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Factory Pro EVO Shift Star kit


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This is a short instructional post on how to install the Factory Pro EVO Shift Star Kit, including the shifter arm and spring and also the shifter Star. The star makes the biggest difference to the shifting experience. :) For any missing pictures from this guide, see the other install guide (only for the shifter arm, not the star) and note that their bike is a lot cleaner than mine!!

The kit comes with four pieces:

  • Shifter star
  • Shifter arm
  • Shifter Spring
  • Replacement gasket

The kit is designed to provide more positive shifting, reduced dropping from 2nd back to neutral (i.e. missed shifts) and a general more snicky-snicky feel to the gear change. And so without further ado, let's get into it.

First up, remove your fairings and drain your oil. No pics for that!

After that's done, you need to remove the water pump. You are ONLY removing the two 8mm bolts to do this - don't remove the 10mm bolts because they bolt the pump together!

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Don't touch these!

DO remove these!

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The water pump simply pulls out away from the bike. You don't need to drain the coolant or anything funky. Just remove it and push it to one side a bit, because all it is attached to now is flexible water hoses. They can take the slight bend no dramas.

The ONLY reason we're removing the water pump is to get to a couple more 8mm bolts that hold the shifter mechanism cover in place. Geez!!

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Once the water pump is off, remove the clutch slave cylinder assembly. After removing the three 8mm bolts, it's a good idea to wrap a zip-tie around the cylinder so you don't accidentally hit the clutch lever and pop the cylinder out!

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You may want to also use some string or another zip-tie to lift the clutch cylinder out of the way, because it tends to dangle in front of where you will be working.

Now we remove the speedo sensor. Two short 8mm bolts, nice and easy. Let the sensor just dangle from its cable.

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The sprocket cover is next - but I was too stupid to take a picture of that. It's only a few more 8mm bolts though. Once off, you want to put the bike into 1st gear and loosen the sprocket bolt with a 14mm socket. Once that's done, loosen the pinch bolt on the rear axle - you know, the one you use to adjust the chain. Slacken the chain as much as you can, and then remove the front sprocket.

Once that's all done, you need to remove the shifter cover plate. It's a lot of bolts!

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We can now see the shifter mechanism. At this point you need to just gently tug on this until it pops free. Don't lose the two (outer and inner) washers on the shifter though!

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Note these two washers and don't lose 'em!

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We now need to remove the bolt that holds on the shifter arm (10mm) and then the 6mm hex bolt which holds the star in place. This bolt is loctited in place so you will feel it "crack" when you loosen it off. Don't worry, the gear drum will only turn a little to the left and then stop securely while you are loosening this bolt

NOTE THE CURRENT POSITION OF THE STAR AND DON'T FORGET IT. THE NEW STAR GOES BACK THE SAME WAY. This picture shows FIRST gear, just so you know!

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Don't lose the washer from the back of the shifter arm - we need to use it on the new one.

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Here are our new and old shifter stars. Quite a different profile, aren't they! Note that the Factory Pro star only fits one way, using the locating pin which is in the engine already, so it's impossible to get it wrong.

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Last, we need to install the shifter star and shifter arm. You can do this in either order, but it's probably easier to install the arm first, and then use something strong to push it up and out of the way against spring pressure so you can get the star in place. When installing the star bolt, clean the threads and loctite them first, then torque to spec (24Nm). Make sure the shifter arm is resting on the star in the same position as the original was.

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It's time now to install the shifter mechanism back into place and temporarily put the gear lever back on. MAKE SURE THE GEAR LEVER FACES rearward, otherwise you will think you have just created a race pattern gearbox and spend twenty minutes wondering how that is even possible... Don't ask how I know this!

Temporarily put the front sprocket back on, and tighten up the chain enough to spin the rear wheel and turn the gearbox over. Test going through all the gears - one down, five up. Do it a couple of times until you're confident that neutral is in the right place and the gears are engaging properly.

When that's done, install everything in the reverse of disassembly, PUT SOME OIL IN THE ENGINE, and go for a ride! If your water pump doesn't want to fit back easily, it's because the engine has turned over a bit since you remove the pump. You'll need to shine a torch into the hole to see which way the pump driver output shaft is aligned, and then manually turn the water pump's drive shaft to the same alignment. You also may or may not need to replace the shifter cover gasket - certainly mine was in good condition so I just left the original in place.

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Wait a dang minute...you can't do a How To on this! A few days ago you were asking How To Do It your-own-self!! :sad:

Oh....what did you learn about "turning the wheel and keeping the clutch shaft stationary"? Was it like I said....nonsense?

