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In Harley-Davidson's lineup of 20 mounts for 1998, only eight come equipped with the speedo's significant other, a tachometer. The remaining dozen examples sport a device for measuring ground speed and a slathering of tactile and auditory cues to assist you with executing the correct shifting of gears: The frequency of the ubiquitous "potatoes-potatoes-potatoes" rumble, wind-blast and those always invasive vibrations teach you the key shift points. For Harley purists that's plenty.
But a little newcomer to Harley's accessories line this season might just push its way into prominence. It's their new Mini-Tachometer, made by the Datcon Instrument Company of Lancaster, PA, a Harley-Davidson supplier. It adds visual piloting reference to some Big Twin models that until now have often been routed past the instrument parts bin.
The Mini-Tach fits 1988 and later FXSTS, FXSTSB, FLSTS models, but it won't fit Springers with a detachable windshield (Part No. 67941-96). It also fits '94 and later FLHR models, as well as '86 and later FL Softail models equipped with Chrome Nacelle (Part No. 67943-96); '93 and later FXDWG and '86 and later FLST, FLSTC, FLSTF, FLSTN models (Part No. 67946-96, but FL Softails with Chrome Nacelle must use part no. 67943-96); and '84 and later FXST and FXSTC models (Part No. 67948-96). That's a lot of bikes. Different model applications come with suitable chrome fittings for handlebar installation front and center right where you want it.
The Mini-Tach is a 2 5/8 inch mechanism with graphics identical to the factory speedo faces found on 1995 and later models. Integral lighting is also the same in color and intensity. Red line is depicted as 6000 rpm, which may not match the stock factory rev limiter, but it suited my test vehicle, a 1996 Fat Boy incorporating an adjustable aftermarket ignition module already dialed in for 6000 revs. Turn the ignition switch on, and the tach needle draws tightly to zero. Engage the starter, and read the story that previously you've only been feeling.
You get a fine instrument protected from the elements, wiring routed almost out of sight, and a lustrous chrome housing. It's tough, precise, and integrates beautifully with the bike. It's nice for stockers and a perfect addition to modified engines. Harley-Davidson's Mini-Tachometer lists for $159.95. Motorcycle Online Rating: ****