Product Review – Trail Tech Vapor and Dashboard Units
There are good products and then there are great products. The Trail Tech Vapor Speedometer/Tachometer unit is a great product. I have had one on my personal DR650 since just about the day I brought it home. The things that this unit will do really are very surprising - programmable warning lights, shift indicators and data averages of certain events.
Installation is very easy and straightforward. The instructions are extremely clear and concise and tell you everything you need to know to get the Vapor mounted and wired up to your bike. They include clamps for both 7/8” handlebars as well as 1-1/4” bars and even a pattern if you want to make your own custom mount. There are at least two different magnets so you have mounting options for that as well as zip-ties to hold all the wires in place. All of the kits are specific for your motorcycle so it fits and has the required parts.
Each of the four leads out the back of the Vapor are clearly marked and are equipped with quick connect fittings that allow you to easily remove the unit for security reasons. These four leads are for electrical power, temperature, RPM and speed of course. Should take you no more than an hour to mount and hook up the entire system. Then you will be ready to move on to programming the unit itself.
Hooked up with a 12 VDC system the backlight and screen brightness is considerably brighter. Though the system works much better with a 12 VDC battery source, it will work without one. An internal battery means that the Vapor has complete capabilities regardless if it has an outside power source. That internal battery is good for about two seasons of riding, and when it finally dies, it is very easy to replace.
Once your wiring is complete, you need to go through and customize all the settings for the unit itself. You will need to set the tire circumference, establish high and low tattle-tale settings and the like. There are several settings that are important so that lights and warnings will actually be applicable to your particular motorcycle. Not taking the time to establish these settings in the Vapor is like only installing the speed sensor and forgetting the temperature and RPM inputs, you are just getting half a system.
Give me just a minute to highlight a few of my favorite features in the Vapor.
- Tachometer. I just can't live without a tach. The bar graph does a great job of giving you a good idea of just where you are in the RPM range, and if you need a more accurate reading, it is available in the lower right corner of the unit in a digital readout.
- Tattle-tale feature. The Vapor keeps track of maximums and averages. Want to know your maximum speed for the day? It will tell you. Max RPMs, engine temperature and ride time. All of this is since the last time you reset the unit which could have been two minutes ago, that morning or two weeks ago.
- High temperature lights. The temperature icon in the upper left of the screen not only shows ambient temperature, but is will show the motor/water temperature on various screens. When it gets to your programmed point for hot, it will flash on the screen as well as the yellow light on the left will flash. It also displays 'High' on the right side of the screen. When you get to the maximum temperature you have established, the red light on the right flashes as the temperature is displayed and the word 'Danger' is displayed on the right side of the screen. This could be a real motor saver someday!
- Clock. I don’t have to dig out my cell phone to tell what time it is and how soon I have to start for home so I don't get in trouble!
There is no need to give you the complete run down of all that the system can do when you can click here and see it elsewhere on the website.
If you are using the Vapor on your dual-sport or street bike, I encourage you to take a look at the Indicator Dashboard also. This is a housing that the Vapor is placed into and has mounting locations for four indicator lights. The cool thing is that YOU decide what indicator lights these will be! There are nine different colored indicator caps including: turn signals on (either side), individual turn signals (right and left), neutral, headlight on, high-beam, reverse (for ATVs), oil pressure and low fuel (if your motorcycle is equipped with sensors for these) and even a blank to block off a vacant hole.
You can arrange those as you desire in any combination. The stock set-up has small incandescent bulbs for each indicator, but the kit includes tiny LED lights as well for reduced energy consumption should you need that option. The Dashboard kit also includes a mounting plate and there is a pattern to assist you in making your own included in the Vapor manual should you want to do that.
We have had customers come back and tell us that the Vapor - Indicator Dashboard unit looks so much like an OEM installation that the friendly folks at DMV never noticed it was an aftermarket installation. (In some states that can be a problem.) The Vapor is silver or you can order the Vapor Stealth which is black. The Indicator Dashboard is only available in black.
Last but not least, Trail Tech provides excellent customer support should you need it. Just give them a call and they will do everything they can to answer questions or solve problems. They also carry individual replacement parts and other accessories should you need them. This can be handy if you change motorcycles and want to move your Vapor to your new bike, or buy a used one and need a part. You can visit their website and then order whatever you need through us here at ProCycle.us.