One of my complaints with the looks of the Victory Cross Roads is the single gauge, somehow, this just does not appeal to me. In addition, the one mounted on my bike came crooked from the factory!
Fortunately, when I purchased my Vic, there was a $250 parts or accessories gift from Victory for anything from their catalog. The tachometer kit was about $200, so with it, and a billet license plate frame, my allowance was finished.
The hardest part of the install was removing the speedometer and bracket. It couldn’t be that complicated to remove, just two bolts under the handle bar clamps. Should be easy, yes?
No, the real issue was getting to the wire loom to disconnect the speedometer. The wires are all stuffed into the headlight shell, not hard to get to, and just four allen screws holding the top cover on. The top two were easy, a bit tight, but they came out, you just had to push down while turning.
(A cautionary note, cover the gas tank and fender with a layer or two of towels, to protect your paint if you drop a tool or part.)
The actual difficulty was with the bottom allen screws. They were hard to get to in the first place, AND they were overly tight! The image below shows me removing the screw with a standard allen wrench, but that was just to get the last few turns.
What you don’t see are the things I tried to even get the screw to budge. The allen wrench has to pass up through the turn signal bracket on it’s way to the screw. None of my standard allen wrenches were long enough. So, I went to Northern Tool and bought an extended shaft set. That took care of my reach problem, but, even with the wrench reaching the allen’s socket, I still could not get the screw to turn. Even putting a closed down crescent wrench on the short end as additional leverage didn’t work, all it did was twist the wrench shaft. We tried several combinations, sockets with allen ends, T handled allen sets, we would buy it, try it, then go buy more. In a last ditch effort, I started digging through my “orphan” set of allen wrenches. We have all bought something that needs assembling, and it come with one or more unmarked allen wrenches, right? Well, I keep those, in my tool box I have a large collection of “orphans,” I can’t count the number of times they have worked when nothing else would. Again, one of them was my salvation, I found one that fit the allen head, was short enough that it was above the signal stalk, and I could get a wrench on it to increase my leverage, but it still wasn’t easy. I had to push up on the wrench to keep it from walking out of the socket, and keep the crescent from slipping off, all at the same time. My shooting assistant had to hold the handle bars to keep the forks from turning, so no pics of this operation. When it broke loose it made a loud POP! Then it creaked for every turn on it’s way out. There was a good reason for that, the screw was corroded, this can happen even on a new bike.
The powdery white substance on the the threads is dissimilar metal corrosion, it’s caused by screwing a cheap plated fastener into an aluminum part. I have seen this before on motorcycles, and had to deal with it in the past. There are two ways to fix this, replace the fastener with a stainless item, or, use a coating on it, like anti seize paste.
Once the allen head screws were out, the top of the headlight came right off, inside are a bunch of wires and connectors.
The speedometer wires are easily disconnected. Then remove the two bolts at the handle bar riser, the speedo comes off, and you are ready to add parts.
The tachometer kit is pretty straight forward, there are some things you take apart, and you put them some place else along with the new parts. The thing you have to be careful with is the rubber rings holding the speedo and tach to the mounting frame. The rings have indexing notches in them that align the instruments to the frame, clocking them correctly. That is where something went wrong in the process of installing the speedo when my bike was built. If you look closely, you can see the old impression left by them missing the notch.
The little rubber grommets can be a bear to get apart, just take your time and work methodically. All of the rubber bits will slip together with some water from a spray bottle, you don’t have to soak it, just get it wet. When you are done, it will look like this, now you are ready to bolt it up.
Putting the new speedometer/tachometer cluster back is no big deal, just two bolts to secure it, and run the wires through the triple clamp openings.
Hooking up the wires is easy, it’s all automotive type connections. The connection for the speedometer you should know, the tach connection is one of the covered ones, just match it up. The hardest part is fussing with the wires to get them all neatly tucked in, when you are done, it will look like this.
Then all that is left is putting the top of the head light shell back on. Before you do, turn the key on and make sure the gauges work, if they are working, they will light up, and the needles will move slightly. Be sure to use a bit of anti seize paste on allen head screws and snug them well.
This looks so much better than the single speedo!
Next in this series: Little Red Riding Vic Part Four. I will be installing some chrome dress up bits, front tip over protection will be added, and there will be update shots of the bike.
Words By: Terry Cavender
Images By: Terry Cavender