Heel/toe shifter

My Nomad has a factory heel/toe shifter. I like it. I occasionally have ankle soreness due to an old motorcycle injury. This makes digging around under a shifter lever a little painful. I actually fabricated a homemade heel/toe shifter on my old Honda Shadow because of it.

Several companies make heel/toe shifters for the Goldwing. Some are part of a floorboard package. I knew I didn't want floorboards on the Goldwing. I decided to try a heel/toe shifter from Add On Accessories. It had the least negative reviews of the standalone type and it was the cheapest. I ordered it from HDL.


Here are the parts in the kit. Thick, heavy parts and nicely chromed. The instructions weren't bad.


The first step is to remove the foot peg (6 mm allen head).


Place the end of the heel/toe shift bracket over the factory shifter and align the bracket with the footpeg holes.


Install the footpeg over the bracket using the included longer bolts (5 mm allen head).


Attach the pegs and you're done.

I didn't expect the heel/toe shifter to be as nice as the factory shifter on my Nomad and I wasn't disappointed. The new shifter works as advertised. You don't get shifting feedback as well through this shifter since it's added on. I removed the front peg as it feels better without it. I think I'll put a larger peg on the rear to make it easier to find...sometimes I end up pushing directly on the bracket instead of the peg.

One negative is that to remove the left inspection cover you have to remove the peg and shifter.


Update: I found a longer bolt and used both pegs for a longer peg. It worked better for shifting, but got in the way when trying to deploy the kickstand or walking the bike around.


I removed the second peg and used some plastic spacers to make a shorter assembly. I'll see how that works.

After riding with this for awhile I decided I didn't like it. Often when shifting from first to second it will hang up in neutral. The upshifting is too isolated. I decided to see if I could modify it to suit me. Otherwise it would go into the scrap box.


The first thing I decided to do was move the heel/toe shifter closer to the bike. It pushes my foot outward on the footpeg some and I have to bend my foot inwards slightly to shift...I have to hunt for the shifter. I cut 1/2" off the main spacer and the associated bushings and stuff. I used the Eureka metal break to bend a small 'S'in the rear of the shifter bracket and to rebend the front.


My remodelled setup sets closer to the bike and is more comfortable since my foot is in its normal location. So far it even seems to work better (although I don't know why). The front of the bracket now covers the inner edge of the shifter and makes it easier to use for up/down shifting. Time will tell how the setup works out.

Update July 2008 - The heel/toe shifter is now in my box of unused parts. As much as I wanted the thing to work, it just wasn't going to. The final straw was it would start hanging up after shifting and not allowing the factory shifter to return to center. I would have to bang on the heel/toe shifter to get it to return to center.



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