2022 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.

Speedo & Tach Faceplates


It's not uncommon for the instrument cluster speedometer and tachometer faceplates to warp, sometimes causing the needles to stick and not rotate freely. Because they are black they absorb a lot of heat from sunshine in hot weather which can cause them to warp.

To mitigate this you can either be sure to park in the shade or put a rag over the cluster when parking out in the hot sun.

If you look around the edges from the side you can see if your faceplates have warped. Here's a typical example where the upper left corner of the tach faceplate has warped:

There are two methods to deal with this:

1) Shimming

2) Faceplate Replacement

Removing The Instrument Cluster Internals:

Regardless of whether you choose to shim or replace, you'll need to remove the instrument cluster internals from the housing.

1) Remove instrument cluster: Remove the four 5mm Allen bolts on the back of the instrument cluster that hold the instrument cluster in it's bracket. Then, depending on the model year of your K bike, there is either a Phillips screw or 3mm Allen bolt that holds the wiring harness connector to the back of the cluster.

More details on cluster removal by model can be found at this link.

2) Remove instrument cluster back plate: Place the instrument cluster face down on a towel or something to prevent scratching it.  Depending upon the year, there are either 7 or 9 Phillips screws around the perimeter securing the back plate.

3) Remove instrument cluster internals: There are six screws that hold the internals in the instrument cluster - four at the middle bottom and one on each side. Remove those six screws, turn the cluster over and carefully shake the internals out - pull out the trip odometer knob as far as it lets you while doing this - there's a notch in the side of the speedometer face plate which lets it go by the trip odometer rod.

Warning: Be very careful with the instruments once removed.  Try not to get fingerprints on the face plates and be very careful with the speedo and tach needles - they will fall off or bend if you look at them crossways.


Now you're ready to repair!



I usually put a couple of thick little rectangles of hard rubber in the upper inner corners, When the internals are reinstalled this pushes the faceplates away from the front of the housing so that the needles can move freely.

Where the yellow rectangles are in this picture:

Then, remembering to pull out the trip odometer knob,  reinstall the internals in the housing.

Faceplate Replacement:

Although the faceplates themselves are not available from BMW as a separate part they can be obtained from other K bikes riders or parts sellers. For example, these are from 1985 K100:

The graphics vary some between models and KPH/MPH but they're all basically the same.

1) Remove the needles: Place a clean microfiber cloth on the faceplate to protect it and then use a fork (or similar instrument) to gently pry the needle up and off. The needles are very delicate and can bend easily so be careful with them.

2) Remove and replace the faceplate(s): Each faceplate has three little screws that hold it on. Yellow circles:

(You can see from the locations of the screws why the upper left corner of the tach faceplate usually warps first and the most.)

Be very careful removing/installing the faceplate screws. If the screwdriver slips and scratches the thin black coating at all then the backlighting will show trough the scratch at night. Also try to handle the faceplates only by the edges to avoid getting any fingerprints on them.

3) Replace the needles: With the needles pointing to zero, firmly press them back onto their spindles. If they're off a little then you can always pry them off with a fork and reinstall them.

4) Put the internals back in the housing: Remembering to pull out the trip odometer knob,  reinstall the internals in the housing.


2022 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.