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View Full Version : how many guages do you really need?


frenchandy
22nd November 2007, 18:14
wow didnt ever think that guages could be such a point of controversy,so i was wondering ,on your ideal ironhead what guages, clocks,dials,whistles or bells would you have,-i personly think that the original set up was about right but would be interested to know what and why

Sly
22nd November 2007, 18:20
My 74 has none. The speedo lens was pitted bad and I never looked at the tach anyway. Looks alot cleaner without them now. I still have the Gen and Oil lamps on the Headlamp hat.

Old_Goat57
22nd November 2007, 18:50
Tach and speedo, in that order.

Don't really need the neutral light, but it's nice to know when high beams are on.

JayFL459
22nd November 2007, 18:57
My First Harley a 51 Panhead had nothing except sound and smell for gauges ... and Loved it ...

Gone
22nd November 2007, 19:07
Speedo is sort of important - for law enforcement much more than the rider. I like using a tach when I'm riding agressively. An oil temp gauge and volt-meter can give advance warning to avert disaster.

frenchandy
22nd November 2007, 19:57
My First Harley a 51 Panhead had nothing except sound and smell for gauges ... and Loved it ...

that sounds like my kind of riding!

superwarden
22nd November 2007, 20:58
Nothing, I like the suspense.....

MadMax25
22nd November 2007, 21:18
wow didnt ever think that guages could be such a point of controversy,so i was wondering ,on your ideal ironhead what guages, clocks,dials,whistles or bells would you have,-i personly think that the original set up was about right but would be interested to know what and why

Hi, I've spent a large portion of my career in electronic
control of industrial machinery.
We only put a sensor or gage on a machine when the operator
or built in computer can do something useful based on the
reading of the gage or sensor. There is no point in gathering
or displaying information that can not be reacted to.
Speedo – Keeps the law off your tail
RPM – Lets you know how far you are from the red line.
Clock – Lets you know that you’re late in getting home
Oil pressure – Lets you worry
Volts – Gives info about the charging system
Radar detector – Use a good one where legal
GPS – Tells you how lost you are. In conjunction with the clock,
lets you judge what king of excuse you need to make up
about why you’re arriving home so late.

frenchandy
22nd November 2007, 21:36
Hi, I've spent a large portion of my career in electronic
control of industrial machinery.
We only put a sensor or gage on a machine when the operator
or built in computer can do something useful based on the
reading of the gage or sensor. There is no point in gathering
or displaying information that can not be reacted to.
Speedo – Keeps the law off your tail
RPM – Lets you know how far you are from the red line.
Clock – Lets you know that you’re late in getting home
Oil pressure – Lets you worry
Volts – Gives info about the charging system
Radar detector – Use a good one where legal
GPS – Tells you how lost you are. In conjunction with the clock,
lets you judge what king of excuse you need to make up
about why you’re arriving home so late.
yeah -got to love that ,but i thought we rode these kind of bikes to get away from this numbercrunching,analytical,obsessively controling society,.....so why put it on your bike?

onerigidrider
22nd November 2007, 21:43
Used to have everything on my ironhead: Tach, hi beam, oil, speedo...the works. Took EVERYTHING off to see exactly what I would miss...turnbs out the only thing I missed (and it was only to keep the LEO's off my back) was a speedo.

Put a small mini-speedo on the center of my t-bars and still only use it in town. I know what the bike sounds like in whatever gear and speed I need!:banana

scottgearman
22nd November 2007, 22:21
The cop that pulls you over ( when you see the lights in the mirror , cuz you know none of us hear the siren) He's always happy to tell you exactly how fast you were going, so even a speedo is optional.

MadMax25
22nd November 2007, 22:26
yeah -got to love that ,but i thought we rode these kind of bikes to get away from this numbercrunching,analytical,obsessively controling society,.....so why put it on your bike?


Hi Frenchandy,
My 1200R came with a speedo and tach.
I added a clock.
I thought about also adding an oil pressure gage
but decided that I would be watching IT
instead of paying attention to the road.
Ride safe

ironhead red
22nd November 2007, 23:39
Gauges... We don't need no stinkin' gauges! :smoke

MadMax25
22nd November 2007, 23:52
Gauges... We don't need no stinkin' gauges! :smoke

If you allow me to get a bit technical here,
that expression should be written as...

Gauges...
What gauges...
We don't need no stinkin' gauges.

