The Aftermarket Instrumentation FAQ - GS/Dakar
compiled & edited by Kristian #562
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
For Speedos Refer Speedo ABS Sensor FAQ
Why are the Indicator Controls so far from my thumb? Is there a Fix?
What about adding a Coolant Temperature Gauge?
What about On-Board Computer Feedback/Tips?
For Aftermarket Horns Refer the Aftermarket Horns FAQ
Adding an Oil
The only one available at the Current Time is the "RR Oil Temperature Gauge"
Louis Direct Link
If the link doesn't work or show the wrong article
Wunderlich Direct Link
by Kristian #562
If the link doesn't work or show the wrong article
Go to www.wunderlich.de
Choose BMW in the Upper Row
Choose Zum Shop
Choose Your Bike from the Link at Left.
Scroll down the list and look for "Öltemperaturanzeige RR"
http://www.spc-bmw.co.uk UK Wunderlich Importer.
Wunderlich USA Importer: I have been frustrated trying to locate the after market oil temperature gauge mentioned in the GS/Dakar FAQ section ("RR Oil Temperature Gauge"). I was able to finally fire off a email to Wunderlich (my German is a bit rusty) and the nice folks there replied (in English) with the name of an American Wunderlich distributor. They are BMW Motorcycles of Santa Cruz County, California. Goto: http://www.bmwsantacruz.com/SHOP/BMW/index.html. These folks seem to have tons of BMW aftermarket stuff, including many Wunderlich items. Hopes this helps. Phil #1283.
I got a Wunderlich unit for my '01 GS from BMW Santa Cruz, Tom... Works perfectly as far as I'm concerned... As for my oil level? I just use my sight glass, so a dip stick is not a problem or concern... Besides, the OEM cap doesn't have one anyway. As far as operating temperature goes? I usually run right at or near the 80 degree C spot on the gauge... I've only had it for a couple of months, though, and that means I have yet to ride it in outside temperatures above 60 degree F. Bill #1084 - Des Moines, IA
I'm not sure why you want oil temp and not water temp. Either one will tell you the state of the motor. If you lose your oil, the screw-in type oil temp gauge will lie. If you run out of oil or water, the water temp gauge will let you know that the motor is overheating. I just found a cheap solution for a water temp gauge... a Veglia water temp gauge for a Fiat will fit nicely in the hole vacated by the clock. I've yet to do the wiring harness for it and parts list. I've yet to take the pictures. But the gauge costs well under US$20. Per Can Yucel's note in the Classic FAQ, if a VDO sensor can be had for ~$5-10, then the whole thing will end up costing me less than one of those inaccurate (lying) dipstick thingies. I'm contemplating making up a kit containing all the required parts along with a proper wiring harness so that it just drops in where the clock used to go. Anyone interested in a complete "kit" for... oh... US$50? (Of course, I'll also do the write-up for the do-it-yerselfers.) Flash 412 (CO)
For other installation details, opinions and expected Oil Temperature refer the Aftermarket Oil Temperature Gauge section of the Classic Aftermarket Instrumentation FAQ.
What about adding a Coolant Temperature Gauge? (To the GS/Dakar)
by Flash #412
Q. I know you put the Euro Temp gauge (that I already HAD on my '96) on your US Spec bike. If I wanted to put a (Coolant) temperature gauge on my GS, can I
just connect an electronic gauge to the EXISTING thermostat thingy, or do I need to get a Sensor and Connect to that?
A. The thing screwed into your thermostat housing is a SWITCH. It works a
light bulb. To work a gauge, you need a resistor/SENSOR.
Q. Any suggestions on a Gauge.? Would a Digital one work, or is the Gauge calibrated to the sensor?
A. Take your SWITCH out. (Watch for coolant running everywhere.) Take your clock out. Take your switch and clock to a cage bits place, preferable a speed shop for rice boys. Get any temp gauge that fits your hole and bolt pattern (and preferably light and wiring holes) AND comes with a sensor that matches your thread pitch.
Q. Apparently, Instead of Veglia temp sensor, Volkswagen temp sensors made by VDO ( with same thread, size, resistance and temp degree, also costs much
less) can also be used?
A. As long as the thing screws in, you're good to go. The gauge bit is just ease of mounting.
Q. If it's just a connection to the existing (sensor?) is the thermostat thingy that you connect to already calibrated so it sends out the correct Temperature instead of just turning on idiot lights.?
Re-read MY Euro Gauge bit and order from Motobins or get a VW one.
What about On-Board Computer Feedback/Tips?
Trip Computer Installation Problems:
Q. My husband bought the BMW trip computer accessory for my F650GS and I'm trying to get it installed. Has anyone successfully installed this and could give me some advice? The instructions are vague (push connector 3 into connector 2, etc), don't tell you how to identify the different connectors, the drawings are poor and don't match what I see. I've got the connectors unearthed, but I can't figure out which plug-in to use. I looked in the FAQ and couldn't find anything specifically on this. I put a Sigma 800 on my last bike and it was easy, but this one requires you to take half the bike apart to install it. The instructions and pictures that came with it are very poor and I have the heated handgrips, which complicated things a bit. I ended up taking the kit and instructions to the mechanics at the dealer and they talked me through a couple of instructions that weren't clear to me. I did get it installed and everything seems to work fine. Bonnie #1158, northern Illinois '02 F650GLA
I put the little beast on, but it has been a while. I recall having the same problems you describe. If you can't figure it out, let me know and I'll dig out the instructions and try to remember the drill. Good luck. Mike819 in Reno
I have fitted one in the last couple of day and it not as big a drama as it looks. If you need some help I'm happy to oblige. Monty.
