A possible solution to your Yamaha Roadstar instrument glitches

List of Tools required

  • 5mm hex bit to remove the meter assembly from the fuel tank
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • A small thin bladed straight screw driver

    A little background. For over four years, my 2001 Roadstar has had intermittent issues with the speedo/gas gauge. The odometer and all the dash/instrument lights worked just fine, just the speedo and gas gauge would act up. The lists of symptoms are:

  • When you turned the key to power, sometimes the test sweep would work, sometimes not
  • Sometimes only one of the two gauges would do the test sweep
  • Sometimes both gauges would work correctly, sometimes only one would work, sometimes neither one would work
  • Sometimes, the speedo would indicate speeds nowhere near correct (always low by more than half)
  • And sometimes they both worked correctly

    Over the years I’ve tried the following in an attempt to correct the issue:

  • New fuel sender
  • New battery
  • New battery cables
  • Cleaning the fuse block contacts and replacing all the fuses
  • Keeping the bike on a trickle charger all the time
  • New stator/rectifier (6 hours just cleaning mating surfaces on block/cover - what a pain!)
  • Multiple sessions chasing wiring, grounds, power, switches . . . .

    Lots of time, money and frustration trying to solve this issue, until my last circuit/wiring tracing task.

    I was thinking power to the electronics in the meter, so I was testing all the connections/voltages in the two plugs leading to the meter. Everything was testing correctly, all contacts were good, power was good, and grounds were good. So I decided to take the meter apart. While I had the meter apart, I decided to take out the custom speedo face that I had installed a number of years ago. It had faded considerably and I had a spare I was going to put in. When I started to remove the pointers for the speedo and gas gauges, I notice that they were stuck to the stop pins on the meter face. When they became unstuck from the pins, I plugged the meter back in and the test sweep worked correctly. I turned the key on and off a few times, on the fourth time, the speedo needle did not do the test sweep. I pushed the needle a little, and sure enough it was stuck to the pin again. Test sweep worked fine 5 more times.

    So, I removed the custom face, did not put the spare back in thinking maybe off gassing from the “special UV inhibitor archival ink” or the “special photographic quality paper” was causing this stickiness. I used rubbing alcohol to clean the needles and the stop pins on the face, I installed little plastic protective sleeves on the stop pins. You may not have to install the sleeves, cleaning may be enough. I just did this as a extra protection.

    These were some kind of earring post protectors that I got from my wife. She says you can get them at any jewelry store. (seen here next to the gas needle)

    I reassembled the meter and put it back on the bike. That was over 100 start cycles and 3 weeks ago (as of June 26, 2012) and the gauges are still working great. Hope this helps someone else that has been suffering thru the same issues that I have. UPDATE: As of April 15, 2014 the fix is still working great.

    The process is pretty simple

  • Remove the three hex bolts holding the chrome meter housing to the fuel tank
  • Using a small, thin blade screw driver CAREFULLY disconnect the two plugs from the wiring harness
  • Lay the meter assembly face down on a towel and remove the three screws holding the meter to the chrome housing. Take care that you don't damage the rubber seal around the bezel between the meter and the chrome housing
  • Remove the guide and rubber grommet from the lower hole only (picture only shows guide removed, you must also remove the rubber grommet)

  • Remove the five larger phillips head screws from the back of the meter. You do not need to remove the two smaller screws that hold the odometer/wiring
  • Carefully remove the meter assembly from the front bezel
  • Carefully check to see if your needles are stuck to the stop pins. A gentle nudge should free them
  • Slip the small plastic jewelry tubes over the pins making sure the they are below the top of the stop pin, but high enough that the needle rest on the tubing

  • Assemble in reverse order. Be careful about the alignment of the rubber seal around the bezel when you place the meter back in the chrome housing