Custom Moto Guzzi Dashboard – webBikeWorld

13 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Custom Moto Guzzi Dashboard – webBikeWorld
Moto Guzzi Jackal

Custom Moto Guzzi Dashboard

by Vin Heron for webBikeWorld

Since buying my Jackal I had really missed the benefits of a tacho and as it was my first Guzzi, I could only go by the sound and feel of the engine to tell me whether or not it was happy with the revs I was using during changing up or down the box – I did not have a clue as to what those revs actually were.

OK, I wasn’t doing clutchless racing changes all over the place, and my lap times to the local bikers meet were not really a consideration, but still, I was determined to fit a tachometer to see what was going on in the noisy bit. I also really wanted an analogue clock for use when touring (I was late a couple of times last year when touring in the wilds of N.W. Scotland and missed a couple of closing times which led to all sorts of grief) but that’s a different story.

After reading the article, I talked both to Martin at Motoworks Pete Morecambe at Reboot Guzzi Spares to see what was available in the way of second-hand tachometers. I also examined the drawings in the Guzzi manual.

I suppose I could have bought either a new or second-hand Cali EV dash but they don’t seem to be all that easy to get hold of and I had made up my mind to see what I could produce in the way of a new dashboard myself (I am often accused of doing everything the hard way). I also wanted to try and keep the horizontal layout of the original warning light cluster, in preference to the Cali EV version.

The original Jackal item is stamped out of 4mm alloy plate and the edge finish is pretty poor – surely I could improve on that at least?

Well, in the end, it came out not too shabby and I’m quite happy with it. The making of the thing was only the half of it however; obtaining the right tachometer (I wanted one that matched the speedometer), the cabling, the wiring loom etc were the other half and I will tell you what I found out and the odd problems I encountered along the way.


I could not determine what type of alloy was used by Moto Guzzi for the original 4mm thick Jackal dashboard but experience told me that most aluminium alloys would probably do the job by using a bit of care during manufacture. As for stresses on the dash, these would be pretty minimal.

For the technically-minded among you, the material I made mine from was a bit of 4mm thick 1050-H14 aluminium (BS 1470 ). This is a 99.5% pure aluminium, which is malleable and has good corrosion resistance. You can get a table, which will convert BS (British Standards) to ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) if you need to.

Don’t worry if you do not have this material available; just use what you can get. As long as you can pull a bend on the mounting ‘Lugs’ without it cracking, then it will probably be fine. Aluminium comes in various grades of hardness: fully soft, half-hard and fully hard. I don’t have a clue what grade the bit I got was.

I just made a test piece, put it in the vice, and it bent OK (fine, we’ll use that then).

Moto Guzzi Jackal
Moto Guzzi Jackal

Manufacturing Methods and Tools

This section may seem to be too early in the proceedings but how you intend to manufacture the dash has a bearing on everything else.

I originally intended to have my dash cut out by the water jet cutting process and found a local company that does it. As with anything, start-up costs are the killer but this particular company makes aerospace bits and is used to one-offs thus keeping it fairly economical. Enough orders and it would be worth having a batch done.

I talked to the Managing Director about composite cutting and PU / PE plastics and he showed me some samples that were beautifully done with a splendid finish cut directly from CAD via Laser. Very nice. This got me going I can tell you!

Look for local firms – it’s amazing what you can find on your doorstep although it can be a bit of a Sherlock Holmes job.

If you get stuck, take the original dash to the company that does the water jetting and ask if they will use it as a template for the warning light cluster holes PCD (Pitch Centre Diameter) and the mounting holes and explain to them via a sketch what you want where you it. The company I spoke to were quite happy to produce a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) manufacturing drawings from my description.

Plasma Cutting

Moto Guzzi Jackal
Moto Guzzi Jackal

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