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+1 for the new Smiths Electronic Gauges

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by lcrken, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    My grandson and I just finished installing the new Smiths electronic speedo and tach (from forum member Tom Kullen) on his MK3, and we're loving them. No more wildly oscillating needles and screecing noises. And they have the perfect period appearance. He chose the green globe with the Norton 'N" in it, which is not original, but looks really good. We used the reed switch and magnet option for the speedo signal, with the magnetic bolt fitted to the rear wheel disc carrier and the reed switch on the caliper bracket, and it works perfectly. The tach is triggered off the negative coil lead from the Trispark ignition, and also works perfectly. We spliced into the appropriate leads from the stock headlight and main wiring harnesses under the front of the tank, and ran a new wire pair from the reed switch to the same location.

    The stock speedo died months ago, and the tach, which had been slowly failing, died the day after the new tach arrived in the mail. Perfect timing. I did have to call Tom a couple times with questions, and he was very helpful. The instructions are pretty good, but it is possible to get a bit confused over the way they differ between installing in a positive ground system and in a negative ground system. Nothing really wrong, but maybe not stated quite as well as it could be. I've got another pair that I'm looking forward to using on my MK3 restomod project. I've still got a mechanical tach on my race bike, but when it dies, I'm going to an electronic one for it too.

    This is the bike with the new gauges installed.

    E-gauges 1200.jpg

    And this is a closeup of the gauges

    Closeup 1200.jpg

    Ken
     
    cliffa, Tornado and Schilling like this.
  2. MexicoMike

    MexicoMike

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Looks great and glad to hear you like them! I ordered the set a couple of weeks ago and they will be waiting for me when we get back to th US in Nov

    Nothing actually wrong with my originals other than the typical needle oscillation but I saw a speedo drive failure while in the Isle of Man that got my attention. Drive unit got red hot and had to be removed in a pub parking lot. Probably due to poor maintenance but I was looking for an excuse to buy the e-gauges anyway!:)
     
  3. Jungle_re

    Jungle_re

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2018
    Interesting looking forks too? Good health to enjoy them
     
  4. comnoz

    comnoz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Yeah, I saw a speedo drive some years ago that had locked up and started turning with the wheel. It jerked the cable out of the fitting at the speedo head and wrapped it around the rear wheel. It was not a pretty sight.
    After I saw that I always made sure my cable was solidly strapped to the swingarm with an extra strong zip tie.
    No more worries now with the electronic gauges.
     
  5. Fullauto

    Fullauto VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    They would be fantastic, except when I rode in heavy rain, my speedo filled with water and ceased to function. I shall be sealing all points with clear silicon with my replacement. I really shouldn't have to, but, they are a great product.
     
  6. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Ouch! I'd seen your post about that, but had forgotten. Not much of an issue for me here in Southern California, where I can normally avoid riding in the rain. I don't mind the wet so much, but the car drivers around here turn into complete idiots in the rain, and it's just not safe to be around them. Maybe I should make some rain covers for them, just in case.

    Ken
     
  7. ntst8

    ntst8 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    I have a Chronometric look one on my ES2, very nice and the Jim Comstock/Tom Kullen magnetic pick up conversion for the speedo drive is a work of art. But here in the Waikato swamplands i do spend a good chunk of my riding time with the inside of the speedo glass at least partly misted up. Time will tell whether that affects the electronics - it has been a couple of years and so far so good.
     
  8. Tornado

    Tornado VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    My OEM clocks mist up when I wash the bike. I'm researching replacement seals but may try using low viscosity silicone sealant used for windshield seal leak fixes as a temporary bandaid.
     
  9. 1up3down

    1up3down

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    I have long hated the speedo rear wheel drive unit and cable set up as being very dangerous.
    Back in the early 70's I was riding behind a friend on his Commando when the cable became loose from the drive and got caught in the rear wheel spokes, my friend went down with severe injuries.
    I immediately removed my own speedo drive and cable and rode for decades with no speedo until the new electronic gauges came out a couple years ago and fitted both speedo and tach, so nice and smooth.
     
