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I just got back to Tennessee from my Key West ride (2080 miles roundtrip) with a buddy here at work. Beautiful place but crowded roads on the way in with miles and miles of stop and crawl traffic. I was so glad I had the ECM changed. We rode for a 50 minute stretch at 5 to 10 mph and the temp gauge never moved past the middle mark. Gas mileage still at 42 mpg. My buddy rides a Suzuki Intruder 1500 and at one gas stop we compared mileage. His took 2.9 gallons and mine took 2.6. He mentioned that we had gone exactly 100 miles since the last fillup and I told him my odo showed 109.2. When we got back on the interstate, I used the mile markers to check things out. Sure enough, when I passed the 10th mile marker, my odo said 10.9 miles. I guess I'm really only getting about 38.5 mpg in the real world. The speedometer error never bothered me much until I realized that I am racking up alot more mileage on the odomter than the bike has really traveled! By my calculation, I have 11,260 showing on my bike but I've really only gone 10,134. It's hard to believe that Honda can't get it closer than that on their flagship. Of course we did have the weld and ECM issues and those were surprising too. So, we are all losing value in our Wings with more mileage showing than the bike has traveled. I remember somebody saying something about a fix here on the board. Can somebody point me in the right direction?
 
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Known problem. There's several solutions that folks use. The most common one I hear about is called "yellow box". Do a search and you'll find lots of info on it.
 

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Yellow Box <www.blackrobotics.com/desc.htm>
 

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Wingosilver57:

Yes, everone's is off. Both of my previous Kawasaki 1500's
had the same, one worse. What is up Japan? It is one of the
areas H-D delivers better I guess. It seems like such an easy
thing to fix, but Honda doesn't care about Speedos it appears.

I watched the 30 minutes segment about 2004 Goldwings
on the History channel the other week. One guy's job is to
Dyno the bike. When he said everything fell into the
specifications, in my head I said "Oh, that means the Speedo
is just 5MPH off."

It is a great bike. I really enjoy, but that speedo is irritating.

Keep Riding It!
 

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This speedo error problem is a real pain in the ass. Mine is off about 6-7% and drives me nuts. You eyeball the speedo, see 60 mph and think there is no problem on a 55 mph road, but you are really going 55 and everyone else wants to run up your mudflap for poking along.

Another thing is that I like to use the state DOT yellow recommended speed for curves by multiplying by 1 1/2. But all the math necessary to get this right on an 1800 usually takes more time than you have, i.e., 35 mph recommendation means going in at about 52 real mph, but your speedo will be at least 6% higher, so its 52x1.06=55 indicated.

The good news is that I won't have to take it into the dealer for the 32,000 mile service/valve adj. until I show 34,000 miles on it.

I really don't feel like throwing more than $100 at this issue. Maybe I'll just use a larger tire at the next replacement.

Geeze,
 

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the speedo issue doesn't really bother me but I suspect the next time they come out with a new wing the speedometer will be more accurate. Why? because of way to many complaints. Have no doubt Honda could have made this one accurate but choose not to, This is another case where the internet will effect bussiness practices for the better in the long run.
 

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the speedo issue doesn't really bother me but I suspect the next time they come out with a new wing the speedometer will be more accurate.
Since almost all motorcycles have about the same error, and have for a long time, 30 years that I personally know of, I don't think they will change anything in the near future. The only chance we have of seeing that improve is if the government gets the idea and specifies that all vehicles speedos must be accurate within 1%, then it will change. The reason why I say all vehicles, there was an article in Car & Driver magazine a while back, it seems quite a few cars don't have accurate speedos either, and the higher priced cars, Mercedes, BMW etc, were the worst offenders. I'm not a big fan of Harley, but one thing can be said for them, they are one of the very few motorcycles that have an accurate speedo.
 

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Wingman26 said:
"Since almost all motorcycles have about the same error"

Sorry, just gotta disagree here!!

My 1800 odo is off, just like everyone, by about 4.5%. My speedo is off by about 6.5-7%. Well, it WAS off by that amount, until I calibrated the odo.

My 1500 speedo and odo are just about spot on - the odo is off by less than 0.1 miles in a 100 mile run.

For my money, Jim Ahlman's speedo correection unit is the way to go.

http://www.onlineparts.com/AHLMAN+ELECT ... ON+(RECAL1).html

Roy
 

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... and it would also be hard to legislate speedo accuracy when a simple change in tires affects it ....
 

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What kind of "taller" back tire is there that fits
the original rim? I am approaching 11,000 miles,
so I will request that tire be ordered at my dealer.
I still want the softest, fastest wearing tire on the
front for grip?
 

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cycledude said: the speedo issue doesn't really bother me but I suspect the next time they come out with a new wing the speedometer will be more accurate.
I said: Since almost all motorcycles have about the same error...
IronButt said: Sorry, just gotta disagree here!!
My 1800 odo is off, just like everyone, by about 4.5%...
I was specifically talking about the speedo, not the odometer, I didn't even comment on the odometer in my post, however most bikes odos are within 1-2%, which is less than the odo error on the 1800.

