I finally found my foot shifter, I can't believe it! And the one I found turned out to be something a lot more gnarly that I could ever imagine, now I may have limited imagination but just look at this magnificent portion of racing history!
This is a single unit Speed-E-Shift with the clutch pedal integrated in the frame! And since it’s got the Speed-E logo stamped on top of the molded weld that holds the clutch pedal I would say this one was a special order from the ‘factory’...
Now I know I’ve seen some old black and white photo of what I remember to have been Frenchy LeBlanc using one exactly like this one on a dual carb Knucklehead sometime in the early 1950’s. However, I can’t seem to find the photo right now – it was in a magazine or in someone’s collection and not online.
Since all pedal action is downwards only, the Speed-E-Shifters came with this neat little handlebar lever that is used to reverse the mechanism, pull it and the shifter will shift back down through the gears again. There was two types of handlebar levers available for Speed-E-Shifts; 1950's Panhead Police siren levers and one other slimmer type.
This construction is so genius it's almost mortifying, the front lever makes sure you find neutral while shifting down and the other lever is activated when you pull the handlebar lever to shift down. Now you need to start in the gear you stop in, so I guess I'll need some practice.
Just look at that beautiful Logo and Patent Code stamped on top of the pedal mount, this fact would have to mean the modification was done at the Speed-E-Shift 'factory'. Since I saw the Speed-E the first time I always wanted one more than anything but considering how hard they are to find and also how much money they go for I didn’t even really look for one, and this time that was what did the trick.
Just look at that knurled pedal, I won't be able to feel fear or hunger ever again.
The shifter frame, if you compare it to the standard Speed-E-Shifters, is moved forward and mounted on the bike about 1” closer to the front, watch the rear bend in this shifter frame (right where it bolts up to the oil tank mount) that bend's got more of a 75 degrees bend than 90 as on the regular Speed-E-Shift frames, and the front mounting holes up front are drilled about 1” back to compensate. This Speed-E also mounts real low, real nice and tight against the primary. At first I couldn’t understand why they changed the way it bolts up to the bike, but after I bolted it up to my own bike I think I realized why it’s built the way it is - because of dual carburetor clearance! And also to get a good clutch rod angle, even the pedal is shaped to give perfect clearance for a dual carburetor setup.
Can it get any better..?