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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm writing this because of the sheer amount of people asking the question.
Most people seem to decide on replacing the shift lever without trying to fix it first, but it can usually be done with minimal effort and or tools.
If your worried about aesthetics, how often do you or anyone you know crouch down and take a good hard look at how great your shift lever is? chances are no-one will notice a couple scratches especially when they're on the bottom!

First the removal: easy job that consists of one bolt, a nut, and separating the tie rod from the lever.
Tools> 6mm Allen wrench, 10mm box wrench for removal; and either 18mm and 19mm box end wrenches, or bench vice for bending your shift lever.

Loosen tie rod nut with 10mm wrench (counter-clockwise; The other end of the tie rod is threaded backwards so you can loosen both nuts and micro adjust the shift lever)

Then remove 6mm bolt, there are 2 washers on this bolt.

Turn the shift lever by hand(counter-clockwise), it shouldn't be tight after loosening the nut.

Box end wrench technique: Just push in opposite directions. The teeth on the wrenches should hold them in place while you bend it. Use a bench or you could bend it over a steel toe boot like I did.

Bench vice technique: Just tighten the vice and bend it back with your hand or you could combine the two techniques.

Clean off your bolt, shift lever sleeve and washers. Re-grease with your favorite waterproof grease (Bel-Ray ;D) and re-assemble with a drop of Loc-tite.

Hope this helps the masses, good luck!

Edit: Removing the lever ensures you don't break your rear set, it has happened to at least one forum member.
 

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Nice guide!

The only thing I'd be concerned about is if the lever is bent extensively. Since the metal is so soft, bending it back could weaken it to the point that I wouldn't trust it anymore. Last thing you need is your shifter to snap while you're riding lol

Maybe it would be a good idea to heat the shifter up with a torch and then submerge it in cold water to try and harden it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice guide!

The only thing I'd be concerned about is if the lever is bent extensively. Since the metal is so soft, bending it back could weaken it to the point that I wouldn't trust it anymore. Last thing you need is your shifter to snap while you're riding lol

Maybe it would be a good idea to heat the shifter up with a torch and then submerge it in cold water to try and harden it?
The lever is soft so that it "does" bend when you drop your bike, if it were harder you'd lose a rear set every time the bike tipped over.
Metal gets harder every time you manipulate it, it would simply snap if it got to that point. If you didn't trust it you could always heat it up and let it air cool, that would make it soft again. Probably too soft.

I would trust it up to the point where it started to crack, if you're shifting hard enough to bend the lever you'll probably need new shift forks too :p
 

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Nice guide!

The only thing I'd be concerned about is if the lever is bent extensively. Since the metal is so soft, bending it back could weaken it to the point that I wouldn't trust it anymore. Last thing you need is your shifter to snap while you're riding lol

Maybe it would be a good idea to heat the shifter up with a torch and then submerge it in cold water to try and harden it?

spot on Dave, this fix will get you out of trouble once, maybe twice, but sooner or later it will break completely. adding it to our DIY sticky now:D
 

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The lever is soft so that it "does" bend when you drop your bike, if it were harder you'd lose a rear set every time the bike tipped over.
Metal gets harder every time you manipulate it, it would simply snap if it got to that point. If you didn't trust it you could always heat it up and let it air cool, that would make it soft again. Probably too soft.

I would trust it up to the point where it started to crack, if you're shifting hard enough to bend the lever you'll probably need new shift forks too :p
Metal DOES NOT harden with manipulation unless you are manipulating it prior to setting a temper and that's only via compression (hammering and folding and adding carbon to the steel/iron.) Each time you bend and manipulate a metal part, you are damaging and destroying the temper of that part when you bend it around because you are attacking the physical structure of the metal at the area you are bending. The only way to re-temper metal is by reheating to the point of destroying the old temper(practically melt it back to it's liquid form,) and then forming and cooling it again. Obviously too much damn work when you can just order a replacement lever or new rear set for a lot less time and hassle and wont require a blast furnace to do it with.

