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Lannyl81

Gear Indicator

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Just curious about addition of a gear indicator....have others installed one?....do they work?.....or is the thinking, "if you don't know what gear you are in, then you should be driving a car"......

 

I just came across an ad for a VFR where the owner had installed one and was just curious.

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I bought a new 1980 Suzuki GS1000G that had a gear indicator, and I thought it would be pretty cool and handy. However

I found that I really didn't use it much except to check if I was in 5th gear on the highway. Around town I rode the bike in

whatever gear felt most comfortable, so I never really paid much attention to it.

 

Overall I think it has some gee-whiz factor, but if you're used to how your bike feels you won't refer to it much, except to

check if you're in top gear.

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Same with me. I've never ridden a bike with a gear indicator, and I find the only time I'd really benefit from having one might be to confirm I'm in top gear on the highway. The rest of the time my butt-o-meter seems to suffice. I guess it's a personal preference thing.

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I would disagree with the above opinions. I think they are a fantastic benefit and enable you to ride better. To ignore them or condemn them as only useful for idiots who have no right to be riding a bike is either ignorant or simply missing the point, although I'm not suggesting the previous replies fall into that category.

 

A GPI is most useful for indicating top gear and first. As the others have mentioned, mostly in between it is not so useful, however it can still be handy on occasions. I find it particularly useful when dashing between Alpine hairpins which involves a lot of changing up and down the box and without a GPI it is easy to lose track of which gear you are in. That's not to say it is required to be able to ride, but when rapidly shifting down from e.g. top into the tight hairpin that you know will require the use of first gear, it is handy to be able to glance down and so know when you hit first and can control when you make that final shift and also don't try to change down any further which can cause excessive speed into the corner if you get it wrong, or bad wheel hopping when you inadvertently change down too many gears at once.

 

None of this is really necessary on track when you are repeatedly performing the same actions and changing gear at recognised places on the track, but when riding rapidly on unfamiliar roads and that require rapid changes of speed and gear, a GPI is most definitely extremely useful. If you do not find this to be the case, then you are not making the best use of the information available to you.

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On 7/16/2018 at 9:01 AM, BiKenG said:

I would disagree with the above opinions. I think they are a fantastic benefit and enable you to ride better. To ignore them or condemn them as only useful for idiots who have no right to be riding a bike is either ignorant or simply missing the point, although I'm not suggesting the previous replies fall into that category.

 

A GPI is most useful for indicating top gear and first. As the others have mentioned, mostly in between it is not so useful, however it can still be handy on occasions. I find it particularly useful when dashing between Alpine hairpins which involves a lot of changing up and down the box and without a GPI it is easy to lose track of which gear you are in. That's not to say it is required to be able to ride, but when rapidly shifting down from e.g. top into the tight hairpin that you know will require the use of first gear, it is handy to be able to glance down and so know when you hit first and can control when you make that final shift and also don't try to change down any further which can cause excessive speed into the corner if you get it wrong, or bad wheel hopping when you inadvertently change down too many gears at once.

 

None of this is really necessary on track when you are repeatedly performing the same actions and changing gear at recognised places on the track, but when riding rapidly on unfamiliar roads and that require rapid changes of speed and gear, a GPI is most definitely extremely useful. If you do not find this to be the case, then you are not making the best use of the information available to you.

 

 

I agree with pretty much everything you've said.  I've ridden Deals Gap with both my gsxr1000 and my vfr750.  A gear indicator on the gsxr for a twisty road such as that is pretty much obsolete when the only 2 gears you are using is 1st and second, but principally second.  That's because she'll do 90 mph in first and 120 mph in second.  Who needs to change gear?  On the vfr with it's much shorter gearing it's definately handy to know what gear you are in at all times as you are constantly changing gears in comparison to the gsxr.  To sum up a gear indicator is just plain handy to have.

