SpeedoHealer v. 3.0
WHY? Accuracy. Most of the Harley-Davidson motorcycles I've owned have had fairly accurate speedometers, but it's very common for the import bikes to be off by a considerable margin; the V-Strom is no exception. Realizing that my speedometer was reading higher than my actual speed, I cranked up my trusty handheld Etrex GPS and found that the stock instrument was off by a consistent 7.7% (when the speedometer reads 70 MPH, actual speed is 64.6 MPH). I figured that I had four options to deal with the problem: 1) ignore it, 2) watch the speedo and "guesstimate" my actual speed, 3) install an auxiliary speedometer, or 4) install a correction device.
Options 1 and 2 didn't much appeal to me. Installing an auxiliary speedometer is certainly a viable option, as some bicycle speedometers are very reasonably priced and can be calibrated to function with respectable accuracy. I was surprised to find a new Sigma Sport BC500 unit on eBay for only $10.95 plus shipping, so I decided to check it out. It installed very easily (see a review here) and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it returned readings almost identical to those from the GPS. Though I liked it well enough I decided that I didn't like having to watch two different speedometer readings; it was time to try a correction device.
I had read good reports about the SpeedoHealer so I decided to give it a try. I was ready to place an order for a few items with the good folks at Adventure Motostuff when I came across the SpeedoHealer v. 3.0 and decided to click on the "add to cart" button. $85.49 plus shipping.
SERVICE. Pretty good. Immediately after placing the order I received an email confirmation; shipping the product took a while as one of the other items wasn't in stock. After a week I called their customer service line and talked to a real human being who was very helpful and gave me an estimated shipping date. I received a shipping notification in a couple of weeks and the shipment arrived at my door via UPS about three weeks after placing the order; that's longer than I would like to wait, but not unreasonable since one of the items was back-ordered.
INSTALLATION. Not for the faint of heart (or those with extra-large hands), but the average home mechanic should be able to handle this installation and I managed the process in about 20 minutes. The instructions included with the Suzuki-specific wiring harness were very detailed, but unfortunately they weren't entirely accurate--more on that later. The first order of business is to determine the speedometer's margin of error; as previously stated, I obtained it through comparison with a GPS and the Sigma Sport bike speedometer. The next step was the most difficult--I had to locate the 3-wire speed sensor connection, disconnect it and connect the harness supplied with the kit. This connection is located on the right side of the bike, above the front cylinder head. Sit on the floor at the right side of the bike (by the brake pedal) and shine a flashlight up under the front cowl; look up past the radiator hose by the cylinder head by and you'll see a clear 3-wire connector:
Use one hand to shine a light on the connection. With another hand, use a small screwdriver to lift up on the small tab on the top of the connector. With a third hand pull the connector apart. The plug-and-play wiring harness has male and female connectors that plug into the ends of the connection that was just opened; space here is very limited, so you'll likely have to maneuver the matching ends together and snap them into place with one hand. When the wiring harness is in place it's time to plug the harness to the unit to test it.
The Suzuki-specific instructions assume that the speedometer pickup is by the front sprocket cover and driven by the rear wheel; in a couple of places it instructs you to lift the rear wheel and turn it to send a signal to the unit. This doesn't apply to the DL650, as the pickup is driven by the front wheel. Whenever the instructions refer to turning the rear wheel you'll need to turn the front instead. After testing the unit the harness wire should be routed so that the unit can be mounted in a protected place; I found a nice place beneath the seat and just behind the battery:
Programming the unit is a simple 5-minute process. Log on to the SpeedoHealer web site and use the installation program found there to arrive at a correction factor. All that remains is to follow the easy-to-read instruction for setting the appropriate correction code via dip switches on the unit. Installation complete!
RESULTS. Great! It's nice to look at the speedometer with confidence that it's showing an accurate reading. As a bonus if you have a DL1000 you can also use the device to correct for any changes you make in gearing (i.e., new sprockets). If you have a DL650 the speedometer pickup is driven off the front wheel, so once the speedometer correction is made no further corrections are necessary for changes in gearing. One thing that should be noted here is that the odometer and the speedometer work independently; the same signal drives both instruments, but the manufacturer typically builds the speedometer to read high while the odometer is fairly accurate. When the signal is altered by the SpeedoHealer to correct the speedometer it will then cause the odometer to read somewhat low. That doesn't bother me, but if you're considering any signal-correction device you should be aware of the fact.
Worth the money? Absolutely. It's not terribly expensive as farkles go, it's easily disabled and re-calibrated and--best of all--I finally know exactly how fast I'm going. If you have a DL650 you might want to consider the raceratb recalibrated gauge faces instead; they're low-tech but just as effective.