About Motorcycle Transmissions

One of the most vital components of a motorcycle is its transmission, which produces a massive amount of power to the wheels in a regulated manner. The power is delivered by the transmission through the engine to the bike’s rear wheels. Having a well-functioning motorcycle transmission is one way to ensure your motorcycle will run smoothly.


The two basic types of motorcycle transmissions come in two configuration types: main shaft-counter shaft and main shaft-lay shaft. European and Japanese motorcycles use the main shaft-counter shaft transmission. In this configuration, one gear set transfers power from a main shaft to a counter shaft. The main shaft-lay shaft configuration used to be very popular with British motorcycle manufacturers. However, Harley-Davidson is now the only main motorcycle manufacturer using the configuration. In this system, power is sent from the main shaft to a concentric output shaft.


Motorcycle transmissions are usually six-speed units. Since they are operated by a foot peg, they are sequential gearboxes. Older motorcycle models had only four or five speeds; smaller models can have between one and three speed units, often two.


When you own a motorcycle, maintenance and regular checks are vital on a safety level. You must check, adjust and lubricate your chain. Then do the same with your clutch table. The final step to the transmission checkup is to check your drive belts.


Motorcycle transmissions are made up of a gear set, drive system and the clutch. The gear set consists of gears that let the rider progress from an absolute stop to cruising speed. The drive system sends engine power to the rear wheels, using either belt, shaft or chain. The chain method is most common. The clutch engages and disengages power from the crankshaft of the engine to the transmission. The clutch is composed of various spring-loaded plates that attach the transmission to the crankshaft. The clutch is used to separate the crankshaft from the transmission in order to switch gears.


Some good online sites on which to order motorcycle transmissions include Baker Drivetrain, Bethania Garage Inc, Reliable Transmissions, Everdrive (for used transmissions) and Bow Tie Overdrives.