My first mod for the En500 is the shifter.
I am short legged, so the 500 is a perfect fit, but have a large upper body length, AND big feet! The controls are nicely forward which helps my legs (have a couple of old injuries and other man made adjustments to their structure done way back in the past) feel comfortable, but I had to sort of dip my toes down between the footpeg and the shifter to upshift, and usually pull it sideways out from under the shifter, to get back on the peg where I could downshift! Not only awkward, but painful if ground clearance includes a rock or something (like a drivway curbing) to catch that "dove down" toe on!
I tried to shift position by raising and lowering the shifter by changing the setting on the splines that go through it, but that just didn't do it. I was hesitant about bending or welding on the original as I am a nut about keeping all mods to where I can quickly and easily replace them with original parts.
I mean, we DO sell bikes occasionally, and new buyers may not think our "wonder" mods all that wonderful for them!
So... That meant finding another shift lever I could cut, weld, bend or otherwise modify. No problem! Well it ended up that way, but not immediately. The first shots are the original shifter as optimized as I could get it for clearance of a size 10EEE boot.
Notice the height above the footpeg, and the fact that the shifter is approximately centered on the footpeg, which is why it was necessary to kind of pull my foot out (rather than my head, as usual!) when going from up to down shifting or vice versa.
I found a new shifter at a local Honda dealer, after LOTS of tries at LOTs of dealers! (Lompoc Honda - GREAT people, even though I don't own a Honda!)
It is a Moose Performance Equipment unit for a Yamaha ATV (the YFZ 350 Banshee) shifter. Part # MAY1. Almost any dealer should be able to order it, or you might luck out on eBay.
If you can't find it nearby, my local dealer now stocks them. (they are really helpful and NOT a "stock or nothing" type dealer!) Their contact info is:
Thorsen Motorsports, (www.thorsenmotorsports.com) 20004 Preisker Lane, Santa Maria, CA 93458 (805-928-9411) I have their assurance they would be glad to help you.
It is made just right except for the angles in the shaft. Fairly cheap too. It was under $20, and even any welding on the old one would have been much more than that if you had to pay to have it done. You can see on these next pictures that as it comes, it gives about 1 1/4" extra room horizontally between it and the foorpeg, and another 3/4" higher than the original in relationship to the footpeg.
ALMOST what I needed! It does give more room horizontally and vertically but is still centered on the footpeg, almost exactly like the original was. I thought that if I bent it in towards the frame a bit, it would occupy about the same relative position as the brake pedal on the other side in relation to your foot when on the footpeg. That is quite comfortable, and symetry can't be a bad thing! In these next pictures you can see where I simply bent (in a vise, not with a hammer!) both angles of the shaft to a bit shallower bend.
As you can see, that put the shifter way in towards the engine, and kept the relative position of the shifter peg at a 90 degree angle to the engine/frame as it should be, keeping it parallel to the footpeg. . This also wound up giving me another little bit of length forward from the footpeg, and a tad higher also. Perfect fit. Now I can rest my feet straight on the footpegs, and to brake or shift, I simply move the toe of my boot in towards the engine to hit either lever properly. No more rearranging my foot bones to hit the top or bottom of the shift lever. Once I had a few miles on it, it is much more natural than the original felt, don't know why Kawasaki didn't do that already!
Cost (minus gas to find and get the shifter!) about $20. Time involved (once I figured this all out) maybe an hour if you break for a cool one every few minutes!