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Temp gauge not working / fan too?

Old 05-30-2013, 11:51 PM
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Temp gauge not working / fan too?

My temp gauge does not work. When I first got it, it worked like 1/4 of the time, now it doesn't work at all. Also, I am not sure if my fan works or not. I have never seen it spin. I only have one, and its on the right radiator. Is this normal?

What is a good way to test the fan? I have sat still at red lights for 3-4 minutes and the fan never came on. Also, what could be causing my temp gauge to not work...

And while were at it.. I guess I might as well adjust my battery recharging issue too. Seems my bike likes to be charged every week or two. Throughout the 1,700 miles I have put on it I have had to recharge the battery twice. What's going on here?

Last edited by Chrisguilday; 05-30-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:44 AM
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Having one fan is normal. Temp for everyday running is only about a quarter, though in urban stop/start traffic it can creep up higher, add summer heat and that's when fan the will kick in.

Check connections are clean and firm, and not corroded. Check stone or something hasn'y jammed the fan from rotating but 3-4 minutes isn't a definite test unless the weather was say 90-100 degrees. Download the PDF service manual for cooling system servicing specs and what & how to test. inc. coolant, thermostat etc.

Is your R/R like this?



If so then replace pronto (search for regulator / rectifier mods). Again check all your electrical connections are clean and tight inc. earths. And that the battery is working as intended, if not replace if getting on a bit.

Last edited by Wicky; 05-31-2013 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Wicky View Post
Having one fan is normal. Temp for everyday running is only about a quarter, though in urban stop/start traffic it can creep up higher, add summer heat and that's when fan the will kick in.

Check connections are clean and firm, and not corroded. Check stone or something hasn'y jammed the fan from rotating but 3-4 minutes isn't a definite test unless the weather was say 90-100 degrees. Download the PDF service manual for cooling system servicing specs and what & how to test. inc. coolant, thermostat etc.

Is your R/R like this?



If so then replace pronto (search for regulator / rectifier mods). Again check all your electrical connections are clean and tight inc. earths. And that the battery is working as intended, if not replace if getting on a bit.
**** That is a good description of that part.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:20 AM
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The fan switch is on the right radiator. As the temp rises, it gives ground to the fan which turns it on. I want to say the temp it happens is 200ish (F).

Check your fuses, if the fan fuse is suspect the fan wont come on. You can also unplug the wire to the fan switch and ground it and see if the fan comes on (I am assuming you know the frame is the negative (-) or ground)

If you dont have the 2nd gen digital temp guage, then the stock one is quite innaccurate. One bikes "1/4 way" is not for sure what another bike would read (there are no numbers, its half an idiot guage)

Then temp sensor is a similar looking switch to the one on the rad but its under the tank on the left of the bike attached to the thermostat housing. If it failed/corroded/unplugged, you would get no reading.

Do you have a service manual to follow up on this? If not download the PDF from here.

Both temp sensing parts are replaceable and can be gotten on ronayers.com or cheapcycleparts.com. (they both have fiche)

Oh, but check fuses first. NOT just visually but circuit test the fuse or replace with a brand new one. You cant trust the look test.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:25 AM
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Fan should turn on at around 212*F for stock switch. Sounds like R/R issues as well, as mentioned.

You can check the fan itself by turning the bike on, and unplugging the wire running from the fan to the rad (this is the fan switch) and touching it to some metal on the bike (like the rad). This should turn the fan on. It is not likely that this has failed, also not likely that the fan switch is bad. More likely it's a radiator cap or air in the cooling system. It will be hard to tell until you get your gauges fixed.

But the R/R. Fix that. You may have fried the gauges with a bad one. It's definitely part of the charging issue.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
If you dont have the 2nd gen digital temp guage, then the stock one is quite innaccurate. One bikes "1/4 way" is not for sure what another bike would read (there are no numbers, its half an idiot guage)
Well... No there are no numbers, but saying that it's inaccurate isn't really a true statement... From testing the sensors on several bikes, I can say that the sensor in it self has about a 3% or 1-2 degree C deviation, and the instrument if undamaged has slightly more than that, so say at worst 10%, if all errors happen to line up... And if you believe me or not, that's actually more accurate than the second gen, digital one which has a rated 14% inaccuracy (for that type of signal and range) in the circuit used to calculate the signal displayed on the LCD...

