I'm trying to fix the shifter on my dirt bike.

I've located the problem, which is a pin that's come loose. The shifter kind of works, but every now and then it gets jammed because this loose pin isn't properly restricting the movement of the part and you need to force it back into place

It's supposed to be turned with a 14mm socket or wrench, and i can get to it, but I can't rotate it more than 1/8th of a turn because the clutch housing is in the way. I'd really rather not have to take the entire bike apart just to tighten this one bolt...

It kind of looks like this:

enter image description here

Long story short: Does anybody know of something I can use to grab the smooth end of the pin hard enough to tighten it, or anything else I can try?

  • Welcome to the site! When you say you can't rotate more than 1/8th of a turn, do you mean at a time, or once you turn it 1/8th you are unable to 'grab' the bolt head and turn it another 1/8th, so you only have 1/8th to play with (if that makes any sense). Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:09
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    Do you have a photo of the component in place on the motorcycle? As well, what make model and year is it? I've been working on motorcycles for quite a while and when I consume this question I can't visualize a component that you are illustrating. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:12
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    @MooseLucifer Once I rotate it 1/8th of a turn the clutch is in the way and it hasn't turned enough to be able to grab it for another 1/8th of a turn.
    – nick
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:15
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    Do the right job: remove parts, get to the nut and tighten it with the appropriate torque.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 15:22
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    @ducatikiller I need to tighten part 11 bikebandit.com/oem-parts/2006-honda-crf150f/o/…
    – nick
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 17:03

5 Answers 5


Did you ever wonder why an open ended wrench is angled at exactly 15° ? That's so you can turn a nut a little bit, flip the wrench over, turn it a little bit more, and get the job done! You mentioned that you can turn the wrench 1/8th of a turn. That's plenty! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the mount was designed to accommodate the 15° wrench flip process. That criteria has been out there for probably a century (100 years!)

Try it, and let us know how that works. Place open ended wrench on the base, turn as far as possible, remove wrench, flip it and try again. (And if you've already tried, this apologies... Info offered here for anybody else who may have never heard of this technique.)

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    For real: I've been doing that on one but for almost a week. Turn, flip, turn, flip, get bored, repeat the next day.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 18:04
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    I find the quality of the wrench to make a big difference. Poor quality wrenches have tolerances so large that you cannot actually turn the nut. Note that it does not have to be an expensive wrench. I've got some cheap dollar-bin wrenches with fantastically small tolerances.
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 18:14

If you have enough space that you can fit a ratcheting wrench over it, that may be a solution:

enter image description here

That way, you can turn it a little bit at a time. Failing that, if you REALLY want to try to grab the pin, try some vice grips. Tighten them to the appropriate width, clamp them down, and try to turn.. You'll likely damage the pin with the grips.

enter image description here

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    I think OP is using an open end wrench due to spacial constraints, which would also prevent access with the vice grips. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 16:56
  • @MooseLucifer I was pretty sure that these two options were out as well, but wanted to confirm with OP first. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 17:01
  • The ratcheting wrench is good because they typically have to rotate less than the 15 degrees mentioned above to get to the next "click". Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 23:55

Use a long reach wrench. Something like this

enter image description here

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    OP cannot access the bolt from above. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 16:17

If you just want to get the bolt past finger tight, you could wrap a piece of rubber around the pin, then pull the end of the rubber from the right side, kinda like how pull-start yard equipment works.

You'll probably have to push against the pin with an open ended wrench at the same time so balance the side load you're applying, but you may be able to provide enough torque to get the bolt tight, or into a position where another 1/8th turn from the wrench will hold it.

For the rubber, I'm thinking using a thick rubber band would work best.

This will probably only provide a short term solution to get you through the holiday weekend (USA! USA!), or maybe the end of this season. To avoid potentially damaging part of the bike and/or yourself. you should probably just bite the bullet and take the assembly apart, throw on some thread locker, and properly torque the bolt into place.

Good luck!


You can get angled wrenches, with heads that are turned at a different angle to a standard wrench. You can get wrenches that have curved shafts. A crowsfoot wrench might be a possibility. If you have access to an acetylene torch you can heat and bend a standard wrench so it will clear the obstruction. You may be able to grind off part of the edge of the shaft of a wrench where it touches the clutch housing so you can turn it a little further.

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