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Thread: speedo & odo just quit

  1. #1 rd400racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Louisville, Ky

    speedo & odo just quit

    Coming home from work Friday they just quit working. Pull the cable this weekend and seemed fine. What the heck else could it be?

    2001 Ducati Monster; 1996 R1100GS; 1985 RZ350; 1977 RD400

  2. #2
    Turn the cable with your fingers, you should be able to do 5 mph.


  3. #3
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Sechelt, British Columbia
    When was the last time you had the front wheel off?
    You may have bent the tangs on the drive washer which turns the hub gear when you reassembled. Typically works for a while an then quits.
    The next thing to check.
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

  4. #4
    Take the cable loose at the bottom. Put the bike on the centerstand with the front wheel off the ground. Spin the wheel. Look at the tang on the speedo drive that the cable slips over. It is a flat tang somewhat resembling a screwdriver blade. Put your finger on it and spin the wheel. See if it is turning even against resistance from your finger. If so, it is the cable or the speedo head.

    But if not it is the speedo drive or the connection of the drive to the wheel. Remove the front axle and roll the wheel forward a couple of inches. Look at the metal ring with two metal tabs inside the recess on the left side of the wheel. If those tabs appear bent back and are not parallel to the line of the axle that is most likely the problem.

    If so bend the tabs/ring back so they are parallel with the axle and the ring portion is flat. Then reinstall the drive, making sure that the tabs on the ring are between the tabs (thicker, nylon) in the drive.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  5. #5
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    First thing I check is where the cable housing attaches to the speedo. Mine loosened up and fell out enough for the speedo to quit once. It _looked_ like it was in there... but no.

    Next would be the wheel hub. If you've had the front wheel off recently it is easy misalign the hub to the wheel. There is a metal tab that needs to go in between the standoffs on the fork slider and this can cause speedo issues.

    All the above assumes the cable is in one piece and spinning properly in the cable housing. Barring any of those problems it is always possible a gear drive mechanism in the speedo is gone or the input is worn out but this is really rare on oilheads other than the GS which is more exposed to dirt etc.

    **Oops. Looks like Paul is up late down in Big Bend again! Do what he said...
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  6. #6 rd400racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Louisville, Ky
    Thanks guys. I didn't get as deep in to it due to time restraints but I'll take it apart further this holiday weekend. I've had the bike for 7000 miles now and other than change oil and adjust valves I really haven't done anything to it. I did notice when I unscrewed the cable at the wheel, the little tab that screws into the drive was broken in half.....I suspect its been that way since I bought it and somebody has taken it off before.

    Not having a speedo doesn't really bother me. I know at 4K rpm in 5th gear I'm doing 70, but I've always used the odometer as a proxy fuel gauge since I first started riding bikes. Nothing scientific, just a peace of mind knowing when I'm starting to run low.

    2001 Ducati Monster; 1996 R1100GS; 1985 RZ350; 1977 RD400

  7. #7

    Speedo Drive

    I had the same problem on my '95R1100RSL. The speedo drive was the culprit...quit out of the blue and was totally seized when I oulled the wheel and axle. Replacement from MaxBMW was an easy swap in the garage and good as new. Seems to me there is a plastic bushing in there that is simply not up to the task of resisting road grime and miles after a while. Good luck.

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