Anyway, a nice write-up that updates Jet-Pilot's original How To, which is here: http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php/topic/7886-factorypro-shift-kit-install/page__pid__714472#entry714472

:fing02: :beer:

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Oh great. Now everytime I have trouble shifting I'm gonna be thinking about this mod. Give a little more incentive. How bout a ride report? Good no nonsence write up. :fing02:

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Oh....what did you learn about "turning the wheel and keeping the clutch shaft stationary"? Was it like I said....nonsense?

Yeah, total nonsense. They were trying to say "spin the rear wheel a little bit so you can change gears, because you can't normally change gear when the engine isn't turning the gearbox."

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Oh great. Now everytime I have trouble shifting I'm gonna be thinking about this mod. Give a little more incentive. How bout a ride report? Good no nonsence write up. :fing02:

As soon as the weather is dry tomorrow I'll be out there and will update the original post for sure!

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Yeah, total nonsense. They were trying to say "spin the rear wheel a little bit so you can change gears, because you can't normally change gear when the engine isn't turning the gearbox."

Yep, as I figured. But they didn't tell you to reinstall the sprocket and chain, you could have been sitting there turning that wheel for DAYS trying to get the tranny to shift! :biggrin:

My "ride report" after 5 years of using the kit is that it's a very nice mod, providing more precise shifting and rare false neutrals going into second gear. But it does require that you get away from "lazy shifting" tendencies and shift it like you mean it! :fing02:

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Yeah, total nonsense. They were trying to say "spin the rear wheel a little bit so you can change gears, because you can't normally change gear when the engine isn't turning the gearbox."

Yep, as I figured. But they didn't tell you to reinstall the sprocket and chain, you could have been sitting there turning that wheel for DAYS trying to get the tranny to shift! :biggrin:

My "ride report" after 5 years of using the kit is that it's a very nice mod, providing more precise shifting and rare false neutrals going into second gear. But it does require that you get away from "lazy shifting" tendencies and shift it like you mean it! :fing02:

Can you elaborate on this bit about lazy shifting tendencies? What in particular and what happens if you don't?

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Can you elaborate on this bit about lazy shifting tendencies? What in particular and what happens if you don't?

Well, perhaps we should talk about "unlazy" shifting during upshifts: Shift a bit higher in the rev range instead of granny-shifting at 5000 rpm (after all, you've got 12K rpm to play with!); preload the shifter with some mild upward pressure BEFORE you pull on the clutch lever; move that lever in and out quickly; move the throttle up and down quickly in unison with the clutch lever (unless you're keeping the throttle at WOT when you're shifting which mean you better not be "lazy shifting")....and in general paying attention to every gearchange, up or down instead of being lazy about it. Essentially it means quick, deft, positive gearchanges using precise shifter, clutch and throttle action. This sort of action practically eliminates false neutrals and other "hung" shifts. Works for cars, too! :laughing6-hehe:

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OK I have a ride report for y'all.

It's definitely better. Each rider will probably find something different in their mind which makes it better, but for me it's the ability to short-shift easily. I do a lot of short-shifting on my ride to work (take off in first, drop it straight to sixth) and this mod makes it MUCH easier to short shift with smaller lever movements. Previously I used to find that if I didn't mash the gear pedal hard each shift, I'd end up dropping back to the previous gear. You can imagine how annoying that would be when you're trying to short-shift rapidly! With the new softer "cam" profile on the Factory Pro star, once you get past the peak it wants to happily roll into the next gear for you. Lovely!

In addition to that, the actual gear change experience is definitely smoother. It "feels" quicker and appears to require less effort to shift.

The only question for potential buyers is whether this change is worth the $200USD price tag. For me, it has fixed a long-term annoyance which I probably should have fixed years ago!

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OK I have a ride report for y'all.

It's definitely better. Each rider will probably find something different in their mind which makes it better, but for me it's the ability to short-shift easily. I do a lot of short-shifting on my ride to work (take off in first, drop it straight to sixth) and this mod makes it MUCH easier to short shift with smaller lever movements. Previously I used to find that if I didn't mash the gear pedal hard each shift, I'd end up dropping back to the previous gear. You can imagine how annoying that would be when you're trying to short-shift rapidly! With the new softer "cam" profile on the Factory Pro star, once you get past the peak it wants to happily roll into the next gear for you. Lovely!

In addition to that, the actual gear change experience is definitely smoother. It "feels" quicker and appears to require less effort to shift.

The only question for potential buyers is whether this change is worth the $200USD price tag. For me, it has fixed a long-term annoyance which I probably should have fixed years ago!

Thanks for the info. Been wanting to possibly do this mod but wanted to know the difference. Had the opportunity to ride Veefer800Canuck's bike (you should have named it the Phoenix, Rob) and the shifter felt really nice. Nice to know the rest of the story on the install.

