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Thread: Speedometer removal/replacement

  1. #1
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Speedometer removal/replacement

    It looks like I will have to remove and replace the speedometer on my 04 R1150RT. I am getting a high pitched whine with needle fluctuations. If I take the bike apart I will most likely go for a permanent fix instead of the temporary repair some folks have suggested. It's too much work to take the bike apart and have to do it again in the near future if the temp repair doesn't work out.

    I removed the fairing side panels, windshield, black plastic fairing piece under the windshield and loosened the dashboard panel enough to see the area behind it without disconnecting the RID, headlight adjustment knob and fog light switch.

    I still can't figure out how to get the speedometer out without taking the front part of the fairing off the bike. Can anyone tell me if I need to remove the rest of the front fairing or are the bolts I see on each corner of the instrument area all that is holding the speedometer and rpm.

    Thanks for the help.

    Mark
    04 R1150RT

  2. #2
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Hate to ask, but did you try replacing the speedo cable? The whine and fluctuations of the needle could easily be the cable binding in the sleeve. If you were going to replace your speedo you would want to use a new cable anyway.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  3. #3
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Yes it could be the cable. I have a new cable ready to install but it takes almost as much work to dismantle the bike to get to the cable where it attaches to the speedo as it does to remove the speedo.

    I'll look at the end of the cable when I replace it but many owners feel that the gears inside the speedo are usually the cause of the problem.



    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    Hate to ask, but did you try replacing the speedo cable? The whine and fluctuations of the needle could easily be the cable binding in the sleeve. If you were going to replace your speedo you would want to use a new cable anyway.
    04 R1150RT

  4. #4
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scootrp125x View Post
    .... I have a new cable ready to install but it takes almost as much work to dismantle the bike to get to the cable where it attaches to the speedo as it does to remove the speedo. .....
    Huh? Replacing the speedometer cable doesn't require dismantling any of the bike. Possibly, if your hands won't slide up under the speedo, you might have to remove the left side panel to open up that area a bit, but otherwise you unscrew the cable from the bottom of the speedo and remove the bottom from the speedo drive. No disassembly.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  5. #5
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    Huh? Replacing the speedometer cable doesn't require dismantling any of the bike. Possibly, if your hands won't slide up under the speedo, you might have to remove the left side panel to open up that area a bit, but otherwise you unscrew the cable from the bottom of the speedo and remove the bottom from the speedo drive. No disassembly.
    The area I have to access to get to the speedo cable is quite tight. I cant even get my hand in there to change a light bulb without removing the side panels. The speedo cable goes even higher than the the light bulb area and it is a very tight space.

    I can get my hand up there but the area is so small that I could not grip the cable nut with a pair of pliers to get any leverage. I had to remove the side panels, windshield, windshield mounting brackets and the dash panel. I can probably get to the cable nut now but I have removed so much of the fairing parts that I might as well take the speedo out to lubricate the gears that are making the noise.

    At this point I need to figure out how to remove the speedo from the mounting bracket. It appears to have a bolt at each of the 4 corners. I will need to detach the odometer reset knob too.
    04 R1150RT

  6. #6
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    First off the speedo cable on an RT can be changed without any dismantling of the dash at all. Mine fell out of the bottom of the speedo a while back and the speedo stopped working (of course). I just turned the handle bars out of the way, screwed it back in and tightened it up. From there the cable just drops down to the front wheel hub where one phillips screw releases it. No fairing disassembly required at all. I usually pull the inside of the cable out once a year, wash it in WD40 or gas and then grease it up in my hand before re-inserting it from the bottom up.

    Secondly, squealing and erratic behaviour is sometimes caused by lack of lubrication. Fixing this problem does require you to remove the black plastic dashboard, unplug the wiring harnesses underneath it, remove the speedo cable, trip meter shaft, the lighting connectors and the nut holding the speedo in place.

    Once out get the assembly flipped over such that the cable hole faces straight up. Then very carefully drip ONE DROP of sewing machine oil on the outside edge of the square input shaft that spins. Use a very small screwdriver to spin the speedo cable input around so that the oil gets in there and works it's way in.

    Do not use more than a drop! You run the risk of it dripping right through and onto the inside of the glass face of your speedo. But this tiny amount of lubrication often cures what ails the speedo. This problem happens on GS bikes more frequently because things are more exposed.

    A wise man told me doing this once a year on his GS has prevented the input shaft from getting sticky in the first place and he has fixed a bunch of them doing basically what I described.
    Last edited by Happy Wanderer; 11-10-2012 at 02:18 AM. Reason: clarity
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  7. #7
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Attached is the 1100RT instrument details. Pretty sure it is the same or very close to the same on the 1150. Maybe it will help.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  8. #8
    Registered User awagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
    Secondly, squealing and erratic behaviour is sometimes caused by lack of lubrication.

