I bought my Honda CBF1000SA brand new from M&S Motorcycles in Durham, way back in 2008. The model is one of the best all rounders Honda have ever made; it was released in 2006 and got a facelift in 2010. There’s a review of it here.

Most of my time is spent riding my classic bikes now, so the Honda has a very low mileage indeed. I’m not a particularly fast rider, but the ‘chicken strips’ on my tyres are pretty slim; we have lots of twisty roads around here. The most annoying omission on the bike, and on many others in my opinion, is a gear indicator display. One, two three and four are fairly easy to distinguish, but four, five and six, at least for me, are not. I often find myself checking to make sure I’m in top gear.

Gear Indicator Display Kit

I recently decided to see if there was an indicator of some sort, and eBay came up trumps. I found a helpful English firm selling exactly what I needed…they provide them for other marques and models, and I’m sure their origin is one of the sweat shops in China, but there is no option.

I confirmed with the company that it would work on my Honda CBF1000 variant and ordered one; it was £40 at the time.

I couple of weeks after it arrived, I found the time to fit it. I had to remove both parts of the seat and the small side panel covering the battery. Before committing myself, I plugged the indicator’s plug into the diagnostic socket, located under the front part of the seat…it’s the socket with the red cap.

I ran through the calibration procedure with the bike on its centre stand. The gear indicator display comes with full installation and setup instructions, which are very easy to follow. Once everything was working, I used the double sided foam pad to fix the indicator to the top of the steering yoke, then fed the wire through the side of the bike, following the course of other wiring until I could plug the connector back in. Tie wraps, which are provided, allow you to fasten the new cable to existing ones; I suggest you check the steering from lock to lock, to make sure the cable doesn’t pull or get jammed. Furthermore, don’t run the cable too near any parts that get very hot.

Gear Indicator Installed – in Neutral

Once re-checked, I put the bike back together and took it up the road and back, to ensure the gear selector display actually worked. What a godsend it is to know exactly which gear you are in!

There are several companies selling similar items on eBay and elsewhere. Be careful though, as many do not have the proper mating Honda diagnostic plug included and you have to work out your own wiring.

The company I bought from was HJR Products on eBay; you can find them here.

In case the item number changes, just search their shop for ‘gear indicator honda 1000’ and it will show up. They supply them for Kawasaki, Ducati and Yamaha…but check your model and year are covered. The gear indicator I bought from them just plugged in…they include the correct connector already attached to the cable.

I’m delighted with my gear indicator display…I don’t get any kickback from saying “you should buy one too”.