Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

Have you ever experienced issues with your Harley Speedo/Tach combo? It can be frustrating when these essential instruments on your motorcycle aren’t working properly. In this article, we will discuss some common problems that Harley riders encounter with their Speedo/Tach combos and offer some potential solutions to help you get back on the road smoothly. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the possible causes behind these problems and how to address them effectively.

One common issue that riders may face with their Harley Speedo/Tach combo is incorrect readings or erratic behavior. You may notice that the speedometer displays a speed that doesn’t match your actual speed or the tachometer jumps around unpredictably. This can be both inconvenient and unsafe, as it affects your ability to accurately monitor your speed and engine RPM. Fortunately, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to determine the cause of this issue and find a suitable solution.

Another problem that can arise with Harley Speedo/Tach combos is a complete loss of functionality. Your instruments may stop working altogether, leaving you without any way to gauge your speed or engine RPM. This can be particularly problematic during rides, as you won’t have the necessary information to ensure a safe and smooth journey. In such cases, it’s important to quickly identify the root cause of the problem and seek the appropriate fix to restore the functionality of your Speedo/Tach combo.

In addition to the aforementioned issues, some Harley riders may also encounter difficulties with the backlighting of their Speedo/Tach combos. The lighting may be dim, flickering, or even completely non-functional, making it challenging to read the instrument cluster under certain lighting conditions. This can be a nuisance and negatively impact your riding experience. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address this problem and improve the visibility of your Speedo/Tach combo.

Overall, Harley Speedo/Tach combo problems can be frustrating but rest assured there are solutions available. In the following article, we will delve deeper into each of these issues, providing more detailed explanations and potential solutions. Whether you’re facing incorrect readings, a complete loss of functionality, or backlighting problems, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and find out how to tackle these Harley Speedo/Tach combo problems head-on.

Common Issues with Harley Speedo/Tach Combo

The Harley Speedo/Tach Combo is a crucial component of your motorcycle’s instrument cluster, providing you with important information about your speed and engine RPM. However, like any other mechanical device, it can face various problems over time that may affect its accuracy and functionality. In this article, we will discuss some common issues you may encounter with your Harley Speedo/Tach Combo, their possible causes, troubleshooting methods, and how to prevent them in the future.

Intermittent Reading Errors

One of the most frustrating problems you may experience with your Harley Speedo/Tach Combo is intermittent reading errors. This means that the speedometer or tachometer may randomly stop displaying accurate readings, causing confusion and making it difficult to monitor your speed or engine RPM. This issue can be both dangerous and bothersome, as it may lead to improper gear shifting or unawareness of your current speed.

Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

Inaccurate Readings

Another common problem is inaccurate readings from the Harley Speedo/Tach Combo. This occurs when the displayed speed or engine RPM does not match the actual values. Inaccurate readings can be a serious safety concern, especially when you rely on your motorcycle’s instruments for precise information while riding. It can lead to over-revving or riding at inappropriate speeds, potentially causing accidents or damage to your bike.

Flickering Display

A flickering display is another issue that Harley riders may encounter with their Speedo/Tach Combo. This problem manifests as a rapid and sporadic blinking of the display, making it challenging to read the information provided by the instruments. A flickering display can be distracting and hinder your ability to focus on the road ahead, which can compromise your safety while riding.

Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

Causes of Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

Now that we have identified the common issues, let’s explore some of the possible causes behind these problems.

Faulty Speedometer or Tachometer Sensors

One of the primary causes of Harley Speedo/Tach Combo problems is faulty sensors. The sensors are responsible for sensing the motion of your motorcycle and translating it into speed or RPM readings. Over time, these sensors may become worn out or damaged, leading to intermittent or inaccurate readings. If you suspect a faulty sensor, it is essential to have it checked and replaced by a professional mechanic.

Electrical Wiring Problems

Electrical wiring issues can also contribute to problems with your Speedo/Tach Combo. Loose or corroded connections, frayed wires, or faulty wiring harnesses can disrupt the signals between the sensors and the instrument cluster. This can result in intermittent or inaccurate readings, as well as a flickering display. Thoroughly inspecting and repairing any electrical wiring problems can help resolve these issues.

Software Glitches

Modern motorcycles, including Harley Davidson models, often rely on advanced software systems to process and display the information provided by the Speedo/Tach Combo. Software glitches or bugs can cause the instrument cluster to behave erratically or display incorrect readings. In such cases, updating or resetting the software may be necessary to resolve the problem. Consult your motorcycle’s user manual or seek professional assistance to perform this task effectively.

Troubleshooting Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

Now that we know the potential causes of the issues, let’s discuss some troubleshooting methods you can undertake to address them.

Inspect and Clean Sensors

Start by visually inspecting the sensors located on your motorcycle. Look for any signs of damage, corrosion, or loose connections. If you notice any issues, clean the affected area using a mild cleaning agent and a soft cloth. Ensure that the sensors are properly aligned and securely fastened. Additionally, check the wiring connected to these sensors for any visible damage or loose connections.

Check Electrical Connections

Verify the electrical connections between the Speedo/Tach Combo and the rest of the motorcycle’s electrical system. Start by disconnecting the battery to prevent any electrical shock or damage. Inspect the wiring harnesses for frayed wires, corrosion, or loose connections. Clean the connections using electrical contact cleaner and tighten any loose connections.

Update or Reset Software

If you suspect that the problem may be due to a software glitch, check if there are any available updates for your motorcycle’s instrument cluster. Visit the Harley Davidson website or consult your local dealership to find the latest software version for your specific model. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to update the software properly. If an update does not resolve the issue, consider performing a reset on the instrument cluster as a last resort. Again, consult your motorcycle’s user manual or seek professional help for guidance on how to perform a reset correctly.

