Kawasaki Quick Shifter (KQS)

After successfully completing this course you should understand the function and operation of the KQS system.

Background information

Kawasaki Technology - KQS

Basic gearbox operation

Neutral selected

When neutral is selected:

  • Gear A: Freewheels (does not rotate with shaft.)
  • Gear B: Rotates with and slides along the shaft.
Therefore power (driving force) from the engine is not transmitted to the drive shaft.

When shifting gear

When a gear is selected:

"Gear B” slides to “Gear A”, and the projections are inserted into the “Gear A” fixing it to the shaft.

The power (driving force) from the engine is transmitted through the main shaft to the drive shaft and rear tyre.

Friction force prevents gear shifting

During acceleration or deceleration shifting is not possible because of the friction force acting on the gear projections.

Eliminating friction to change gear

When the throttle is closed the friction force is reduced allowing the gear to be shifted.

Upshift overview

To upshift without KQS the rider must:

  1. Close the throttle
  2. Pull the clutch
  3. Press the shift pedal
  4. Release the clutch
  5. Open the throttle

Downshift overview

To downshift without KQS the rider must:

  1. Pull the clutch
  2. To give a smoother downshift "blip" the throttle
  3. Press the shift lever
  4. Release the clutch

Place the text in the correct order that describes upshifting without KQS:

  • Close the throttle
  • Pull the clutch
  • Press the shift pedal
  • Release the clutch
  • Open the throttle

Select which gear has friction force acting on it.

What is KQS?

What is KQS?

KQS is a system that allows the gears to be shifted more quickly with less rider effort.

  • Up-shifting can be done without operating the clutch or closing the throttle. 
  • Down-shifting can be done without operating the clutch or opening the throttle.


Only a sensor is added....

A hall effect sensor is added to the gear shift linkage. When the rider up or down shifts it is detected by the sensor and it sends a signal to the ECU. 

How does it work?


When shifting is detected the ECU does the following:

  • Reduces the engine output by controlling the fuel injection and ignition timing. This has the same effect as closing the throttle.


When shifting is detected the ECU does the following:

  • Increases the engine output momentarily by “blipping” the electronic control throttle. This has the same effect as pulling the clutch.


KQS will not work if.....

  • ...the clutch lever is pulled

  • ...engine RPM is below 2500 r/min.

  • ...engine RPM is too high (for KQS downshift function).

  • ...the throttle is open(only for KQS downshift function).

  • ...the throttle is closed (only for KQS upshift function).

Following any up or down shift the shift pedal must be fully released before another KQS shift can be made.

Which of the following must happen for KQS upshift to work?

  • RPM must be over 2500rpm
  • Throttle must be open
  • The clutch lever must be pulled
  • KQS will not work if engine RPM is too high
  • KQS function must be turned on.
Three correct answers