Have a nice day !!!
:banana :banana :banana

fdny37
23rd November 2007, 01:28
I have all the original gauges plus the O2 sensor gauge. I don't think not knowing whats going on in or around the engine is a good idea for me at least. I don't want anything to happen to this beauty. Better safe then sorry.


http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/Done2.jpg
http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/Finished21.jpg

Sly
23rd November 2007, 02:44
I believe in enjoying the scenery, The only purpose a guage has......... Is to tell you something you dont already know. I know my bikes gonna break down eventually. I dont want another distraction when it happens. Now I'm not knockin on all the Technical junkies, Cause "I am my bikes only sensor".:shhhh

IronMick
23rd November 2007, 04:05
I have all the original gauges plus the O2 sensor gauge ...

How come the tach and speedo are mounted crooked? I like the O2 sensor. Cool. Where did you get it? How much?

SGD2006
23rd November 2007, 04:15
I am going to run only one gauge. oil pressure, I have no other gauges. No Tach, No Speedo. I have 2 indicator lights, generator and Oil. But I want a pressure gauge to keep an eye on things. I can't tell by smell or sound.

frenchandy
23rd November 2007, 11:00
I have all the original gauges plus the O2 sensor gauge. I don't think not knowing whats going on in or around the engine is a good idea for me at least. I don't want anything to happen to this beauty. Better safe then sorry.


http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/Done2.jpg
http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/Finished21.jpg

i can appreciate your concern after building a rocketship like yours(its still one of my favorites)-i see how one of those gadgets takes the guess work out of running on fancy carbs and drag pipes(maybe my neighbours could buy it for me if i tell them no more plug chops!)

rikrak
23rd November 2007, 11:24
I think the Speedo just looks lonely without a tach. :wonderlan

fdny37
23rd November 2007, 14:20
Mick, the speedo and tach were originaly mounted on top of the fork tubes with buckhorn bars. When I switched to drag bars with a five inch riser I had to figure out what to do with the gauges. Now remember this was 30 years ago so there were not many options. I was able to put them up on the riser clamp with some spacers underneath and because of the trip set knob they had to be set on an angle. The O2 sensor is from K&N and ran about $200 plus with the bungs.

carmine73
24th November 2007, 02:43
ok fdny cudos on the bike its very pretty but lean ritch gauge gages pheeewy that crap is just another thing to take yer mind off the road part of the experience of riding an iron head is that the bike lets you know everything you need to know when the thing starts vibrating your knuckles to the point of pain shift. if it is runnin sooty yer gettin to much gas if it gets way freakin hot yer runnin to lean. not that i am the expert on iron heads here but every single bike i own has its own way of letting me know something is wrong WAY BEFORE its catastropic they sound different they feel sluggish or some other tell tale sign that im in fer trouble. oil press is really nice specially after changin the earl.. and fer all you speedo guys here who here doesn't know exactly how fast yer goin even without the benefit of a speedo. that may not be what i tell the po po when i get tagged but i always know how fast im goin. and lastly i find the high beam indicator really irritating cus i always drive with the high beams on!!!electrical tape will fix that. got the oil light but i dont think it werks.

lowbrowcustoms
24th November 2007, 05:00
I haven't had gauges on any of my bikes in years... I am debating on running an old Smith speedo on the BSA I am trying to get finished though. I usually don't worry about that stuff, and any of my bikes are old enough if I do get pulled over cops have never asked any questions as they probably don't even know what they are.

Tyler

DudleyDoRight
25th November 2007, 01:15
I want to keep the gauges on my '83 Roadster, it wouldn't be right without the factory tank-mounted tach. On the other hand, I'm about ready to chuck the digital POS on my '06 commuter. Don't like it, don't need it, and the bike looks better without it.

linex82
26th November 2007, 15:41
I have 1 gauge on my '82 I recently bought - an oil pressure gauge. It doesn't seem to register much pressure at all. I am not sure if this is because of where it is mounted, or just because these bikes just don't generate much oil pressure. I suspect it is a combination. The only other indicator I have on the bike you can see in the 2nd pic. I mounted these skull LEDs to the risers, and wired them into the turn signals so I can tell when they are on. (they are the push-button turn signals, not rocker switches)


http://weishaarpictures.webhop.net/sportster/img_3430_800x600.jpg
http://weishaarpictures.webhop.net/sportster/img_3425_800x600.jpg

IronMick
26th November 2007, 15:59
Cool turn signals.

Oil gauge should read up to about 40 psi when very cold [around 0`C], between 5 and 10 psi when warmed up. What is the range of the gauge? If it is 0 to 100 it won't show much when warmed up. 0 to 60 or even 0 to 30 is better.