If your 1500's speedo was spot on, you probably had the only one, most 1500's speedos read about 4-5 mph fast at 70 mph, just like almost all other motorcycles. 3 or 4 years ago there was a fad about putting digital bicycle speedometers on the 1500's so you could get an accurate speed readout. I did that along with a quite a few other people, just to find out exactly how much speedo error I had. My GL1500 at 65 indicated, I was doing 61-62 actual, in Motorcycle Consumer News tests, the GL1800 at 65 indicated was doing 61.5, pretty close to the same error, the odometer was in the +1-2% error range. Just for information here are some other bikes errors from Motorcycle Consumer News testing.

All at indicated 65 mph
2004 Ducati Multistrada--60.9
2003 Kawasaki ZR1000-A1--59.5
2003 Suzuki SV1000S--59.4
2003 Kawasaki 1600 Classic--59.3
2003 Suzuki SV650S--61.2
2003 Honda ST1300--61.5
2003 Ducati 999--61.92
2003 BMW R1200CLC--60.2
2002 BMW R1150RS--61.0
2002 Kawasaki ZX-9R--61.0
2002 Yamaha YZF-R1--60.2
 

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Roy,
I'm with you...my 1500 was dead on. That led to a lot of discussions with other Jap bike owners, who would whine that we were going too fast, based on their erroneous speedos. Thanks for the reference for correction. I've been wearing my sliderule out trying to do all the conversions. You must be glad to be back from CA, now that its winter.

The story I heard was that the 1800 was really designed for a larger rear tire, but I don't know how to understand the tire jargon, so can't tell which one, maybe the Valkyrie rear tire.
 

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I must be doing something wrong. All original equipment and the mile markers are right on with 60 Miles an hour taking a minute per mile. Additionally there are at least 5 jurisdictions here that use the stand alone radar units with your speed readout and they all have shown my speed to be right on.
 

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We did a trip this past summer with the other bike being a 99 Valk...Well he hated following me as I was always going to slow for him He liked driving 5 MPR over or more and my bike was 6 to 7% off and I like to ride at or just below the posted speed limit. After driving thru a few of those road side speed tests I now drive at least 5 MPR over posted and am where I want to be.
 

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I seem to recall the 'other tire' size as a 180/70/R16 Avon as used on a Valkyrie. 8)
 

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Not a biggie for me

I wish the speedometer and odometer were correct, but I don't let them bother me and I surely am not going to spend more money on this vs. light and chrome and paint. I know that it is normally about 5mph slow, so it is easy to run 5mph over. Plus, I have my SPIII right in front of me and it gives me the correct speed, that way I can make sure that I never go over the speed limit (heh, heh). As for the mileage, I know its off but just don't pay any attention to it. Guess I'm lucky.
 

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You should find the Speedo is in the 10% range (fast) innacurate and the ODO is 4% off (high)
 

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Last summer I did a 200 mile test comparing my odometer/speedometer to my Garmin GPS. At the end of the test, I discovered that both of them were optimistic by 5%. In Montana, the daytime speed limit is 75 MPH on interstate hiways and 70 MPH on secondary hiways. I simply set the cruise 5 MPH faster. To check fuel mileage, 5% is pretty easy to figure in your head.
 

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speedo error

I did some testing on the 01 when I got it. Using measured 10 mile length of Interstate 5, I got 10.5+ on the odometer. The GPS V gave me a 10.0 -right on - figure. I also did the same thing just before I changed the tires, and the odometer came up with 10.9. So, tire wear is a pretty large factor. As to the measured miles at 60 (1 mile per minute), I have to hold the bike at about 65 to 66 to make the markers go by one per minute. And that agrees with the GPS V.

I thought about the yellow boxes, but figured I can just add a little Kentucky windage in the readings, and be close enough. Anyway, I'm just sniffing roses, not surveying.

I did watch a sale of a bike go sour because of one of those boxes. The guy looking at the bike said, "No, thanks. I don't know how many miles are on the bike now. They can be set so nothing registers." He also said HD won't warranty any bike with one of those on. I just took his word for it - I didn't figure HD warrantied much, anyway.
 

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Re: speedo error

IR Harry said:
...
I did watch a sale of a bike go sour because of one of those boxes. The guy looking at the bike said, "No, thanks. I don't know how many miles are on the bike now. They can be set so nothing registers." ....


In all actuality, you can disconnect the plug to shortchange mileage and not even fool with spending the bucks to get a speed correction device. It is not hard to do, and you only have to take off an engine cover and loosen the right side of the shelter. This is where Jim's speedo correction plugs in (as well as the Yellow Box if you order the three wire plug from EC). This allows the box to be removed without any evidence it was there. The problem is with Honda and other manufactures to create a market for speed correction devices. Making these boxes illegal would also require certified accurate speedometers from the manufacture and make tire size changing illegal unless re certified as accurate. Doing the first without the other would be just like allowing merchants to sell you a box picturing a 42" plasma TV as a 42" plasma TV yet it contains a 35" TV and not call it fraud and not allow any recourse for getting the 42" that you paid for.
 
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