Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Big Twin Flatties Tank shift or suicide shift

Tank shift or suicide shift

Post Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:34 pm
Chuck Sumner

:?: Got into a heated discusion with a person who say's a tank shift is called a suicide shift. I always thought the term was suicide clutch. Any comments?

Post Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:18 pm

Posts: 74
Location: Wichita, KS
Suicide clutch: no mechanism for holding clutch disengaged ala rocker clutch. named because if you tip the bike to far to the left when stopped the natural tendency is to put your left foot down to keep from falling over, clutch pedal comes up, front wheel comes up, bike hurtles forward in front of cross flowing traffic, tends to ruin underwear (lesson, slip trans out of gear at stop). Jockey shift: hand shifting mechanism relocated to transmission, purists will argue difference between jockey shift and hand shift (ratchet or rotary lid).

Post Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:43 am

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Newbie know it alls most often refer to the suicide shift. They never heard of a jocky shift with suicide clutch.

Post Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:53 pm
Chuck Sumner

:!: I have two bikes that are jockie shift and suicide clutch, one with a Pasadena suicide(anyone know what they were?) I know what I have always called them, but never heard of a suicide shift, thought I was missing out on something.

Post Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:48 am

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
So tell us all what the Pasadena Suicide is.
Last edited by Chris Haynes on Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:00 pm
Chuck Sumner

It's a cast brass piece that fastens to the stock footclutch where the stock peddel goes and uses a pedel some what like a servi car. I will post a pic or E-mail to anyone wanting to see. Old man gave it to me when he saw my homemade suicide. He has another too. its neet looking.

Post Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:05 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I have something like that. Round stock used for the pedal. The old timer I got it from (Andy Verrone) called it a Lee clutch pedal.

Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:16 am

Posts: 77
Location: Espoo, Finland
I'd like to see a pic


Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:29 am

Posts: 65
Location: mckinleyville ca usa
There is no such thing a suicide shift. I have to correct people ALL the time,especially at the bar. There are two kinds of foot clutch in general,the rocker clutch and the suicide clutch. Suicide clutch refers to any clutch pedal that does not stay depressed when you take your foot off. Stock foot clutches were heel toe rocker pedals with a friction adjustment and a "Jesus spring" to keep the pedal depressed until you rocked it back with your heel,much like a kickstand stays engaged. You can take your foot off a rocker clutch with the bike in gear. If you do that with a suicide clutch you just might pull into cross traffic and "commit suicide". If you are lucky the bike will stall. Just slip into neutral as you approach a stop,end of problem. JOCKEY SHIFT,SUICIDE CLUTCH IS MY FAVORITE WAY TO RIDE.

Post Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:55 am

Posts: 77
Location: Custer Wa.
I had a old cop look at my knuck and tell me I had a suicide clutch a stock rocker clutch. He said with the old bikes the fiber would slip and your clutch would ingage especially in heavy rain at a stop light. this guy started riding in the 30s

Post Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:58 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Or it will be as soon as somebody explains to this computer illiterate person how to post a picture.

Post Sun Nov 26, 2006 5:06 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5839
Location: Ohio USA

Any computer eliterate person, like I once was and still am, can send me the pics. I will post them for them. Pa

Post Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:04 pm

Posts: 1034
Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA
What a word or phrase means change over time. When I was young a suicide clutch was one that would not hold its self disengaged, a tappet was what a back country hick called a cam follower or lifter, engines converted potential energy to kinetic energy and motors converted one form of kinetic energy to another (Gasoline Engine, Electric Motor). Now any foot clutch or hand shift is suicide, you see "tappet" in engineering / overhaul manuals and cars have motors. I think we have lost all of these battles to the great ignorant masses. Suppose it really matters? My shivaget is at an all time low about this type of change.

Post Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:05 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
If I send you the pic I won't learn how to post it.

Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:13 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5839
Location: Ohio USA

Here it is for ya Chris. I had to reduce the image size in order to get it uploaded. Pa


Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:36 pm

Posts: 199
Location: Cedar Springs Mi USA

Chris, I think that pedal was made by Superior Motorcycle Accessories, in Glendale CA, before 1957, when Dixie bought them out, they weren't made again. I've had them in inventories I've bought, and I recall seeing it in an early 50s Superior catalog.

Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:12 pm

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Andy Verrone (RIP), the old time drag racer, Cam Grinder and dealer from Santa Monica Harley-Davidson gave that pedal to me. He called it a Lee clutch pedal.

Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:38 pm

Posts: 252
They are cast bronze I beleive. the Lee designations is if you take the casting off and look in the back they are usually stamped LEE. I know I got 2 also.

Post Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:01 am

Posts: 42
Location: houston, texas
I've heard the stock heel/toe pedal also refered to as a "treddle clutch" because you would work your foot the same way as an old Singer sewing machine.

Heard a funny story involving the stock heel/toe clutch, this outlaw type guy was in Galveston, Texas back in the good ole days. He was riding an old Knucklehead with the stock clutch pedal but he was having electrical problems, his relay wasn't working. When the battery started getting low he would dismount with the motor running and then he would run a wire direct from the armature to his battery. He would then race up the motor for a few minutes to put a little more juice into the battery. One day he was in Galveston, near the beach and he did the above. He had left it in gear with his girlfriend sitting on the back, he raced up the old road warrior and the vibration caused the pedal to release against the spring pressure. The bike roared across the sand and almost made it to the water when it feel over, his girlfriend was still on the rear fender! No serious damage was done and his girlfriend didn't get hurt but she was never seen again. Gotta be pretty brave to ride on the back of a motorsickle!

Gotta close and make an 18" long axle for one of those stupid fat tired bikes,
-little stan
If yu get in trouble doing something wrong as long as you were having fun doing it then its ok

Post Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:35 am
Chuck Sumner

It looks like the one I have except the pedel is two piece and body is polished brass. As soon as I can figure how to get pics out of my Sis's digatal camera and in the PC, I will send a shot. Also to Chris Hayes, again I am sorry, I thought your post was aimed at me.


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