Ie, you might question the accuracy... But saying the newer one is more accurate is nothing but an blatant lie, or lack of knowledge... Yes, you will not get a true readout in degrees C or F... But I can pretty much promise you that in 9 out of 10 bikes, the half point is within 2-3 degrees C of each other... On the newer bike, the number displayed can be 14% higher or lower, and adding the error of the sensor, make that 17%... On 100C that's 83-117C...

Last edited by Tweety; 05-31-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:52 AM
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Tweety, blatant lie? Take it easy big fella.

I am basing my statement on owning 2 98 hawks and testing their guages against each other, then using a known accurate themometer simultaneously, so not just speculation. Oh and then against my cbr digital guages (on the hawk) which is spot on (+/-2*) over the whole range against mine and my mechanics known accurate guages.

I also said that based on his observation of poor charging/ system voltage, which could (as he said did) vary the needle guage greatly. (he said it doesnt work at all now so your statement about its accuracy is incorrect)

Not trying to argue but based on given info (guage reads sproraticly then not at all) I dont think telling him his guage is accurate to be prudent or accurate. Not even good speculation even.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Tweety, blatant lie? Take it easy big fella.

I am basing my statement on owning 2 98 hawks and testing their guages against each other, then using a known accurate themometer simultaneously, so not just speculation. Oh and then against my cbr digital guages (on the hawk) which is spot on (+/-2*) over the whole range against mine and my mechanics known accurate guages.

I also said that based on his observation of poor charging/ system voltage, which could (as he said did) vary the needle guage greatly. (he said it doesnt work at all now so your statement about its accuracy is incorrect)

Not trying to argue but based on given info (guage reads sproraticly then not at all) I dont think telling him his guage is accurate to be prudent or accurate. Not even good speculation even.
Well... For any of the instruments to even begin measuring correctly, the supply voltage has to remain somewhat steady, within 12.5-14.5V... If voltage fluctuates outside that, the reading will be skewed, but that's not down to the gauge really...

BTW, i didn't say you lied... I said that the accuracy of the older temp gauge is fairly good, unless damaged... Better than the new digital one in fact... Which, BTW doesn't work at all if voltage exceeds the stated...
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:18 AM
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So in you first example, you use actual tested guages, but in you second example, you use the guages rated deviance. (no actual testing).

Neither of these on this guys non charging bike.

Surely someone as knowlegeble as you sees the huge innaccuracy of all these random statements on this particular case.

If you had actually done testing on the digital guages on thes bikes to find actual deviation, (which you havent mentioned), it still would not help the OP find his problem, only be an attempt to prove my statement wrong, which it wasnt.

A sweeping dial that is not marked with numbers cannot possibly be said to be more accurate, since it doesnt even attempt to give you numerical value. (are you following this?)

Are you using a machinists ruler with the bezel OFF the guage to measure the micrometers on the face to judge accuracy? No scientist or mechanic worth his salt would stand behind that kind of evidence (half way(ish) on a non delineated guage? All on a (known) non charging bike?

If a shop used this convoluted logic, I would never go there. (Yeah, your guage is 24 microns so that means xxx in degrees)

Further, on other bikes, (cbr600) honda has actually changed what the needle did based on concern that the bikes were running hot. (same guage, same bike, differnt delineations to make the owner feel better about how hot the bike is running)

I am not saying this is the case on the vtr, merely illustrating that a non numerical guage doesnt even purport to show actual temp. just temp relative to the guage sweep, which is arbitrary.

NONE of which even applies to a bike with known faulty electrics. Like this one. (so calling me a liar does nothing to add to the thread or this guys issues)

Last edited by smokinjoe73; 05-31-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:44 AM
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OK. One: The Term "Idiot gauge" normally refers to a gage face that appears to indicate a range in numbers of colors, but is actually controlled by a temp sensor that is just a on off switch, like used in , well an idiot gage,, ie a small red light that indicates you have ALREADY overheated.