  10. utahnorton

    utahnorton VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
     
  11. utahnorton

    utahnorton VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Thanks Ken! I will be at Barber flying out on Thursday. I'll be bringing a limited amount of gauges with me including Norton Green Globe gauges. Waiting for more of the Green Dot "N" gauges from Smiths like Ken got. Will be sharing some space with Nathan Kimball in the swap meet and dividing some time in the pits helping out with AHRMA tech.
     
  12. Torontonian

    Torontonian

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Been there .
     
  13. cliffa

    cliffa

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Ken, you know a thing I really like about you posts is when you say "My grandson and I". It must be a great feeling working together. I've been into bikes since I was 14, but neither of my kids are interested in anything like that. Perhaps one day i'll be lucky enough to be in your position with their offspring.

    Love the gauges, although I'm not sure about the N on the blob. Anything which gets rid of those cables has got to be good though. Any idea if they do a speedo with MPH & KPH markings?

    I've been racking my little brain to identify the bikes in your garage. So I can see Commando (classic) obviously a 961, MuZ Bagheera? Ducati Multistrada Mk1 but what is the bike on the ramp - it looks Yamaha based? and also the red bike in the corner? I cannot place them. Perhaps this would make a good quiz?

    what bars do you have on the commando ? they look like they would give a great riding position.

    Cheers,

    cliffa.
     
  14. Madnorton

    Madnorton

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    The speedo can also be driven by a small GPS module, pricey but does away with all cables from the rear end.
     
    nattres likes this.
  15. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    You have good eyes, Cliff. The yellow one is indeed a 2005 Baghira. The Multistrada is a 2006 620 Dark, and the red bike in the corner is a 1995 MZ Tour. It's a race bike converted back to street trim, with a built 660 cc. Rotax engine. The bike on the lift (ramp) is my wideline featherbed Norton race bike, in which I'm currently installing a new 75 mm short stroke 750 engine. It was my vintage road race bike for years, but has been relegated to landspeed racing only since 2008 or so. You probably noticed the Yamaha cast wheels (from an SRX-6). I fitted those so I could use ZR rated tires to meet landspeed rules for the class I was running at the time. This is the bike back in 2007 in road race trim

    WL on Lift RS 1200.jpg

    And this is in landspeed trim in 2014, with the 920 engine and nitrous injection

    Right Side 1200.jpg

    Ken
     
    cliffa likes this.
  16. cliffa

    cliffa

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Thanks Ken, now I'm even more jealous !! ;)

    Those Rotax motors in the MuZ's have a lot of potential for tuning i'm told.

    I think they're the same wheels Yamaha that Norton used on the Commander? (or at least the same style).

    Any idea what those high bars are?

    Cheers,

    cliffa
     
  17. lcrken

    lcrken VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    I really like the Rotax motors. I have one in a Ron Wood road racer with the later water cooled DOHC head and all the good tuning mods. At 676 cc it made 80.4 rear wheel hp on the Phil Darcy Racing dyno. We won a lot of races with that bike, including Daytona.

    As I recall, the bars on the Commando are the stock "Western" bars that came on the bikes in the US.

    Ken
     
  18. Chris Zet

    Chris Zet

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Hi Madnorton,
    where can you get this GPS module or do you have a link to this product?
     
  19. kommando

    kommando

    Joined:
    May 7, 2005
  20. baz

    baz VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    I must be a complete luddite, I run my Speedo drive (Smith's original) from the front wheel to a Smith's Speedo head also original
    I had to have a short cable made up but it works perfectly no wavering on the needle at all,
    I assume because the cable has a straight run?
    I have drilled the back of the clock so I can adjust it
    I have it set on exact road speed
    My only concession to modernity is LED illumination because I ride a fair bit at night and the speed cameras just keep coming!