Info For Your Bike | Dakota Digital Gauge Install


Info For Your Bike | Dakota Digital Gauge Install - Hot Bike Magazine

01. A) New Dakota Digital Gauge (this is the MCL-2004 with red display for '04-10 models, there is another unit for pre-2004 models), B) mounting ring, C) indicator wiring, D) mounting hardware, E) oil temp sensor, F) oil pressure sender.

02. To get started the positive battery terminal was disconnected, then the two bolts securing the dash were removed so it could be lifted from the tank. Be cautious when lifting the dash as there are/may be several electrical connections between the tank the dash.

03. The dash was then flipped over so the wiring to the stock gauge could be disconnected. The black plastic lower clamp also had to be removed from the back of the speedo housing. There are three tabs that lock the ring in place (arrows-the third is hidden by the fingers).

04. Making sure the stock rubber gasket (arrow) stayed in place, the new gauge was slid into position.

05. The back of the gauge has two threaded holes for the mounting brackets. The angle and height of the L brackets (arrows) helped pull the gauge tight against the top of the dash as the screws were tightened.

06. Next, the stock speedo wiring was connected to the gauge. At this point all you have to do is flip the dash over, bolt it to the tank, and the install would be complete if you didn't want to add the wiring for the indicator lights or add an oil temp sensor or an oil pressure sensor.

07. Here's how the stock gauge looked; just a speedo with a screen for the odometer and tripmeters.

08. Here is the gauge with just the plug-n-play setup. It's a bright red LED display, showcasing a tach around the perimeter, mph in the center, and clock in the lower center (message display). By hitting the tripmeter reset button you can cycle through the clock, odometer, tripmeter, 0-60, 1/4-mile, miles to service, as well as the other displays that are available. In this setup the stock indicator lights still function properly (arrow).

09. However, if you want to connect your indicator lights to the MCL-2004, you can do so with the supplied six lead wiring harness. The harness was plugged into the back of the gauge (arrow) and then

10. ...the indicator wiring harness was disconnected. The DD indicator wires then needed to be soldered to the bike's wiring harness (arrow). DD supplies a wiring chart to help match up the DD colored wires with the stock colored wires.

11. Here is how the gauge would look with all the indicators hooked up and everything lit up. As you can see, the stock indicators are located above the mph display, the gear indicator is located on the right side, and the cruise control indicator (if available on the bike) is in the lower left.

12. This is the 0-60 function. Don't worry, this reading happened just testing the unit in the driveway and was not an actual time. The 0-60 and 1/4-mile timers are reset at the trip switch and don't restart until the speed reaches 0, and then you start riding again. You can also see that the rpm warning/shift point came preset at 5,500 rpm (arrow), this can be adjusted between 2,000-7,500 rpm.

13. This is the voltage display showing 12.3V. When the voltage drops below the warning limit with the engine running, LO and the current voltage is displayed, the default warning limit is 11.0V.

14. The tach graph can be switched between green or red as seen here.

15. Tach graph in green, with the gear indicator calibration ready.

16. To add an oil temp reading, you'll need the auxiliary oil temp sensor. The sensor simply screws into the oil drain plug hole on the oil tank. On this bike it was screwed into the pipe plug (be sure to seal it when finished). The wiring is then run up to the gauge.

17. The gauge displaying oil temperature (the bike was still warming up).

18. If you want to know your exact oil pressure, you'll need the auxiliary oil pressure sender. The oil pressure sender is connected to the oil pressure switch and the wiring is run back up to the gauge.

19. Here is the gauge displaying the oil pressure at 21 psi. All in all, the gauge is very handy and provides a wealth of additional information that was not available with the stock setup on this bike. Installation was very easy, especially the plug-n-play aspect. Adding the additional functions, such as the oil pressure/oil temp displays, didn't take too much extra time. This is one upgrade that was definitely worth the money.

Unless you have a fairing-equipped touring bike, the rest of the H-D lineup is pretty limited when it comes to useful, sometimes critical, information being relayed back to the rider via the stock instrumentation. Most of the bikes are only equipped with a single gauge which has a speedometer, odometer, tripmeter, range meter, and maybe a clock. Then you have the indicator lights that provide basic info indicating when your turn signals are on, a low-fuel warning, an oil-pressure warning, and that you're in Neutral.

There is other general information and some very specific important info that riders would like to be aware of but don't want 20 different gauges cluttering up their bikes. With this in mind, Dakota Digital (DD) came up with its new MCL-2000 Series electronic instrument system ($499.95), available in either blue or red display. The MCL-2000 provides the basics such as a 225 mph/km/h selectable speedo, wraparound tach with an adjustable shift point, odometer with dual tripmeters, and a host of indicator lights. However, the unit provides even more in-depth useful and interesting features such as a resettable/adjustable miles to service with warning, hour meter, voltage readout with low-voltage alert, seven-speed gear indicator, and performance readings such as 0-60 time, high speed and high rpm recall, and 1/4-mile time and speed.

Knowing that many do-it-yourself garage mechanics get intimidated by electrical/wiring work, DD designed the MCL-2000 as a direct replacement gauge that fits Fat Bob dashes as found on Road Kings, and certain Softail and Dyna models, and is simply plug-n-play. The system is so easy to install you could easily replace your stock gauge with this unit in about 15 minutes or less. Now if you're an info junkie and want even more feedback about your bike, you can also pick up one of DD's oil pressure senders ($39.95) and/or oil temperature sensor ($24.95). These two units can be wired to the MCL-2000 Series providing digital oil pressure and oil temperature readings. Follow along as we show how everything was installed. Once installed, there are several calibrations to be performed to dial everything in, but it's too lengthy to cover here. DD provides thorough instructions on the process. Be sure to know that the mileage must be calibrated within the first 100 miles. After 100 miles the menu option will no longer appear.


Dakota Digital
(800) 593-4160