I could contribute some reliability info to the FAQ. :) I had my computer installed before I picked up the bike. It worked on the ride home, then quit. I had it fixed at the 600 mile service and it worked for a while, then died again (I didn't notice when). I had it fixed at the 6000 mile service. It died again after that and at that point it was past the 1 year warranty so they wanted to charge me to get it working again. Phooey on that. Now I'm just using the display piece as a clock in the garage. kelly1005
The thing to remember is all the information is there to do the job, no matter how confusing it seems. Think of it like a puzzle to be solved (I've seen the instructions for the heated grips) I also copied the instructions in English and pasted them over the German which was the text next to the photos which made it easier. echo
A similar thing happen to mine. (like Kelly's). I installed it temporarily so as to test whether or not I had the wiring correct in the connector that joins the computer holder to the main harness. Switched on the ignition and spun the back wheel. The direction was not important the speedo needle rose and the computer computed. I put the whole show back together and guess what it worked for a few minutes then stopped. Funny thing is while it was installed and not working it made the engine idle high [2000rpm] Once removed from the cradle engine idle normal. I had the shitz with the whole affair and left it for a few days. I came back to it and went over the installation. All was OK. I disconnected and reconnect all connections tested it again and all was good again. I'll see how it goes now. By the way the computer unit is made in Hong Kong whether or not that has anything to do with. Well I thought I nailed the problem. The trip computer works just fine, however when you stop at the lights the engine will not come back to idle. [1500rpm] It sits around 1800~2000rpm. This is a real bitch. Remove the trip computer and the idle doesn't change. Roll the bike forward or backward a few feet and the idle comes back to 1500rpm. I'm going to take it up with dealer as the bike is still under warranty. Hopefully they'll fix the problem. Or at least point me in the right direction. As mentioned previously. I took my bike into the dealer for a service and to have a whinge about the Trip Computer. The bike was put on the computer to look for any faults. A fault was registered with the speedo. Fault cleared and bike test ridden [Trip Computer installed.] and put back on the computer. Again fault with speedo. Fault cleared test ridden [Trip Computer removed.] No fault recorded. The upshot is that the Trip Computer is faulty and will be replaced free of charge. In hind sight, I think that I would not have bothered installed it. The bike has a clock and a trip meter, so all that is required is a few minutes with a calculator and all is revealed. For those who want the convenience of a trip computer I'd have a look at something that fits on a bicycle as suggested by one of the other contributors. Much easier to install. If you do decide to go this way bear in mind what the maximum speed the bicycle computer will register. Monty
I recently installed a Specialized bicycle computer (about $35) on my Dakar so I would have an accurate odometer for dual sport rides. It can be calibrated to my wheel size by measuring the rolling distance of the front wheel... so I did that. It works great. During the last dual sport ride it matched the chart almost exactly. The Dakar trip meter and speedometer are way off. I believe about 8% too fast and too far, so it got me lost on one dual sport ride. The BMW speedo may even be indicating 10% faster than you are really going which is kind of disappointing. All those times I thought I was going 100mph! ...was really about 92 mph. The only problem with the bicycle computer is that it has a slow reaction time on speed... it takes a few seconds for the indicator to "catch up" to the actual speed. Another odd thing... the BMW & bike units agree exactly on the odometer total miles, but the speed and trip meter readings don't. So I guess the BMW trip meter must be run off the speedometer or have different input. ? Jim#1022 Aptos CA.
Where is the connector for the trip computer accessory?
It's just forward of the fuse box-the same connector where the heated hand grips are plugged in. Bonnie #1158, '02 F650GLA, northern Illinois.
I installed a trip computer over the weekend. The instructions I received were CS specific, but I believe you'd plug it into the same general area. It was located on the right side of the bike, buried up inside. You'll have to remove most of the plastic to get at it. There should be a cluster of other connectors there too. There should be an open slot to plug something in (there was only 1 available on the CS for me to use). Truthfully, the longest part of the whole installation was taking the plastic and air box off to be able to strap down the wires. I remember that someone was having a very difficult time of it after the dealership installed their computer. I've had no such problems with it. The only problem I seem to be having is that there's a 5-10% difference between the speedo and the trip computer. The ODO seems to be off by about 1-3%. Kevin CG#1290 BB#19 '02 CS Metallic Pumpkin Mississauga, Ontario CANADA
My Dakar/GS Clock always gains time/is fast?
Well there's no way to fix it, unless you get a replacement (Maybe). But you're not alone:
Are all German clocks 4 minutes fast or is it just the ones on the GS? Dave
My GS is the same......, very strange. Art 884
My clock is fast also. 01 Dakar. echo
BMW has its own unique system for everything, including space, speed and time. SScratch
Mine gains about 20 minutes a month. The local dealer said " I've never heard of that...it's digital! " It is still under warranty so am thinking if I want to deal with fighting them over it or not. You would think for the price the freakin clock would keep time better than a Honda. renowaterdude
My Funduro (Classic) clock with the little hands that go round and round, keeps perfect time. I never have to adjust it between daylight and standard times. Richard #230
Both of our classic F650's clocks,(97 & 99) keep perfect time. DaveJ#888
My clock is fast too, bloody thing gains about 10 mins a month. I hate that. My Classic didn't have one but the cheapo I stuck on it was on time, every day. Until it broke. Then it was at least right, twice a day. Kristian#562
Seems to be unique with the GS digital or otherwise. Have digital on another BMW and never have to touch it. The clocks on the classics were never an issue, that I know of....., they just work! Art 884
The only time I've had to adjust my '97 ST clock was when the battery had been disconnected for service, and the semi-annual switch to/from daylight time, since 2/13/97. Hal #15
with you all, my clock doesn't keep time either. Deveau