Why do we have a huge stick for shifting gears in a car but we only have a small lever for motorcycles?

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Why do we have a huge stick for shifting gears in a car but we only have a small lever for motorcycles?

In: Engineering
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In a car you are using your feet to operate the clutch but on a motorcycle you are using your hand to operate the clutch. So while in a car you have a free hand to operate the gearstick, on a motorcycle you have a free foot

Motorcycle gear boxes are driven by a selector cam, the gear lever only has to move a small catch in order to engage the selector, after that the selector is driven by the rotation of the engine after it has moved by one gear the catch is released. This is also why you can only go up and down gears one at a time and there is only one position for neutral.

Because there isn’t space for a large lever on a bike. And a bike should be able to be operated with both hands on the handlebars, which means you either need a button for your thumb, or a lever to kick with your foot.

Check out ergonomics. Sometimes the size and shape of something is partly to make it easy to use. The shifter is a good size to grip, and sits roughly where your hand wants to rest, and the throw distance should be big enough to feel deliberate, but short enough to be comfortable. Even the weight of the lever and knob is considered. For a bike the size and shape of the lever is meant to be comfortably used with your foot.