Troubleshooting Common problems with Speedometers
Items you’ll need: screwdriver, pliers, metric wrenches, spray lubricant, speedometer cable grease, and a sewing needle.
1. Ready the bike
Stabilize your bike on a repair stand or its kickstand. Find the lower end of the cable, where it’s attached to a hub at the front-wheel. Disconnect the cable from the drive end using a metric wrench.
If you’re not familiar with how speedometers work, all you need to know is that there’s a cable that goes from the speedometer to the front rotor or the transmission. There’s also a drive unit there that usually spins the inside of the cable, which then lets the speedometer know how fast the motorcycle is going.
2. Inspect the Condition of the Cable
Once you disconnect the cable, you’ll be able to see the inside of the cable housing a metal cable wire. Pull the end of the cable out of the wheel hub and inspect the “square shaped” end of the cable. In case the edges are rounded, or it is broken, you need to replace the cable. Plus, if the end is broken, it most likely means there’s a piece of the broken end stuck inside the hub. Using a small, pointed object such as a sewing needle, work the broken piece out of the hub.
However, if the end was not broken or worn out, reattach the fitting and skip to step #5. Otherwise, get a new cable to move on to the next step.
3. Remove any cable guides at the front forks
Use pliers to loosen up the speedometer cable connection fitting located at the underside of the speedometer by turning it counterclockwise. Then, pull out the end of the cable from the speedometer. Remove any guides at the handlebars or the front forks of your motorcycle. The kind of motorcycle you have will determine the tools needed and the guides you need to remove.
4. Grease and reattach the cable
Apply a sizeable amount of cable grease on the square-shaped end of the speedometer cable and reattach it to the hub at the front wheel. Run the cable along the underside of the speedometer and then attach the upper end to the fitting on the speedo. Now tighten the fitting using your pliers and reattach the cable guides of the speedometer.
5. Remove the speedometer
On the underside of the speedometer gauge, carefully detach the cable. Use a metric wrench to remove the nuts on the handlebars that secure the gauge in place. Remove the speedometer and then place it on your worktable. With a small screwdriver or metric wrench, remove the back cover of the gauge. Again, the kind of speedometer you have will determine the types of tools you should use.
6. Remove the odometer
Use a small metric wrench or screwdriver to remove the odometer. Inspect and test the small odometer gears located below or behind the odometer number wheels. In case the teeth are broken, or the gears work poorly, replace the odometer.
7. Inspect the dial and gears
Be sure to inspect the back of the speedometer gears and the speedometer dial. If corrosion or rust has accumulated, you need to replace it. Otherwise, spray the components with a lubricant and try to manipulate them by hand to ensure things are moving freely. Install the new or existing odometer, and then reattach the back cover to the speedometer. Position it back into place and then tighten the clamp. Next, reattach the cable below the speedometer gauge.