I am an avid sportbike rider and have been enjoying my 08 Honda CBR600RR (I love this bike). But when I tried out a Ducati Panigale, I wished my CBR had a Quickshifter.
The newest superbikes have safety features like ABS, riding modes, gyroscopic sensors, launch control, and wheelie control. Here is my 2008 CBR600RR, which doesn’t even have ABS.
I don’t think I need any of that high-tech stuff on my bike (you can read about my tank-slapper experience), but after riding that Panigale, I had to get a Quickshifter (Before this I use to clutchless upshift). Here’s when I started my hunt for affordable aftermarket superbike quick-shifter. I decided to do some research before I bought. Here’s what I learned:
What are Motorcycle Quickshifters?
The Motorcycle Quick Shifter is a device that lets you change gears without touching the clutch. Even the throttle doesn’t need to be changed. On the long straight, just hold down the throttle and keep going up in gear. It’s as easy as it gets, and doing it keeps you coming back for more.
Without a quickshifter, a rider has to roll back the throttle, pull in the clutch, change gears, let go of the clutch, and roll back on the throttle in order to upshift. I know that a good rider will get used to it, but it’s still a lot of work.
Quickshifters are fun to use on regular streets, but they really shine on a race track. With a quickshifter, a track rider can pay more attention to things like stopping, pointing, adjusting brake pressure, and getting ready to go into a corner. You can also upshift even if you are leaning into a corner when you have Quickshifter. This upshift happens quickly enough that it won’t throw off the chassis in the middle of a turn. Obviously, you shouldn’t do it when you are leaning over the most.
These days, quickshifters on sports bikes are getting better. They work not only when you shift up, but also when you shift down. Quickshifters that can downshift are more expensive and complicated because they have to do things like blip the throttle.
Even the Healtech unit can turn off the engine when shifting down to make it easier to shift down in higher gears. But I turned off that feature because I don’t want to risk locking up the back wheel on a bike that doesn’t have a slipper clutch (I talk about this in the settings refinement below).
Different Types of Quickshifter?
There are a lot of different kinds of quickshifters on the market today, but they all do the same thing. All you want a quickshifter to do is take the load off the drivetrain for a moment. So, when you press down on the gear lever to go up a gear, the sensor should send a signal to turn off the engine for a few milliseconds. This makes it easy for the gear to move onto the next one.
Some quickshifters do this by cutting the fuel, while others cut both the fuel and the ignition. Healtech chooses between the two methods based on the type of motorcycle and how easy it is to install. Healtech uses the ignition cut method for the Honda CBR600RR and, in general, for all Honda bikes.
In fact, this is what we do manually to shift up without using the clutch. Before I got my quickshifter, I would upshift without using the clutch. Over the years I’ve been riding, I’ve learned to shift up without using the clutch. I was worried that with Quickshifter, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a clutchless upshift when I felt like it. This was one of the main reasons I went with Healtech Quickshifter (I talk about this feature below).
Why I chose the Healtech Quickshifter (iQSE)?
I was thinking about getting a quickshifter, but one day I went to a track day instead. A fellow rider told me about Healtech QS there. I looked at his gear lever to see if I could find the sensor, but I couldn’t.
He then told me how the new strain-type sensor, which is small and more reliable, works. Then he took out his phone and showed how he can change settings through the app itself (It has Bluetooth connectivity).
When I first saw all of these features on a Quickshifter, it really blew my mind. Compared to other units I had looked into, the Healtech Quickshifter was also pretty cheap. Watch my First Lap of the Buddh International Circuit with a Healtech Quickshifter by clicking on the video below:
But here’s what really sold me on it: you can turn off the whole system with just your phone. This meant that I could do upshifts without the clutch whenever I wanted. I don’t really need to, but it’s fun to do once I know how.
Healtech Quickshifter iQSE Installation
I set up the Quickshifter at home by myself. You do have to take a few things apart, but the instructions that came with the unit were very clear.
