All about the speedo . . .

  • [Yes, it is snowing here too, so my riding season is on 'hold'.]

    Forum's been kind of slow lately so . . .

    . . . In multiple threads on this and every K forum I've looked at are discussions about the balky speedometer/tachometer/odometer unit.

    Problems often cited include--the wobble, the sticking tachometer/speedometer indicator, the odometer that stops turning, etc. Much valuable information here and elsewhere about the replacement/repair of these units.

    My K75's speedometer, even at 13,000 miles, sometimes sticks at speed intermittently, although generally seems to operate well and is of little concern to me (at this time). I bought the bike in 2009 with (what I still believe is) very low mileage. Condition of the bike seems to confirm miles on the odometer, as near as I can tell.

    Lately, while dreaming at the computer, I've looked at used Ks on ebay, craigslist, and even the IBMWR forum. This has caused me to wonder how accurate odometer readings are on these used bikes, whether or not the seller is even aware of odometer failure/replacement on the bikes they are selling, and in fact the whole subject of the accuracy of these devices and the claimed long lives of well-maintained K bikes.

    Of course, this is an easier thing to gauge when examining a bike in person, but it seems there's an awful lot of faith required to believe any odometer claim made in a listing.

    So, my questions to the forum are, "What percentage of used K bikes out there have had their speedometers changed/fixed/replaced?"

    "What was BMW's response to early indications of this devices' failure (was there a recall?)"

    "What is the general opinion of owners as to the accuracy of odometer readings claimed by sellers?"

    Fondly recalling warmer weather and dry, salt-free roads . . .


  • ..Hi Bob,

    i guess, most of the speedo problems are caused by to less use and less care of the contacts, cables and connectors...

    Mine, K100RT 1985 with 170.000km and K1 1991 with about 58.000km, are working fine.

    With your 1995 model you got the latest versions of the speedo. After this time there were no further versions on the market.

    Open the box and improve the contacts..

    Schöne Grüsse, Ralf CH

  • I fully agree with Ralf. Most issues are from corroded contacts. My bike has now about 80k Miles and the speedo is very accurate, hold track with the satnav. I have had issues with corrosion obstructing proper contact and the most difficult one was the pins from the connector to the blue flexible track plastic. Took me a long time to find out that something was rotten under the rubber rectangle seal!

  • My bike still has quite low mileage, (and probably qualifies as a garage queen.) So, I haven't yet had to initiate a program of cleaning electrical contacts. I know that day will come, although I haven't had speedo problems yet.

    In the depths of winter, when I do routine maintenance, I'll start cleaning contacts I can get to.

    Thanks for the good advice.

  • Eh, there were speedometer problems with brand new bikes back around the 1984/85 time frame, so corrosion isn't the only problem with these speedometers. I have had problems over the years with the connection to the speed sensor on the final drive, located under the right battery cover. The speedo will go to zero and if I stop, unplug and plug back together this particular connection, speedometer function returns.

  • There is also an aging related problem with the odometer gears, the plastic pieces become very fragil breaking the teet and tends to turn in to dust. I had to rebuild mine filing gears from old printers and toys. Had to correct the loose contacts too.
    Best regards

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