Good aftermarket shifter?

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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby lemmy » 10:45 pm Nov 21 2008

When I first got my KDX, I had a hard time shifting up. I noticed the lever was hitting the engine. I took it off and bent it best I could (the damn thing was pretty tough) and it is some better. When riding with tennis shoes, it shifts very easily. But with my cheap Tech3 boots (they are broken in) it shifts great from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3. But it doesn't want to shift up higher than that. So I think it is a combination of it being a bit more difficult to shift and of course the boots. I was wondering if there was a better aftermarket shifter for the KDX that might allow me to shift a bit better. I saw two at motosport.com, but both of them had bad reviews.
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Postby september9 » 02:04 pm Nov 26 2008

I have an IMS lever on my KDX. I like it a lot. Hasn't bent in any of my frequent tip overs yet.

I have heard that the MSR one is junk, but I do not know anybody who has used one personally.
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Postby canyncarvr » 03:15 pm Nov 26 2008

The MSR lever has been critiqued as junk. Not IMO.

The problem with that shifter comes about if you don't check it for tight after you first install it. It tightens to 'tight'..and very quickly loosens up as the metal 'gives' some. IF you check it for tight after you ride a bit..and then maybe check it again before the next ride...it will be fine.

I've had mine on for at least a year. I still check it once in awhile, but it's not loosened up after the first check.

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Postby lemmy » 04:03 pm Nov 26 2008

I think IMS (steel) and MSR (alum) are the only aftermarket ones made right? I have read bad reviews for both of them on Motosport. A friend has a hammerhead. It is great, but they don't make one for the KDX.
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Postby lemmy » 05:11 pm Nov 26 2008

I have a 2003 KDX220. The only levers I have found is

Moose Steel (MKA1). Moose claims it fits KDX200-220 95-06 and KX80/85/100 86-07

IMS Steel. Even though Motosport claims it will fit my bike, IMS claims it only first 83-01 KDX200/220

MSR Aluminum. Motosport claims it fits my bike. But MSR application chart
http://www.msracing.com/downloads/09MSR ... /chtm1.pdf
claims it will not fit KDX. However it does claim 96-09 KX100. So if it fits that bike and the Moose MKA1 fits that bike and my bike, maybe it would work.

Are there any others?
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Postby skythrasher » 06:13 pm Nov 26 2008

I was having problems with shifters and bought a OEM unit from Fredette. Not OEM KDX but from a different model. I believe it was from a early model KD80. He swore to me it would fit and never bend. I have been running it for over a tear now with no problems. The bend in the shifter is slightly different than stock, and seems to cure a weak area. I think the part number may have been 13156-1272 for a 1980 something KD80 but I would not swear to that. A call to Fredette could probably confirm. He said he always ran these on his bikes, and I am very happy also. I don't remember what it cost but it was not any more than an aftermarket.
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Postby Colorado Mike » 09:40 pm Nov 26 2008

I use a stock KX 85 one. It works but it's not perfect.
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Postby skythrasher » 09:42 pm Nov 26 2008

Nope don't ridein tennis shoes. I'm in Arkansas, we don't wear no shoes. LOL ! :lol: In these parts it is very, very rocky. If you want to keep any shifter here you better move it up. If you don't you'll either lose it or a foot. When you get used to having you shifter moved up the length is not really important anymore. However the length of these KDX and KX80/85 KD 80 shifters id the same I will go take a pic and post it.

Here are the pics.

Here you can see the slight difference in bend. The one I am holding is a OEM KDX shifter the one mounted is from Fredette. It is the one mentioned in the earlier post. They are close enough in length that you can't tell a diff. Sorry about the pic quality I took them with my phone and did not turn the reso up.


