raceratb gauge faces
WHY? Speedometer accuracy. One of my greatest complaints about Japanese-built motorcycles is the inaccuracy of the speedometers; I have owned a couple of bikes that exhibited a variance as high as 10%. This is enough to drive me crazy, and apparently I'm not alone--the problem has spawned a large market in speedometer correction devices such as the Speedohealer and Yellow Box. I was checking out the Stromtrooper forum recently when I came across an ingenious solution devised by a Strom owner in California; he created a replacement face for the speedometer with error correction built in via placement of the markings on the gauge face. That approach obviously has advantages and disadvantages (discussed below) versus the signal-correction devices, but I was interested enough to contact him and order a replacement speedometer face. He offers this item for the DL650 only at this time and you can order just the black replacement speedometer face ($40) or a pair of faces in white for both the speedometer and the tachometer ($60). At this time he doesn't offer the faces for a DL1000 or for KPH-marked speedometers, but with demand I believe that he'll come up with those also. You may see pics and installation instructions online here and contact him at raceratb (at) gmail.com (delete the (at) and replace with "@"). I sent $40 plus $5 shipping via Paypal.
SERVICE. Excellent. I received a confirmation email saying that the order had shipped the next day, and it arrived via USPS Priority mail two days later. Online ordering doesn't get much better than that!
INSTALLATION. Very simple, and a job that can be done by the average home mechanic; the entire process took me less than 20 minutes. No instructions were included with the order, but illustrated instructions can be found at the web site mentioned above.
RESULTS. Incredible. This is one of those mods that makes you say to yourself "Why didn't I think of that?" Even if I had I would never have been able to produce a piece this nice; the gauge face I received was a real work of art and matched the OEM faces in every detail, from the finish of the face itself to the color and font used for the numbers. As an added bonus the small KPH scale and numbers were eliminated, leaving just the MPH scale on the gauge; this resulted in an instrument that is much cleaner and easier to read. Some owners might prefer the look of the white gauge faces on both the speedo and the tach, but the black looks great to me.
After everything was buttoned up I went for a test ride and used my GPS unit to check the accuracy of the recalibrated speedometer scale; I was pleased to find that the speedometer, which had been almost 8% off, now ran in perfect synch with my GPS readings. At last--an accurate speedometer reading! Bear in mind that your readings will only be accurate if your speedometer is off by the same margin. It appears that most DL650 units are off by the same margin (about 7.7%), but if your margin of error is different this face, unlike signal-correction devices, won't correct for it.
On the other hand, the recalibrated face has one important advantage over the Speedohealer and Yellow Box units--it preserves the accuracy of the odometer. While most V-Strom speedometers read around 8% high, the odometers usually fairly accurate (within 1-2%). When you correct the speedometer with an input-modifying device such as the Speedohealer you'll also alter the input to the odometer, causing it to register low. The recalibrated speedometer face doesn't modify any instrument inputs, so it will give you a more accurate speedometer reading while preserving the accuracy of the odometer.
UPDATE: Austin tells me that he now has these faces available in Kilometers/hour scale!
WORTH THE MONEY? Absolutely. If you ride a DL650 and your speedometer error is--like so many others--at 7.7%, this is an item you shouldn't be without. This is simply a must-have mod for a Wee-Strom owner, and some of the best money I've ever spent on a bike. Two thumbs up!