Erratic speedo - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 24 Old 06-10-2015, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Erratic speedo

Hi all - new to the bike, and the forum. As such, I'm still getting to know my new (to me) KLR. Today, I had her on the freeway and at 5000 RPMs, the speedo read 70mph. I shut her down for a couple hours, and when I rode home, that same tach reading gave me only 50-60 on the speedo. There's definitely something going on. Is this common? Is there an easy fix?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 24 Old 06-11-2015, 01:50 PM
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What year? How many miles on the bike?
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post #3 of 24 Old 06-11-2015, 05:47 PM
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The tach is sensitive to a full measure 12 VDC electrical supply; maybe your tach instead of the speedometer is off.

An operational check of the speedo: Calibrate it with a GPS receiver.

With both speedometer and tach fully operational, the relationship between rpm and speed indicated will remain constant, without a gear/sprocket/tire size change.
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post #4 of 24 Old 06-11-2015, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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'99 - 29k miles.

After a couple hundred miles on the bike, I'm sure it's the speedo. The tach is nice and consistent - the speedo can be telling me 15mph at what seems to be 40. Or 50 at 70. And then sometimes it seems accurate.

Maybe just a cable lube issue?

Other than this little thing, I LOVE the bike. Perfect compliment to my '99 Connie.
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post #5 of 24 Old 06-12-2015, 12:21 AM
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Cable would be worth checking as it might be broken and the two sections making differing contact. Another possible is the drive hub is slipping or partially sheared.

Old speedos sometimes develop a tight indicator needle bushing which can make them read strangely. I've been able to save most of the old Suzuki GS speedos by taking apart, cleaning and working light oil into the bushings.

Perhaps someone has a better technique but U find that one can a variable speed drill to drive the speedo head by using a Robertson (square) screwdriver bit to turn the head. One can compare the odometer to the speed because the odometer is directly driven from the cable while the needle goes through a magnetic cup against a torsion spring.

Similarly, one can drive the speedo cable at the bottom by use of a slot bit.

I can likely find some photos of the insides of the speedo head disassembly it helpful.
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post #6 of 24 Old 06-12-2015, 07:54 AM
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A common speedometer drive malfunction is: Bent "ears" or tabs on the drive hub washer.

The tabs must fit in circumferential slots upon assembly, or . . . the tabs may be bent and not in (full) engagement with the speedometer "drivetrain." Solution: Flatten washer and reassemble correctly.



As to testing with an electric drill, the cable can be disconnected at the hub, the shaft inserted in a drill chuck, and . . . running the drill in REVERSE (counterclockwise from the operator), the speedometer and odometer will respond. Cable shaft must be inserted fully in the speedometer head to perform this test. (No help to you, since your speedometer works, but erratically.)

Beyond checking to see that the cable shaft goes 'round when the front wheel rotates, that's about the limit of ordinary rider maintenance, AFAIK. Beyond that, professional help and/or speedometer replacement appears in order, to me.
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post #7 of 24 Old 06-12-2015, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Good stuff, I'll dig in soon.
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post #8 of 24 Old 06-15-2015, 01:10 PM
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Not sure it's the same issue I had, but a few years ago my speedo was "jumping" up and down while riding on the highway. It would go from 100 - 130, then down to 80, then up..
Sometimes I dropped to 0 and would start reading again a couple minutes later.

By the time I got home a few hours later, it had stopped entirely but the tach kept working.

Turned out the speedo cable had snapped inside the sheathing. The cable was rusty, so I guess water had got inside and it was sticking inside the sheath until its eventual failure.
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post #9 of 24 Old 06-17-2015, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korruptor View Post
Not sure it's the same issue I had, but a few years ago my speedo was "jumping" up and down while riding on the highway. It would go from 100 - 130, then down to 80, then up..
Sometimes I dropped to 0 and would start reading again a couple minutes later.

By the time I got home a few hours later, it had stopped entirely but the tach kept working.

Turned out the speedo cable had snapped inside the sheathing. The cable was rusty, so I guess water had got inside and it was sticking inside the sheath until its eventual failure.
I think that's what happened to mine. I'm at zero and stuck there.

Good place to buy a replacement?
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post #10 of 24 Old 06-17-2015, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-train View Post
I think that's what happened to mine. I'm at zero and stuck there.

Good place to buy a replacement?
I got my new speedo cable from Canadasmotorcycle.ca
It was far cheaper ($20 cheaper) than my local dealer.
I'm not sure where you live, so this may not be of any help to you.

Maybe Motorcyclesuperstore.com. They have several brands for a 1st gen KLR. Saw one there for under $12US.

motorcycle-superstore.com/22125/i/motion-pro-speedometer-cable?WT.ac=SLIsearch
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