If it is leaking it won't show much at all. This is what i found with mine that i had mounted on the front of the rear rocker cover, at the plug. It did not leak at the connection to the bike, but between its own connection and the gauge itself. There was a small o-ring in there but it was not good enough for ironhead vibration,

Tell us about the fork boots [gaiters]. Are they HD or aftermarket?

linex82
26th November 2007, 16:21
The skulls were mounted on the plate next to the ignition by the PO and weren't even wired to anything ... I just made mounting brackets and moved them to the risers cause I could never tell when my signals were on. I have to test it out, but the signals only blink for a short time, they don't stay on until I turn them off as I would expect. I don't think they are auto-cancelling. I have to test it out some more to figure out exactly what it is doing. But these indicators sure help.

As for the oil pressure gauges, it's a 0-100. I thought that seemed like a very large range. (again, installed by PO) I think that it would probably register a little more pressure if it was mounted on the front of the rocker cover (nearer the oil line) but I haven't been inclined to move it. It isn't leaking, but with it being 0-100 and where it is mounted, unless I feel like buying a new one I'll just live with it.

When I got the bike I asked the PO for a parts list and he gave me a printout of invoice items. It shows product code 150125 for "black 9 in rubber fork boots"... a google search shows up with this: http://http://www.customchrome.com/catalogs/ccp2007/viewProduct.asp?Sku=150125

blacksmith.jb
26th November 2007, 17:37
I've got none, but thinking of geting a speedo and tach both small. speedo because theres a lot of radars around here and we can't cross 50Km/h about 31mile/h, and the tach, because this is my first harley and I haven't my hears quite tuned for this bike. gonna build a small voltmeter too cause I'm having some charging problems. but it looks realy nice with nothing on it :/

83XLX
26th November 2007, 18:01
My bike came with a speedometer, oil pressure light, high beam light, and generator light. I added a NOS tach kit 'cause I like the look and the extra info is handy. A neutral light would be nice, but I don't know if I'd trust it.....:p

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/medium/MVC-001F.JPG

Zanzibar
26th November 2007, 18:25
You can never have too many gauges and do-dads on a bike. The more stuff you have to distract your attention form riding and road condition the better.:doh:laugh

Hang in there :tour

mikgordon
26th November 2007, 18:49
Let's see... hmmm... I have a speedo and ummm uhh i think that is it.

It would be nice to have a clock, thermometer, tach, oil pressure, oil temp, and volt meter, but then I would have bought a big twinkie.

Ivan RoachCoach
26th November 2007, 20:11
I need the speedo for obvious reasons: To impress myself and to argue with the cops afterwards.

I use the tach to keep track of what's going on with my motor.

I run the oil-pressure gauge because I like to check the pressure at start-up.

rdgzoe
26th November 2007, 21:00
I would like to be able to say with honesty. No Sir I do not know how fast I was going.

adamsj3
27th November 2007, 01:16
Kick start. And two switches, kill switch and headlight switch
guages?

OutlawTexan67
27th November 2007, 11:38
speedo,tach and oil gauge.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/840/medium/2_11_05_2007_.JPG

flynhi4u
27th November 2007, 12:37
Factory speedo with lights, led voltmeter, Harley stem nut clock(modified), and a Speedway Instruments micro tach that is just the berries. Had to push her 3 miles to get her home when my brand new AGM battery croaked. Had I had the volt meter then I would have known I had a problem. Since it has alerted me to my voltage regulator way over charging, which could possibly be why the battery failed. The tach is just down right nice to have and very inconspicious. Unless it is on people do not even notice it. Being a pilot I guess I am a gauge junkie. Still trying to figure out some way to rig up a Gem 610 graphic engine monitor on her so I can have a live read out of both egt's and cht's and maybe carb inlet temp just for kicks.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/902/medium/fairing_instruments_001_Medium_.jpg

flathead45
27th November 2007, 22:07
no gauges, a key switch, and a high-low switch that don't work

my ass can tell when somethings not right, my ears can tell how fast I'm spinnin the motor, my eyes can tell how fast I'm spinnin the tires, and my nose can tell if I burned something up

frenchandy
29th November 2007, 21:56
no gauges, a key switch, and a high-low switch that don't work

my ass can tell when somethings not right, my ears can tell how fast I'm spinnin the motor, my eyes can tell how fast I'm spinnin the tires, and my nose can tell if I burned something up

right on flats-heres to keepin it simple

elteee69
30th November 2007, 05:18
Oil pressure, mounted on motor of course, nothing ever on the bars, and a keen sense of your surroundings. Im in cali & theres always someone else on the road to judge your speed by. If your cheeks are flappin & your passin everyone your speeding! To each his own as they say.

justafurnaceman
30th November 2007, 16:23
A tach is the only thing that I'm going to put on the bike, just to know how far I'm pushing it without blowing it up.



:tour