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GapRunr 09-22-2012 08:44 PM

Replica Speedometer for R80g/s
I recently picked up a 1981 R80g/s that had 4,600 miles on it. It had been in storage since June of 1990 when the tag expired. As part of it's "sitting around in a warehouse for 22 years" phase of its life, lots of rubber and plastic has dried up.

There have been multiple issues with the speedometer, from the odo button missing to the plastic backing cracking in half and now the speedo needle is stuck at 75mph. Every time one thing gets fixed in relation to the gauge another issue pops up. I was looking for a replacement unit when I came across these replica units out of India on eBay.

I'll report back on how well this looks and works when I get it. A nice touch was that it is calibrated for 120mph versus the 80mph of the OEM cluster. I've had my g/s up around the 80mph mark a couple of times trying to keep up with the flow on I-40 so having the extra room without having to worry about bouncing the needle off the pin at 85 mph will be nice.

Has anyone tried one of these units before? I couldn't find reference to them in any of the usual Airhead forums so I decided to order one and try it out. I don't like that it is a replica but most of the OEM units of that era are either broken or about to be. I do like that the backing is all metal. That alone should make it tougher than OEM.

Wirespokes 09-22-2012 09:26 PM

I'd also like to see the internals - perhaps they're similar in construction to the originals.

One problem you may not have noticed on the replica is the missing trip meter.

When you get the new one mounted, send the old one to me for repair!

GapRunr 09-22-2012 10:00 PM


Originally Posted by Wirespokes (Post 19658339)
One problem you may not have noticed on the replica is the missing trip meter.

Yup! Completely missed that... Hmmm... that's going to be a problem for me. Like most people the trip meter was my fuel gauge.

I'm not sure if my old one is repairable. The entire bike is at the shop right now but as soon as I pick it up I'll contact you off line about a repair. Either the housing or the threaded portion on the back has split.

Donmanolo 11-11-2012 03:26 AM

Did you get your Indian Speedometer in the meantime..? Any impressions you wish to share with us?

I might be going down the same route as you, trip meter isn't that much of an issue since I also use a sigma pushbike speedometer as a fuel guage. So if build quality is acceptable I'm also thinking about getting one of these while I send my "real" speedo off to wirespokes.

gsd4me 11-11-2012 03:29 AM

Try one of these

GapRunr 11-11-2012 06:02 AM


Originally Posted by Donmanolo (Post 20018348)
Did you get your Indian Speedometer in the meantime..? Any impressions you wish to share with us?

I did receive and use the speedometer for about 2,200 miles. The look of the unit is very OEM. They did a great job copying it, from the green lettering to the tiny white dots that I think represent maximum speed in each gear. I went with the 120mph unit instead of the 80mph I had before. The light inside for illumination is cheaply done. It shines through the gap in the odo gears at night so you can't really see your odo. Also, a couple of the markings on the odo have dirt on them. The '6' in the hundreds position has dirt on it.

The back of the unit is metal and the threaded section is also metal, but it looks like more of a pot metal. I had my GPS with me on my Outer Banks trip and the Indian speedo read a little low. If I was going an indicated 60 my actual speed was about 68. On a long day trip the speedo losed accuracy and the needle starts to get a little jumpy. When travelling an actual 65 mph the gauge would slowly dance between 55 and 70.

I sent the Indian unit to Wirespokes along with the OEM speedo with the hope that the accurate OEM components could be transplanted into the Indian metal case and housing but it turns out that they really aren't interchangeable.

When I mentioned the dancing of the speedo needle and how the needle would behave differently throughout the day he had an idea that maybe the type of grease being used was incorrect and was going to look into it further but I haven't spoken with him since. He also calibrated it when he had it open when he noticed that it read a little high.

Bottom line is that the unit will look just like OEM when installed, and depending on Wirespokes' findings with the grease it may actually behave just like OEM.

Overall I am satisfied and impressed with the Indian unit. It's not up to OEM quality, but it was $99US, delivered to my door. I ordered on a Thursday night and received it Tuesday. That's impressive.

Donmanolo 11-11-2012 08:39 AM

Thank you Gaprunr, that was about as complete a description as I could have asked for, much appreciated.

I think I'll go ahead and order mine, it's what I expected quality-wise, and for my kind of use it seems fine.

Ciao from Italy.


Wirespokes 11-11-2012 02:11 PM

It's been some time since looking inside the Indian speedo gaprunner sent me. As I recall, the shaft/bushing tolerances were pretty large, which can make for erratic readings. The motometers are real class units in comparison; much better designed and higher quality construction - although plastic input sections are a complete abomination! I'd like to shoot whover came up with that one.

The indian gauge also has no trip meter, so be aware of that. The input is pot metal, but looks no worse quality than the better motometers before they switched to plastic. It's got to be much more rugged than plastic!

Overall, the indian unit is simple (maybe a bit too simple), and with the tolerances tightened may be a good functioning unit.

We were hoping to mix and match parts but the two are much too different for that to happen.

Frankly, I think the electronic speedo replacement GSD4ME posted would be a better solution, since it likely has more functions than speed and odometer along with greater accuracy as well.

squatingdog 11-11-2012 07:10 PM

I restored a r50/2 and had the speedo restored at a place called west Hollywood clock and speedo in west Hollywood calif perfect job 10000 miles later still very happy

GapRunr 11-15-2012 06:52 PM


Originally Posted by squatingdog (Post 20023382)
I restored a r50/2 and had the speedo restored at a place called west Hollywood clock and speedo in west Hollywood calif perfect job 10000 miles later still very happy

I've had great service from Wirespokes in speedometer repair, both for my R80 and a couple of years ago for my wife's R100GS hack. He is meticulous and not as expensive as most places.

One Less Harley 11-15-2012 07:50 PM

stick to wirespokes..NHS- screwed me. speedo was inaccurate and they accused me of dropping it, plus it was getting water inside. They wouldn't stand behind their sloppy work. Had Palo Alto rebuild with a 120mph face. This is before I new wirespokes rebuilt them.

If your instrument has the cheap plastic where the cable thread into, replace it if possible it gets brittle with age.

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