Rear sets, shifting

Not open for further replies.


"Sons of Arthritus"
Jan 14, 2004
Country flag
I have a set of rear sets with the reversed shifter. I am having a hard time adjusting to the reversed pattern.
I also feel the action of the shifter is not as good as it could be. I am wondering if the odd angle of the JPN shifter in relation to the shaft is the cause of this.
I am going to reverse the pattern, my question is this. Do I install a reversed cam plate or a Dunstall style linkage?
Which gives a more positive shift?
Who out there has experience with both?

"Up for slow, down for go."
rear set shifter

I've had the linkage type rearsets and also a '74 JPN with the weird lever sticking out at 45 degrees. I agree with you the JPN style doesn't feel very good. Go with the linkage type.
Cam plate


I used a reverse cam plate and reverse shifter. I took 3 stock shift levers and screwed the first 2 up by heating and bending. The third I have bent perfectly into shape.

I tried shifting with the forward camplate first, but it was terrible. I have the 5 speed box too so even worse. After a few years of this configuration I am now going back to the standard setup.

Well I haven't gotten as much feedback as I thought I would, but it's about as I had expected.
I got a feeling neither one works as well as stock. It sure seems the modified shifters would work better than the JPN.
I have been looking around and have seen qualified riders with both. The one that really stuck was the picture of Mick Hemmings, it appeared to be a stock JPN shifter.
But then again he is Mick Hemmings and could probably out ride me with a pair of vice grips locked on.

I've got access to a set of used Dunstalls. I'll give em a go and see what I think. It just seems with all that linkage there would be deflection.
I've also got a leaky inner trans cover that needs tending to, hence my consideration for changing the cam plate.

Jerry, Norbsa and others that bend your own shifter. Is it better to modify a JPN, stock or maybe an aluminum Mark III?

Norbsa, is that a modified Dommi kicker?

Jerry, you say you are going back to standard, what do you mean? Foot peg location, shifter, cam plate, 4 speed? Just curious.

"Everything affects everything"
Going back to standard

Hi Michael,

I spent many years yurning over a fast commando. So ended up putting mine together with cam etc and all other mods, rear sets and everything else you see in the photo above including the 5 speed box reverse cam etc.

I rode the bike like this for a long time and it is fast. Then I went out just over a year ago and purchased a 2004 Sprint ST that I use everyday for work. That Triumph is all I need for speed and handling.

I look at the Commando in the garage and it looks great. I ride it every so often and it runs great and still flies. I have decided to strip it down and go back to stock with sensible mods only, like the norvil head steady and front brake. Now I want to ride my Commando slowly [80] and sit more upright rather than scrunched up charging about. I want to de-tune it.

So I'll have a quaiffe 5 speed close ratio gearbox and reverse cam plate for sale soon perhaps.

When the time comes, I'd be more than happy to put that Quaiffe to good use.

"Up for slow, down for go"
Michael B., As per Jerry D's historical perspective, I have gone through every permiation of "Cafe Racer" with My Nortons and Ducks. I found a kick start lever from in a dirt bike catalog that folded up like a SS bevel drive lever, which enableded me to utilize rear sets without the curved lever that goes behind and around the stock Norton kick start. That coupled with rod end bearings on the linkage created a smooth and percise shifter.
The kick start is from an Atlas and is not been bent. And the shifter is the Norvil part shown with only some small mods as far as bending. You do get use to it with time and it's just as good as stock. norbsa
Thanks to all for your input.
Norbsa's set up sure looks clean. I just purchased on evil bay what I think is an Atlas kicker for $.99 plus 7.00 S & H. We'll see.

JT, your set up is intriguing. I suspect the kicker pivots forward of the shifter toe? Did you hammer out your own shifter arm, or is it off the shelf?
Raber's show a folding kicker under their 'Featured Items'. Is yours similar to these?

One things for certain, somethings gonna change because this is the WORST shifting Norton, including my Mark III, I have ever owned.
MichaelB, you are correct, I think I purchasd mine from Malcom Smith Products about 8 years ago. I do not know if they are still around. I paid about 45.00. Only problem is that the mounting bolt is undersized and would not securely attache the mounting boss to the spline shaft, which was brought to my attention by another member of this list. I bored it as per stock diameter. It works fine now, nice and snug.
Not open for further replies.