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I just thought I would pass along my experience adding all these gauges to my bike. I really dislike idiot lights. Alot. I started out wanting an oil pressure gauge because I'm running the plastic oil pump gear and want to know that oil pressure at a glance. But then I found a nice three-gauge enclosure on eBay that would fit above the handlebars and help keep the gauges out of the weather.


I bought all the gauges off eBay. The volt meter was a panel mount unit that came with a dual USB outlet.



I removed the volt/usb from the panel mount and installed them in a new fabbed panel to replace the one on the tank where the idiot lights (hate 'em) reside as I was going to eliminate the turn/oil/temp lights.



I also put in a mini rocker on/off switch. This allows me to turn off the volt meter but keep the USB ports hot with ignition off. Handy for charging phones while parked.



The only downside is that the eBay merchant sent me a red display gauge instead of the blue one I ordered. He is supposed to send me a blue one so I can swap it out.



The tach, oil pressure and coolant temp gauges are all "Dragon Gauge" brand digital 2" gauges from various eBay merchants. They all came with the required sending units and mounting hardware.

For the temp sensor mount I ordered a 24mm temp sensor adapter, also from eBay.



I put it in the center of the top radiator hose. The size was perfect for a snug fit. I sprayed the inside of the hose with wd40 to help assembly. The adapter had metric threads and needed a 1/8 npt tap to the sensor mount threads then a little extra Teflon tape to get a good fit. The gauge displays Celsius but I'm OK with that.

I had some trouble with mounting the oil pressure sending unit. Gadget's page says Kawasaki tapped the sensor hole with 1/8npt thread. I found the original switch sensor for the idiot light was actually M10x1 which is very, very close to 1/8npt but the OD of the metric thread is around 0.06" smaller. I couldn't get the new sensor to thread in. After tracking down a M10x1 die to resize the new sensor threads I came to realize my problem was not so much with the metric vs npt but simply some debris in the mounting hole. But even after blowing the debris out I found the metric thread does fit a tad better.

I originally used the same signal wire at the sensor end and tapped into to 5 pin plug under the tank that operates the idiot light (grr) to attach the signal wire from the gauge. Mistake. The gauge didn't register. I had to run a new wire from the gauge to the sensor.

The oil pressure and temp gauges both have warning lights built in. If the oil pressure goes below 10psi or the temp goes above 100*C a red led comes on in the gauge face.



The tach offered some challenge as well. I was using both negative leads from the coils with diodes installed but was only getting 1/2 actual rpm reading with the tach set for 4cyl and it didn't matter whether I used 1 or both coil leads I still only got 1/2 rpms. Then I finally found a thread on a Vstar site that worked for me...

"Time to make the tach adapter. While at RS go ahead and buy two 1N4004, 1N4005, 1N4006, or 1N4007 or equivalent diodes. Also buy two 100K ohm resistors. 1/4 watt or 1/2 watt is OK.

Lay a diode and a resistor side by side on your table and twist the leads together. The diode and resistor are now in parallel. You can now either add a short length of wire to one end of each diode/resistor or you could solder a terminal (RS #64-3058, etc.) directly to the pair.



Last thing to do is to connect the tach wire to the other end of both diode/resistor pairs.

The end of the diode with the silver band must be the end that is connected to the coils - not the tack lead.
This ensures the diode is connected properly. "


Even though it seems wrong to reverse the diodes and add a resistor to each line, it worked! Tach is working great! And the diodes and resistors all came from an old computer power supply I had lying around.

Update... when the rain finally stopped long enough for a true road test instead of idling in the garage I sadly have to report this tach mod is not working to my satisfaction. It seems to read correctly at idle but as soon as I hit the road I noticed when the throttle is applied the tach first shows lower rpms then as engine speed increases it appears to be reading 1/2 rpm again. I think there is something about the signals coming from the two coils that the tach is not seeing as two separate signals. So for now I am back to using one coil signal wire and doing the doubling math in my head until I can find a solution. It is going to be some sort of 'filter' made of electronic components to clean up these two signals so the tach can display correctly.




There are two small clear leds mounted at the bottom corners of the gauge enclosure. These light up orange and are the new turn signal indicators. I cut off the 5-pin plug and used those connections under the tank for the turn signals and a switched 12v source for power to all the gauges except the volt/usb. They are always hot.



