New Project Bike

1. Here's our new baby, a 2008 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy in copper pearl and black. As soon as we got home we washed the bike, looking it over closely.

2. Our first choice of accessories was the handlebar mounted clock and a combination speedometer/tachometer.

3. The new combo speedo/tach has all the standard features of the stock unit and a few more. There's the odometer with trip meters A and B, a clock (digital), and miles left in the gas tank function. The sixth gear indicator, high beam, engine warning light and security light round out the light-up functions.

4. We decided to start out easy with the handlebar-mounted clock. The clock mounts to the left-side clutch lever perch top screw, either screw will work, top or bottom, depending on what height handlebars are on your bike. We used a drop of thread locker on the threads and torqued the screw to 60-80 in-lb, after positioning the mounting bracket.

5. The stainless steel mounting screw comes with thread locker already applied to the threads. We slid the screw through the bracket and screwed the clock onto the threads until the screw was snug.

6. We then tightened the clock to where we wanted it. We sat on the bike with our hands on the bars and with a quick glance we could read the clock easily. Now we won't have to toggle through to the clock setting on the new speedo/tach to see when dinner is.

7. Next we were ready to swap out the speedo. You can order your new speedo/tach combination gauge with preset mileage.

8. To avoid doing something stupid, like shorting out a component, we disconnected the batteries ground cable from the battery terminal. All H-D battery cable bolts are metric with a 10mm head. Just to be safe, we placed a shop towel between the cable and the battery to prevent the cable from making contact with the terminal and possibly causing an arc.

9. Once the electricity was disconnected, we were ready to remove the dash. We began by removing the acorn nut and washer. With a blanket or a thick bath towel placed on the gas tank, we carefully pulled the dash up and off the center mounting stud and laid it over on the blanket.

10. The speedometer is held in place by a plastic ring that also locates the speedo in the correct orientation to the dash housing. There are three plastic tabs on the rear of the speedo that lock in place on the ring. To remove the dash, we gently pried back on each tab while lifting that section of the ring: the ring slot (A), the ring locating lug (B) that indexes on the pin on the underside of the dash, and one of the tabs (C) on the back of the speedo.

11. Last to be removed was the electrical connection. We disenged the connection by gently prying the side clasps (arrows) of the connector and then pulling the plug from the socket.

12. The speedo was free of the dash and as we removed the speedo from the "top" side of the dash, the rubber vibration gasket came off with it. We slid the rubber gasket from the stock speedo and reinstalled it on the speedo opening in the dash. We then carefully slid the new speedo into place, being careful to work the locking tabs (arrow) on the back of the speedo past the rubber gasket. A little squirt of glass cleaner works well as a lubricant.

13. With the speedo in position and the locking ring "locked" and holding the speedo in place, we reconnected the electrical. The electrical plug opening in the back of the speedo is facing the opposite direction than the stock unit, this is due to the addition of the tach on the lower half of the speedo.

14. We turned the dash back over and placed it over the mounting stud. We made sure the dash located correctly the leather tank cover. We replaced the acorn nut and washer on the dash mounting stud and torqued it to 80-100 in-lb. Then we reconnected the battery ground cable, rider`s seat and passenger seat and we were almost done.

15. Before starting the bike, we checked that all the switches worked, turn signals, horn, etc. You will notice the mileage window has moved to the middle right of the speedo face. Also note the word "color" appears in the window when the ignition switch is turned to accessories and the trip meter button is held in. To set the background color of the gauge and the color of the needles we held the trip meter button in and scrolled through the different colors until we found the one we liked.

16. There you have it. It took us a couple of days to get used to the new speedo face and different location of the various indicator lights. The instruction sheet suggests filling the gas tank as soon as possible so the "miles to empty" feature of the speedo can adjust itself to your riding habits. We just found out that when the gas level falls into the red zone of the gauge the "miles to empty" will automatically display in the window.

17. Lastly, the oil temperature dipstick, was the easiest to installed. We pulled the stock dipstick, checked the oil level, and then wiped the dipstick clean and set aside. We wiped the new temperature dipstick clean and pushed it into the oil tank filler neck. We like our gauge oriented to read from the right side of the bike.

Well, we finally did it. We traded in our 2006 Heritage-style Softail for a brand spanking new (to us) 2008 Fat Boy. Ah, new closed loop fuel injection, six-speed transmission, radial tires on 17-inch wheels . . . bitchin'. It was tough to let go of the '06 model (we enjoyed a lot of seat time on that bike), but the lure of 96 ci and a 200-17 rear tire was too much to resist. Plus, we now have the opportunity to fix up the Fat Boy the way we want and that's half the fun.

What we have in mind for the Fat Boy is a commuter/touring model--Softail-style.

We've put a fair amount of miles on a FLHT standard this past year and enjoyed those miles, also. But, the lower seating position and overall height, along with the balanced engine of the FL Softail model is the perfect combination for us (or at least, one of us).

For our very first job we wanted to add some instruments to keep track of what's going on. The first item was an oil temperature dip stick, second was a handlebar mounted clock, (don't snicker, we haven't missed a dinner yet) and a new speedo/tach combination. The hot ticket for the tachometer function is so we could monitor engine rpm at highway speeds while getting used to the new six-speed transmission. Now, at 70 miles an hour in top gear you're only turning about 2,750 rpms where as before with the five-speed it was right at 3,000 rpm's. Another thing we like about the new speedo/tach is the ability of the numbers and needles to change colors, yes, change colors, at the moment we have ours set on a "green" hue.

Installing these three gauges took about an hour and half in the driveway. The oil temp dip stick took all of five seconds, the clock about 20 minutes, and the rest of the time was spent on the speedo/tach. There's nothing hard about any of these installations, anyone can do them with hand tools.

PARTS:
75041-03 Clock, clutch lever clamp MSRP $59.95
74748-08 Speedo/Tach preset mileage (4628) MSRP $509.95
62896-00B Oil Dipstick with Temperature Gauge MSRP $29.95