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Motorcycle Instruments and Gauges

Motorcycle gauges are located primarily on the handlebar assembly, or dash for touring models, and help the rider to know at a glance the mechanical workings of their motorcycle. They are similar to what is seen on a vehicle dashboard. Various motorcycle instruments are available and may be installed as secondary improvements to aesthetics or function.

Are motorcycle speedometers accurate?

According to several government regulations, speedometers are permitted to read "high" but may not display a speed that is lower than the actual speed of travel. If you believe that your speedometer is reading high, it may be due to several factors, including sprocket, wheel, tire, or other parts changes from what is stock on the bike.

Are fuel gauges required?

Adding one is a personal choice for the rider and isn't a requirement, but having a way to monitor fuel usage without having to use the odometer and do calculations is convenient. Keeping track of fuel usage without one is possible by using the trip setting on the odometer. By calculating the size of your gas tank and your typical mileage per gallon, you set the odometer when you fill up to that mileage number. For example, if your tank holds three gallons and you get about 60 miles per gallon, you know that you can go about 180 miles on one tank of gas. Many bikes also have a reserve switch so that when the tank runs low, the rider may switch to reserve in order to reach a gas station. However, adding a fuel gauge makes tracking fuel usage easier for the rider.

How does a tachometer help the rider?

The tachometer measures the rotation speed of the engine. Although bike vibration and engine noise may imply rotation speed, the tachometer removes the guesswork and makes it easier for the rider to make decisions about when to shift gears and insight on preserving fuel economy. Many bikes do not come stock with a tachometer. These may be purchased from the vehicle manufacturer and aftermarket companies.

How difficult is it to install motorcycle gauges?

Ease of installation will vary, but the basic instructions are similar. The actual part is first mounted with a bracket. The receptor and ground wires are then run down the fork and frame to the engine and secured with wire ties.

What are options for mounting gauges?

Because they are visible, and because the rider looks at them often, installing gauges safely, securely, and in a way that is aesthetically pleasing is important. Wire ties may work in a pinch, but there are brackets and cups of varying finishes, sizes, and profiles that will complement the look of your motorcycle. Mounting brackets are usually made of metal and secure the gauge or gauge cluster to your fork or handlebars. Mounting cups, usually rounded or bullet-shaped, mount in the same way. The gauge is seated into the cup which gives your bike a polished look and provides protection for the gauge itself.