I purchased a 1983 Kawasaki 750 back in May 2010.
It runs fine but a prior owner was said to have left the motorcycle outside in the sun all summer long once… The result? Warped gauges that need to be replaced. Due to the warped tachometer, my motorcycle couldn’t ever go above 4000 RPMs!
I set out to replace the gauges but I found the cost prohibitive. I knew that the only problem was the inserts were warped so I didn’t want to spend much money replacing the gauges. This is when my project mode kicked in and I set out to design my own custom inserts.
I took the gauges apart and pulled the inserts… Sounds simple? NOPE! Those babies are sealed up pretty tight. The tachometer wasn’t too bad but the speedometer was the biggest pain. This is because of the trip reset wheel on the side of the gauge. I didn’t want to force it off and possibly break it.
Once the inserts were out I took all the measurements I needed and designed them in GIMP. If you don’t know, to put it simply, GIMP is like Photoshop but FREE. Here’s what I came up with (Please note what happens around 88 mph):
I then printed them out on some transparency and cut them out. The InkJet I used worked fine on the transparency, however, the black wasn’t dark enough. I glue some paper to the back of the new inserts to remedy this problem and then installed them.
I think they turned out all right! :)
Also, some of you may be please to know that I have saved my source files for the inserts and published them here for anyone to be able to take and modify them. There will be a couple modifications you’ll want to make, like cutting holes for the mileage and trip. Perhaps even blacking out the bottom center display box on the speedometer.
Download the Source Files (.xcf - GIMP Format) here: Custom Kawasaki Gauges