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shift drum ratchet pawl lever pawl teeth ratchet pawl lever horseshoe spring shift shaft not to be confused with shift fork shaft shift lever shift drum rotation mechanism what mechanism causes the shift drum to rotate when the shift lever is pressed and released pins shift drum star shaped detent the star shaped detent on the end of the shift drum has metal pins sticking out of it when the shift lever is pressed it rotates the shift shaft which in turn moves the ratchet pawl lever the ratchet pawl lever pushes on the pins in the end of the shift drum to rotate it to effectively select a different gear the ratchet pawl lever is spring loaded so when it returns to its original position the pawl teeth can slide back over the pins to avoid rotating the shift drum back to where it was before the shift lever was pushed