HOW TO: Replace instrument cluster light bulbs

You see it every time you climb on your bike. It sits there providing you with a mountain of information for your riding pleasure. It does its job without complaint. But every once in awhile, something goes wrong and you're forced to open her up.

xj650 blog Cluster Shots

Well, that's the case for this latest installment in my "How-To" series. When I bought my bike, I noticed that the tachometer light wasn't working. It was mid April heading into summer. I was a new rider and had no plans on riding at night, so I didn't bother fixing it.

Well, times have changed. Here it is the beginning of October and I'm fighting tooth and nail for every riding day I can get. I've embraced—with open arms—the idea of riding at night. But, that burned out tachometer light has got to be fixed. I've just got to know what's going on in the engine room.

Enough of that. Let's get started with our project.

Here are the steps...
1. Remove tachometer cable (if so equipped).
2. Remove speedometer cable.

xj650 blog loosen tachometer cable nutxj650 blog loosen speedometer cable nut

3. Remove instrument cluster mounting bolts.

xj650 blog loosen right cluster boltxj650 blog loosen left cluster bolt

4. Remove headlight from headlight bucket.
5. Unplug and fish through the wiring harnesses for the speedometer lights, the tachometer lights, (the tachometer head, if so equipped), and idiot light tree.

xj650 blog remove headlight

6. Remove the instrument cluster.

xj650 blog remove cluster

7. Remove the screws from the rear of the instrument cluster.

xj650 blog remove housing screws

8. Remove the chrome housing.
9. Remove and replace the light bulbs.

xj650 blog light bulb locations

10. Perform any other work that needs to be done (cleaning, lubing, etc.)

xj650 blog lube clusterxj650 blog lube cables

11. Reinstallation is the reverse process.

That's about it. This one's pretty easy to take care of.

Bonus Tip: if you scroll back up and look at the instrument cluster you'll see a small digital clock affixed to the tachometer. That's held there by a piece of Velcro. This allows me to remove it when I wash the bike or find myself in a heavy down pour. Underneath the head cover (that plastic piece surrounding the ignition switch) you'll find another piece of Velcro. I can stick the clock there until the wet condition passes.

(Written by Don Bangert Author of several How-To's and the blog, The Path Less Traveled.)


Guy said...

lthanks for the great little lesson, very clear pictrues

Dick Sweat said...

I've got the same tach bulb problem, so I was exicted to find this page and not have to continue figuring it out myself, but the pictures will not display for some reason. Is there any way you can re-post them?


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Instrument Cluster