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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Right-shift Royal Enfield 5-speed gearbox for sale

Right-shift Royal Enfield five-speed gearbox.
Like most British motorcycles, Royal Enfields had their gear shifts on the right side (facing forward). The Bullet made in India followed this design for half a century.

U.S. and international standards, however, encouraged Royal Enfield to switch to a left-shift design when it introduced its modern five-speed gearbox. Now the Bullet would shift the way motorcycles shift in the rest of the world.

Perversely, some owners go to the trouble to convert back to right shift. Credit love of tradition, if you will, or refusal to get used to using their left foot to change gears.

If this modification appeals to you, there is a new, never used, right-shift five-speed transmission for sale on CraigsList in Jeffersonville, Vt., and for an odd reason.

Modern Bullet's right-shift five-speed gearbox didn't fit Super Meteor.
"I Have a BRAND NEW right-hand-shift Royal Enfield Bullet transmission, with clutch center and clutch plates," the seller writes.

"I bought it to put on my older twin; needless to say my optimism is your gain."

I contacted the seller, Graeme, for more information. He explained:

"I bought this transmission from Royal Enfield USA. I probably make clear that by 'new' I mean it's for a new Bullet. I think '02 or newer, but I am not sure, since fitment wasn't something I was concerned about when I bought it.

"I bought it to try to put on my '57 Super Meteor, but found out pretty quick that the transmission case contacts the timing case; so now it's got to go."

Owner hoped new transmission would fit; it didn't.
Graeme thoughtfully included pictures of his Super Meteor, which now won't get a five-speed transmission.

"As for the bike, it's my first motorcycle, and when I bought it I had never even heard of Royal Enfield. That was 10 years ago. Since then I have spent countless hours getting it running and learning its quirks. I could write a book on the journey."

His transmission debacle would probably make a whole chapter in that book. But, for someone with a five-speed Bullet, mechanical ability and better luck, it would make an unusual modification. Asking price is $900.

Custom Super Meteor; it'd make a book.

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