The motorcycle tachometer is a useful tool for monitoring your engine’s performance and providing you with valuable information about when to shift gears or to maintain optimal engine speed. A properly connected tachometer can help you increase your fuel economy and reduce maintenance costs by avoiding unnecessary wear and tear on the engine and detecting speed issues before they cause expensive repairs.
Many modern motorcycles feature tachometers that are either mechanical or electronic. Both of these types use electrical pulses to detect rpm and display the information on their gauges in an easy-to-read format.
Whether you have a mechanical or electronic tachometer, it is important to connect it correctly to ensure that it is working properly and safely. If you connect the tachometer to the wrong part of the ignition system, it can cause serious damage to both the tachometer and the ignition system.
If you have an electronic tachometer, you must also ensure that the circuit is properly wired to the battery power supply. If the tachometer isn’t connected to the battery, you will not be able to power it.
Before you begin to wire the tachometer, you should test it for voltage using a voltage meter. This will give you a better understanding of the wiring and will enable you to determine if you have all of the connections made correctly.
First, determine where the tachometer’s red wire connects to the initial 12-volt source. Depending on the tachometer and your motorcycle, this may be an adaptor or a bus bar with a series of terminal screws.
Then, locate the secondary 12-volt source for the tachometer on the adaptor or bus bar and connect it to the red voltage meter clip. With the motorcycle ignition switch in the “On” position, the meter should show a reading of 12 volts.
Once you have determined the correct voltage for the tachometer, connect one end of the negative tachometer wire to the ignition switch and the other end of the negative tach wire to the positive tach wire. Make sure the negative tach wire is firmly secured to the ignition switch and the positive tach wire is firmly secured to a good chassis ground in your motorcycle.
If the tachometer does not display a reading on the voltage meter, it may be time to replace the tachometer. You should also check that the tachometer wiring is secure and hasn’t been shortened or damaged by a previous owner.
For some older bikes, a tachometer is attached to the engine crankcase with a cable. This type of tachometer is less accurate than the electronic tachometers found on most modern motorcycles, but it can be easily repaired or replaced without removing the crankcase from the engine.
If you’re not sure how to install a tachometer on your motorcycle, ask a local mechanic for assistance. They can often make the necessary adjustments to your tachometer and the engine for you so that you can get an accurate reading. They can also recommend the best type of tachometer for your engine and your motorcycle’s specific needs.