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Thread: Speedometer maintenance / lubrication.

  1. #1

    Speedometer maintenance / lubrication.

    At the risk of staring a dreaded lubrication thread, I am trying to figure out how to maintain the speedometer in my 1971 R60/5.

    I recently acquired this bike after a 14 year unplanned storage. I am the third owner, and the second owner was meticulous with his records. I have all of the maintenance from 1995 when he bought the bike from 6700 to 13000 miles. Well one of the items he routinely did was "lube tach / speedo" on his list.

    So I lubed the cables with cable lube, which seems to be the right thing to do until I replace them since they are original. But I was also wondering if there is any special way to lubricate the gears of the speedometer itself?

    I sprayed some cable lube up onto the housing last time, but not sure if that is what is needed?

    For the record the tach needle is smooth, but the speedo needle jumps around a lot, especially on acceleration.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, Mike! As you said, lubing the cables is something to try before you consider replacing with good cables. Generally, the cables are inner lined with like Teflon and lube just attracts/holds dirt and can shorten the life of the cable.

    As for the jumping needle, maybe the innards are fraying and the steel winding is catching and releasing which creates the problem. Better to consider replacing that cable and don't let continued bouncing create even more problems.

    I'm not too sure about an owner being able to work on the earlier speedos. I thought they were more or less sealed units and unless you have the crimping tools, getting them back together is hard. I would be somewhat careful about spraying into holes to lube things...there can be too much and in the wrong spot.

    There is a speedometer section in the link in my signature line. A good independent repairer of these units is Terry Vrla. You could contact him...no website, but email...and see what his prices and backlog are.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    I was told that a jumping speedo needle is usually the cable failing and that it can damage the speedo. I replaced the cable and the speedo ran smoothly.

    I have never heard what gets damaged if the cable isn't replaced. Maybe it accelerates wear on the feeble odometer gear.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  4. #4
    I appreciate the advise. That is an easy fix, and 43 year old speedometer cable is likey much easier to replace than a speedometer rebuild.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anyname View Post
    I was told that a jumping speedo needle is usually the cable failing and that it can damage the speedo. I replaced the cable and the speedo ran smoothly.

    I have never heard what gets damaged if the cable isn't replaced. Maybe it accelerates wear on the feeble odometer gear.

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