Author Topic: Digital gear indicator  (Read 6903 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AirMonger

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 10838
  • Membership Level: Active
Digital gear indicator
« on: January 18, 2014, 09:04:25 pm »
Has anyone made use of the Chinese made digital gear indicators sold on eBay for 15-20 dollars? I did a topic search and nothing surfaced. These are magnetically triggered and appear to need little more than a fabricated mount plate and some of your time to wire it up. Just curious as I would like to install one on my daughters Ninja 500 and if that test mule is promising, then possible my other bikes. Looks very simple indeed.
"It usually takes 20 years before people begin to appreciate a good design." Kevin Cameron

Offline RWulf

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1842
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7122
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 10:22:59 pm »
Go for it! If it works like it should Let us know.
I am always checking to see if there is one more gear.

Offline Mcfly

  • Stayin' for the people....
  • Iron Butt
  • *****
  • Posts: 3962
  • What've I done!?
  • AREA: Southeast Area
  • COG#: 9921
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 09:53:26 pm »
Only thing I heard was they occasionally require re-calibration.  It wasn't reported
as a 'problem' per say, just every now and again the pick-ups miss a shift.  This was
just one person's report.  Looks like a neat farkel.
2016 BMW S1000XR Premium in Alpine White aka 'Spooky'

SOLD: 2006 Concours aka "Connie"

FL/SE Assistant Area Director

Offline RWulf

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1842
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7122
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 02:41:38 pm »
For some reason I can't seem to find it on eBay.
Ant more details?

Offline works4me

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 827
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 10594
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 05:22:09 pm »
Yeah, try Amazon:

6 Speed Red Universal Digital Gear Indicator for Motorcycle Display Shift Level Sensor:Amazon:Car Electronics

Sorry if linky no worky.

Offline Piston720

  • Scooter
  • ***
  • Posts: 262
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 10213
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 04:27:15 pm »
I bought the 6 speed indicator a last year and have only hooked up and powered the display. Mounted just below the ignition key.
Magnet system is sitting under the seat waiting for me to complete it.
I will probably revisit it again once the garage gets a little warmer.

Offline COG-528

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Tilting horizons since 1982.
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 03:23:39 am »
I'm awakening this topic from its slumber to see if anyone finally installed a gear indicator on a C-10.  I've been riding C-10s since 1990 and thought from the very beginning that having a gear indicator like I had on my prior Suzuki motors would be a good thing, especially with the six speed transmission.  Sure I got used to not having one but always thought it was something I wanted. 

Now that I'm switching back and forth between a FeeJR with an indicator and the C-10 I really miss the convenience of being able to confirm what gear I'm in by looking at the display.  Yes in casual riding a quick glance at the Tach & Speedo allows you to make an educated guess.  But if you have the engine wound up it is much harder to make that educated guess and a gear indicator display would be very helpful. 

So has anyone installed one of these cheap Universal (magnetic senor based) Digital Gear Indicators that are available on ebay?  This particular preceding example is for a seller in Albany, NY.  Most are coming directly from China.


Mike Aldea, COG-528
Hawthorne, NJ   


Touring broadens horizons . . . Sports Touring tilts them!

Offline PaulP

  • Software Engineer
  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • An armed society is a polite society.
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 12:26:50 pm »
I like the idea, but it seems they should also sample the neutral indicator so they can automatically recalibrate in the case of a missed shift. I've thought of making my own, but haven't had the time. Reading the speed and engine RPMs would also help to detect missing shifts, but that's probably overkill.
Current: 2006 Concours (Connie Mae)
Previous: 1988 K100LT, 1982 GPZ550

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 01:19:39 pm »
I like the idea, but it seems they should also sample the neutral indicator so they can automatically recalibrate in the case of a missed shift. I've thought of making my own, but haven't had the time. Reading the speed and engine RPMs would also help to detect missing shifts, but that's probably overkill.

I've looked at them on Amazon and considered it, but  the drawbacks like this have kept me from installing one.

Problems I see:
Not the most attractive little bugger, so integrating it into the dash is a challenge.

"Positive" Neutral Finder - it ain't quite so positive as it is ambivalent. Miss finding neutral and the gear indicator is wrong.

Light Shifts - pull/push on the shifter gently (and still shift) and it may not register

I think it'll work fine, just that you'd want a way to have a reset while riding - maybe a button on the indicator you could press when stopped in first gear to reset it to indicate first. Too bad these transmissions don't have any kind of external switches like automotive transmissions (which often have a reverse switch or a neutral switch, which are used for revers lights and the neutral safety to prevent starting). Those could be used to help reset on the fly.


Offline RWulf

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1842
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7122
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2014, 01:20:45 pm »
I jumped on this. Installed this past winter. Had to build a plate to hold
the hall sensors. It works and yes it gets out of sync. When it does I just
shift up to 6th and shift up until the display reads 6th. It does not seem to
indicate neutral or make any difference when hook to the green wire from
the neutral switch. I road with it to the national and back and really like it.
Another farkel I am not giving up.