The whole thing is mounted to the risers using a 4"x6" plate of stainless steel. I drilled holes in it to line up with the two forward handlebar clamp bolts. Using the housing as a template I made a base plate from sheet metal and screwed that to the stainless 'mount'.

I wish my phone camera would take better pics of the gauges because they are much clearer than the photos show. They are visible even in direct sunlight which surprised me a little.


All together this mod cost me around $90. But I had the sheet metal, wire, terminals, etc. in my shop.
 

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Looks good.. I like the usb set up
 

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Looks cool! Are they waterproof?

I love gauges. I wish someone would come up with a shroud that would neatly install gauges in the empty space of the Vaqueros fairing. Oil press, volts, etc.

A nice thing about aftermarket gauges is that they are 'real'. And generally more accurate. A lot of people don't realize that almost every single car on the market uses an electronically controlled "fake" water temp gauge that basically is an idiot light with a needle. It's designed to go up to a pre-set point (often right in the middle of maybe a little before or after the middle), and stay there, unless the temperature exceeds the max and then the needle migrates up to the "H". Your water temperature on your engine will fluctuate a lot. And that's normal. But the manufacturer of your car thinks you're stupid and doesn't want your needle to climb above middle in traffic and drop down below middle on the interstate. I was pleasantly surprised that the Vaqueros water temp gauge is a "real" gauge, and fluctuates as engine water temp fluctuates.

Fuel gauges (and the Vaquero is included in this) are also "rigged". Generally to go to "E" when there's a gallon or so left. IMHO, a gauge should read "empty" when there's nothing left. A vehicle with the needle on the "E" shouldn't start!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the compliments.

I found the 'fake' gauge on a Ford Ranger. The oil pressure gauge was real but Ford, in response to many inquiries as to why their oil pressure fluctuated, installed a resistor on the rear panel of the gauge cluster. Remove the resistor and you get a real fluctuating gauge.

Waterproof? Probably more water resistant. I wouldn't pressure wash them too hard but being they are located behind the windshield and in a full enclosure they should stay pretty dry. The faces are the only part exposed and they are generally sealed shut pretty well and the vertical orientation of the faces should allow most rain water to run off. The USB has a rubber plug to install when not in use and the USB/volt meter is listed on eBay as 'marine' grade. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the compliments.

One small update. I gave up the digital teach for two reasons.
One, I really didn't like the numbers continually changing. IMO, a gauge like a tach really needs to have a sweeping hand for a better view of rpms. Two, the doubling math gets old. So, I went back to eBay once again and got a small 0-8000 rpm tach with blue back lighting. Same size as all the other gauges.

To get the new gauge to display correctly, I opened the new tach up by gently prying open the front crimp. It's very easy to do with a small screwdriver. I found a small adjustment pot on the back of the inner guts of the thing. I hooked the tach up to one coil, set the switch to 4cyl and fired the bike up. I knew from the previous tach that my idle was right around 900 rpm. I adjusted the pot to make the new gauge register around 900 rpms. And it works! "How accurate is it", you say? Being it is a 2" gauge that goes from 0-8000, it is not super accurate. But what I wanted was an idea of idle speed and whether I was in 4th or 5th at highway speeds without trying to shift to another gear that wasn't there. When i am cruising at 65mph it shows right at 3100 rpms. When I wind her up it shows 4000-5000 rpms.

I'll try to get a pic of it and the replaced blue volt meter up on here.
All the other gauges are working perfect so far.
 

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Hmmmmmmmm. Looks so good im thinking of getting actual gauges on mine.
 

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I just thought I would pass along my experience adding all these gauges to my bike. I really dislike idiot lights. Alot. I started out wanting an oil pressure gauge because I'm running the plastic oil pump gear and want to know that oil pressure at a glance. But then I found a nice three-gauge enclosure on eBay that would fit above the handlebars and help keep the gauges out of the weather.


I bought all the gauges off eBay. The volt meter was a panel mount unit that came with a dual USB outlet.



I removed the volt/usb from the panel mount and installed them in a new fabbed panel to replace the one on the tank where the idiot lights (hate 'em) reside as I was going to eliminate the turn/oil/temp lights.



I also put in a mini rocker on/off switch. This allows me to turn off the volt meter but keep the USB ports hot with ignition off. Handy for charging phones while parked.