I am guilty of being one of the lazy shifters sometimes, that's why I wanted to know.....

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  • 2 months later...

I really appreciated this guide. It helped me to install the kit this spring in my 2002. I have been riding my VTEC for 7 years before adding this kit, which means I was used to the factory shifting.

A great and informative guide kaldek provided and the amount of detailed photos extremely helpful. My only installation glitch was that I stripped the threads of the shifter arm hole in my crankcase and necessarily learned how to Heli-coil the damage. That caused me a lot of consternation but the outcome was good.

However, riding this season, I have not been impressed with the results. After the kit, I perceived I was hunting for neutral a tad more than before. Shifting is not any smoother. I never did miss a shift before, nor do I after the installation. I was hoping for snickety smooth shifting throughout the gear range, getting rid of the mid range clunk. The VFR has a great transmission, but what I was expecting cannot be obtained with this aftermarket bolt-on kit. I feel the stock transmission is as wonderful as can be expected on a mass produced vehicle.

IMHO I would not recommend the time nor expense of installing this modification.

Edited by joeysun
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  • 4 years later...
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I think I paid about $170 for mine...and I would recommend it for anyone that does miss a shift from time to time.

If you have a VFR and have never missed a shift and you strip out a bolt during the install process I can see where you might not be as impressed with the product.

joeysun I would recommend a change to a different brand of oil if you feel your transmission is a bit clunky in the mid range as you described. When my transmission starts to feel I think it is time for an oil change and whether it helps or it a placebo effect I always find that cures it.

Don't put me on blast for this as I do not intend to turn this into an oil thread, just offering a different perspective on the perceived value of this farkle.

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Well, it was 5 years ago that he did it...

I too have noticed quite a difference in oils. My trans does not like M1 at all!

All through TMac I was getting rough and missed shifts with oil that was over 5k miles old through 6700 miles at the end. Haven't gone back out since I changed it yesterday. May be back to smooth old self, but I figured I would treat the bike to new star and arm for it's 100k mile "birthday"!

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I agree with CornerCarver. I ran Mobil 1 red cap in my VFR for years and years. I thought the shifting was kind of notchy, so put in the Factory Pro kit. It helped some, but still wasn't what I thought it should be and would get worse as it got closer to an oil change. I just learned to live with it. Last year after riding the bike for 10 years, I switched brands of oil and all of the sudden the thing shifts butter smooth. Shame on me for waiting so long to try something different. Everyone talked about how great the red cap stuff was, so I figured the shifting issue was just my bike.

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I agree with CornerCarver. I ran Mobil 1 red cap in my VFR for years and years. I thought the shifting was kind of notchy, so put in the Factory Pro kit. It helped some, but still wasn't what I thought it should be and would get worse as it got closer to an oil change. I just learned to live with it. Last year after riding the bike for 10 years, I switched brands of oil and all of the sudden the thing shifts butter smooth. Shame on me for waiting so long to try something different. Everyone talked about how great the red cap stuff was, so I figured the shifting issue was just my bike.

Im using motul full synthetic and like you after years of red cap found shifting way smoother with the Motul

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Does it look to anyone else like an OEM "shift star" with the sharp points rounded off would be very close to the Factory Pro Shift Star profile? I have an uninstalled Factory Pro one somewhere, but not the OEM one to compare it with. But if that is all the difference, a simple jig could probably be made to round off the points...

Ciao,

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Possibly, but I don't have the machining tools to accomplish that. Plus the arm and bearing makes a difference. They didn't even start out selling the VFR kit with the star, so it must be significant enough.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...
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Damn expensive! $300 for the EVO Shift Star & the PRO Shift Kit !!

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My thoughts exactly and (for me) a solution for a non-existing problem (missing gearshifts). Must be my previous years' experiencing clunky BMW and agricultural Moto Guzzi gearboxes... :-)

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I got thinking about this when I ended up in neutral on 1-2 upshifts a couple times at the drag strip last month. For that much money, I'll just be more certain to get it in there!

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I have one. It's helps, but does make finding neutral a pain in the ass sometimes.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, CandyRedRC46 said:

I have one. It's helps, but does make finding neutral a pain in the ass sometimes.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

 

Sometimes helps to find neutral as you coasting up to the stop before the transmission stops spinning.

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That may help, but really it is just a factor of the slightly stronger spring, ball bearing wheel and the slightly rounder neutral detents, which are the same factors that make the 1-2 shift quicker and more positive. Its just a trade off, compromise one for the other, trade going fast, for a little more aggravation at stop lights. I am sure the fact that I have rear sets only strengthens this compromise. But I will give that a try. Thanks for the tip.

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