 

 

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Third-gen VFRs have mechanical speedometers, so they require a separate wheel speed sensor, which you have to locate somewhere next to one of the bike's spinning bits.  Fourth-gen and above already have electronic speed sensors, so it's just a matter of tapping into the wiring.  The GiPro X (made by the HealTech guys in Oz) is a nice little unit, and the same display can work with different bikes (with the use of a different wiring harnesses/speed sensor and re-calibrating).  Cheapo gear displays are available on the 'Bay, but having taken one apart, it was junk, and nowhere near as clever as the much more expensive GiPro X.  That said, I've never ridden with one, so I don't know if I'd be excited to have it...

 

Ciao,

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On 7/19/2018 at 1:13 AM, JZH said:

Third-gen VFRs have mechanical speedometers, so they require a separate wheel speed sensor, which you have to locate somewhere next to one of the bike's spinning bits.  Fourth-gen and above already have electronic speed sensors, so it's just a matter of tapping into the wiring.

 

So I guess there's a difference in the engine accessories. Do you know if that specific part of 4th gen engine would make is way on 3rg gen engine as a direct swap? I haven't look at the microfiches yet.

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Never tried it, but I do believe it will replace the mechanical drive unit.  Engines are the same, mostly, and if the sprocket cover is the same for all RC36, then it must fit.

 

Ciao,

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On 7/30/2018 at 6:52 AM, bdouvill said:

Do you know if that specific part of 4th gen engine would make is way on 3rg gen engine as a direct swap?

 

According to the parts fiche the '94-'91 use a different sprocket cover. Also, the two speedo drive units look different but these drawings aren't of the highest resolution.

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On 7/30/2018 at 2:52 PM, bdouvill said:

 

So I guess there's a difference in the engine accessories. Do you know if that specific part of 4th gen engine would make is way on 3rg gen engine as a direct swap? I haven't look at the microfiches yet.

 

I'm 99% certain the 4th Gen parts could be used on a 3rd Gen and I'm 100% certain that one way or another, using 4th Gen and/or similar parts from other Hondas, you'd be able to get a Honda electronic speedo drive on a 3rd Gen.

 

But there are other ways to pick up a speed signal with a small sensor attached by the wheel and picking up from a moving part, often a special disc bolt. The best method rather depends on what the ultimate goal is and what dash you intend to be using.

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On 8/1/2018 at 10:28 AM, BiKenG said:

 

I'm 99% certain the 4th Gen parts could be used on a 3rd Gen and I'm 100% certain that one way or another, using 4th Gen and/or similar parts from other Hondas, you'd be able to get a Honda electronic speedo drive on a 3rd Gen.

  

But there are other ways to pick up a speed signal with a small sensor attached by the wheel and picking up from a moving part, often a special disc bolt. The best method rather depends on what the ultimate goal is and what dash you intend to be using.

 

I only rode my 3rd gen for about 250km and I have reopened the engine so won't be riding it for a few weeks.

 

I have no clear view of which dash I 'd like to use but I noticed the speed indicated in the original 3rd gen dash is for from being accurate (at least on my bike). Seems like when I am riding at something that feels like 20kph, dash tells me something like 40kph. Not the best since I want it to be my daily ride to go to work and beyond. I need to put it back on the streets and do a basic speed comparison with any mobile phone app so I have a clearer ideas.

 

I really like what @douglasthecook did with his 4th gen because I really like the CBR 1000 dash (from 2008 to 2012). Also seems like @SoCal97VFR option to use 600 CBR dash is pretty smart since you can keep the fuel gauge. Will probably go for one of this two options. In all cases, I'd like to use Honda parts if they are direct swaps. 

 

So far, I quickly browsed the microfiche. Of course, sprocket covers have different references between 3rd gen and 4th gen like almost all engine parts but it does not 100% mean they are not interchangeables. My problem is that I don't see where the you'd connect a wire on the 4th gen sprocket cover to get the speed signal. Most obvious reason might be that I am not looking at the right place 😉 Any idea where this sensor might be?