Offline Outback Jon

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2206
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 9506
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2014, 10:04:30 pm »
Reading the speed and engine RPMs would also help to detect missing shifts, but that's probably overkill.
There are some out there that do that, but unfortunately, they only work with electronic speedometers.

I remember seeing one a few years ago that used the tach signal and a magnet with a pickup on the rear wheel.  After one time through the gears, it would remember the ratios and you'd be all set, no matter the gear.  Though I don't think it would give an accurate indication when stopped, as it needed the rear wheel rotation.  It would keep you from looking for 7th gear though, which is all I'd really want it for anyway.
"Outback Jon" Gould *** South Cairo, NY *** COG #9506 *** 2006 C10 "Blueline" *** CDA #0157 
2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited - "Outback's Outback"

Offline COG-528

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Tilting horizons since 1982.
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2014, 12:40:34 am »
I jumped on this. Installed this past winter. Had to build a plate to hold the hall sensors.  It works and yes it gets out of sync.  When it does I just shift up to 6th and shift up until the display reads 6th.  It does not seem to indicate neutral or make any difference when hook to the green wire from the neutral switch.  I road with it to the national and back and really like it.

Another farkel I am not giving up.

There appear to be a number of similar, if not the exact same, units available.  Some which say to wire it to the Neutral light to get a display of '0' for neutral.  There seem to be similar units available from different sellers through Amazon and ebay at similar prices.  Whom did you buy yours from? 

I found a more expensive solution from the UK.  The AcuTrac Digital Gear Indicator which works with a speed sensing module to read wheel speed the same way an ABS system does.  It is nice but about $215.  :(
Mike Aldea, COG-528
Hawthorne, NJ   


Touring broadens horizons . . . Sports Touring tilts them!

Offline RWulf

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1842
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7122
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2014, 12:58:46 pm »
I just ordered another one from the link on the first page
of this post. Order detail show the seller as lsalylsaly(774).
I guess it was not the first page but the link in blue.

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2014, 02:17:37 pm »
I jumped on this. Installed this past winter. Had to build a plate to hold
the hall sensors. It works and yes it gets out of sync. When it does I just
shift up to 6th and shift up until the display reads 6th.
[/b] It does not seem to
indicate neutral or make any difference when hook to the green wire from
the neutral switch. I road with it to the national and back and really like it.
Another farkel I am not giving up.

Ok, NOW I'm sold - such a simple solution to the registration issue.

Offline COG-528

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Tilting horizons since 1982.
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2014, 03:51:52 pm »
I jumped on this. Installed this past winter. Had to build a plate to hold
the hall sensors. It works and yes it gets out of sync. When it does I just
shift up to 6th and shift up until the display reads 6th.
[/b] It does not seem to
indicate neutral or make any difference when hook to the green wire from
the neutral switch. I road with it to the national and back and really like it.
Another farkel I am not giving up.

Ok, NOW I'm sold - such a simple solution to the registration issue.

Be sure you read the fine print when buying one of these units.  Some are designed to work with up to 8 speed transmissions.  That would suggest you could accidentally get it out of sync so that the indicator is reading 7 / 8 and you would have to shift all the way back down to first to get it back in sync.  In real world usage that might not be a problem but it is still something to consider.  Personally I would look to buy one that only indicates for 6 speeds just to be safe.
Mike Aldea, COG-528
Hawthorne, NJ   


Touring broadens horizons . . . Sports Touring tilts them!

Offline PaulP

  • Software Engineer
  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • An armed society is a polite society.
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2014, 12:34:24 pm »
I have been thinking about this more and I realized that you don't need the speed to recognize shift failure; just monitoring the RPM would be enough. After a successful up-shift the RPM should drop, at least initially. And the reverse for a down-shift, of course. I suppose during hard acceleration the dip would be smaller, but the characteristic high revs after a blown up-shift should be quite detectable. Even if not fool-proof, it would still be better than just relying on the shifter pedal switches. It's easy to tap into the igniter outputs to get the engine RPM. I understand why the current designs use the hall-effect magnetic switches - no moving parts to get mucked up - I think good (sealed) mechanical switches would be more sensitive.

Maybe I'm giving this too much thought, but I'm an engineer and I like to solve problems when I run into them. And having to keep track of what gear I'm in is just one more distraction from driving that I'd like to eliminate.
Current: 2006 Concours (Connie Mae)
Previous: 1988 K100LT, 1982 GPZ550

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2014, 06:12:18 pm »
I have been thinking about this more and I realized that you don't need the speed to recognize shift failure; just monitoring the RPM would be enough. After a successful up-shift the RPM should drop, at least initially. And the reverse for a down-shift, of course. I suppose during hard acceleration the dip would be smaller, but the characteristic high revs after a blown up-shift should be quite detectable. Even if not fool-proof, it would still be better than just relying on the shifter pedal switches. It's easy to tap into the igniter outputs to get the engine RPM. I understand why the current designs use the hall-effect magnetic switches - no moving parts to get mucked up - I think good (sealed) mechanical switches would be more sensitive.

