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Scarecrow

speedometer went crazy

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Scarecrow

2004, R1150RT, 76,000+ miles

 

I was riding on the highway today,  took a quick glance down at my speedometer and it said I was doing 95.  No.  I wasn't.  My tach RPM showed normal and told me I was really going around 70.  Look over at the speedo again and see the needle bouncing around between 85-115.  Just bouncing away.  It was normal this morning on my initial ride.  But a few hours later:  crazy!

 

Any ideas what is going on?  How do I fix it?  I'm not handy so I may have to bring it in to a shop.

 

Please help,

TIA,

 

S.

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Michaelr11

Could be the instrument, but way more likely to be the speedo cable. At least that’s my response if it was an 1100RT. Does the 1150 also drive the speedo by a cable?

 

Yes, it does.  Just checked the parts catalog. Have you ever replaced the cable?

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ESokoloff
1 hour ago, Michaelr11 said:

Could be the instrument, but way more likely to be the speedo cable. At least that’s my response if it was an 1100RT. Does the 1150 also drive the speedo by a cable?

 

Yes, it does.  Just checked the parts catalog. Have you ever replaced the cable?

 

 

I changed the cable on my 03 (RT) & the issue persisted. 

I ended up lightly greasing the speedo bushing (around were the cable connects). 

Dirt Rider may advise against this as excessive grease can fling out and contaminate the internals but I figured I didn't have anything to loose.  

It's worked so far but truthfully it doesn't get many miles for the past 2.25 years. 

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James in OK

Those were exactly my symptoms (bouncing crazy needle) in my R1100RS at about 95k miles.  I first cleaned and lubed the speedo cable but the problem persisted.  A new cable fixed the problem.

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dirtrider
11 hours ago, Scarecrow said:

2004, R1150RT, 76,000+ miles

 

I was riding on the highway today,  took a quick glance down at my speedometer and it said I was doing 95.  No.  I wasn't.  My tach RPM showed normal and told me I was really going around 70.  Look over at the speedo again and see the needle bouncing around between 85-115.  Just bouncing away.  It was normal this morning on my initial ride.  But a few hours later:  crazy!

 

Any ideas what is going on?  How do I fix it?  I'm not handy so I may have to bring it in to a shop.

 

Please help,

TIA,

 

S.

 

Morning  Scarecrow

 

As mentioned above, could be a dry speedometer cable (not enough grease), or could be a damage speedometer cable, or could be the lower end of the cable outer housing pulled slightly out of the lower metal fitting, or could even be too much grease (or oil) added to the cable at one time causing the lube to work it's way up the cable & into the speedometer head therefore causing drag on the internal magnetic drive spool.

 

You might start by unscrewing the lower speedometer cable knurled nut, then pulling the cable out of the drive gear,  then sliding the inner cable out of the outer cable housing, then wiping it clean.

 

Then re-lube the lower 3/4 of the inner cable with very light (speedometer grease) or light white grease. Then reinstall the inner cable in the housing & re-assemble. (caution: don't over-lube as too much lube can cause other issues at a later time)

 

After re-assembly make sure that the lower end of the outer cable cover is firmly pushed into lower metal attachment piece.

 

If the doesn't help your problem then post back as you have other (bigger) issues.

 

 

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Scarecrow

Update:

I forgot to mention that when that happened yesterday, when I got off the highway onto local roads (35-40 mph) the needle was steady.

 

And on today's commute, it didn't happen.  The needle vibrated a bit more than usual, but stayed on speed.

 

Thanks DirtRider for the directions.  I'll see if I can manage it.  Don't know if I can do it before the weekend when I'm riding up to Yosemite National Park.

 

Thanks all for the replies.

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ESokoloff
3 hours ago, Scarecrow said:

 

 

And on today's commute, it didn't happen.  The needle vibrated a bit more than usual, but stayed on speed.

 

 

Im now remembering that mine was temperature sensitive.  

Only ocured when the temperature was below a certain point.  

 

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dirtrider
11 hours ago, Scarecrow said:

Update:

I forgot to mention that when that happened yesterday, when I got off the highway onto local roads (35-40 mph) the needle was steady.

 

And on today's commute, it didn't happen.  The needle vibrated a bit more than usual, but stayed on speed.

 

Thanks DirtRider for the directions.  I'll see if I can manage it.  Don't know if I can do it before the weekend when I'm riding up to Yosemite National Park.

 

Thanks all for the replies.

 

Morning  Scarecrow

 

As Eric mentioned it could be temperature sensitive (speedometer cable issues usually are). If your ride up to Yosemite National Park involves cold weather & the needle starts jumping around again then you might want to stop & disconnect the speedometer cable at the front wheel until it warms up.

 

I have seen the speedometer needle jump around so bad that it can damage or dislodge the needle & that can then require a new speedometer head.

 

If you can work it out I do recommend that you try lubricating that cable before leaving on your trip. (should only take 10-15 minutes). Stop by an auto parts store & ask for speedometer cable grease (they should have something). 

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awagnon

Happened to my 2002 RT speedometer.  Needle jumping and fast reading when the weather was cold.  Sometimes made a squealing sound.  Wasn't the cable.  The bushing where the cable inserts into the speedometer head gets worn allowing the spinning magnet inside to touch or get too close to the cage on the needle.  AFAIK, it can't be fixed, but oiling it will help for a while.   Eventually replaced mine with an authority speedometer, which at the time cost the same as the standard speedometer, but more accurate.  Problem solved except the mileage was no longer correct.

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