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Yamaha XVS650 Engine Light/Speedo Cable

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Tone2, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. So I did a Putty Run today with two other Netriders. One of the best bits is a section of road creatively called "The Ten Mile" - ten miles of twisty bits. It was so good, we turned around and went back so we got two more times through.

    At some stage, I noticed my speedo wasn't working and my engine light came on. I initially though the engine light could be on as the engine may have been a bit hot - air cooled bike working through the twisties maybe? I thought the speedo cable had probably come loose at the wheel and a quick look showed it had. No little cable bit on the end, so no more speedo.

    But the engine light remained on. I still thought temperature, but it didn't feel hot. After the lunch break it was on straight away. Maybe oil - but it wasn't leaking and hadn't been low before we left. The engine sounded like it was running normally, too. So maybe it was linked to the speedo (both happened at the same time) but why? The speedo on the V-Star is mechanical, no fancy-schmancy electronics.

    Anway, it turns out it is directly linked. Yamaha isn't too so-fist-er-cart-ed with the check engine light. It doesn't measure temperature, or oil levels. It measures whether the position of your throttle is ok for your speed. If not, the light comes on.

    Quite relieved really, only a $33 fix to replace the cable.
  2. Holy thread revival, Batman!

    Exactly the same thing has just happened to me. Speedo cable came loose at the wheel, engine light came on, cable is damaged so can't reconnect it without replacing the cable and I'm stuck with no speedo and engine light on until I get it sorted.

    To be honest, I was fair crapping myself that there was something a bit more serious wrong until I found this confirmation. Netrider (and @Tone2@Tone2) to the rescue.

    Now, where to find a cheap replacement? Anyone have any suggestions in the Eastern Suburbs Melbourne area? Fitting it should be a no-brainer, just need the part.
  3. EBay isn't worth the hassle as it turns out. I made a few calls and it looks like the average price for a genuine OEM replacement from a local major distributor is about $33. I'm just waiting for someone to get one in for me now, which should be later on today.

    In the meantime, it's surprisingly fun to ride without a speedo.
  4. I was merely commenting on the price disparity, not pushing!:greedy:
  5. I never thought for a second that you were pushing, mate. I agree with you, some of those prices on Ebay are crazy. $99 for a speedo cable? WTF is right :D
  6. Interesting experience fitting the new cable last night. I had read a post elsewhere that suggested a "quick fit" involving slipping the new cable into the existing sheath since that's all still intact, it's just the wire that's missing, as the whole lot had fallen out somewhere along the road when it came detached at the wheel.

    Sounded worth a try since replacing the whole unit involves removing the seat(s), tank, etc. so I gave it a go and the new cable slid in pretty easily, but when it came time to reattach the nut at the wheel, it was a VERY tight fit. As in, the wire seemed to be a few mm too long. It went on, but I wasn't best pleased.

    Took it for a ride, and the odometer worked great, but speedo was very wrong. It'd jump up to about 20km/h and stick there, then suddenly jump up again and stick, and wouldn't come down again when I slowed down.

    I decided to pull over and back the nut off a few turns while watching the speedo needle which was still stuck on about 30km/h. After about 4 turns, it suddenly dropped. Jumped back on and started riding and it was a lot better, but not perfect. Pulled over again, gave it a couple more turns and now the speedo is working perfectly. Except now, of course, the nut is half undone and at risk of falling off again after a while.

    Obviously, I'm going to have to replace the entire cable since it looks like the old cable is a little bit too short for the new wire. Job for tomorrow morning.

    What's bugging me now is that this is exactly how my speedo was working (not working properly) when I first bought the bike, and it seems to me like the "fix" that @Peter Stevens Vendor@Peter Stevens Vendor implemented when I brought it in for warranty repair was probably to do exactly what I just did (back the nut off a few turns until it worked) so that's why the cable eventually fell off in the first place. I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't just forked over more cash to PS for the replacement cable, when they should probably have replaced the cable in the first place under warranty.

    My own stupid fault for not regularly checking ALL the nuts I suppose, but there you go.
  7. I seem to recall issues like this working on old Pommy cars years ago. Would it seem possible to somehow carefully shorten the inner cable somehow, grinder perhaps, enough so that the nut can be tightened down fully without causing the mis-behaviour?
    Might save you demolishing half the bike to install the new outer.

  8. Or can you back off the nut on the speedo so you can tighten the bottom one? At least then you wont lose the inner if it comes loose from the speedo.
  9. I did that yesterday before I left for work and while it's OK it's still not quite right, so I'm going to go the whole hog and pull the tank off today and fit the whole new cable. I've taken the tank off once before to fit some electrical bits and it's not all that difficult, just a bit fiddly in parts. I just need to be really careful not to drop the tank on the concrete and scratch/dent the hell out of it.

    Nice idea. I'd considered hacking a few mm off the speedo end of the cable (2 or 3mm should do it) but since the nut on the wheel end of the old sheath is pretty badly scratched up from its drag down the road, I decided I may as well do it proper-like.
  10. Been a while since I played with speedo's etc but I have ground the odd one in my time. Usually one end has a brass ferule to locate the inner cable. It was usually placed at the speedo end so that the inner could not slip all the way through and out as in your case. That is the end to grind down and 1 - 2 mm would usually be plenty. Grinding the other end may not relieve the pressure on the end with the ferule if it is the problem where as grinding the end with the ferule will relieve the tension on both.
  11. Fair enough, probably better to do it properly. I will be interested to hear if the new cable assembly (inner and outer) has the same issue though, i.e. having to leave the nut not done up fully in order for the speedo to work correctly.

  12. Started 07:30, finished 08:40. Removed both seats, tank, replaced cable, reinstalled everything and went for a 10 minute ride. Fookin' mint :)

    EDIT: Both nuts are now fully tightened. Wheel end is spanner tight, speedo end is finger-tight, but all the way on rather than barely hanging on by a couple of turns. Looks like the previous sheath was just a bit too short for the cable. Shrug.
  13. I love it when a plan comes together!

    • Like Like x 1
  14. For some weird reason the ferule on the VStar is located at the wheel end which means the cable quite happily slips out if it becomes detached. I really hope nobody behind me copped a faceful of cable last weekend >.<

    Anyway, the job's done now and the new cable seems to fit perfectly so I guess the last one was just a bit NQR. Maybe the previous owner had replaced the inner cable at some point and done a half-arsed job of it, or... who knows?
  15. Hi Gobbers, it sounds like when you put the cable in the first time the square drive on the cable didn't line up with the square drive in the speedo. this results in exactly the problem you had. the trick is to turn the cable by hand as you feed it in the last half an inch, or push it in and out a couple of times till you feel it go in all the way.
    All is done and working so it doesn't matter any more.Having said all that i wish i hadn't cause the problem is all fixed. I'll shut up now.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Somewhat suspicious having someone with the username of HOTROD post the following advice

    • Funny Funny x 1
  17. Ya gotta work up to these things. Cant rush it.
  18. There are no words, mate. No words at all :) I'm wetting myself.