Since my original odometer had issues with the LCD, I decided early on my project that I would be replacing it with another solution.
As I loved the W1 look that had the odometer inside the headlight lamp, I knew it had to go that way.
The Initial Solution
I sourced some aftermarket solution, starting with the obvious chinese replacement. I also started soon to work on a concept that would allow me to fit the clock to the headlight.
Back in May/2015 I started doing concepts and got a quick solution. It was based on a mushroom can that had exactly the required size for that specific clock.
I was happy with it, but in the end, I still thought it was too big and cheap for this project. That was when I found the Motogadget page, with top of the line, high quality German products. And the Motogadget Tiny caught my eye.
The Final Solution
The Tiny comes in a beautiful and small form, with a nice backlight illumination, and brings an odometer, a trip, a Max speed logger, a clock and a voltmeter as a bonus. You loose the tachometer, and both blinkers are connected to a unique blinker light. All lights are visible with no effort, even during daylight, but the digital numbers are kind of hard to read. who reads them anyway.
After getting the Motogadget, and opening the installation manual, it was time to freak out. I had zero knowledge about electronics, if we don’t count with the time I spent doing electricity projects at school. I used Youtube to learn how to read electrical schematics, how to solder and overall usage of electronic components. Let’s face it, I am an economist it was daunting.
I bought a soldering iron from LILD and let’s go!
Inside the box it came with all I needed:
- Instrument with approx. 75 cm connector cable
- Mini push-button to control the menus
- 2 removable fuses necessary for the power connections
- 9 cable end connectors
- Speedometer sensor (M5 x 0,5 fine-pitch thread, stainless steel, IP 68) with 150 cm connector cable, didn’t use it, as you can use the Kawasaki W650 original sensor (the connector even comes in the same harness)
- 2 powerful neodymium mini magnets (Not needed see prior bullet)
- 2 mounting screws M3 with washer (didn’t use due to my in headlight solution)
- 2 diodes for pairing of turn signals (this ones I did use)
- Detailed installation and operating instructions
I also Knew I did not want to cut the original cable harness… so disconnected everything, ordered two (backup) Multilock 040 connectors and pins, and started playing with the final solution.
How To electronics
So basing myself male connector information that comes directly out of the W650 Service manual, I planned the connections, based on the Tiny Manual descriptions:
Remember that when you are trying to construct the ffemale, based on a male depiction, you have to think mirrored (yup… learned the hard way that there is no Gender equality in electronics)…I got to the following schematic…
Just make sure that all the motogadget wires are used (notice that the input sensor button could not be fitted using this female connector, so it is directly connected to the Tiny cable)
From the motorcycle connectors we don’t use the backlight power as the tiny illuminates as soon as ignition is on, tachometer and the speed sensor power feed. This one was hard. The original sensor receives 5volts incoming from here, but after assembly, and due to it’s nature, this is not necessary, at least for the 1999 model.
Was it perfect? Hell no. But it works. A little bit of spaghetti in the headlight should do no harm. Applied some insulation tape where I could, and voilá. SHE LIVES!
What about the speed sensor?
You can opt for going with the speedsensor included with the Tiny, that works via the associated magnets placed in the wheel, or you can opt to go with the OEM Sensor that comes with the motorcycle…. How does this work?
The sensor is placed in the main sprocket, and is pointing to the Rotor Nut that holds everything in place and that is squared in shape. When one of the corners on the Nut approaches the sensor, a magnet pushes the sensor away producing an electric fluctuation. These fluctuations are then converted in electric signals on/off.
Note: This was the base principle for Digitisation of network coms. Analog variations are converted in 0 and 1 based on max and min charge values.
How to assemble everything
This was the easiest part. After the connections were tested, it was just a matter of inserting the Tiny into the enclosure, and I using some big rubber washers to hold it in place inside the can, providing it extra security and a little bit of additional vibration dampening.
Up top I used a retainer that gives it all the finishing touch.
Configuring the Tiny
Tiny’s configuration is very simple, until you reach the point to configure the sensor input.
There are two ways of doing it… the most widely used is to put the motorcycle running at “50 Km/h” and hold the button, on the configuration setting… this is called the “learning” mode. It is easy if you have WAZE visible on the dash, or if you can have a friend on another motorcycle you can use as a reference.
In alternative you can use the advanced physics way, by calculating it using “#pulses” per rotation and “wheel circumference in millimetres” to compute this value. NOTE:I got it to work with a very good aproximation of the real speed using the following values, but your milleage may vary. This works for KM/h:
A) #Pulses: Per each small sprocket 360 rotation, the main Nut inputs 4 times on the sensor. As the size of the the small sprocket is half the size of the bigger sprocket (at the wheel), I am using 3 pulses per wheel rotation.
B) Wheel circumference in millimetres= 600mm.
This combination 3/600 is about perfect, validated with Waze riding at 30/60/100 /120 Km/h.
(Have in mind that this might be impacted with the kind of tyres you use. I am using a 672mm circumference AVON ROAD RIDER in the back ,so in reality, this 3/600 combination has some breathing space.)
This was the pinnacle of my DiY tryouts. It involved machining, cutting, assembling and understanding and soldering electronics. I think I will not be the first to die in a zombie apocalipse anymore.
I am an economist with zero practise on all of this. If I can do it, you surely can also, at least on old motorcycles. The new motorcycles rely so much on electronics and computers that if you disconnect one cable, it is very natural that it won’t work and warranty will be void.