Speedmaster / Bobber Speedometer Bezel Project

Discussion in 'Builds & Projects' started by James L, Jan 11, 2023.

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  1. James L

    James L New Member

    Jan 4, 2023


    I am working on a project for my 2018 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster which might interest some of you. I want to guage interest in a stainless steel replacement bezel Triumph bikes which use the same speedometer unit as the 2018+ Bonneville Speedmaster.

    I have already commissioned this 3D model of a speedometer bezel. I am currently prototyping this piece in plastic. I will use the plastic recreations to experiment with painting and fitment but I suspect I will not be satisfied with painted plastic in the end.

    I am investigating having the piece CNC milled out of stainless steel. I do not have exact costs yet, so this is subject to change – but based on my research I wanted to provide some insight into the expenses involved in creating a batch of these and guage interest in selling a few of them.

    Prototyping in plastic has cost already $250, and will likely be another $100 to print and iterate on a final design. Pictured is the first prototype 3D model.

    Setup costs for the CNC are $800, then each unit will cost $200.

    The metal version will still need the 4 clear plastic indicator lenses, which may add a few dollars. Shipping and providing machine screws to replace the OEM self-tapping screws may add a few dollars.

    $1200+ is probably too much for me alone to get a cool metal speedometer bezel. But if a handful of you are interested, we might be able to get these down to something we’d each could stomach. For the Speedmaster anyways, the speedometer is the ONE piece that feels plain cheap on these masterpieces of a motorcycle.

    Cost Estimates:

    (Fixed Development Cost/Number of Units) + Per Unit Cost = Per Unit Price

    (1150/5)+200= $430, still pretty pricey for this one piece.



    What I need from you:

    I don’t know how realistic selling even 5-20 of these is. So if YOU are interested help me out: tell me if you’d be interested here and what price point would make sense to you.

    What’s next:

    Depending on the level of interest I can see 3 possiblities:

    1. I give up on this idea :(

    2. Few enough people are interested that the price point is still pretty high – so I set up a method of collecting payment IN ADVANCE and have the pieces of created for delivery 2-4 months later.

    3. MANY folks are interested, and I feel comfortable risking initial cost myself and setting up a simple web store to order, pay, and get the your piece shipped right away.

    Additional info:

    You may know already but this bezel is not available from Triumph, it is only sold as a part of the complete ~$800 speedometer unit.

    It comes is an another variation featuring the Bonneville logo, and slightly different geometry for the lower “wings”.

    I cannot say for certain that it will fit anything but the Bobber and Speedmaster from 2018, but I credibly suspect it will fit not just Bobbers and (Bonneville) Speedmasters from other years, but that it will also work for any Triumph that uses a similar speedometer: some Street Twins, Speed Twins, and Scramblers.
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  2. brown mouse

    brown mouse Elite Member

    Sep 15, 2018
    East Midlands, UK
    I've always thought the bezel on my Speedmaster cheap looking and the only thing about the styling I didn't like. I'd love a chrome or other metal finish bezel, but unfortunately not enough to fork anywhere near the sort of money you're talking about, sorry.

    Really, I'd much prefer Triumph had done a full circle of a bezel, rather than one with a 'bite' out of it, and the twin dials of the Speed Twin would be perfect.

    As a bit of fantasising I did recently looked at YouTube vids of people people doing work on instruments to see if wiring connector was same (it isn't). Though from electrical circuit in the Haynes manual, they are the same function and colour wires on the instrument connector, they just seem to be in a different order. :( Also, even if the wiring was sorted out, no guarantee the CAN bus signals are compatible.

    Anyway, I don't have the money for such a thing, it's just a fantasy. :)
  3. James L

    James L New Member

    Jan 4, 2023
    I investigated some of the same ideas! I'd love the dual clocks from the T120 on the Speedmaster, for sure! That or an aftermarket speedo (there are some options on the market on that front) also comes with the challenge of having modified the true mileage of the bike. Even if you honestly set the new odo - there's always the stigma.

    But this is exactly the info I need, thanks for your input!

    If Triumph sold this part (like they do many such chrome or billet bits and baubles WHY NOT THIS!?) it would probably cost $80. There's just no way to do that with a custom, small run of parts.

    I'd probably plop down $200 without a thought, if this product already existed. But to even get there we'd need around 30+ folks ready to buy in.

    I've cross-posted to Facebook and some other forums and I'm getting the impression that this is not going to be realistic.

    I could roll die the die and have a few made (risking $1000+ myself :/ ), and MAYBE I can sell 5-20 of them over the next few years through word of mouth and posting to forums and such. But I'm not sure that's a project or risk I want to tackle.

