Trailtech vapor on a drum brake (pre-2001) bike
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  1. #1
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    It "finally" (free 2 day shipping, but it always feels like forever!) showed up yesterday: a Trailtech Vapor TW200-specific stealth (black) kit and the dashboard with lights. I decided I "needed" one after the drop this winter that trashed my (incorrect anyway) speedometer.



    I noted that there weren't really many people documenting their installation of this particular accessory on the older bikes, including Trailtech themselves, who are very clear about how to do it if you have a disc brake. In fact, the only one I'd seen post pictures of their method of mounting the speedo sensor/magnet was PJungnitsch, and he noted that he didn't even like how he did it.



    Here's my initial impressions upon opening the boxes:



    Dashboard looked good, felt fairly solid, although it wasn't obvious when I bought it that it was made out of plastic: a bit disappointed, but it still seems sufficient. The 4 light positions are well made with rubber sleeves to facilitate swapping them in and out and isolating vibrations: a big thumbs-up on that.



    The actual computer seems like a very solid unit, the buttons give good clicking feedback, and the screen is very clear and easy to read. Not much to say here, big thumbs-up again.



    I'll echo other words and say the power and tach wires are tiny and feel fragile, but seem to work fine.



    I don't know if it was a mistake or not, but I didn't get a bracket to mount it to the triple clamp, I just got the two sizes of bar-clamps and the piece to mount to the computer. It didn't take me long to decide I wasn't interested in that piece (and I didn't use it, as I'll show below).



    So far so good, but same as others, it looked a bit like a daunting install.



    First thing I tackled was the speedometer sensor: I liked PJungnitsch's method of epoxying the standalone magnet to the back of the spoke hole. I just hope I don't ever plan to remove that spoke.







    I decided to build a hard bracket to mount the sensor, since it seems like it should be fairly close to the magnet. I used a 1" pipe clamp from Tractor Supply, this setup seems to allow for a good amount of adjustment, in the case that I screwed something up. The NYS LEOs and motorcycle inspector will love me for covering up my inspection sticker. I'll have it moved up a bit this year.







    While I was at TSC, I picked up a few pieces of aluminum (3/4" wide x 1/8" flat stock, 3/4" wide x 1/6" angle) for use in mounting all of this up. I used a piece of the flat stock, roughly 5" long , bent and drilled twice:











    I routed the cable and zip tied it in place, using the same guides as the old speedometer cable. Now I just need to figure out how to plug the old cable hole in the drum backing plate.



    As I mentioned above, I didn't really like the included mounting brackets for the computer, so I used the aluminum stock I bought to make a new bracket, roughly centering it in front of the ignition, but keeping it low enough to stay out of the wind/rain:







    The bracket I built is 3 pieces: 1 is just a C shape with hole drilled in 4 places: 2 match the mounting points on the computer, the other two are down on the sides to attach to the rest of the bracket (aluminum angle):











    The angled stock is cut into two pieces of equal length (depending on how far out one wants it) and drilled slightly larger than necessary to allow the bolts attaching the computer bracket to come through at an angle; I used a washer on them for good measure.



    The angle pieces on the other end attach to the same bolts that were used to attach the old speedometer/light cluster, and I bought a pair of 5/8" tall nylon bushings and a handful of washers to take up the space so I could actually tighten my mounts down:







    I think it came out fairly well, I haven't done any testing of the unit since I installed it: this was literally a rainy day project. Finished view from the seat:







    Wiring was "somewhat straightforward". I used the top motor mount bolt for the temperature sensor, and don't know how that'll work out. I tried it on the spark plug and really didn't like it there. I cut my old wiring whip in half for the light cluster and put bullet type connectors on the wires so I could shuffle them around as I wanted to. I had 1 ground left over after modifying that whip; so I used it for the computer power, and home-ran a positive wire with an inline fuse back to the bike's battery. TT says it won't run the battery flat, and I'll trust their word on that given how long they estimate it'll run on a CR2032 button cell, so I didn't bother tapping into switched power or anything like that: its "always on". (goes to sleep after 20mins of not touching it or starting the bike).



    Biggest thing to note: its a lot of wires to stuff behind the headlight, and we'll see how that works out in the long run. If anyone wants more pictures, let me know and I'll snap some when I inevitably have it apart again.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Looks like a nice and clean install with your homemade brackets. Nice job.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  3. #3
    Senior Member operose's Avatar
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    Nice install, Jon. Looks like it all worked out well.



    Was that you that went by while I was taking the head off the bike? If so I was laughing my butt off when it started pouring rain and the bike came zipping back over the hill in a hurry
    ITCB

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  5. #4
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    nah, didn't do much riding today: spent most of the day doing the install, only got to put ~5miles on the thing total.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Your install will be a real help to others thinking about a Trail-Tech purchase. In what way is the unit TW specific? Thanks, Gerry..
    Take care my Friend.........

  7. #6
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    I'm really not sure. If you head to trailtech.net and search for "tw200", it brings up the bike-specific kit, but its really not obvious what's special about it . Perhaps worth a question to trailtech's support team, I hear they're pretty good.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  8. #7
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Going based on the site's information:



    The TW200 specific kit includes specific sensors:



    * The speed sensor is a threaded-barrel type, 1350mm length: http://www.trailtech.net/2010-06.html

    * The magnet kit includes 3 different options: 2 different length bolts, and 1 standalone magnet: http://www.trailtech.net/300-01.html

    * The engine temperature sensor is 21" in length, and the important part: the ring-lug style end of it is 12mm to fit on the TW D8EA spark plug.



    As an example, other bike-specific kits are the same mounting kit and computer, but the speed sensor (using the KLR as an example, here) is a different style: http://www.trailtech.net/704-06.html



    So ultimately, not a lot of differences, they just include the sensors they presume should be correct for our application.



    I got a few extra things I didn't need: a 12" extension for the engine temperature sensor, for example. I probably would have needed it if I'd actually put the sensor on the spark plug as TT suggests, rather than the top engine mounting bolt, where it's out of the way, and doesn't interfere with pulling the plug.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    Guess I dodged a bullet just by luck. For me it took a bit of effort to figure out which kit I needed, but did not see the TW listed. I always figure that I will need to make or modify brackets anyways so I seldom worry about that. Since my plan was to get the sensor for oil temp, I was not worried, nor did I try hooking to my sparkplug. I do remember needing to reorder and extension, or simply a longer wire to hook into the oil drain plug. Thanks for the update. Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  10. #9
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    It's listed in a dumb spot, so you either have to search for it, or click on computers -> vapor tachometer -> motorcycle (adventure-sport) vapor kits; then it's the first one listed. No idea why it didn't get shoved into the vehicle-specific category.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  11. #10
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    For the inquiring minds that must know: I've decided its not the worlds most awesome plan to have the unit powered directly off unswitch bike battery power. But only for a few not so obvious reasons: the ride timer seems to keep going for the 20min go-to-sleep period, even after the bike is shut off. The engine temp warning/danger lights manage to come on after a long ride once you shut the bike off and the heat is allowed accumulate under the tank where I have the sensor mounted. If you live in a high crime area (which I do not, admittedly), there's also the bit about there being a bright shiny backlit display for 20 minutes after you walk away from your bike at night.



    When the unit is running on internal battery power (the CR2032 button cell), the temperature warning/danger lights are disabled, and the backlight goes off much quicker than 20mins.



    I think I'll be investigating how to most cleanly put battery power to it via ignition switch. I'll update the thread once I manage to get it figured out.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

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