Replacing Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Components

In some cases, troubleshooting may not be enough to fix the problems with your Harley Speedo/Tach Combo. If you have exhausted all possible solutions and the issues persist, you may need to replace certain components.

Purchasing Compatible Replacement Parts

When it comes to replacing components in your motorcycle’s instrument cluster, it is crucial to purchase compatible replacement parts. Consult your motorcycle’s user manual or approach a reputable Harley Davidson dealer to ensure you obtain the correct components for your specific model and version of the Speedo/Tach Combo.

Disconnecting and Removing Old Unit

Before replacing the Speedo/Tach Combo, disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical mishaps. Next, remove any necessary fairings or covers that may be obstructing access to the instrument cluster. Unscrew or unfasten the mounting screws or clips holding the Speedo/Tach Combo in place. Disconnect any electrical connectors attached to the unit.

Installing and Calibrating New Unit

Once you have removed the old unit, carefully install the new Speedo/Tach Combo by reversing the steps taken to remove the old one. Ensure that the unit is securely fastened and aligned correctly. Connect the necessary electrical connectors and reattach any fairings or covers that were removed. After installation, it may be necessary to calibrate the new unit to ensure accurate readings. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional mechanic for guidance on the calibration process.

Preventing Future Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

While some Speedo/Tach Combo problems may be inevitable due to wear and tear over time, there are several measures you can take to prevent them from occurring or returning in the future.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning of your motorcycle, including the Speedo/Tach Combo, can significantly extend its lifespan and prevent potential problems. Follow the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer and regularly clean the instrument cluster using a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth. Removing dirt, dust, and grime can help maintain the accuracy of the readings and reduce the risk of sensor or wiring issues.

Avoiding Water and Moisture Exposure

Water and moisture can damage the delicate components of your Speedo/Tach Combo and cause malfunctions. Avoid riding in heavy rain or through deep puddles whenever possible. If your motorcycle does get wet, dry it thoroughly afterward using a cloth or a gentle stream of compressed air. Applying a waterproof sealant to the electrical connectors can also provide additional protection against water damage.

Keeping Connections Secure

Regularly inspect and tighten any electrical connections associated with the Speedo/Tach Combo. Vibrations and constant movement during riding can cause connections to become loose over time. Tightening them periodically can help prevent intermittent or inaccurate readings.

Consulting a Professional Mechanic

While troubleshooting and replacing components yourself can be a viable option for some riders, there are instances where it is best to consult a professional mechanic.

When DIY Methods Fail

If you have tried multiple troubleshooting methods and the problems persist, it may be time to seek professional assistance. A mechanic with specific expertise in motorcycle instrument clusters can diagnose and resolve complex issues that may require specialized equipment or knowledge.

Complex Electrical Troubleshooting

If you are unfamiliar with electrical systems and troubleshooting, it is advisable to leave complex electrical issues to the professionals. Working with electrical components can be dangerous, and improper handling may lead to further damage or injury.

Specialized Equipment and Knowledge

Some diagnostic procedures or repairs may require specialized equipment or knowledge that only professional mechanics possess. It is essential to assess your own capabilities and limitations when it comes to motorcycle repairs and know when to seek expert help.

Relevant Safety Considerations

When addressing Harley Speedo/Tach Combo problems or performing any maintenance on your motorcycle, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some important safety considerations:

Disconnecting Battery

Before working on any electrical components, always disconnect the battery to prevent electrical shock or damage. Refer to your motorcycle’s user manual for specific instructions on disconnecting and reconnecting the battery safely.

Using Proper Tools and Techniques

Use the appropriate tools and techniques for any repair or maintenance tasks. Using improper tools or techniques may lead to damage to your motorcycle or injury to yourself.

Following Manufacturer Guidelines

Refer to your motorcycle’s user manual and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for any repairs, maintenance, or troubleshooting procedures. The manual provides valuable information tailored to your specific motorcycle model and can help ensure you perform tasks correctly and safely.

Costs Associated with Harley Speedo/Tach Combo Problems

Addressing Harley Speedo/Tach Combo problems can involve certain costs, depending on the severity of the issues and the necessary repairs. Here are some potential costs you may incur:

Diagnostic Fees

If you decide to consult a professional mechanic, they may charge diagnostic fees to identify the root cause of the problems. Diagnostic fees can vary depending on the mechanic’s expertise and the complexity of the issue.

Replacement Parts

If you need to replace any components within the Speedo/Tach Combo, you will incur costs for purchasing compatible replacement parts. The prices of these parts can vary depending on the specific model and version of your motorcycle’s instrument cluster.

Labor Costs

If you hire a professional mechanic to perform repairs or replace components, you will also have to consider labor costs. The labor costs can vary depending on the mechanic’s rates and the duration of the repair or replacement process.


Addressing and resolving Harley Speedo/Tach Combo problems is crucial for ensuring accurate readings and reliable performance while riding. By understanding the common issues, potential causes, and troubleshooting methods, you can effectively tackle these problems as they arise. It is essential to take proper care of your Speedo/Tach Combo through regular maintenance and cleaning, avoid water and moisture exposure, and secure electrical connections. However, when troubleshooting becomes complex or beyond your capabilities, do not hesitate to consult a professional mechanic who possesses the expertise and specialized equipment to address the issues effectively. By taking the necessary precautions and properly maintaining your instrument cluster, you can enjoy accurate readings and a trouble-free riding experience.

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