Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

BartmanEH

GIpro DS gear position indicator review

Recommended Posts

This is my review of my new HealTech GIpro DS gear position indicator (GPI).

A couple of years ago, I installed an Acumen DG8 GPI. Recently I've become jealous of HealTech's new GIpro DS GPI. I've heard that it has less lag than anything else on the market - hardly any, supposedly - and it connects easily via the diagnostic connector we have (AKA the DLC). I've got HealTech's SpeedoHealer installed and it's a fantastic piece of kit. The company is great too. Whenever I've ever fired over an email question, Norbert's come back promptly and courteously with a reply. Their customer service is exceptional. I finally couldn't stand it any more and broke down and bought one.

Here's my review complete with photos of the de-installation of the old Acumen DG8 and the installation and testing of the new HealTech GIpro DS.

I mounted the ol' Acumen GPI on the triple clamp (AKA yoke) and it looked pretty good, by-and-large:

gallery_14465_6018_1291637.jpgAcumen DG8 gear position indicator mounting location

I always prefer modifications that don't affect the factory wiring harness. Acumen's harness adapter allows for the connection of the DG8 GPI in between the combination meter and its mating harness. It's bulky, it works, but I've always been worried that water would get in there. Here's a picture of the Acumen loom (harness) adapter installed in my 6th gen VFR:

gallery_14465_6018_630700.jpgAcumen loom (harness) adapter

If you look closely, you can see the original factory wiring harness connector's rubber boot was uselessly covering the harness end of Acumen's loom adapter. Both ends of the loom adapter were exposed to the elements. I taped it up with Magic Wrap as best I could but it was far from hermetically sealed. From the factory, Honda has the nice rubber boot covering the harness connector and rather hermetically mated to the white lip you can see at the combination meter end. So while Acumen's loom adapter doesn't require modifying the factory harness per se, it does compromise the overall integrity of the all important combination meter wiring.

OK, time to rip it all out. Off comes the windscreen. Off come the left and right meter panels (argh, they're a pain-in-the-neck to remove, always feels like I'm gonna snap those precious Pearl Cosmic Black painted ABS parts). Off comes the combination meter plastic cover (argh, PITA to remove due to super tight rubber grommets at the bottom). Disconnect and remove the Acumen loom adapter. Replace the factory harness back to stock with its integral rubber protective boot. Ah.... that feels better already. Re-install the center meter panel, the left and right meter panels, the windscreen.

Phew! What am I at now, about an hour, probably more. I like to take my time to help ensure I don't break anything. It was a time-consuming installation and a time-consuming removal. So much for the Acumen DG8 GPI.

Let's get on with the installation of the HealTech GIpro DS GPI. Per the included instructions, locate the DLC:

gallery_14465_6018_1363522.jpgDLC connector (red) location behind right meter panel

In the photo above, I still have the right meter panel removed. It is not necessary for the right meter panel to be removed. The DLC can be accessed with the VFR fully assembled by design. Next step, remove the DLC cover:

gallery_14465_6018_410788.jpgDLC connector cover

Not being the best photo journalist, you may have noted that the DLC cover had already been removed in the previous location photo.

By now it's getting dark and starting to rain. I hurried the rest of the job and didn't take any more photos of the installation. Well there's not much to show anyway. Just connect the harness end of the GIpro DS to the DLC. It's got a nice gasket inside it just like the OEM red cover. Should keep all the crud and corruption out of it quite nicely.

Lastly, mount the indicator in a appropriate location. Here's my first location - still under consideration:

gallery_14465_6018_913962.jpgGIpro DS location

It's nice and small and fits rather well there up on the instrument panel right next to the tach. Just a small section of unobtrusive cable showing for it as it runs from the display up under the meter panel and across to the DLC.

Certainly easier to see than the Acumen's location choices which were restricted by the fact that Acumen's DG8 has its cable coming straight out the back of the unit near the top edge.

The only thing I'm not happy about with its current location is that it is slightly off angle and facing slightly off to the left. The meter panel is beveled from the middle sloping outward slightly to each side. Thus, the GIpro DS is not facing me square on. This really doesn't affect its visibility in any practical way but it is slightly distracting to me - or should I say, aesthetically detracting to me. Yeah, I'm just that way. The good news is that HealTech had the foresight to anticipate that some customers may be suffering from OCD like me and thought to include an extra double-sided mounting tab so that the unit can be relocated using their high quality adhesive tape. I'm thinking about making a thin beveled adapter to counter the taper of the meter panel cover (did I just say that out loud?). That's not something I'm gonna rush off and do. It can wait.... until I can make the sweetest of adapters that's perfect in every regard!

