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So, the speedometer cable on my Vulcan 500 broke the other day. The dealer will have my replacement cable in tomorrow, but I can't figure out how to unscrew the cable from the back of the speedometer housing. I can get the cable off of the front wheel fine, but there is not enough room behind the speedometer for me to get my fingers, or a pair or pliers, in there to undo the cable. Any suggestions? I thought about removing the speedometer itself, but I can't figure out how to take the gauge cluster off.
 

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Wannabeabigbike Owner
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???

So, the speedometer cable on my Vulcan 500 broke the other day. The dealer will have my replacement cable in tomorrow, but I can't figure out how to unscrew the cable from the back of the speedometer housing. I can get the cable off of the front wheel fine, but there is not enough room behind the speedometer for me to get my fingers, or a pair or pliers, in there to undo the cable. Any suggestions? I thought about removing the speedometer itself, but I can't figure out how to take the gauge cluster off.
I don't know what year yours is, but I have the Haynes manual for the 500A for '84-95, and is says the top unscrews from underneath the triple tree, and then take it out the bottom (after unhooking down below). It also says "note carefully" how it was routed, and when a manual says that, DO IT!!
Looking at a poor picture in it, there is a hole in the triple tree that the cable and threaded retainer go through. That screws onto the back of the speedo, which is above the tree. Hope this helps!!
 

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I can get the cable off of the front wheel fine, but there is not enough room behind the speedometer for me to get my fingers, or a pair or pliers, in there to undo the cable. Any suggestions? I thought about removing the speedometer itself, but I can't figure out how to take the gauge cluster off.
I have a '96. Take the instrument cluster off and then you'll be able to simply unscrew the cable from the back of the speedo. To take the cluster off---- as you're looking down at the cluster you'll see three bolts forming a triangle with one bolt at the bottom. It's this bolt at the bottom that is holding the cluster to the tank. Remove this bolt and then lift the cluster off.
 

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I have a '96. Take the instrument cluster off and then you'll be able to simply unscrew the cable from the back of the speedo. To take the cluster off---- as you're looking down at the cluster you'll see three bolts forming a triangle with one bolt at the bottom. It's this bolt at the bottom that is holding the cluster to the tank. Remove this bolt and then lift the cluster off.
Those are the Harley-esque 2nd gen. The 89-96 BUBF 1st gens were a breed of their own.

I prefer the 2nd gen. :p
 

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Hahah I was glad I owned one too after seeing the pictures of the 1st gen.

They actually made both designs as 1996 model years which is odd for motorcycles. Adds to some confusion. If you aren't already a member baldguy and sauromir please check out the EN500 yahoo group:

EN500 : Vulcan 500 LTD and Classic EN500

Lots of experts on the bike there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Finally got the cable replaced. I actually didn't end up having to remove the handlebars or the speedometer. I found a pair of really long needle nose and was able to get them up behind the speedometer and get a good enough grip on the cable to loosen it. The new cable went on without a hitch. I pulled the inner cable out of the old cable and found that it had snapped clean in two.

On a similar note, I was glad to find out that limiting myself to 4th gear actually kept myself at the speed limit. So, 3 weeks without a speedometer and I didn't speed. :-o
 
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