Mid 80s chevy, dodge and fords are known for this..

The Early year super Hawks DO NOT HAVE what most in the US familiar with said gauges would call an "Idiot Gauge" as the temp sensor and gauge are variable rate based on resistance.
True, there are no numbers associated to the color scheme on the early year SH temp gauge.. But even a mildly observant rider will quickly notice what is a "normal" location for the needle in various riding conditions.

And a rider considere even slightly above certified retarded can easily use a non contact IR temp gun to correlate needle position with right side radiator temp (externally at the tank)

Numbers on a OEM temp gauge system are notorious for being misleading as to true temp.. But they provide a reference number to observe, JUST LIKE needle position.

As to specific accuracy on mne bike vs another... ehhh who cares, i'd never trust an OEM gauge in any case, verify with a IR temp tool or better yet thermocouple slipped in between the right top rad hose and rad neck....and get a true coolant temp.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:20 AM
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Just as a way to test how much you believe the theory.

Would you fly in a plane that had needles without numbers? Or trust a doctor that did blood pressure and took your temp on instrumentw with no numbers, even if they swore they knew "about" what those meant? How bout a cop that breathalized or radar gunned you into a jailable offense with a guage that resembled the 1st gen?

Me niether.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Just as a way to test how much you believe the theory.

Would you fly in a plane that had needles without numbers? Or trust a doctor that did blood pressure and took your temp on instrumentw with no numbers, even if they swore they knew "about" what those meant? How bout a cop that breathalized or radar gunned you into a jailable offense with a guage that resembled the 1st gen?

Me niether.
LOL.. thats good meaningless in the context of what we are discussing, but funny that you felt it germane to the topic.

Based on the analytical processing you've shown in this thread, I would not let you operate on me if you were a surgeon,, But Id still ride with you ... see I can do it to... and like your post, it to has no relevance to the tiopc.

My point was not that you can read a specific temp "number" on the early gauge... but that you can gauge if the bike is running in a normal range for a given use.
If we are talking diagnostic, or tuning temp monitoring, then it's a mute point... Neither gauge is accurate enough for that.

To the op.. the point is, use a second method to verify what you think you're seeing on a temp gauge built into the bike.

Use a test light or voltmeter to verify you have voltage to the fan.

Do a simple grounding of the fan circuit temp switch to see if the fan comes on.

You can also test the temp switch by removing and dropping it in a pan of boiling water.. then use a Ohm meter to see if the contacts close.

Last edited by E.Marquez; 05-31-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:44 AM
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I still say fixing the R/R is high on the list... that sucka's probably gone and messing up all kinds of things.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:32 PM
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Yeah, getting back to the topic

seven is right, RR trumps everything else, including me moonlighting as a surgeon. Thanks Erik, I was on the fence about actually taking that gig, better not.

In all reality, a new RR (and most likely battery by now) would probly solve the rest of your problems.

Electricly, that is. You are on your own with chicks.

Or at least you'll have to start a new thread. Maybe in rant.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
Yeah, getting back to the topic

seven is right, RR trumps everything else, including me moonlighting as a surgeon. Thanks Erik, I was on the fence about actually taking that gig, better not.

In all reality, a new RR (and most likely battery by now) would probly solve the rest of your problems.

Electricly, that is. You are on your own with chicks.

Or at least you'll have to start a new thread. Maybe in rant.
Absolutely fix the root cause.. If the R/R is not allowing correct DC voltage, any number of things can falsely show up as failing..

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:05 PM
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Thanks guys. I will replace the RR as soon as I can. I had a feeling you guys were going to say it was the RR because of all the posts I've seen saying they go bad.

My battery is brand new, so I don't think I should have to replace that unless the RR has screwed up my battery too. I know the bike is still charging my battery because I put a almost dead battery in it one day and bump started it, ran it for a few miles and the battery was charged enough to start the bike after that. I know it's not good to have a bike charge a dead battery but at the time I had no other choice.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 7moore7 View Post
Fan should turn on at around 212*F for stock switch. Sounds like R/R issues as well, as mentioned.