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The first Hondas to have an electronic speedo used a sensor mounted on the final drive output sprocket cover that was driven from a special plastic 'bush' on the sprocket bolt. As long as the basic sprocket cover fitment to crankcases was not changed, this meant an earlier bike could have this added and an electronic speedo utilised. The FireBlade was like this and I believe the VFR also, but cannot be 100% sure. If it was, then you'd need the later sprocket cover and the sensor that was mounted on it.

 

Ultimately, Honda moved the speed pickup to the gearbox with the sensor mounted directly on the crankcases, which is not so easy to retrofit 😞

 

In either case, a speedo will generally read 5-10% too fast. But this can be corrected with a Speedo Healer so you can have an accurate reading.

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I found what I was looking for. It's the item #19 on this page. Should be direct swap for 3rd gen.

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2 hours ago, bdouvill said:

I found what I was looking for. It's the item #19 on this page. Should be direct swap for 3rd gen.

 

Yes, those are the sensor and bush to which I was referring. If the later sprocket cover that accepts the sensor will fit the earlier bike (highly likely) then you're home and dry.

 

Otherwise, you could modify an early sprocket cover to allow the sensor to be mounted onto it.

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How did the topic get changed to speedo?  I was asking about a gear indicator.

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Well, unless you're using an gear indicator that works by reading where the actual gears are, you'll need an electronic speed sensor. The above

discussion was how to change a mechanical speed drive unit to an electronic unit to use with a aftermarket gear indicator.

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On 7/18/2018 at 8:30 AM, VFR750 said:

 

 

I agree with pretty much everything you've said.  I've ridden Deals Gap with both my gsxr1000 and my vfr750.  A gear indicator on the gsxr for a twisty road such as that is pretty much obsolete when the only 2 gears you are using is 1st and second, but principally second.  That's because she'll do 90 mph in first and 120 mph in second.  Who needs to change gear?  On the vfr with it's much shorter gearing it's definately handy to know what gear you are in at all times as you are constantly changing gears in comparison to the gsxr.  To sum up a gear indicator is just plain handy to have.

 

 

I had a GPI before and I really liked it.  It's not necessary but it helps.  

 

When I had a CBR600RR, when going through a set of slow corners that had me in 2nd gear, I could keep it in second and rev it up & down between  7k-11k+ RPM and just stay within that range.  But I found it more efficient to shift to 3rd if the straightaway was long enough.  No need to use up so much gas and accelerate engine wear unless it was necessary.  I do the same with my VFR800.  I don't mind shifting down at corner entrance.  Especially with today's modern bikes with slipper clutches shifting down doesn't upset the bike as much as the VFR800 does with its standard clutch.

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17 hours ago, FJ12Ryder said:

Well, unless you're using an gear indicator that works by reading where the actual gears are, you'll need an electronic speed sensor. The above

discussion was how to change a mechanical speed drive unit to an electronic unit to use with a aftermarket gear indicator.

 

Yes, the gear indicator would work, but then he'd need an electronic speedometer!

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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The Veypor <not Vapor> units had a spark sensor and a rear wheel sensor.   They automatically calculated what gear you were in by the pulse ratio differential between the motor and wheel.  A slipping clutch would confuse the unit --- other than that it never missed.

 

I played with one for a while but never really used it long term.   The programmable shift light was handy and the super accurate independent speedo was awesome.   It could calculate real-time HP and torque during acceleration (using 3 axis G-sensors and user supplied weight values). (I found it more fun to see how high of braking forces I could generate)  It was more accurate than seat-of-pants, but not good enough for publication in a magazine.  With a bit of fiddling, over time, you could get pretty accurate real time MPG and range calculations.  Fun to play with, but nothing I would spend money on.

