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Hard to Shift and Go into Neutral with Woodcraft Rearsets

6835 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bird
Hi, I just bought my R3 yesterday and had my friend come check it out with me. He gave me the full green light to purchase it. I used to have a Ninja 300 prior to this and that was pretty much entirely stock. This R3 has some mods which includes Woodcraft Rearsets. The owner himself said it was hard to shift to find/shift into neutral at times after installing these rearsets. He took it to the dealer to install it for him.

Shifting throughout the gears is also very stiff, I ride with soft tow 8inch leather boots and my left foot/toe hurts after about 30 minutes of riding because of the force I need to shift up. So, I am wondering if the R3 is just a really stiff shifting bike compared to my 300. Or did they install the rearsets incorrectly? Also the chain is a bit tight can this be a reason?

Also, how do I adjust the chain on the R3? Do I need to loosen the rear wheel axel nut and then work with the adjusters? Is there a sticky someone can post?

Thank you!
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Take a side on pic, showing shift pattern, rod, linkage both ends, (and any interference.)

This is easily sorted, NO rearsets are plug and play despite what manufactures tell you.
Congratulations on your new ride!

Rather than ask someone to post a sticky for you, take some time and read your Owner's Manual RE: Clutch and Chain adjustments.

Also, review some of the other threads that cover a lot of basic information (Tech Section).

As far as hard shifts, you may need to adjust your clutch cable. I suspect the Woodcrafts are not the root issue, as they are better quality than stock. Agree with @Aufitt - post photo of shift linkage - you could have some interference issues with the sprocket cover - easily fixed though.

Some threads to check:
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We need a picture, use a third party site like this one and choose thumbnail 1 and post it


They could be standard shift setup as GP or vice versa. Most likely linkage angle. A picture fixes this real quick.
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Adjust you clutch cable. I am being the clutch is still slightly engaged and causing the difficult shifts.
Here are the photos of the shifter as well as the chain. I looked at the manual and the chain needs about 1.6" of slack which I clearly do not have. I was thinking it was similar to my 300 which was about .9" of slack. Also there also some photos of the brake side, I am wondering if it is too low? It is comfortable, however, it does not seem like I can engage the rear brake as easily as I could on the 300.


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Shifting Side:
Your images show the shift linkage is clearly way off.
It needs to be at 90 degrees, the shifter arm that goes on the tranny.
Loosen it up and line up the dash and the dot again.
Adjust location of shift rod at other end. Use these images.
You have your rod connected to the GP shift position not standard shift. Edit to clarify: On the rearsets, not the shift arm at the bike.

Rotate and align the marks. While its off move the other end from the GP shift position, then reattach to the tranny.

If you move it to the back mount hole it will take some of the length out of the shift rod and put you where you need to be.

Report back.


Brake side:
Insufficient information, pictures not detailed enough or clear enough. Need better lighting highlighting the brake attachment to the rearsets. Looks like something is way out of adjust driving your pedal very low. Also there is no sign of your rear brake switch. Lets us know whats going on there and how you want it to be when your done and we can get that squared away. Take some straight on photos with flash of the brake side.


Off Topic, sent you and invite to California Facebook group so you can find some local rides.
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Shift linkage is not in GP position. Shift arm would be 180 from what is shown (ie, at about 1 or 2 o'clock position) - at least that's the 'normal' way to set up for GP shift on all the R3's I've seen, including mine.

I'd suggest this approach:

Bird's second photo, yellow arrow is pointing at the 'shift arm'. Loosen and remove the bolt holding it on. Remove shift arm, rotate so it's roughly straight down (6 o'clock position), reattach. The shaft is splined, so you get as close as you can.
Now adjust either the linkage or relocate the bolt attaching linkage to shift pedal so that pedal is in the position you want when riding. The linkage can be cut down if it's too long.

From the third photo in previous post, whenever you upshift, the shift arm rotates (CW) forward and likely hits something and cannot travel enough to get a clean shift, thus hard to get into gear.

More info on DIY GP shift set-up here, along with other aftermarket rearsets that have been set up for GP shift: http://www.r3-forums.com/forum/713-...how-reverse-gp-shift-stock-foot-controls.html

(GP shift is just reverse shift pattern, btw. ie; one up, 5 down, rather than one down, 5 up)
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His linkage is attached to the GP shift position on the rearsets.
If that is not moved the pedal will be at an absurd angle. No need to shorten the rod as it attaches to a further point.
I posted woodcrafts own image, or at least I think it is.

Another possible issue, there is quite a bit of threads showing on the ends of the shift rods and its not symmetrical.
Could be fine, worth checking or adjusting once you are setting up pedal position, when you thread it in make sure one side does not thread up more than the other.
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Okay, thank you to everyone who replied! I tried to go borrow some tools from my university but they were closed... So I'll tackle it sometime later this week. So, my main take away is I need to achieve a 90 degree angle to do this all I need to do is align the alignment marks correct (Green arrow in photo). Also, as I was reading up on this matter, I read that the linkage should have equal threads (the red boxes) should I try to even that out as well?

I currently like the position the shifter is in. It is extremely comfortable for me, I'm 6'1, so I don't want to change the position unless I have to. Of course, if I must then I will because it is a **** pain to shift. I left it in neutral for a long light and I could not get it back into 1st there was a car behind me a started honking. I waved my right hand at him and I guess he realized I was having some issues...

I have also added some better photos of the brake lever side. Again I like the position on the brake as well. However, my knee makes just a little bit of contact with the no cut frame slider when I am in a more leaned forward position. If I am in a up right position I have about 1mm space between my knee and the frame slider.

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Bird & Stirz nailed it. When I saw the title of the thread, I instantly thought it was a linkage issue. If you don't do the 90 degree angle on the arm and shaft of the linkage, you completely lose the mechanical advantage, and instead of it being a matter of physics with force amplification acting upon the controls, it becomes an issue of compensation and issues with shifting. Good stuff. Riders helping riders-that's what it's all about. Glad you appear to have it sorted out CounterAttack.
Hi Bird, I want to upload some photos so you can check my work if you don't mind. The shifts are a lot smoother and much easier. However, I also wanted to make sure that the R3 does not have a neutral lock out does it? When you're at a stop and shift up it still goes to second? My ninja 300 had a lock out. I also slightly stripped a bolt, I tightened it from the nut after I quickly realized, but I would like to replace it. Would woodcraft be able to sell me just that one bolt?

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Yes you got it looking good. Yes you should be able to get replacement parts. I have not dealt with them before.

The transmission to me just always need some momentum to cleanly shift. I don't know that much about the transmission.

If its not perfect, shift the back right side of the rod to the upper hole, and turn the shift arm one more tooth at the markings.

I just wanted to make sure you had enough threads biting at each end so it was not dangerous.


Another option is to go with GP reverse shift. Your setup supports it cleanly and its a tad easier to find neutral going down in my experience.
I run GP shift though and many riders don't want to adapt. Pushing down through the gears is better for me. I dont like trying to nudge upward to ease into neutral. Its easier for me to click slightly down to get it. Its not 100% better, but its way better GP than standard. Try it out if you can manage with the partially stripped bolt, may need to leave it as is understandably until you have the replacement. If we end up at a group ride I can take a good look and show you how I have mine setup. Its just as you would expect, the shift arm is just rotated 180 degrees. Yours offer a great benefit of the multiple attachment points on the lever to get a great perfect angle setup for both methods.

I went back to standard shift for one day during our Malibu group ride and it was pure crap. I thought if someone wanted to ride my bike I should have it standard, but the only person I f'd up was myself for the whole day trying to chase a lead rider and mis shifting all day.
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