Custom motorcycle display


[fibra] has been slowly building a custom controller for his motorcycle. It’s an automated chain oiling system that varies application based on RPM. The LCD can show wheel RPM, voltage, time, date, air, and engine temperature. A separate driver board has a MOSFET for controlling the oiling valve. The real gold here is the attention to detail. He built a one off circuit board. The case is laser cut acrylic that he then shaped. The box is molded smoothly into the original instrument cluster using epoxy. It’s excellent work that could be mistaken for a commercial product.


  1. ACEdotcom says:

    Thats pretty awesome, but the display could be a bit larger, not for extra info, but for larger characters on the screen.

  2. Hue Mann says:

    Carrying the first comment a little further . . . if he incorporated a HUD system ( for use in a helmet visor it’d take care of the matter nicely.

  3. tmd82 says:

    i’m not understanding the point of it… have owned street bikes and dirt bikes – neither of them needed the chain oiled more than once during ownership. the geek-ness: cool. the practicality: not so cool. “adjusts the amount of oil based upon engine RPMs”????? oil all over your leg? other than that, it cosmetically looks great.

  4. original-green says:

    Is he driving one of those fancy european bikes that need babying?

  5. Beyond says:

    I have a ninja 500r and the manual says clean and lube the chain every 600-700kms, so i could see this eliminating that chore, which takes 15 minutes every 6-7+ hours of riding…

    Overkill, yes, cool, yes.

  6. Steve says:

    i must be blind. where is this info comming from? are we sure which chain it is meant for? timing chain makes more sense. i’ve heard of timing chains getting dry and jumping timing when the engines are built to run ~15k. i’ll dig around a little more

  7. otomoton says:

    Some Harleys (not sure if it’s just the older ones or newer ones too) have a chain oiler that slower drips oil onto the chain. If i had to guess i would image that’s what this is for.

  8. bill rowe says:

    Most chains need periodic cleaning and oiling. Automatic oilers are common but usually vacuum-activated.

    This hack posting is all about the case build – gorgeous work.

  9. Addictronics says:

    oh wow. I thought it was a Radio Shack project box from the (non BW) hackaday pic. Very nice and clean build.

  10. anon says:

    just another example of the superiority of belts over chains

  11. Joe says:

    Agree, nice work smoothing the project box into the frame, but the screen would be great if it was >20% of the faceplate area.

    Any other more pertinent information for display like angular momentum relative to the earth, local magnetic field strength, instantaneous acceleration?

  12. jay says:

    I’d like to see you pull 100+ HP on a belt on a bike. That is the reason for chains. Superior friction and strength.

    That is a great addition to a bike, most need chains to be waxed/lubed every 500 mi or so. Which is a pretty short distance. It prevents rust and keeps the heat down on the chain.. this helps prevent dry cracking and breaking during riding.

    I love the way it is integrated as well. Beautiful job.

  13. Kay says:

    There are not just chains and belts.
    There are also cardan joints (which have to be greased as well anyway).

  14. grovenstien says:

    I think it needs hex head counter sunk machine screws to finish it off. Not the posi drive they just dont sit right with me.

  15. Pouncer says:

    I agree with grovenstien. My first thought was nice smooth lines, followed by why the hell did he use those screws, and the aluminum bottom of the box for a face. seems to cheapen the whole look of a job well done.

  16. SOOPERGOOMAN187 says:

    Just wow, it is so smooth looking and natural in it’s placement. Good job on this mod. I know quite the few people who will really like this, Myself included.

  17. hiatus138 says:


    The Buell 1125r makes 145 hp, with a belt drive. zero maintenance, ever, and no replacement period (it’s designed to last the lifetime of the bike, 100,000 miles)

    Top fuel motorcycle drag racers use belt primary drive(connect engine to transmission) for 1000+ hp. The belt is 5″ wide though.

    as for friction, a chain “consumes” more power just turning it than the belt, due to its having hundreds of moving parts.

    The belt, pulleys and idler weigh less than a chain and sprockets, and have no backlash, aka “chain snatch”. hence a belt doesn’t require a cush drive to absorb shock loads. It also don’t require a tensioner assembly in the swingarm, reducing complexity and weight further.

    the reason more manufacturers don’t use belt drive is that it as much harder to change drive ratio. you’d have to have a new pulley set for each ratio desired.

  18. djrussell says:

    thank you, hiatus, for bringing some sense to the thread.

    tmd82, you’re an idiot.

  19. Raf says:

    Nice job aesthetic but how you didth plastic parts ?

  20. nocent says:

    “just another example of the superiority of belts over chains”

    chain driven bikes are much more common in European countries. not neccessarily on European made bikes though. a nice mod for bikes whether they be sports, tourers or whatever is a vacuum fed oiler. do a google search for scott oiler.

    @djrussell: no need to be condescending. each have their own application

  21. daler says:

    There’s a reason they still use chain drives on motoGP bikes. For their width, chains are still stronger than belts. A thinner chain means more room for a fatter tire, and with a chain, adjusting gear ratios is a little bit easier. Also, a chain is easy to fix if it snaps: just pop a master link on the break.

    The trade off is that a chain requires more maintenance: oiling and tensioning (they stretch).
    Drive shafts require almost no maintenance, but waste more power than a chain or a belt.

    Belt technology is getting better, though, and I won’t be surprise when chain drives become obsolete. Until then, I’ll be breaking out the can of chain wax every so often.

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