Motorcycle Gauges & Instruments FAQ
Is a speedometer a legal requirement on a motorcycle?
No, it is not. Most states require that the motorcycle has brakes, a mirror and lights, but a speedometer or a tachometer are not typically required. It is difficult to ride without a speedometer simply because you have to obey speed limits. If you don’t have to obey speed limits, then you tend to ride at the speed that suits whatever you are doing and the terrain you are riding on. There are many Speedometer apps available for smartphones, so an alterative to a traditional speedometer is simply a cell phone mount on your handlebars. This can allow you to track your speed, distance, and use navigation while riding.
What is the difference between mechanical or electric gauges?
Mechanical gauges use gears and typically a rotating cable to determine the number of rotations of the wheel. The size of the mechanical gear and the number of teeth on the gear is mathematically calculated to determine the speed. Electronic gauges use sensors to accomplish the same task. These sensors usually involve a pick-up and a magnet that sends a signal to a computer on the motorcycle. The number of signals is translated to a speed reading or measurement that is displayed by your speedometer.
What is the difference between an tachometer and a speedometer?
A tachometer measures the speed of the engine. RPM stands for revolutions per minute and this is unit of measure the tachometer typically uses. A tachometer uses and electronic pule to determine how many times the ignition fires per minute. A speedometer measure how much distance is covered in a time span. MPH stands for miles per hour and KPH stands for kilometers per hour. A speedometer will measure distance by using a mechanical method, or an electronic method to determine the wheel revolutions. An electronic speedometer will use a pick-up on the wheel or inside the transmission to determine the wheel revolutions. A mechanical speedometer will use gears and a cable to accomplish the same job.