Maybe I'm giving this too much thought, but I'm an engineer and I like to solve problems when I run into them. And having to keep track of what gear I'm in is just one more distraction from driving that I'd like to eliminate.

Yep, overthinking a solution for a problem that's easy to resolve by buying a new bike!  >:D

Ideally, the transmission would have a switch built in, then all of this is a non-issue. But of course us back-yard/shade-tree engineers can't expect to engineer a switch into the transmission (hmm..maybe get SiSF or Rev to work on it?).


Offline COG-528

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Tilting horizons since 1982.
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2014, 09:20:45 pm »
I jumped on this. Installed this past winter. Had to build a plate to hold
the hall sensors. It works and yes it gets out of sync. When it does I just
shift up to 6th and shift up until the display reads 6th. It does not seem to
indicate neutral or make any difference when hook to the green wire from
the neutral switch. I road with it to the national and back and really like it.
Another farkel I am not giving up.

RWulf can you post pictures of your installation?  I'm trying to figure out how hard it is going to be to make a mounting plate. 
Mike Aldea, COG-528
Hawthorne, NJ   


Touring broadens horizons . . . Sports Touring tilts them!

Offline AirMonger

  • Street Cruiser
  • ****
  • Posts: 535
  • AREA: South Central Area
  • COG#: 10838
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2014, 09:29:41 pm »
I guess I should be ashamed of myself because I started this thread, bought the indicator and the darned thing is laying in my "in" basket and I haven't made an attempt to install it. Been there since spring but with four other bikes, well you know................. :-[
"It usually takes 20 years before people begin to appreciate a good design." Kevin Cameron

Offline RWulf

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1842
  • AREA: North Central Area
  • COG#: 7122
  • Membership Level: Active
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2014, 01:41:14 pm »
Not good at posting pictures.
So what I did was use an aluminum plate 3/16".
Put hole in it to fit around the shifter shaft and use the bolt just behind the shifter shaft.
Used the bolt to hold the plate in place.
Used another aluminum peace bent in an "L" shape. Glued the magnet to the long end
of the "L" and used a hose clamp to hole it to the shift lever.
Mounted the Hall sensors on the plate at the end of the stroke of the magnet holding
"L" shaped peace.

It was not hard so go for it.

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2014, 01:59:39 pm »
Nice RW!

So will ya come back in a couple weeks and post a ride report on how it's working out? Pros/cons, that sort of thing.

Offline Derek

  • Road Bike
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: 11636
  • Membership Level: Asst. Area Director
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2014, 02:58:22 pm »
Any one have any comments on What color would be the more likely to be seen in the daylight?  Red... Blue or Green?

This is one of the things I miss from my 83 Sabre... not enough to go back of course. 

Planning to be one of many winter projects!
2010 C14 Concours
2004 C10 Concours (Lost a fight with a left turning car)
1983 Honda V45 Sabre (sold)
Ottawa, Ontario

Offline COG-528

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Tilting horizons since 1982.
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2014, 04:51:15 pm »
I would expect them all to be visible in daylight.  But the red should be better for riding after dark because it should not mess up your night vision.
Mike Aldea, COG-528
Hawthorne, NJ   


Touring broadens horizons . . . Sports Touring tilts them!

Offline JimBob

  • Sport Tourer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2833
  • Woman...WHOAAAA MAN!
  • AREA: Southwest Area
  • COG#: forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2014, 06:25:19 pm »
I would expect them all to be visible in daylight.  But the red should be better for riding after dark because it should not mess up your night vision.

I agree - in theory using red should help retain night vision...though i think the time we spend looking at the gauge probably doesn't make much difference.

Anecdote of the day - switched out my dashlights for blue led's...I need reading glasses in daylight to see the speedo/tach, but at night I can read them just fine without my glasses (but not the color gps right there). Must be something to do with the wavelength of blue not being as influenced by presbyopeia or my retina is more sensitive to blue...or some other weirdness.

Offline COG-528

  • Crotch Rocket
  • ****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Tilting horizons since 1982.
  • AREA: Northeast Area
  • COG#: Forum
  • Membership Level: Forum Subscriber
Re: Digital gear indicator
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2014, 09:15:26 pm »
Where did you get your blue LEDs for the dash lights?  I've been wanting some brighter dash lights for years.
Mike Aldea, COG-528
Hawthorne, NJ   


Touring broadens horizons . . . Sports Touring tilts them!