Makeshift "dashboard"


I recently posted elsewhere here about the virtual dashboard I rigged up on my bike using an OBD2 dongle and a 7" Android tablet communicating via Bluetooth. For those interested here are a few closeup pics of the outcome.

The tablet is wind protected behind my new Summer windscreen, held in place by a bungie cord secured to the struts for the windscreen on both sides (not visible in the photo).

Incidentally, yesterday, I got stuck in stop and go traffic on the freeway for several miles on a fairly warm day. To my surprise, the engine oil temperature got up to nearly 270 degrees! However, when I got back up to normal cruising speed, the temp only dropped very slowly. This suggests to me that the OEM oil "cooler" on the late model Bonnie is really not very efficient.


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I have Bill Gates billet oil coolers on my T100. It is an external Rodburner concept. I also have a temp gauge. When I have been caught in traffic or really hot situation I have noticed that as soon as I break clear and get up to speed again that my temp drops right away.
My two cents....


Thanks for the info. Good to know.

This afternoon I did a simple evaluation to determine the "slow speed" effectiveness of the oil cooler on my bike. After a short ride, I let the engine idle (~1050 rpm) for about 10 minutes with an 18" diameter air circulation fan blowing directly in to the front of the cooler. I'd estimate the air flow was equivalent to maybe riding the bike at 15 to 25 mph - a good simulation of riding in stop and go traffic, and OAT was about 70F at the time.

The oil heated up all the way to 275F and seemed to be still slowly rising! That was enough for me, so I shut down the engine and let it cool down with the aid of the fan. The heat up occurred more slowly with engine running compared to the forced air cool down with it off. Of course, there was no internal heat load on the engine during the latter.

What this suggests to me is that Triumph seems to have designed these bikes for cooler climates and/or ideally not to be ridden at sustained very slow speeds.

I think changing the engine oil at more frequent intervals would be a wise since periodically "cooking" the oil at such high operating temperatures probably warrants it.

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I read on another forum about getting an oil sample analyzed to see what is really happening with it? This might be an option and removes most of the guess work.

What temps are you talking about on average to see the oil temp rise like that? It is -25C here in Ottawa today, I guess this isn't a worry for me yet :)

But still interested in how effective the cooler is.


Two Stroke
I have a question, how can anyone monitor all those gauges and pressures while riding ?

To me that seems like distracted riding, which in the long run will be fatal.......Riding a m/c demands complete attention at all times !


I concur, especially with respect to an oil pressure gauge mounted beneath the tank just barely visible under your right knee. That is the BAD thing about having one of these old fashion gauges. Nevertheless, I am training myself to only look at it after starting or shutting down the engine, and only occasionally while out for a ride after stopping and waiting at a signal light.

My tablet is mounted in front of my handlebars, behind the stock gauges almost directly in my line of sight while riding. I have a windscreen in front of the tablet so it is protected. Occasionally looking at the virtual gauges displayed on the tablet in such a position is no different than looking at the speedo and tach gauges. What's important is to put all the virtual gauges on a single display screen vs. swiping from screen to screen. Swiping from screen to screen, especially with gloves on, is quite tricky at best, so definitely unwise and admittedly very UNSAFE!

The app for the OBD2 dongle has a virtual "dashboard" that can be customized to have as few as only one or two gauges displayed at a time, or up to six to avoid the swiping issue. There are several OBD2 apps with this feature, i.e. OBDLink, Fusion, Torque, and DashCommand. For example, you can have both instantaneous and average MPG gauges to view on the virtual dashboard with a quick, occasional glance to the same display screen.

I still agree that distracted driving/riding is certainly dangerous. However, occasionally checking virtual gauges directly in front of you, with both hands on the wheel/handlebars, can be done relatively safely.
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Stoss, FWIW, on my last ride of about 50 miles, mostly freeway, at the speed limit, my oil temp stabilized between 225 and 230F. OAT was probably about 65 to 70F.

This may actually be a little higher than it would have been if my new bike was fully broken in and the engine was running on a purely synthetic oil after the first change. I concurrently have only about 400 miles on the odo.


As a follow up, I just implemented a handlebar "mount" for my 7" tablet so I can have a virtual digital dashboard. The mount only costs ten bucks from Amazon and works perfectly, with absolutely no obstruction of my OEM speedo and tach, nor any interference with top of the tank when turning the handlebar from lock to lock. The mount is made of durable black plastic and has 3 adjustable tangs to support and hold the mobile device up to 10" in size. A sturdier 4 tang version is also available for grasping any size phone, tablet or iPad. The mount can be rotated 360 degrees for either landscape or profile viewing. Landscape works best and I have configured the dash to have a total of 8 digital gauges on the main display screen. The gauges as I have are arranged as follows, from top to bottom, left to right: (1) Fuel rate (gal/hr), (2) Instant mph, (3) Total mph, (4) Throttle %, (5) Battery Voltage, (6) EOT, (7) IAT, and (8) Ignition Timing advance. Of course, these are in addition to OEM Speedo, Tach, and Neutral, High Beam, CEL and Low Oil Pressure indicating lights. Optionally, the virtual gauges can be displayed in more traditional analog form, but I feel the latter are harder to read with only a quick glance of the dashboard.

Here's a link to the installed mount and an updated photo of how my 7" tablet looks on it from the rider's perspective.


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