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clayton
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On my newly acquired 1972 R75/5 I am observing some oscillation in the needles of the speedo & tach. Both are working but there is some oscillation (am I doing 65 or am I doing 75 etc). How much oscillation is to be considered normal? Would you advise me to remove the unit and get it serviced now or wait till it malfunctions?

Any input would be appreciated. Thank you!

schrader7032
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There should essentially be

There should essentially be no oscillations, although a small amount might be OK. First, thing I'd do is lube the cables with something like Triflow. Generally, you're not supposed to lube these cables as the OEM ones are nylon lined. If lubing helps, then you should get new cables. In the end, you probably should get new cables anyway. If the wire winding is coming undone, it's likely grabbing and releasing on the inner sheath...lubing probably won't really help that. If/when you get the speedometer fixed, you'll need a new cable anyway.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

clayton
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Idaho
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I have contacted several

I have contacted several companies that specialize in speedo repair. I would be interested in any feedback from those of you that have sent your speedometer/tach units off for repair. What was your experience? Whom do you recommend? My plan is to send mine in for servicing this winter before it breaks.

schrader7032
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Which companies did you

Which companies did you contact?

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

Lincoln
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Just had my R69S speedo

Just had my R69S speedo serviced by Terry Vrla, aka Wirespokes.

He has an excellent reputation in the airhead community and did a fine job for me, at a very good price (for me, and I hope for him).

He can be reached by email at terryvrla@hotmail.com.

He does have a backlog, so it might be a couple of months before you get your speedo back. But I found him very responsive and easy to deal with. He has my very strong recommendation.

The first thing he said to me, by the way, when I told him that my speedo was oscillating in its readings,was that I should disconnect it immediately, before some expensive damage occurred.

all best, Lincoln

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Lincoln--Ann Arbor & Taos
1967 R69S, original owner
1978 R100S, recently acquired
2002 R1150RT

clayton
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Idaho
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I have communicated with Palo

I have communicated with Palo Alto Speedometer in California and Overseas Speedometer in Austin, TX.

schrader7032
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I used Palo Alto many, many

I used Palo Alto many, many years ago, so that experience doesn't really count. But from what I've read, Palo Alto would get a thumbs down and Overseas would get a thumbs up. Certainly Terry Vrla is a good resource...most likely someone who is a bit more passionate about his work as opposed to any larger company. IMO.

For me, I live an hour drive south of Austin, so my first choice would be Overseas as I could just drive the speedometer up there and make sure my requirements are clear and understood.

There is also North Hollywood Speedometer, also in California. Some other places are Foreign Speedo Inc in San Diego. Also Joel Levine in Atlanta.

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

clayton
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Follow up

I contacted Terry Vrla per Lincoln's suggestion above. After communicating with him via email I sent my unit to him for repair.

It did take a while for him to get to my project but I was forewarned in advance to expect that.

When he returned the unit to me it worked perfectly with little or no needle fluctuation.

His price was very reasonable and he stayed in contact with me through out the process.

I would recommend Terry to any who are needing their instrument refurbished or repaired.

mark_weiss
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Arizona
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I've had very good results

I've had very good results with North Hollywood Speedometer.

That said, if your cables are worn, rebuilding the meter(s) will not make much of a difference. Replace the cable(s) and see if you are satisfied with the improvement. +-5 mph is pretty common, more on rough roads.

You might also verify the cable routing and look for tight turns and pinch spots. Over the years, I've seen some pretty odd routing. Widest possible sweeping curves are best.

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fishtown boy
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I had Terry Vrla

I had Terry Vrla rebuild/repair my Spedo for my 1972 /5. It took a bit longer than I would have liked(4 months or so).
It is working great!!! Price was very reasonable(under $300).Seems funny to look at and see it not fluttering all over the place.

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cougsfan
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Years ago I saw a web site on

Years ago I saw a web site on how to fix a fluctuating BMW Airhead speedometer and calibrate it yourself. I bookmarked that page but have changed computers a couple times since then, and have lost it. I can't find it again on a google search, but I remember fairly much what it said. It seemed moderately difficult but not that bad. I will point out I have never done this, but mine does fluctuate some and is quite inaccurate. So I have kept it in mind if I ever wanted to try and fix it.

The speedo works by a magnetic disc that is driven by the speedo cable that is magnetically coupled to a disc mounted to the speedo needle. The speedo needle has a spring return to zero. As the magnetic disc turns it drives the secondary disc on the needle with some slip. The faster the magnetic disc spins, the further it turns the secondary disc with the needle on it The fluctuation occurs because the two discs develop uneven spacing between each other (One side of the pair of discs is closer to each other than the other side). To get rid of the fluctuation you use a feeler gauge to make sure the gap between the two discs is the same at all points around their circumferences. Apparently there is some give in the disc mounts that allow you to move them.

Furthermore, the distance of that gap is how you change speedo error. The closer the gap, the higher the speedo will read at a given cable rpm, and visa versa. To re-calibrate the speedo (this part would be time consuming) you spin the speedo drive with a fixed speed drill and measure the speed indicated. Then put everything back together. You then ride the bike at that indicated speed and check to see how fast you are really going by using a GPS. Then you take everything back apart, spin it with the drill again, and increase or decrease the gap until it reads the speed that was indicated by the GPS for that cable rpm. There are probably some details I forgot, but that is the gist of it, and it all sounds do-able by a normal guy.

schrader7032
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Is this the
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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

cougsfan
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I am not sure that is the

I am not sure that is the exact same article that I saw, but it does pretty much cover the same topic pretty clearly. Thanks for finding it.

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