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Thread: Speedometer cable/axle housing advice

  1. #1
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    Default Speedometer cable/axle housing advice

    I thought my speedometer cable broke about 350 miles ago, but yesterday I loosened the connection on the housing of the front axle, actually a 80 1100E front end, attached to my 83 Kat speedo. I removed inner cable & it looked 100% intact. I spun the cable from the axle end with a drill attached, getting the speedo to respond on dash & tripmeter to start clicking of tenths/mile. Then I fussed with the flat head shaped receptor on the axle housing that the cable attaches to, seemed to spin only one way? Shot some Corrosion X in there, spun some more...

    I was being lazy, not wanting to take off fairing/turn signals, since I hadn't received a new cable yet anyway.

    I went for a ride, after reattaching cable. No dice.

    Anyone ever examined the axle housing components where the cable attaches for maintenance? Or might I turn my attention to the plastic gears in the speedometer dash?

    Thanks for any tips if there are any.
    GS\'s since 1982: 55OMZ, 550ES, 750ET, (2) 1100ET\'s, 1100S, 1150ES. Current ride is an 83 Katana. Wifes bike is an 84 GS 1150ES

  2. #2
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    I recently had same issue. Tore the speedo drive apart, cleaned it, repacked it with grease, put it back together, thought it was good. No dice. Worked about a mile. There’s a washer with 2 tabs that engage slots in the wheel hub. Part at that washer with the tabs wore to a point that they wouldn’t stay engaged. Ended up sourcing a good used one on eBay for $20. Works fine now.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich82GS750TZ View Post
    There’s a washer with 2 tabs that engage slots in the wheel hub. Part at that washer with the tabs wore to a point that they wouldn’t stay engaged.
    Thanks for that. I'll have to get motivated & remove axle for a peek, was wishing for just a cable replacement. Weird the speedo responded w/drill & no contact w/axle housing.
    GS\'s since 1982: 55OMZ, 550ES, 750ET, (2) 1100ET\'s, 1100S, 1150ES. Current ride is an 83 Katana. Wifes bike is an 84 GS 1150ES

  4. #4
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    if the wheel speedo hub is disconnected from the cable, you can put your finger in there and see if it is turning when you spin the wheel. I expect it will be. They are very reliable.
    Yesterday, in fact, putting the wheel back on, with the front jacked up a little, This is what I do per speedo connection:
    (for 80s Suzukis and more I have, anyways...)

    You can make sure the cable is connecting to the hub by pulling it part way out and inserting it's slot end fully on the hub's tab,.It's suprisingly easy to misalign otherwise and the speedo won't work.
    Then, then slide the cable housing down and into the hub fully ,to screw it to hub with the nut, being sure the "nut" is screwed all the way in. Mostly it should handtighten. Crushing it with vice grips will make it into an oval and it won't go in so well, so adjust whatever pliers to just mate without crushing to turn a bit tight.

    Spin the wheel again, check the cable rotates smoothly at the top before attaching to speedo. Hold it with your thumb and it'll turn against the pressure.

    Finally, insert into speedo. The cable's springiness will mostly all full insert but spinning the front wheel will align to mate it too. If the speedo is still failing, it's most likely the problem.

    The speedos age out sooner than hub and cable. 40 years old now. add: but usually it's the needle not the odometer. The odometer is direct-drive, the needle is NOT.
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 05-12-2021 at 02:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorminrider View Post
    The odometer is direct-drive, the needle is NOT.
    Thanks for the tips Gorm.

    Ordered some items from Motion Pro, I know some folks don't care for their products, but was trying not to pay for shipping so I ordered 3 cables for 3 different bikes. Not quite enough for free shipping, so I ordered some grips to break the $60 free shipping threshold. After paying they emailed back saying 2 of 3 cables won't be available till September, including the speedo cable. Not sure if I got free shipping or not at this point.

    I wonder how my needle reacted to the drill if not direct drive?
    GS\'s since 1982: 55OMZ, 550ES, 750ET, (2) 1100ET\'s, 1100S, 1150ES. Current ride is an 83 Katana. Wifes bike is an 84 GS 1150ES

  6. #6
    Gorminrider is offline Forum Sage Past Site Supporter
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    I wonder how my needle reacted to the drill if not direct drive?
    The cable spins a magnet but the needle is attached to a cup of metal that surrounds but does not touch the magnet....The cup is somewhat restrained by a coil spring. As the magnet spins, the cup is dragged along...more spin shows faster, versus the spring.

    Very common worldwide system...I've had several irreplaceable speedos for cars and bikes just die of old age ...among other causes, I think the magnet wheel can lose magnetism...while the odometer keeps ticking away.
    Last edited by Gorminrider; 05-15-2021 at 10:58 AM.

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