We know how the MoCo operates. Purposely create a part that induces dry heaving because it is so dog ugly you just have to replace it, and then just happen to have the chrome or alternative version for sale at the usual bargain prices. That pot metal shift linkage rod and lever is just such a part, screaming for replacement. What to do?
Here's a tweak I did to the shift linkage to make it look better and it ends up with the braided metal hose styling found on the front end cabling/brake lines and coolant pipes if you have those installed.
I happened to have the hose and the clamps laying around from when I redid some hoses on my now departed RoadKing, but it won't cost more that $10 or $15. Beats the hell out of $80-$150 for a chrome or custom one.
Here's how to do it- Get a 13" long piece of steel braided fuel/oil line with a 5/16" inner dia. and a 9/16" outer dia. and 2 hose end clamps- I used Specter Magna Clamps that I got from Kuryakyn. Cut the hose to length, put a little lube on the linkage rod if needed and work it on, slide the clamps on and there you have it- reassemble, go ride. I had to grind out the inside of the clamps a little so they would fit over the metal braid. A round stone bit in a drill makes this a quick job. I attached photos so you can see what it looks like. I painted the shifter arm and other pieces like the rod ends and shift lever silver like the frame. Works for me. Some would prefer chrome. Either way, it's a departure from the norm.
Make sure to measure or mark the length of the rod and rod ends before you disassemble so you're not fooling around with how long it was when you put it back on.