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Where is the gear shift lever located on most motorcycles?

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Use this motorcycle practice test question to prepare for the real written exam at the DMV or during your motorcycle safety course

Where is the gear shift lever located on most motorcycles?

  1. In front of the right footrest.
  2. In front of the left footrest.
  3. Near the right handgrip.
  4. Near the left handgrip.

Find the answer to this question and an explanation below. 


This topic may show up on your motorcycle permit test. 

The answer is: B. In front of the left footrest.

How’d you do? Learn more about this motorcycle topic below. 

Explanation: Motorcycle Controls

In order to pass your motorcycle permit exams and to become a safe rider, it’s important to know why a particular answer on the motorcycle written test is correct. 

The motorcycle’s gear shift lever is located in front of the left footrest. 

You operate the gear shift lever with your left foot by pressing it down with the bottom of your foot or pressing it up with the top. 

Most modern motorcycles follow a 1 down, 4 up shifting pattern, which goes 1-N-2-3-4-5. 

Neutral is typically found with a half shift up from 1st gear or a half shift down from 2nd. 

In order to shift gears properly, you’ll need to operate the gear shift lever, clutch lever, and the throttle at the same time. 

To keep your motorcycle running smoothly and to get the most out of your engine, you’ll want to match the gear with the engine speed. Avoiding over revving and lugging your engine by shifting at the appropriate RPM.

Shifting up and down follows the same 3 step process:

  • Roll off the throttle as you squeeze the clutch lever. 
  • Operate the gear shift lever to the next gear. 
  • Ease out the clutch lever and roll on the throttle as necessary.  

You can find more information about this topic in the motorcycle rider’s handbook.

Check out more motorcycle permit test questions and answers here.

Find in-depth articles for new riders in our section dedicated to learning how to ride a motorcycle.

Plus, check out an overview of the requirements to get a motorcycle endorsement in each state.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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