Last week I dropped my bike due to focusing too damn hard on my brake lever trying to determine the feel of the lever after the bleed and totally forgot to put my foot out to catch myself. A nice fun 0 mph drop on my left side. Only damage was very minor scratches to the lower left fairing, left mirror, woodcraft bar end and the shifting lever which did it's job and bent inwards a bit. I just took some locking pliers and bent it back again and have been just fine. Left leg broke the fall. Came away with a damaged ego and some choice words.

Good write up there Adam. Although I wouldn't be worried about fixing it on the bike. If your rear sets break while bending the shift lever back in, it means the rear sets were fatigued to the point of borderline failure anyways and should be replaced. Better to find out while you're wrenching on it than when shit hits the fan and you're getting a bit frisky with the shifter/peg and the rear set breaks off.
 

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I bend them back on the bike using the box wrench in the tool set. Works well enough, never had somebody stranded yet :)

Really the same way you did but it goes over the rubber part of the lever and you just bend away, don't forget to use the metal grip thing that goes with it so you don't destroy your hand.

You also don't wreck up the finish on the shifter any more than it is.
 

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I bend them back on the bike using the box wrench in the tool set. Works well enough, never had somebody stranded yet :)

Really the same way you did but it goes over the rubber part of the lever and you just bend away, don't forget to use the metal grip thing that goes with it so you don't destroy your hand.

You also don't wreck up the finish on the shifter any more than it is.
THAT'S WHAT THAT IS????????? My god...that would have been really useful about an hour ago when I was bending my shifter back haha. I was using a towel to make it less painful :(
 

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^ Jesus how did you manage that!? Stomp on it too hard?
 

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^ Jesus how did you manage that!? Stomp on it too hard?
I clipped a cone going a little fast :p

The cone bent my shiftier, broke of my bracket. But my non-riding leather shoes didnt even get a scratch on it...what logic ey. So thankful my foot didn't break, or damage any other part of my bike.

Do you think i should replace it, or it could be bent back with out cracking the metal?
 

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You would be surprised how malleable metal can be.

And brittle at the very same time.

Bend sloooooooowly. Add a little heat if you can.............even in the oven on high heat for a bit is a neat trick to get it warm if you aint got nothing else.........don't laugh it works. ;) Much more pliable and much less likely to break the warmer the metal is.
 

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ya never ever know if ya never ever go

have a shot but dont be surprised if it snaps
What im worried about is fatigue failure. Now that the metallic structure has been worked. If there is a fracture within, it may propagate with the stresses i will apply over time.

But yeah, exactly as you said, you never know until you try. I guess ill cross that bridge when i get to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/CommunityCollege/Materials/Structure/strengthening.htm

Quick read on work (strain) hardening and heat for those interested.
Bending multiple times will harden and also weaken the metal, but if it's heated enough before fracturing then you can bend it back safely.
I know at least one person who broke their rearset bending the shift lever while on the bike. You can see the rearset bending as you put pressure on the lever. I wouldn't trust it.
 

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I just want to share my experience with this. The bike was laid down ever so gently after I thought the kickstand was down...it wasn't =\. The lever was pushed inward so it would hit the link? I needed to bend it out somehow. I tried the box wrench technique..no luck. I assembled it and thought it was hopeless. After doing a bit more research I figured I'd try attaching a breaker-bar into the black rubber and pull it towards me. It worked WONDERS!! (use at your own risk in case it snaps your rear set or the bolt).

Here is a picture of the before:
 

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Thank you

Wow, this saved me some money! I just recently bought my first bike (Ninja 300, duh) and last night I had dropped the bike on a hill and noticed before I rode off my gear shift lever was bent all the way in...safe to say that ruined my night lol. Luckily today I went out and bought 30 dollars worth of tools and sat outside for just a few minutes and fixed it myself. I'm a 21 year old female and never touched a bike, car, or anything mechanical wise. I decided to change that when I got a bike so this was an awesome first step. Thank you so much. Your tutorial/post was my guidance! Now I can do my beautiful Sunday ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You're very welcome Sammy!
Thank you for following this tutorial and getting your hands dirty before wasting time and money on a new lever.
I never consider tools a "cost" to fix anything as long as I can use them again for something else.
:waveysmilie:
 

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great thread, I actually searched and found this awhile back I think -- something I need to do PO dropped the bike and this is essentially all of the damage
 
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