Gauge Options for '71?

MNiceGuy

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I'm in the process of getting a '71 ready to spend some time on the road after a long hiatus. My biggest unknown right now is what to do about the gauges.

Both the speedometer and tach are doing the wild sweeps. I took the tach off for inspection and can hear something relatively large clunking around on the inside. For those unfamiliar with the early gauges, they are unique in that they are sealed/glued cases as well as fact they have straight outdrives (vs the angled ones on later models). Servicing is possible (there is a thread here) but I don't have any donor gauges and that process seems well beyond my skill set.

I picked up a Mike's 80mm tach to at least have that gauge working but unfortunately it seems to stall out over 3K RPM. In other words, it responds well as the engine is revving but the needle stops around 3K even though I can hear RPM climbing past that.

I've tried finding an original replacement but when I actually find one they cost WAY more than I'm willing to spend ($650 in one instance). Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to switch to an electronic tach that reads off one of the coils and just accept the fact the gauges will not be OEM?

Anyone else run into this problem? What did you end up doing?
 

WideAWAKE

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If it were mine and I didn’t have the money for a good oem one (or the parts to fix em), I would spend some time trying to figure out a swap of internals.

I’d buy a few different sets of cheap tach/speedos with the same ratios and relative same size bodies and see what I could get to swap.

This could even be done with a digital set up.

I personally can’t stand to see modern gauges on old bikes so hiding them in original bodies would be an option.

That’s just my take.
 

Jim

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If it were mine and I didn’t have the money for a good oem one (or the parts to fix em), I would spend some time trying to figure out a swap of internals.

I’d buy a few different sets of cheap tach/speedos with the same ratios and relative same size bodies and see what I could get to swap.
I know from experience that the XS1 and XS2 speedo internals swap. So you can expand your search for parts gauges to at least the '72. I would guess '70 to '73 internals swap.
 

MNiceGuy

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Even with that wider criteria I'm not finding much out there. Late-70's and onward are easy to find in comparison. Is it possible to convert to a later gauge setup? Other than the angled outdrive I'm not sure what's actually different between the two periods.
 

Grewth

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As a stopgap measure you could mount a set of late type gauges on a fabricated mount plate.
XS1/XS1B gauge mount plates are pretty rare, but the XS2 plates are far more common, you could get one and adapt it to take late type clocks.
They don't even have to be from a XS650, the clocks from a XS250/400 Special are virtually the same (9000 red line on the tacho) and don't fetch big money.
Not an elegant solution, but it will get you back on the road short term.
 

DogBunny

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XS2 and 1973 TX650 gauges are much easier to find, and are much cheaper than XS1 and XS1B gauges. The only differences are the chrome bodies -- 70-71 are chromed plastic, while 72-73 are chromed metal -- and the outer bezels -- 70-71 have plastic bezels, and 72-73 have rubber bezels. In other words, if it doesn't need to be factory correct, 72-73 gauges will substitute very nicely, and look almost exactly the same.
72-73 gauges do come up on eBay. They are still expensive, but a lot cheaper than 70-71. Be patient, several come up every year.
I currently have a very decent, well-working 72-73 speedometer for $160, shipped. I'll PM you pics.
 

Grewth

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He rebuilt mine amd installed new faces. Pricy but very good work, I would call him a craftsman.
Would you care to tell us all what sort of price range "Pricy" falls into please ?
I'm weighing up the options for my XS1B, and while I don't mind spending some money on the clocks, I don't intend to go wild
 

Grewth

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It was about 4 years ago and I’m thinking around $400 for both. You could call him.
I'm on the other side of the pond I'm afraid, probably easier to find an instrument mechanic over here.
I just wanted a ball park figure.
If the rest of the bike is in mint condition, $400 would seem reasonable to bring the clocks up to the same standard.
 
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