TTI Five Speed Gearbox

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Feb 22, 2007
December 2007's Classic Bike Magazine featured Alan Seeley's - he's a writer with the zine - Norton Commando "rebuild." Among the updates, the one that stuck out for me was the introduction of the TTI five speed gearbox. This, from the article:

"TTI's gearbox is light years away from the clunky AMC original.... TTI learnt their craft in classic racing. There's real pleasure in the nicely spaced third and fourth ratios. Perfection comes at a price of £2426 (four-speed £2174), but once you've used one of these boxes nothing else will do."

That's a bit under $5000 USD. More than I paid for my bike.

I've scanned a picture of it (apologies in advance, it's very rough):

TTI Five Speed Gearbox

Just interested if anyone knows anything about it, has tried it, or has an opinion about it.

Conveniently, TT Industries (the very same), had a well placed ad next to the article that provided contact info (but no website):

tel 01461 338359 e-mail Brian Richards is the contact name.

2500 pounds for a gearbox is a bit rich for me Wrench, as you rightly point out you can buy an awful lot of nice motorcycles at that price. I am considering buying the RGM close ration 4-speed cluster for my cafe racer, it's listed at 350 pounds in the 2007 catalogue that I have. The Norton gearboxes are certainly slower and require a more thoughtful approach to changing gear, but you don't have to do it as often as on a modern bike and I consider that the arcane knowledge and experience required to operate classic machinery is half the fun.
Trans Tasman Industries made in NZ. website is
Just had the classic festival at Pukekohe last weekend, and a number of the top runners have these fitted. Allegedly very high quality, a bit pricey for the road though i would have thought..

Classic festival 3 days of old bangers, I heard 380 bikes (i think) entered.
Also had Hailwood Honda, Gilera 4 and AJS procupine doing demo runs. Ooh ah.

The Jim Langridge G50 is fitted with this box as it has a drum selector.
With an original box ( if you can call a two year old magnesium box old or original) it sometimes missed gears or came out of gear with disasterous results. Bad enough for the cylinder head & valves pistons etc that this box was considered worth while.
Me I'm with the rest of you. 2or 3 more projects!
all the best Chris
I can see that a good box would be worthwhile. I have a quaife 5 speed in the workshop that I took out of my racer because even after having it rebuilt twice by gearbox experts, it still is full of false neutrals.
The price is ludicrous though.

Hi Pommie John
Dont know if the carb bits helped.
Interesting what you say about the quaife box. I will be fitting a five speed to the Seeley MK4/ Caffrey.
I was not concerned as I am not pushing that hard but I have problems on the Antigdaytona. Sometimes the box is perfect. I then rebuilt the engine & at the next meeting the gearbox had to be trod on to select?
no rhyme or reason as nothing had changed. On the Triumph I have found the belt can get too tight & mess things up. Dont have this at all on my Rickman 8 valve T120 this box was perfect straight out of the box for many years.
all the best Chris
"Hi Pommie John
Dont know if the carb bits helped.
Interesting what you say about the quaife box. I will be fitting a five speed to the Seeley MK4/ Caffrey. ""

Hi Chris.
I still need to do some testing on the carbs, but thanks for the help.

I have been told that the reason that I have trouble with my quaife is that I run a japanese style shift pattern ( up for up) . I was brought up on jap bikes so that's how I have it. I can get used to the lever on the "wrong side" but not the up for down shift pattern.
Some racers have told me that if you run a down for up pattern they work better.
My view is that you can get more pressure on the lever that way, but it doesn't seem a great solution to a crap change mechanism!
Hailwood Honda, Gilera 4 and AJS procupine these are from the Sammy Miller museum at New Milton Hants if your'e ever this side of the world well worth a visit...or visit through cyberspace

Quaife gearboxes in this part of the world around £1200 from Mick Hemmings

Hi Pommie John

Must admit most of my boxes are right side gear change down for up. I did a bit of urgent repair at Brands & put the lever on slightly out. Changing down ie lever up it would not go into gear! I ended up lifting my foot up of the footrest to get into gear. So I think reversing the pattern will not help.
all the best Chris
A Commando box shoudn't need stamping on. There is a certain pleasant logic in tapping downwards to go faster rather than hooking upwards. I have to say that an AMC box can react as fast as I can move my ankles. We're not talking about "Dolls head" boxes are we ?

Isn't one of the problems with Quaifes that they always made batches of half a dozen or so and no two batches were ever identical ? Plenty of mis-matched ones around these days I should think. I don't believe that they'll sell indivuidual spares.
I don't believe that they'll sell indivuidual spares.

When I had my Quaife about 10-12 years ago, it had a broken 5th gear. I had no problem getting a new 5th gear main and layshaft. I put that back together and it seemed to shift like a Norton box, but after seeing the narrow gears and how crammed into the box it was, I decided against putting into my cafe racer. With the higher low gear and 1:1 fifth gear, it wouldn't have been pleasant on the street anyway.

I sold it to my buddy in New Zealand for his production racer. Last I heard it was doing fine.
79x100 said:
A Commando box shoudn't need stamping on. There is a certain pleasant logic in tapping downwards to go faster rather than hooking upwards..

I find that when you approach a hairpin corner in top and need to change down four gears in two seconds, it's easier to go tap,tap,tap,tap down on the lever than to hook your foot underneath and do the opposite.

Ron is correct.
When Rod Quaife made his first boxes they were in small batches he then modified that box altering the ratios.
Triumphs 5 speed is in effect his box.
My Daytona box has a sandwich plate about 1/2" thick to allow more space for the extra gears. When I rebuilt the engine last year I found that I have a MK1 & a MK2 Daytona box!!! Never knew there was 2 types. The high gear oil seals are a different size. The layshaft bushes become needle rollers & for some reason are a different size these go into a blanking housing again both different. The second box came at a good price as the previous owners could not get it to work properly. (you can see where this is heading) My friend Jeff has just brought a racing Daytona with close ratio 4 speed fitted. The owner included a 5 speed Quiafe that " he could not get to work properly" I have stripped & rebuilt the engine 3 times now & the boxes side by side to compare. Niether have done enough work to be worn. Eventually I will sort them out.
I am thinking of running an outrigger bearing in the inner casing oil seal housing. As I know the Newby belt drive on the mark 2 box was too tight. I altered the number of teeth in the front pulley & got a sweet box & lovely light clutch.
Hopefully the Commando one will be good straight out of the box.
My only fustration was my friend broke his Rickman Weslake last year & part of the package was a Nourish casing with the Triumph 5 speed to suit a Norton.
That is the way I should have gone! I'm sure he would have let me pay him weekly?
all the best Chris
RGM 4 Speed

Howdy All,

I had a RGM 4 speed fitted 2500 miles ago in my 850 Mk1 road bike.
It is awesome and changed the feel of the bike.
Its great to come down the gears into corners without having to worry about the big gap between 3rd and 2nd.
The best money I have spent on my bike.

To check out pictures of the New Zealand Norton race bikes running TTI gearboxes have a look at

Just spent the last 20 minutes composing a reply of questions and comments, and my very lame internet service booted me; I lost everything. Damn.

I'll be quick on this one.

Like the RGM option, a mucho better price and if it improves the box quite a bit, money well spent.

The quaife box (sold at Mick Hemmings) I've heard of, but know little about and it sounds a bit complicated in terms of all-around improvement???

I'm rebuilding a '71 model and will play the hooligan at times when I can get away with it, but I'm not building a racer here. Just want a smoother shifter with improved performance.

Great input and very helpful all around.

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