So how does the GIpro DS GPI unit operate? How well does it work? Well, programming was a breeze. Upon power up, it does a little fancy count down and sits there with a big "L" on the display. "Learn" mode, I'm guessing. This behavior is not documented in the manual. I don't think they really expect people to power it up in an unprogrammed state for long. As soon as you spark up the engine, the display starts blinking "1" per the instructions. Programming the unit is fairly simple and goes by the book from this point.

I find it hairy to program GPIs with the bike on its center stand and running up through the gears. In theory it could be programmed while riding but I'm unsure about how it would react if programming were interrupted by having to gear down part of the way through programming the gears due to normal driving requirements like traffic etc. I'll try it sometime so we all know [EDIT: subsequently received a note from Norbert at HealTech that there's no problem programming the unit by riding - you can even shift down and stop part way through the programming] but in this case, I programmed it on the center stand. I ran it up through the gears at above idle per the instructions. It takes quite some time to program the gears, particularly the lower ones. The whole time, while struggling to hold a reasonable RPM (as some of you know, that can be a challenge with the snatch throttle of the VFR and its infamous surging problem), the drive chain is slapping around with no real load to quiet it and the bike is bucking around a bit as well. Whenever I program a GPI, I park the bike facing up a slight uphill. That way it sits back pretty hard onto the center stand. A bit more secure that way. I also face it as close as possible to a wall and chock the front wheel. That way I hope to limit damage should the bike launch itself off the center stand. Like I said, its pretty hairy and I prefer not to do it every day. Whatever you do, just stand beside the bike for this procedure and don't sit on it - you don't want to do anything that may cause the rear wheel to hit the ground while you're in 6th gear and ~3,000 RPM.

Now that the unit was all programmed, I took it for a ride. I can tell you that the GIpro DS is quite a bit more responsive and less laggy than the old Acumen DG8. It indicates lower gears in under a second and upper gears well under a second. The old Acumen DG8 took almost 2 seconds to display gears. This is pretty impressive. Also, in my short test rides thus far, I've had no false gear indications. The old Acumen DG8 would occasionally display the wrong gear and then would correct itself after, say, 2 seconds. The new GIpro DS is proving itself to be quite the marvel of technology. The HealTech crowd really does make high quality stuff.

Major advantages of GIpro DS over Acumen DG8:

  • unobtrusive cabling installation - slips right on to DLC without disconnecting any wiring or connectors whatsoever
  • easy installation - in addition to easy cabling, no removal of anything is technically required although you may wish to in order to route and stow the cable
  • ultra fast indication - shows the correct gear in under a second which is more than twice as fast
  • price - the GIpro DS is $150 whereas I paid $210 for the DG8 display, loom adapter and billet aluminum housing
  • customer service - lightning fast responses to email by HealTech, not so much by Acumen

That brings me to my conclusion. I'm very pleased with the HealTech GIpro DS gear position indicator. For me, it was worth the re-investment for this add-on mod for my VFR. Anyone looking to add a GPI should consider the HealTech GIpro DS and look no further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. I really want one of these.

How did you attach it? With tape? Is it easily positionable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did you attach it? With tape? Is it easily positionable?

It comes with thin double-sided black foam tape. Seems to work well. I wouldn't expect that it's re-positionable. However, it does come with an extra piece of tape for re-positioning once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's worth noting this particular model of the GiPro only works on 2006+ VFRs with the 4-pin DLC connector. 2002-2005 ECUs do not have a DLC, they only have the service-check pins.

On those bikes you would need to hook in to a different source for tacho and speedometer signal, and you have to order the GiPro X-type, NOT the DS type.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did you attach it? With tape? Is it easily positionable?

It comes with thin double-sided black foam tape. Seems to work well. I wouldn't expect that it's re-positionable. However, it does come with an extra piece of tape for re-positioning once.

Mine is in the exact same spot. I found after several thousand miles and more than a few rain showers the double sided tape became single sided tape. I drilled holes in the instrument surround and ran zip ties through it and it has held perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to share an alternative mounting location for the GIPRO that I recently used. Thanks for the suggestion Crazybrother!

post-21889-0-77384500-1336517025.jpg

post-21889-0-83917700-1336517045.jpg

post-21889-0-05690300-1336517059.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.