Image result for veypor gauges

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I've used a acumen dg8 digital gear indicator for years now. Came complete with plug and play harness. Love it. Especially good in the hilly twisties around my place

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Gear indicators (the decent ones) work by reading the wheel speed and comparing this to the engine speed (once programmed upon installation).  The latter input comes from the tach wire and the former comes from either the speedo wire or a separate wheel speed sensor.  Early VFR750s have mechanical speedometers, so there is no electronic speed signal for the gear indicator to use.  Wheel speed sensors are simple devices, so they're not difficult to add (three wires: 12v, ground and data), but they require additional wiring and mechanical mounting.  This is the HealTech (GiPro) WSS:

 

indicateur-de-rapport-engage-gipro-xtype

AFAIK, it's really just a bog-standard Hall-effect sensor w/bracket, wired into a GiPro harness plug.  Seach for "proximity sensor" on eBay and you'll find dozens of them, most of which will work.

 

You can also find cheapo gear indicators that read the gear lever position, but these are very fiddly to install and set-up.

 

Ciao,

 

JZH

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As you say, Wheel Speed Sensors are simple devices - or are they...

 

Some vehicles (e.g. VFR1200) use 2 wire sensors. With just those 2 wires the control unit supplies power AND reads the pulse. Explain that. 😀

 

What are we doing here on Christmas Day.

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As far as detecting when in 6th gear, I glance at my guages. 60 mph in 6th gear equals 4000 rpm, 65 = 4500 r's, 70 = 5000 r's. Interpolating the various in-betweens keeps my brain in use. After all, it is not that often that precice gear / speed selection makes that much of a difference. (Track riding excepted.) YMMV

 

Uncomplicated highway riding often leaves brain space for further complicated thought. When I get semi-bored I try to compute my most recent gas mileage by long division in my head.

 

Who knows, that sort of thing may keep my 70 yr old brain holding senility at bay. At least one can hope. 

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9 hours ago, MaxSwell said:

As far as detecting when in 6th gear, I glance at my guages. 60 mph in 6th gear equals 4000 rpm, 65 = 4500 r's, 70 = 5000 r's. Interpolating the various in-betweens keeps my brain in use. After all, it is not that often that precice gear / speed selection makes that much of a difference. (Track riding excepted.) YMMV

 

Uncomplicated highway riding often leaves brain space for further complicated thought. When I get semi-bored I try to compute my most recent gas mileage by long division in my head.

 

Who knows, that sort of thing may keep my 70 yr old brain holding senility at bay. At least one can hope. 

 

I also find myself doing occasional calculations in my head during the more boring bits. But trust me, when hacking down the Alps, sprinting between hairpins (sometimes with vertical drop offs of thousands of feet) and rapidly downshifting while getting past that last car as you sling the bike into the next hairpin is not boring and also not the time to be having to mentally calculate which gear you might be in and how many downshifts need to be done before peeling into the turn. With the gear position displayed and easily visible, it all becomes a LOT simpler.

 

Of course even while gently cruising it is also helpful to know. As I've said before, riding without a GPI is not a problem for me, likewise I can do hand signals when I want to turn. But just like I prefer indicators as they allow better control, a GPI can be a great asset when riding. It's nothing to do with needing it due to not being a good enough rider. It is additional information that can be used to your advantage. Not only enabling you to avoid having to pull up or stab down the gear lever repeatedly, just to confirm you are actually in top or first, but during the entire shifting process. Having a GPI doesn't make you any less of a man. 😀

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On 12/25/2018 at 11:46 AM, BiKenG said:

As you say, Wheel Speed Sensors are simple devices - or are they...

 

Some vehicles (e.g. VFR1200) use 2 wire sensors. With just those 2 wires the control unit supplies power AND reads the pulse. Explain that. 😀

 

What are we doing here on Christmas Day.

 

Or Boxing Day!  I've been down with a severe cough and cold since November, so I'm not about to venture into my cold garage for a while...

 

I've never got to the stage of develoipment of my tank brick where I needed to test it, but in theory, and depending on how it was mounted, the ground/earth wire could be omitted from a Hall-effect sensor, leaving just one wire for 12v and one for data, but I think you may be referring to the lack of a "data" wire?  Sorry, those new-fangled CAN-bus systems are beyond my feeble understanding!

 

Ciao,

 

JZH 

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