The main parts of the package are the Quickshifter module, the wiring harness for your motorcycle, and the shift-rod sensor (Here are some tools everyone should own). I didn’t write down how to install it, but here’s how you do it:
1) Set up the wiring harness. The module should usually go under the rider’s seat. But you can put it anywhere as long as the wire can connect to the connectors for the battery and the ignition coil. Even if you don’t use the mobile app, you can still change all the settings. You’ll have to figure out how to get the wires from the connectors on the ignition coils to the module in the back. You can choose a harness that fits your bike model, and you don’t have to splice anything. Yes, some bodywork will need to be taken apart. Take your time and make sure the wire is routed correctly, and use a lot of zip ties to keep it in place.
2) Install the Sensor: This Healtech Quickshifter comes with a unique pressure sensor that looks like a button cell (strain-type sensor). Unlike other quickshifters, this one doesn’t require you to change the shift rod. It lines up with the shift rod that came with the car. The instructions say to put the sensor between the two washers when putting it together. But because of this, my sensor input was low, so I had to take off the washers (recommended by Healtech support). Route the sensor wire so that it can plug into the module in a neat way.
3) Set everything up: Next, check to see if the module is getting power and if the green LED is on. Now, you need to change the settings from the app on your phone. Download this app. It’s best to have a rear paddock stand for setting up. If you don’t have it, you should borrow it from someone because it will make setting up the car faster and you won’t have to test it on the road as many times. Or, you can ask a friend to hold the bike straight while you make the needed adjustments. All done, the setup is done.
Healtech Quickshifter Settings Refinement
The first time I went for a test ride after putting Quickshifter on my bike, I wasn’t happy. I could tell that the upshift wasn’t quick and smooth. I mean, I thought I could shift faster than this by pulling on the clutch, and I’m not even talking about shifting without the clutch.
Also, the cutoff started before I wanted it to, which made it a bit clunky. In the app, I saw that the sensor was sending out very weak signals (I had to increase the sensitivity somehow).
I wasn’t happy, so I sent an email to Healtech support with a screenshot of my settings right away. They replied the next day and told me to take off two washers that were on either side of the sensor. I did this, and yes, it did fix the problem with the sensitivity.
Healtech Quickshifter Problem Solving & Adjustments
From the app, there are basically three settings that need to be changed (ios or Android). It’s a quick-shifter that can be changed in a lot of different ways to fit your riding style. Here’s how to change it and why:
1) Setting the Sensor Threshold: If the shift lever is too hard to move, LOWER the threshold.
-If the engine shuts off when you lightly touch the shift lever or you hit “false neutral,” raise the threshold.
2) Cut-off delay setting: This value delays when the engine shuts off to make sure the shift lever has enough force on it. 15ms is the default. RAISE THIS VALUE if you sometimes hit “false neutral,” if the gearbox drops out of gear after a shift, if the cut-off happens too early, or if the shifts don’t feel the same. LOWER the value if the shift lever is too hard or if the cut-off happens too late. Adjust the “Sensor threshold” before you change the “Cut-off delay” from its default setting.
3) Set the cut-off time. The cut-off time is the amount of time after which the spark plugs stop firing or the fuel injection stops. If the bike seems to JUMP during a shift, you should EXTEND the cut-off time (s). If the front of the bike dives during a shift because of engine braking, you need to shorten the cut-off time (s).
Healtech Quickshifter Disable Downshift Cut Instructions:
Next, I played around with the settings, changing the cut-off times, cut-off delay, and noise filtering. After a short ride, the quickshifter worked the way it should. It was easy, quick, and smooth.
The next day, I went for a longer ride and saw something that bothered me and was a problem. The quickshifter also turned off the engine when downshifting. I couldn’t blip the throttle to downshift because of this. I like to smooth out the ride by downshifting and blipping the throttle. Now, though, the quickshifter wouldn’t let me do that. (Find out how to downshift Rev-Match.) I wanted to turn off the cut downshift.