The only downside is that the eBay merchant sent me a red display gauge instead of the blue one I ordered. He is supposed to send me a blue one so I can swap it out.



The tach, oil pressure and coolant temp gauges are all "Dragon Gauge" brand digital 2" gauges from various eBay merchants. They all came with the required sending units and mounting hardware.

For the temp sensor mount I ordered a 24mm temp sensor adapter, also from eBay.



I put it in the center of the top radiator hose. The size was perfect for a snug fit. I sprayed the inside of the hose with wd40 to help assembly. The adapter had metric threads and needed a 1/8 npt tap to the sensor mount threads then a little extra Teflon tape to get a good fit. The gauge displays Celsius but I'm OK with that.

I had some trouble with mounting the oil pressure sending unit. Gadget's page says Kawasaki tapped the sensor hole with 1/8npt thread. I found the original switch sensor for the idiot light was actually M10x1 which is very, very close to 1/8npt but the OD of the metric thread is around 0.06" smaller. I couldn't get the new sensor to thread in. After tracking down a M10x1 die to resize the new sensor threads I came to realize my problem was not so much with the metric vs npt but simply some debris in the mounting hole. But even after blowing the debris out I found the metric thread does fit a tad better.

I originally used the same signal wire at the sensor end and tapped into to 5 pin plug under the tank that operates the idiot light (grr) to attach the signal wire from the gauge. Mistake. The gauge didn't register. I had to run a new wire from the gauge to the sensor.

The oil pressure and temp gauges both have warning lights built in. If the oil pressure goes below 10psi or the temp goes above 100*C a red led comes on in the gauge face.



The tach offered some challenge as well. I was using both negative leads from the coils with diodes installed but was only getting 1/2 actual rpm reading with the tach set for 4cyl and it didn't matter whether I used 1 or both coil leads I still only got 1/2 rpms. Then I finally found a thread on a Vstar site that worked for me...

"Time to make the tach adapter. While at RS go ahead and buy two 1N4004, 1N4005, 1N4006, or 1N4007 or equivalent diodes. Also buy two 100K ohm resistors. 1/4 watt or 1/2 watt is OK.

Lay a diode and a resistor side by side on your table and twist the leads together. The diode and resistor are now in parallel. You can now either add a short length of wire to one end of each diode/resistor or you could solder a terminal (RS #64-3058, etc.) directly to the pair.



Last thing to do is to connect the tach wire to the other end of both diode/resistor pairs.

The end of the diode with the silver band must be the end that is connected to the coils - not the tack lead.
This ensures the diode is connected properly. "


Even though it seems wrong to reverse the diodes and add a resistor to each line, it worked! Tach is working great! And the diodes and resistors all came from an old computer power supply I had lying around.

Update... when the rain finally stopped long enough for a true road test instead of idling in the garage I sadly have to report this tach mod is not working to my satisfaction. It seems to read correctly at idle but as soon as I hit the road I noticed when the throttle is applied the tach first shows lower rpms then as engine speed increases it appears to be reading 1/2 rpm again. I think there is something about the signals coming from the two coils that the tach is not seeing as two separate signals. So for now I am back to using one coil signal wire and doing the doubling math in my head until I can find a solution. It is going to be some sort of 'filter' made of electronic components to clean up these two signals so the tach can display correctly.




There are two small clear leds mounted at the bottom corners of the gauge enclosure. These light up orange and are the new turn signal indicators. I cut off the 5-pin plug and used those connections under the tank for the turn signals and a switched 12v source for power to all the gauges except the volt/usb. They are always hot.



The whole thing is mounted to the risers using a 4"x6" plate of stainless steel. I drilled holes in it to line up with the two forward handlebar clamp bolts. Using the housing as a template I made a base plate from sheet metal and screwed that to the stainless 'mount'.

I wish my phone camera would take better pics of the gauges because they are much clearer than the photos show. They are visible even in direct sunlight which surprised me a little.


All together this mod cost me around $90. But I had the sheet metal, wire, terminals, etc. in my shop.
Thank you for documenting this so well. I will definitely be doing something along those lines, although my goal is to mount these gauges to a batwing!
 

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On my 06 1600 I only had to run ONE wire to coil and it works perfect but I've been wanting temp and presure also so thank you this is a real help..hope you get it figured out..nice looking set up.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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