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kawasaki 454 Ltd speedo and tach question

Wstar425 Mar 15, 2009

  1. Wstar425

    Wstar425 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, Kawasaki gurus, here is your chance to strut your stuff!


    Bought a 1985 Kawasaki 454 Ltd for one of the wife's girlfriends last summer. The speedo would come and go, finally it quit and found the cable broken at the front wheel. Replaced that and it worked up into the fall. I picked the bike up for the winter and she told me that the tach and "maybe" the speedo had quit. I take care of the bike, and have it in the shop now getting it ready for summer. When I drove it in the shop last fall I noticed that neither the tach nor the speedo worked. Pulled the cables off the meters last fall, and again now. Both cables were turning with the engine and front tire. Took it for a short drive and about 4-5 miles in they both started working at exactly the same time. I was a little shocked to be honest. Took a couple of rides on it today and they are still both working. They are both cable drive so for them to both start working at the same time is strange and leads me to think something electrical. But I don't know what that would be. I didn't notice anything else not working, or start working at the same time. It has three fuses by the horn, none of them say tach/speedo.

    I know the tach will not spin on the V65 if you roll the front tire. I don't know why, nor will it turn on this bike by spinning the front tire. Any ideas? Can the gauges be cable driven but electrical somehow? I just don't quite know where to look, hard to fix something that comes and goes while it is working. I do not have a service manual.

    Thanks for any ideas. This is her first bike, she never started riding until late in the summer, so trading it in is not really an option yet.

    It is also getting a new front tire, probably a Dunlop D404 due to price. But also looking at the Pirelli MT66. Anyone ever use this tire? Bridgestone Spitfire S11, Maxxis M6102 and Dunlop F24 also have sizes that fit along with a lot of more $$$ tires. 100/90-19 Those are all under $60.00. I don't think she is ever going to be pushing the handling envelope of the bike, at least intentionally. Anyone have a yay or nay on any of those, I would appreciate an opinion. I kind of like the looks of the Pirrelli myself, but I have a couple of 404's on my bikes and they are ok. I've never ridden on any expensive rubber or radials so have nothing to compare to. It has some cheap Kendra on the back, and will be getting new rear probably next summer.

    Also looking for OEM rear turn signals, they are $60.00 or more each new. That's not happening, so will go aftermarket unless somebody has some around they are dying to get rid of. It is a nice little bike, has a surprising amount of get up and go. Jumps up to 80 right away with no problems. Seems like a good bike to learn on.

    Ok, done.
     
  2. zlMark

    zlMark Cult Leader

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    Man that is a real problem and I can only think that it was coincidence that they both came on at the same time. I always wanted one of those. Did you see the article on the 454 LTD vs 454 Vette in the articles section?
     
  3. Wstar425

    Wstar425 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I've read that. It is a snappy little bike. A bit small for a
    6' 2", 225#er. but rideable. It jumps right up to 80 miles an hour and I've read on the 454 board that it has a top speed of about 110, tho I don't think I would want to go that fast on it. Runs well enough for the Interstate though, if you had to. Seems like an ideal bike to learn on so far.

    The front tire has a VERY pronounced ridge running right down the center of the tire. I've never seen anything like it, maybe 3/8 inch tall. It looks like both sides were worn, but NOT the center. When you lean it gets to a certain place, then wants to fall over. Pretty sure it is the tire, some Exedura thing or something like that, I believe.

    I would like to figure out what is going on with the meters before I give it back to her, but has me stumped so far. I just came in from starting it, the tach is working this am still.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  4. CHRIS

    CHRIS ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

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    wish i could help you out here, but never had this problem. CHRIS
     
  5. Wstar425

    Wstar425 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am wrong about the tach. I went out and jacked it up again, and if I spin the front tire it does in fact make the tack move. So, I guess it is strictly a mechanical tach. Which makes me even more confused. I happened to be looking at the gauges when they both jumped from zero to the working reading, and I about drove off the road.
     
  6. zlMark

    zlMark Cult Leader

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    Since when does a tach have anything to do with the front wheel?
     
  7. Wstar425

    Wstar425 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't I say I was confused??? :rotf:I'm glad to see that someone is reading my posts, and paying attention tho.

    Insert "speedo" wherever I said "tach" please, that is what I meant.

    Just got back from a 20 mile ride on the 454 and the wife on her 1100 Shadow. Got the Honda running today, and rode both back to back. I think the little 454 would keep up or maybe even take the Shadow in a race. A little less horsepower and half the weight. Both tach and speedo are working now, I don't know what it was but I am giving up until they quit again. Maybe I was seeing things????
     
  8. zlMark

    zlMark Cult Leader

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    I think it was the kawi gods getting back at you for the honda video :laughing7:
     
  9. AZBones

    AZBones Active Member

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    Tires:I've been told that most bike cruiser tires have a strip of harder compound rubber in the center of the face.That strip down the center of the tire tells me that it has been ran most of its life under inflated.A much shortened life.Some bikes are prone to front tire cupping.(feathering) especially Dunlops,and that is always caused by needing more air.My Vrod and GL1800 both need 4-5 lb more than advertised to keep from cupping.I've just gotten in the habit of bumping my fronts up on all of them. (Oh yeh,I am a tire pressure nut,check them on a fairly regular basis.)
     
  10. Wstar425

    Wstar425 Well-Known Member

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    I put it in the comedy section! Funny how the most popular video on the Kawasaki site is about a Honda..........just saying.......:rotf:

    Our son was here over the weekend and mentioned that he wants the ZL9 for the summer where he lives about 100 miles away. I was sort of dreading this day would come, he will be 19 in April. It really is his bike as it is the product of a couple of trade ups from his first bike, a Yamaha TTR125, for birthdays and jobs, etc. He has an apartment with a couple of guys now. I am a little concerned that he won't really take care of it, and also that he really has no clue how rare and how unique it is. He does have a garage and I told him ABSOLUTELY nobody else rides it except him. So, I guess I don't really have a choice with out being a big hypocrite. I have really come to love the ZL, it is the one I jump on first as long as I'm not going on a super long trip. Love the looks, love the sound. I will have a hard time keeping quiet if he doesn't take care of it. I asked him if he wanted the V65 project and he gave me the death stare. I can't really blame him.
     
  11. Rensaark

    Rensaark Member

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    Just bought an '87 454 LTD. Tach is not working either. Haven't figured it out, or did the 3 owners before me. Weird thing. Nice ride. Parts a hard to get up here for them. Any suggestion of good on line sites? I am in Canada. :hello:
     

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