has an external cage driving the gear-change mechanism. The TTI gearbox is like a lot of things in classic racing - it COULD have existed, so it is accepted.
 
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Did you know that the Gilera four in the 1950s had 7 speed gearboxes ? They really got fair dinkum. More gears and closer, is a good way to get more speed out of a slow motor

Have you seen this ? :

 
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A six speed box in a Commando seems a great way of spoiling what the bike is all about, why?
 

Fast Eddie

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i don't think you are right. When I spoke to Bruce, it was about the internals. I don't believe anybody these days would make a 6 speed box from scratch without copying. In fact I don't think the TTI looks like the Quaife. The one in my mate's Manx has an external cage driving the gear-change mechanism. The TTI gearbox is like a lot of things in classic racing - it COULD have existed, so it is accepted.

You might be right, I honestly don’t know for sure. I thought all 60s era gearboxes had camplates, etc. I did not know they had any drum style designs as Andy says, or that the shafts and bearings were as current. Being primarily designed for the 500 singles of the day, such shafts and bearings would have been overkill, a trait I didn’t think Quaife were known for back then.
I’d genuinely like to see pics of such if anyone has any to share.
 

oldbeezer

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Did you know that the Gilera four in the 1950s had 7 speed gearboxes ?
1602616548325.jpeg

60s Suzuki
Now back to Quaife
 
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You might be right, I honestly don’t know for sure. I thought all 60s era gearboxes had camplates, etc. I did not know they had any drum style designs as Andy says, or that the shafts and bearings were as current. Being primarily designed for the 500 singles of the day, such shafts and bearings would have been overkill, a trait I didn’t think Quaife were known for back then.
I’d genuinely like to see pics of such if anyone has any to share.
The outside of the TTI box looks as though it contains a cam plate. It even has a fake plunger cap. The Quaife was probably cassette construction, but I have never seen inside one. If anything, that would be the similarity. I think the cage which drove the gear change was on the front of the Quaife box where it would have driven the cam plate, not a drum. Changing 6 gears with a cam plate would probably involve 3 selector forks and 2 selector shafts It wouldn't be easy.
 
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View attachment 19141
60s Suzuki
Now back to Quaife
We are not talking about 125cc two-strokes. 7 is the largest number of gears I have ever heard of, in a large capacity four-stroke. I watched Geof Duke on the Gilera when I was 14 years of age. He made all the current top guys go backwards and I never knew what made such a difference. When you have got more gears and all close together, it is like having a heap more horsepower. You will note that Nova make a 5 speed close gear set for the GSX1100E, but the XR69 which Crosby rode had 6 close gears and a real race cam. I don't think Suzuki would sell you one of those boxes. The factory stuff is usually better than you can buy.
 

Fast Eddie

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The outside of the TTI box looks as though it contains a cam plate. It even has a fake plunger cap. The Quaife was probably cassette construction, but I have never seen inside one. If anything, that would be the similarity. I think the cage which drove the gear change was on the front of the Quaife box where it would have driven the cam plate, not a drum. Changing 6 gears with a cam plate would probably involve 3 selector forks and 2 selector shafts It wouldn't be easy.
That was my point Al, TTI put a lot of effort in to ensure external accuracy of appearance, hence that’s what I thought Bruce may have meant when he said ‘it’s a copy’.

If anyone has evidence of a 60s Quaife with drum please share...
 
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oldbeezer

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We are not talking about 125cc two-strokes. 7 is the largest number of gears I have ever heard of, in a large capacity four-stroke. I watched Geof Duke on the Gilera when I was 14 years of age. He made all the current top guys go backwards and I never knew what made such a difference. When you have got more gears and all close together, it is like having a heap more horsepower. You will note that Nova make a 5 speed close gear set for the GSX1100E, but the XR69 which Crosby rode had 6 close gears and a real race cam. I don't think Suzuki would sell you one of those boxes. The factory stuff is usually better than you can buy.
We are not talking about Gilera either. BTW it is a 50cc twin.
Back to Quaife
 
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