31 August 2011

FZ1 Mod: Multiguage

I've mentioned this thing on the blog several times.  When I first saw it I knew I had to have one, if only for the gear indicator function.  Earlier this month I finally purchased the Multigauge.  It arrived about 12 days after I ordered it.  If you can solder a bit, it's a fairly easy install.  schlumpf has instructions on his site that you can download and Pat did an excellent page of an earlier version that helps too.

When I told Cruzman I wanted it, he said it was a great gauge but he didn't think it was worth it for the price.  That got me thinking about what it does and how much it would cost if you tried to do the same thing without buying the MG.
  • Gear Indicators range in price from just over $100 to just under $200.
  • Speedo Healer costs about $115.
  • The best option for a battery voltmeter is the multi one that you can get from Aerostich for around $32.  It monitors voltage, air temp, and battery condition.  It also has a stopwatch and a clock.
  • Water Temperature Gauges can be purchased at any auto parts store for about $25 but you gotta find the right place to put it.
That's four different things you have to find room for on the bike that can cost nearly $400 and you still wouldn't have all of the functions the MG offers.  schlumpf is selling the V8 MG for about half that right now.  I really didn't want all of those things.  I only wanted the temp, voltmeter, and gear indicator that still would have cost about $150 to get those things.  When I thought about it that way, getting the MG was even more logical.

In analyzing it now, I've searched the FZ forums to see if any one added gauges separately and what it looked like.  I know the guy eflyguy bought his bike from had several extra gauges installed but I didn't see any pics of it.  Several forum members have added at least one gauge and some of them are very detailed installs.  Here's a sample of what I found:
Blackfly's Dash Mounted Temp Gauge
Pat's Water temp gauge, fan switch, and fan on LED indicator
wlfman's gear indicator
That's just a few and each of those are for one thing only.  It seems it takes a lot of effort and knowledge to install these extra gauges so that they work properly.

Here's a shot of my cockpit with the one gauge I added--a thermometer.

Problem was I couldn't really see the damned thing!  I moved it, but it was even more unseen where I put it.  I bought a smaller one but it was in C not F so it stayed in the tank bag.  

After I researched most of the options, I realized my best bet was to hope schlumpf started making MG's again and buy one as soon as he said he had them.  

That's what I did.  A week after I received it, I installed it.  I chose the blank face plate for mine.

With detailed directions about the install already out there, I'm not going to bother with the detailed pics of the install process, instead I'll focus on the features.

Startup.  It begins with three welcome screens before going to the normal display.  The first welcome screen features the logo and can be customized using the preset logo choices.  The final welcome screen can be customized with a two line greeting you can select letter by letter. 

Usage.  The MG is connected to the standard meter so if there are no signals being sent, the MG can not display them.  When there's no signal, it's indicated by a dash.  Looking at the picture above, the temp reading is "-" because there's no signal when the bike is turn on but not running.

Once the signals are sent, the display will indicate it.  Each display is called a viewmode and there are about 40 different ones in this version.  You can choose 4 favorites that you can toggle between using the reset button.  Here are the 2 I like so far:
Viewmode 9
Viewmode 7
 As you can see, both display fuel, battery, water temp, air temp, and gear.

There are also viewmodes that detail fuel consumption stats, track lap times, and track 1/4 mile data.

Add Ons.  Believe it or not, there are other functions that can be added to the MG.  This version gives you the option of installing a gps module, chain oiler, external shift light, and data audio streaming.  I'll take advantage of this function by using the BT-308 gps receiver that got busted during the first ride of the year to add gps.

Adding gps gives you the ability to use more viewmodes.  Here's some examples of what you can do by adding a gps module:

FZ1OA member Grommet is going to help me get my gps functions hopefully with the BT-308.  If it works, I'll get them by the end of September when we meet at the Arkansas Rally.  If it doesn't I won't add the functions because I'm not willing to buy another gps receiver.

schlumpf's been working on the MG since 2004 and says development is ongoing and therefore there can be software updates available from time to time.  He has detailed instructions on what is needed to perform the updates and provides the necessary downloads.    He is also very helpful and provides great support for his gauge.

Real world use.  I went to the rheumy for my quarterly checkup shortly after I installed the MG.  I used mainly viewmodes 7 and 9.  I really liked being able to see exactly how much fuel is in the tank and watching the water temp rise.  The gear indicator seemed a bit slow but it was always accurate.  You can adjust how fast or slow the gear displays but I'm not going to change it.  I shouldn't be looking at it anyway!  The best part is having all that information at a glance.  

There was one thing I noticed that I didn't really like and that's when you're setting up the gauge for your preferences, the trip computers reset.  That's because the MG uses the select and reset buttons.  I guess once you get it setup you don't have to worry about randomly resetting the trip computers.

If there is such a thing as a necessary mod, I think this one is it.  There's a reason the MG is known as "the gauge of eternal coolness"!  About the only thing it's missing is a tire pressure monitoring system (like this).

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer


  1. Do you still have a low fuel light?

  2. Yes and you can set when you want it to come on. The low fuel light can also function as a gear shift indicator light. It's kind of hard to find in the pics since I got the blank face plate.


Search This Blog