Speedometer woes

So, about 10 miles out of Kingman, AZ, I noticed that the speedometer needle was buried at 0mph. As I was going about 70mph at the time, I found this to be a titch odd. The bike was still running perfectly, though, and the lights/blinkers still worked (I checked), so I waited til Kingman and pulled into a Chevron station to take a peek. I discovered there that the odometer/tripmeter were also not working, but there wasn’t any noticeable shorts or problems with the speed sensor wiring.

I continued my ride home; still no speedo, still no odometer or tripmeter.

This afternoon, I checked the obvious first: I disconnected the wiring up under the airbox where it connects to the main wiring harness and sprayed some electrical cleaner around. Ditto for the connection from the main harness to the instrument cluster. Still no speedometer.

So I put the bike up on the front stand and took off the front wheel. I pulled the speedometer rotor off of the axle, well, it was pretty apparent where the problem was.



How all four tangs busted off the speedometer rotor is a mystery to me. Whether it was put on incorrectly the last time the front wheel was off, or whether it just aged slowly and finally got to the breaking point, I don’t know. It’s a cheap enough part that I don’t really mind, but it’s a little unsolved mystery.

At any rate, the part’s on order and we’ll have accurate speed representation again soon (well, as accurate as Suzuki speedometers ever get, really).

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5 Responses to Speedometer woes

  1. Kansas says:

    Well hey, thats always fun! At least you found the problem. Most people are too lazy to find it themselves.

  2. Michael says:

    And good thing you have the GPS to let you know how fast you’re going…much more accurate than a suzuki speedo could ever be anyways.

  3. Gene Cash says:

    Hah, I’ve had this happen twice. I finally made up a jig out of some scrap wood to hold the front wheel at the right height while I have to screw around with the speedo drive and all the fiddly spacers. I’m not strong enough to hold the wheel up and do all that too.
    The second time it happened, the speedo came back and started working once just to mess with my troubleshooting skills.
    The first time I was stupid enough to buy the whole sensor ($120) instead of just the rotor ($12)
    The reason this puppy shatters is it’s a magnet made of ferrite, which is iron particles in a binder of some sort, just like the little RFI lumps on USB cables nowadays. The binder isn’t very structural.

  4. shawn says:

    yeah but what about a ’96 suzuki that isnt eletronic at all. same thing happened to me @ 80 mph. I just got it out of the shop and my mechanic took apart the whole front end, for other reasons, but he saw nothing wrong. the cable seems ok and i dont think its the guage itself. since its a seperate guage my tach still works. Ive been using that in 5th to guestimate my speed.

  5. Chris says:

    Any idea where I can pick up a speedometer (entire gauge system) for a 2004 GSXR-600? Mine is in KPH (canadian but bought in Japan)and I need it to be in MPH to bring it to the states.

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