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Registered Badass
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102 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I mounted a small compass below the dash-lights and noticed the compass always said I was heading south. At first I thought the compass was messed up but then realized there apparently is a magnet in the bike's dash panel. The compass works fine if I keep it away from there.

Anyone know why there would be a magnet in here?
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
one question - does it point south even with the bike off? or only when the bike is on?

No idea why the panel would have a magnet but electrical current can be sensed by a compass
 

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Registered Badass
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102 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Aren't most of the parts aluminum?
Yeah it does do it even while off so perhaps it's just some metal. Maybe the ignition housing.
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
actually... a quick search revealed that the speedometer (and I assume the tachometer) has a permanent magnet in it... so that'd explain it
 

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Registered Badass
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102 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ah! That explains it then.
I had tried hovering some metal around the compass and it seemed like I had to press it right against it to have any effect. Seemed odd that the mounting surface would mess it up that much.
Thanks for the info!
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
I got one of THESE digital compasses from Walmart, originally for my Vulcan. It worked fine... until I started the bike. Then it didn't do anything :(
Shut the bike off and it worked normally.

I ended up mounting in my truck, but then found out that the battery only lasts a little over a month or so :(:( Even when it wasn't being used.

IMO, GPS units seem to be the best option for any kind of compass.
 

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Registered Badass
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102 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Agreed, I've got a mount for my PDA which I use for GPS. But I only bring it for long rides and it'd be nice to have something as a backup if the GPS looses signal or something.
 
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