    But this tiny amount of lubrication often cures what ails the speedo.
    The speedo on my RT developed the squeal of death at about 60K miles. A tiny drop of oil will make the squeal and needle jumping go away for a while, but the problem is a worn bushing that holds the rotating magnet in the speedo head. I eventually replaced it with an authority speedometer which was the same price as stock and more accurate.
    Al - Ogden, Utah
    Boxer bikes, boxer dogs, and letterboxing.
    2004 1150GS
    2006 Boxer dog (Paisley)

  9. #9
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
    First off the speedo cable on an RT can be changed without any dismantling of the dash at all. Mine fell out of the bottom of the speedo a while back and the speedo stopped working (of course). I just turned the handle bars out of the way, screwed it back in and tightened it up. From there the cable just drops down to the front wheel hub where one phillips screw releases it. No fairing disassembly required at all. I usually pull the inside of the cable out once a year, wash it in WD40 or gas and then grease it up in my hand before re-inserting it from the bottom up.

    Secondly, squealing and erratic behaviour is sometimes caused by lack of lubrication. Fixing this problem does require you to remove the black plastic dashboard, unplug the wiring harnesses underneath it, remove the speedo cable, trip meter shaft, the lighting connectors and the nut holding the speedo in place.

    Once out get the assembly flipped over such that the cable hole faces straight up. Then very carefully drip ONE DROP of sewing machine oil on the outside edge of the square input shaft that spins. Use a very small screwdriver to spin the speedo cable input around so that the oil gets in there and works it's way in.

    Do not use more than a drop! You run the risk of it dripping right through and onto the inside of the glass face of your speedo. But this tiny amount of lubrication often cures what ails the speedo. This problem happens on GS bikes more frequently because things are more exposed.

    A wise man told me doing this once a year on his GS has prevented the input shaft from getting sticky in the first place and he has fixed a bunch of them doing basically what I described.
    I wish the nut on the speedo cable was loose enough to fall out. At least I would be able to turn it by hand. Mine has probably never been taken apart since it was new. It is so tight that I can't turn it by by hand and I cant get a pair of pliers in the space that is available. At least I know how to get to it now!

    I bought some 3 in 1 oil yesterday and will give the oil trick a try.
    04 R1150RT

  10. #10
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awagnon View Post
    The speedo on my RT developed the squeal of death at about 60K miles. A tiny drop of oil will make the squeal and needle jumping go away for a while, but the problem is a worn bushing that holds the rotating magnet in the speedo head. I eventually replaced it with an authority speedometer which was the same price as stock and more accurate.
    My speedo only has 33k. I was going to replace or rebuild the unit but will try the oil first since the other options are pretty expensive.

    I like the idea of the authority speedo for better accuracy, will look into that if I replace mine.

    Thanks
    04 R1150RT

  11. #11
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    I lube the speedo cable every year on my GS.
    Takes minutes.
    Undo at front axle speedo drive, pull cable out of the sheath, wipe clean with solvent soaked rag.
    Then lube with a small amount of fresh engine oil in your palm and pull cable thru.
    Push cable back up sheath and turn back and forth at the end to engage to speedo.
    Reattach to drive.

    236,000km on my original.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  12. #12
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    I lube the speedo cable every year on my GS.
    Takes minutes.
    Undo at front axle speedo drive, pull cable out of the sheath, wipe clean with solvent soaked rag.
    Then lube with a small amount of fresh engine oil in your palm and pull cable thru.
    Push cable back up sheath and turn back and forth at the end to engage to speedo.
    Reattach to drive.

    236,000km on my original.
    I will install a new cable and hopefully I will be able to tighten the speedo nut just enough to be able to remove it without having to take the fairing apart. I wish I had a GS at times like this!
    04 R1150RT

  13. #13
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    When mine fell out I recall getting it threaded back in by hand but had to use some long handled channel lock pliers to get a hold of it to tighten properly. It's awkward and a bit fiddly for sure though.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  14. #14
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
    When mine fell out I recall getting it threaded back in by hand but had to use some long handled channel lock pliers to get a hold of it to tighten properly. It's awkward and a bit fiddly for sure though.
    I will make sure I hand tighten the cable so I can get it loose again with my hand.

    I now have the frame apart that holds the speedo. The speedo wires are bundled with other wires but I can turn the whole thing over just enough to put the drop of oil in the around the cable bushing.

    Lets hope the lube job is enough to solve the problem. Thanks again for all the help and support!
    04 R1150RT

  15. #15
    They call me Gort scootrp125x's Avatar
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    update

    I put a drop of oil on the speedo gear and put the bike back together.

    I rode to work yesterday with the temp at 35 degrees. Rode home last night at 37 degrees. So far no whine or needle fluctuation on my speedo! Will ride to work again today and give it another test.
    04 R1150RT

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