You can check the fan itself by turning the bike on, and unplugging the wire running from the fan to the rad (this is the fan switch) and touching it to some metal on the bike (like the rad). This should turn the fan on. It is not likely that this has failed, also not likely that the fan switch is bad. More likely it's a radiator cap or air in the cooling system. It will be hard to tell until you get your gauges fixed.

But the R/R. Fix that. You may have fried the gauges with a bad one. It's definitely part of the charging issue.
Your talking about the little wire that is screwed onto the radiator right? Isn't it already touching metal which would cause it to start? I know nothing about electrical stuff.

The wire thats attached to #24 in this picture 1998 Honda VTR1000F A RADIATOR | Babbitts Honda Parts House
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:52 PM
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Almost. That's the ground wire. Trace it back to the fan, either on the drawing or on your bike. It's the other wire coming off of number (#6) in that drawing. It is plugged into your fan switch (#25) , which kicks on when the fluid in the rads hits 100*C. What you're doing is bypassing this switch and just turning the fan on to make sure it works. Take that wire and touch it to metal on the bike when the key is turned on.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by smokinjoe73 View Post
So in you first example, you use actual tested guages, but in you second example, you use the guages rated deviance. (no actual testing).

I am not saying this is the case on the vtr, merely illustrating that a non numerical guage doesnt even purport to show actual temp. just temp relative to the guage sweep, which is arbitrary.
Uh... You kind of missed the point there... I really, really don't need to test it when the IC circuit used to measure the signal from the sensor and convert it to the number shown on the LCD has a best case accuracy that's about the same as a random number generator... No, not that gauges... The actual IC inside it... When Honda designed the circuit, they used an IC from the dark ages, because it was cheap as dirt... So, when you say that the numbers it shows are more accurate than the old gauge, I say "Bullshit"... Plain and simple...

The old gauge doesn't have numbers, but it's consistent... The same position on the dial means the same temperature, across several bikes equal bikes... And what little readout error there is, becomes inconsequential as the dial isn't possible to read with larger accuracy than the errors of the circuit...

But the exact same number on the LCD can from one bike to another be +/- 10 degrees C, using the exact same sensor... +/- 17 or so, when adding the inaccuracy of the sensor, albeit that remains constant for that perticular bike...

The point is, you are making the same error as 99% of the general population... You mistake a number on an LCD for being more accurate than a sweep dial, based on no real knowledge...

This means that anything between 90 and 110 is the equivalent to "half-ish"... But most people will still think that the diffenence between 90 on the LCD and 110 on the LCD is a huge difference in reading, and a lot more significant to their bike's health than if the needle is a hairswidth above or below the line on the sweep gauge... Which it isn't... The sweep gauge is arbitrary but consistent, the LCD is just as as arbitrary, and and less consistent... I know which one I'd use... (None of the above, but for spotting an issue from day to day on your bike, one is usefull, the other isn't...)

Yes, you did testing on two equal bikes and found deviance... But then you compare it to another non-equal bike, saying it's "dead on", with an LCD... Which proves? Exactly nothing...

You said the newer bikes had a more accurate reading, I said that wasn't the case... I never said the PO's bike read true... That's your own confusion...

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Old 06-01-2013, 02:56 PM
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Fan definitely works. Was riding to work today and got caught in some serious traffic. Heard the fan turn on for the first time this year.

Now even if my thermometer is broken the fan will still come on right? I ask this because some times my thermometer works and some times it doesn't. So I was thinking maybe the thermometer kicked on and showed a hot reading which caused my fan to come on. I'm thinking it doesn't work like this, but thought I'd ask to make sure.
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:01 PM
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Yes for sure the fan has no idea what the temp guage is doing. 2 totally different systems as I described in the first post. One on rt rad (fan) one under tank(guage).

But if you have a bad battery or RR you are due for a really bad day soon when the bike dies completely and will not be restartable/jumpable or anything.
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