I sent Healtech support another email to explain my problem, but I didn’t expect them to fix it. Again, their customer service sent me some settings to fix the problem. I did what it said to do, and now my quickshifter doesn’t turn off the engine when I shift down.
How to Turn Off the Downshift on the Healtech Quickshifter:
The company’s support team told us about this way to turn off the Healtech Quickshifterdownshift ignition cut. This is what I did, and it worked for me. If you’re still having trouble, email [email protected].
Put the sensor on the rod WITHOUT the cone-shaped washers, so just the sensor.
Tighten the nut all the way by hand, then use a wrench to make it tighter by about 30 degrees.
Both sides of the rod can have the sensor.
Start the Setup Wizard and do what it says. Make sure “Noise filtering” is set to “Active” after the Wizard. If not, please run the Wizard again and make sure you make the right shifts when asked.
Tap and hold the “QSE sensor” button under “Sensor setup” for about 5 seconds, until the text changes to “QSE sensor+.” Go back to the first page of the app.
Look at the signal for shifting up: The number should be big.
Check the signal for shifting down: It should be either 0 or a small yellow number.
Make sure the “First RPM” is high enough for the QS function to work.
Fine-tune the settings after a test ride. (Healtech Support is the source of the instructions)
This is how I got my settings just right. It now works as if it had been there since the bike was made. Yes, the Healtech Quickshifter gave me some trouble on my first two rides, but I fixed the settings and now it works perfectly.
I’ve had my Healtech Quickshifter for a year, and it’s been working great for me. Even though the app that lets you change settings is a great idea, I haven’t used it since I found the best setup (Although you can save multiple settings and switch between them).
I do use the app to turn QS off completely so I can upshift without using the clutch. And when I send it in for service or give someone a ride in it. Quickshifter is set up for the way I ride, which might not work well for another rider, so it’s best to turn it off before letting your friend ride your motorcycle.
I am very happy with my choice of Healtech Quickshifter iQSE. It did take a while to set up perfectly, but once I did, I didn’t have to change the settings again. I’ve ridden quite a few new superbikes with quickshifters that came from the factory, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.
Auto downshift is a different thing. I think this is the next step for Healtech- To offer auto blipper add-on for their Quickshifter.
To anyone who is looking for an aftermarket Quickshifter, I would definitely recommend Healtech iQSE. Confirm if your motorcycle is supported from here. It costs between $335 to $370 depending on the wiring harness selected for your motorcycle. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments sections.
Updated on 3rd Feb 2021:
Problem Encountered: I took out my 600rr after a month gap and encountered an issue with quickshifter. At medium rpms the upshifts were not smooth and at higher rpm the gear was just stuck. I would push up on the shift lever, but it just wouldn’t move to the next gear. If I was going fast enough, I had to use the clutch to shift up.
After riding with quickshifter for about 20 miles, I turned off the app version of quickshifter, which is a great feature, from my phone. The rest of my ride, I had no trouble shifting up with the clutch in, and the gearbox felt smooth. So I thought that the quickshifter must be the problem.
What was wrong? : When I got home, I decided to check the pressure sensor that was installed in the shift rod. And voila, the nut that was holding the sensor in place was loose. I just tightened it again, and the problem went away. I added a drop of Blue Loctite threadlocker to make sure this wouldn’t happen again.
Difference between red and blue loctite threadlocker
Note: Do not overtighten the nut sandwiching the pressure sensor. Tighten the nut all the way by hand, then use a wrench to make it tighter by about 30 degrees.
How much does it cost to buy a Healtech Quickshifter?
Depending on what kind of motorcycle you have, the price of a healtech quick shifter ranges from $335 to $370.
Is it safe to use Healtech iQSE Quickshifter?
The healtech quickshifter has worked perfectly for me for the past 3 years. Changing the settings is easy to do with the phone app.