Most motorcyclists know which gear they are in by comprehending the speed and the revolutions per minute of their engines by its tone and loudness. So if you are going 45 mph, and your engine is as loud as it usually gets, you are probably in the first of the V-Rod’s six gears. Some people have trouble perceiving this, so they depend on a “gear indicator” that works with all motorcycles, like the Harley-Davidson V-Rod. These indicators have electronic, rather than mechanical, speedometers. Several companies make these indicators.
1. Identify the ignition, neutral switch, speed signal, tachometer adapter and ground wire on your V-Rod using the service manual for your model year V-Rod. Ground wires are always black.
2. Attach the gear indicator to your handlebars in a location that is easy for you to see. Usually gear indicators attach to the bars with one screw that is included with the gear indicator. Tighten the screw with a screwdriver, Allen key or Torx key, depending on the brand of your gear indicator.
3. Lift the right side of your seat to expose the V-Rod wiring harness. Most components of this wiring harness snap together. How you install the gear indicator into your wiring harness may vary depending on your gear indicator and will be explained in the instructions that come with it.
4. Expose, if necessary, the five wires, which are red, brown, white, green and black on the most popular gear indicators, that lead from your gear indicator to the corresponding sections of your wiring harness. Some gear indicators may come with wires insulated by a single tube or wrap. Some gear indicators may come with loose wires. Expose wires insulated into a single cable by clipping the enclosing insulation with side-cut pliers.
5. Route the rear wire to your rear ignition coil and connect that wire to the coil using the hardware included with, or recommended by, the manufacturer of your gear indicator.
6. Plug the white gear indicator wire, on most V-Rods, into the triangular speed sensor connector in the wiring harness just above the rear cylinder.
7. Plug the black, green and black wires into the matching connectors behind the speedometer and the instrument lights attached to the handlebars. Wire colors may vary according to the brand of gear indicator you purchase and the model year of your V-Rod.
8. Insulate these wires with tape or heat shrink tubing according to the recommendations of the manufacturer of your gear indicator. Seal heat shrink tubing to wires with a heat gun.
9. Program the gear indicator according to its instructions. In most cases this is as simple as starting the motorcycle in neutral and riding the V-Rod while spending about 25 seconds in each gear.