Jockey Journal Forum banner
1 - 20 of 110 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
584 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

Tonys post on clutch cables got me thinking about my first Harley I built about 1972. A 1952 pan with a Suicide clutch complete with the dog chain and gold plated putter. I'd been riding my Ariel Square Four chopper for close to three years so I knew how to ride a hand clutch/foot shift, BUT boy was I in for a Suprise!! I crashed it Four Times in Three Days!! three times in intersections when I couldn't find neutral, lost my balance and had to throw it down to avoid poping the clutch and going out into traffic. And the last straw when I accidently poped the clutch in my back yard and hit my House! Iv'e been riding Foot Shifts ever since..
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
PONY said:
three times in intersections when I couldn't find neutral, lost my balance and had to throw it down to avoid poping the clutch and going out into traffic. ..
Yours is the original jockey shift like I once had. Super hard to feel the detents to find neutral. In hindsight, there must be some way to make a z-gate type device or increase the pressure on the detents. People used to think I was double clutching down the street, sheesh, I was just letting out the clutch, to see if I found second gear. 4th gear was easy though, push that lever right down to the primary cover.

Most of the ones I see now have the shift lever hooked up to the footshift type, ratchet device on the trans. So those you just click, click, to find neutral. Still not easy to ride, but not as hard as the one you had.

Killer bike, btw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
584 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
mikes51 said:
Yours is the original jockey shift like I once had. Super hard to feel the detents to find neutral. In hindsight, there must be some way to make a z-gate type device or increase the pressure on the detents. People used to think I was double clutching down the street, sheesh, I was just letting out the clutch, to see if I found second gear. 4th gear was easy though, push that lever right down to the primary cover.

Most of the ones I see now have the shift lever hooked up to the footshift type, ratchet device on the trans. So those you just click, click, to find neutral. Still not easy to ride, but not as hard as the one you had.

Killer bike, btw.
I found out later from my buddy that had a 47 Knuckle with a 24" over springer and a suicide that if you went all the way down to 1st and back to nutral it was easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I love foot clutch/hand shift. If the controls are set up right, it is VERY easy to do. Maybe if you're just learning to ride it would be tough....?

You do have to be more in touch with whats happening, but it is a rush and a lot of fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
ive had them on my last three.....i dig it

its personal preference but its kinda like kickstarters for me where it just puts me a little more in "tune" with the bike

i like feelin it clank thru the gears
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Re: How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

My Indian is a suicide clutch but honestly I've never riden a bike that wasn't. Just as well since I might get spoiled.

On my bike there's no shift gate so it can be tricky finding neutral. However, just like the other's responding here, I throw it into neutral lonnng before I need it. Hell, it's much easier to locate first again anyway, if the light happens to turn green. Also revving it as you approach the stop will assure you you're in nuetral, or NOT. Unfortunaltely no one told me all this. I assumed you had to do everything all at once when you were stopping. And did I mention there's hills in SF?

My pa, who knows these bikes in and out, was smart enough to install a kill switch that's mounted thumb distance away if I need it. Just makes you feel all warm inside knowing it's there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,615 Posts
Re: How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

First bike I ever owned was a '41 Sport Scout, in '67. I was 15, and I learned on a foot clutch/hand shift. And, like you, I didn't know anything else, so it didn't matter!

What would mess me up was that the Indian foot clutch engaged/dis-engaged opposite the Harley rocker clutch did, which is the first one I learned on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Tony Bones said:
My Pan is set up Jockey. The only thing that worries me w/ it is panic stops.
thats all i ever rode,,,panic stops have the brake cam shear off at 2 am on a sat morning,and being on the way to a run,,with no front brake.Had to call a buddy 70 miles away to get the part.
 

·
Tiny Member
Joined
·
1,453 Posts
Re: How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

JOSE said:
how do you handle stop & go on a hill with no front brake?

i've been going thru it in my head and i keep falling.
Interesting. I don't usually fall...I just drift backwards, crank the bars, and hit something to stop. Suicide w/ no front brake is muy scary.
 

·
motorcycle enthusiast
Joined
·
2,656 Posts
Re: How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

JOSE said:
how do you handle stop & go on a hill with no front brake?

i've been going thru it in my head and i keep falling.
I put the bike into first and ease the clutch in & out till I have to move forward again . Otherwise I have a freind who rolls up next to me and puts thier foot behind the tire so I cat roll backwards . It's' alot like a car where you can work the clutch & stuff . You just keep the wheel cocked to the left if you think you are going to fall so you dont have to take your foot off the clutch .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
591 Posts
Re: How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

JOCK E SHIFT said:
is there any other way!!!!
An old schooler I used to know told me "if yer goin' uphill, plant yer tire against the bumper of the car behind ya. Fer downhill do the same in reverse. If there ain't no car, find neutral goin' down hill so you can use yer back brake (if yer a punk sissy and got a back brake), if yer goin' uphill just slip the clutch in first."

I find neutral downhill and slip the clutch uphill. If you do it right it ain't even that loud! The secret key to ridin' a bike like this...a neutral indicator light. Ya didn't hear it from me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
257 Posts
Re: How many Suicide Clutch riders here??

I have owned and ridden jockey shift or tank shift bikes for years, I find if the foot clutch is stock they tend to work very well with the adjustment controling the pedal from moving from vibration. I do admit I like the indian style better just like a car pedal, don't know wht Harley went the other way. But as soon as you change them into suicide (pedal either in or out) they do get trickey. My first chopper was built from a 1939 flathead Harley had the clutch pedal set just below the peanut tank so your foot was high, sat in the rain at an intersection watching my foot vibrate off the Chrome pedal and there was nothing at the time I could do about it, finally just shot threw the light. I still ride foot clutch bikes but now I leave the pedal stock so I can take my foot off even in gear. It's funny how normal it seems now. My Chief is set up left hand throttle right hand spark advance and foot clutch with shifter on the right. Just got to remember which bike i'm riding.
 
1 - 20 of 110 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top