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Postby AtomicKDX » 07:34 pm Nov 29 2008

I have the MSR aluminum shifter on my 2003 KDX220R..I've dumped it and it is still holding up fine.
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Postby jc7622 » 07:52 pm Nov 30 2008

Mt kids ride KTM's as do all of my friends. They all have aluminum shifters and they all have problems with the aluminum splines wearing out. It made made me shy away from buying an aluminum shifter for my hybrid. I have found that the aluminum on KTM's is very soft, though. That could have something to do with it. The aftermarket aluminum shifters may be stronger that the KTM shifters. Still it seems that steel would be more trouble free in the long run.
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Postby barryadam » 12:10 am Dec 01 2008

Or you can just grind off the corner of the block that is hitting the engine casing. Then you do not need to bend the shifter at all.
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Postby SVandal » 08:37 pm Dec 01 2008

I use a 2001 yz125 shifter. It has limited adjustment and will hit the chain if I go up too high with it on the settings. It is a hair low because of that, but it fits and works well otherwise. This is on a 94 kdx in a 2002 cr125 chassis.
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby Willbilly » 07:27 am Jul 16 2016

I'm reviving a dead thread!

I have a 2002 kdx 220 with the moose shifter and it becomes loose on the spline the second I touch it. It comes off the spline until the bolt hits the stopping wall on the spline.

This shifter seems like s bad fit but I have a feeling it's something more.

Has anyone else ran into this? What was your solution?
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby pumpguy » 03:57 pm Jul 16 2016

Sounds like there are stripped splines, but where, shaft or lever?

If lever, then it needs to be replaced with something better. If shaft, I guess that's the part that needs replacement. My guess is it's the lever.

As a short term repair, you might try applying Loctite to the shaft before you put the lever on. Be sure to thoroughly clean the shaft and lever splines with Acetone before applying the Loctite and assembling.

Blue Loctite 242 or similar is probably best choice. Red 262 or similar might make removing difficult.

Good luck.
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby Willbilly » 05:27 pm Jul 16 2016

pumpguy wrote:Sounds like there are stripped splines, but where, shaft or lever?

If lever, then it needs to be replaced with something better. If shaft, I guess that's the part that needs replacement. My guess is it's the lever.

As a short term repair, you might try applying Loctite to the shaft before you put the lever on. Be sure to thoroughly clean the shaft and lever splines with Acetone before applying the Loctite and assembling.

Blue Loctite 242 or similar is probably best choice. Red 262 or similar might make removing difficult.

Good luck.


Thanks. The shifter is new. The shaft is suspect but seems okay. Will try your advice w loctite and cleaning and will report back with results after a few rides.
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby september9 » 06:12 pm Jul 16 2016

It is kind of an older way to do it, but you can adjust how tight the shifter gets by removing some of the material on the inside of where the bolt goes through. Not the hole, but the flat parts that get pressed together when the bolts get tight. Dad used to do it all the time back in the day. It allows the clamp part to get a little tigher/closer together around the shaft.

Not sure if I am explaining that well enough or not though.
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby Willbilly » 07:12 pm Jul 16 2016

september9 wrote:It is kind of an older way to do it, but you can adjust how tight the shifter gets by removing some of the material on the inside of where the bolt goes through. Not the hole, but the flat parts that get pressed together when the bolts get tight. Dad used to do it all the time back in the day. It allows the clamp part to get a little tigher/closer together around the shaft.

Not sure if I am explaining that well enough or not though.


I understand you perfectly. That was the first thing I did :(
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby Willbilly » 12:58 pm Jul 20 2016

After looking at photos online of the shifter shaft spline I realize that mine is very worn down. I have ordered a new shifter shaft, output bearing, & shift shaft seal (along with a new tire :twisted:).

Will give update when complete.
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby chippy » 05:17 pm Jul 30 2016

Does anyone know more about the OEM shifter Fredette recommended? Part #'s or application?
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Good aftermarket shifter?

Postby Willbilly » 08:48 am Aug 06 2016

chippy wrote:Does anyone know more about the OEM shifter Fredette recommended? Part #'s or application?


"Jeff Fredette <sales@frpoffroad.com>
Jul 19

to me
we use and sell the shifter from the 1989-1994 kdx's. they don’t bend and hold up very well. we have them for $50.76 in stock."

This item is parts number 13156-1269. The link below is babbit's website.
http://www.kawasakipartshouse.com/oempa ... ange-pedal


I put the new shift shaft on and shifter and it feels great. Race on sunday to test how it works. I also got a 100/100/18 rear tire. It looks like i mounted a front tire on the back, very skinny.
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