    If there's anyone else out there with machine shop contacts or skills, I'd be happy to partner or even hand-off the work I've done thus far, and see if others can move it forward.
  4. James L

    James L New Member

    Jan 4, 2023
    Side idea that I think improves the looks of the speedo on the Speedmaster specifically. I did a little mod to replace the speedo bracket with the adjustable one from the Bobber. IMO the lines of the bike are more beautiful if the speedo sticks out perpendicular to forks instead of up the odd angle it does with the factory non-adjustable Speedmaster bracket. It's bit harder to see the gauge, but sometimes form IS over function for me. upload_2023-1-12_13-9-25.gif

    (my speedo is back off the bike while I prototype the plastic bezel. But I'll post pics of this little bracket mod sometime)

    For reference, to accomplish that you need parts T2503022 Bracket Fixed, T2503025 Quick Release Clamp, T2503029 Nut, Clamp, Knurled, and T2503048 Bracket, Adjust, Instruments. Should run about $90-100 and is 4 additional allen key bolts to swap out the bracket while you have the speedo removed.
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  5. James L

    James L New Member

    Jan 4, 2023
    Here’s a picture of the first physical prototype in plastic (OEM at left). The layer lines are terrible in this quick and cheap print.

    Would there be any market for a nice plastic version? I know the OEM one is plastic, but we can’t really experiment with painting it, since it’s somewhat irreplaceable.

    I wondered if painting (once I have a final smoother plastic version) with matte metallic paint will look any good. Stay tuned.

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  6. brown mouse

    brown mouse Elite Member

    Sep 15, 2018
    East Midlands, UK
    I've wondered similar. Also, a friend did suggest trying chrome detailing tape, but I think the joins would stand out and generally look a bit naff.
  7. James L

    James L New Member

    Jan 4, 2023
    Major Updates!

    RapidDirect corresponded a few times clarifying some aspects of the part and my order. This was heartening because they already had my money!

    Michigan experienced some major power outages the past week so the plastic final version will be done after the metal version.

    AND I already have received the metal version!

    I am beyond impressed with RapidDirect. Communication was a small challenge as their folks aren’t perfectly fluent in English, though FAR better than most Americans are in any other language. But given we’re talking in a technical context; it was a little difficult to know I was being understood.

    • The part is shaped precisely per the design. Utterly perfect in every functional regard – or at least as perfect as the design anyways (see some notes below about what I might have done different and will now find creative solutions / mitigations for.)
      • I even test fit the prototype clear indicator lens from Thingsmith. The keyways at the back of the lenses which ensure proper orientation of the symbols fit flawlessly.
    • This was fast and relatively inexpensive.
      • I understand why Chinese mass manufactured parts are inexpensive: poor labor rights. Even so, this sort of product requires skilled labor – so it’s hard for me to explain how this could be done so quickly and for so little money.
    • Despite the language barrier, they were communicative and great to do business with! Their site made it easy to quote and order – and they followed up with human contact.
    • Due to the curved and complex shape of the part, RapidDirect let me know in advance of production that they could not brush the final product. Only polish.
      • They suggested a polish specification of RA0.8, which I did my best to research. I agreed to it, unable to know for certain how it would come out aesthetically.
      • It is much closer to chrome finish than I desired. Really, I wanted fully matte, brushed finish, like a stainless-steel panel might be. Ultimately, there’s a ton of chrome finish on the bike and this will fit right in – but it’s not EXACTLY what I wanted.
    • Lastly, the polish is not perfect – you can see some swirls in the photos. I’m less disappointed in this – I could polish further myself or even attempt wet sanding it to get a more matte finish.
    So, if you do something like this, I wholeheartedly recommend RapidDirect, if you’re not ready to shell out the big bucks it would take to do this in the United States.

    Design Considerations

    I want to separate the rest of the update from my thoughts on RapidDirect, because these are aspects of the design, not the manufacturer. None of this reflects on them, just on how the part translates from plastic to metal.

    I have test fit everything but need to wait on the final indicator lenses from Thingsmith before final assembly and mounting on the bike.

    I’m not, right now, interested in spending more money on another iteration. But here are some thought for if / when I or someone else might want to.
    • I’m slightly concerned about the metal touching the main speedometer lens along the inner-most angle of the main circle. The plastic factory bezel very does this as well, but metal-on-plastic lens is little scary.
      • I may add 4 nylon or rubber washers between the screw bosses of the bezel and the speedometer housing, to raise it from the surface of the main lens by ~1mm.
      • If I were doing another version, I may order a plastic prototype which raises this corner 1mm, so see if the rest of the part fits properly – or must the bezel meet the lens for the parts to mate well.
    • The weight of the part of 6.5x the original. Plastic factory part is 28.5g. Stainless is 185g. I’d probably go for aluminum if I were doing another iteration which would be around 62g. My concern is that the weight of this bezel is mounted to the plastic housing of the speedometer.
      • When test fit, the bezel does not move even the smallest bit relative to the speedometer housing. The speedometer housing is rubber shock mounted to the bracket on the bike. Given those factors, I think I am safe to use this heavier part – but there is some risk of cracking the speedometer housing with prolonged vibration.
    Next Steps
    • Await indicator lenses and final plastic version (I order a few extra indicator lenses)
    • Decide between plastic and metal version.
    • Final assembly and mounting to the bike.
    • Make a final post here.
    • I really doubt this will gain traction BUT: I’m not (yet) willing to spend another $300-600 on another iteration. But if there enough interest to crowd fund that, so that more people could buy refined a version of this product – I would happily continue to do the leg work of ordering, testing, etc.
    • In a few years I may want to improve this and will have the designs still to do so. But I’m nearly ready to close the book on this project for now. It’s been fun!






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