Title headlight on

I continue to get all the fabrication work done before the entire bike gets stripped down for finishing. I started at the tail end and worked my way to the front. With all the under seat and under tank work done it was time to move onto the gauge and headlight mount. As I mentioned in my previous post I decided to abandon the factory headlight and gauge in exchange for something a little more advanced and cafe designed.

Original headlight

Original CB160 headlight with an integrated speedometer. Was originally going to use it but in the end decided to abandon it.

I struggled coming up with a unique way to mount the gauge and new headlight. Typically the headlights are mounting using clamp on ears that are secured to the upper forks. Although I think this design looks good I wanted to build something that didn’t look like it was a universal fit. I tried to mentally blueprint the design but nothing was working so I opted to start cutting metal and would wait to see the direction it would start to take.

The end design turned out to be one piece. In order to avoid clamping to the upper fork tubes I opted to secure the entire setup with O-rings. This way it was not only secure but it was also, technically, rubber mounted. The Motogadget gauge is supposed to be shielded from excessive vibrations and I suspect the 60 watt halogen bulb filament will also benefit from not getting overly shaken.

As in the past I’ll let the pictures do the story telling. In the end I was happy with the design. Things always look better when they are finished so I suspect the bracket assembly will all come together once it is powder coated.

Before after verts

So the point was to come up with an unique way of mounting the headlight and gauge to the upper fork tubes. Didn’t want to builtd something weird or awkward and tried for clean. I started with some 1.50″ DOM tubing and cut windows in order to show off the upper fork rams.

Slotting the verts

I started by milling out a 1/2″ slot on both sides of the tube.

Vert half way

Cutting the window

Next it got clamped down in the band saw and the window was cut out.

Completed verts

The windows come out perfectly square with clean rounded corners.

Vert concept

The idea is to be able to slide the bracket assembly down over the forks with the upper triple clamp removed.

O-ring mounting

What is going to hold the assembly solid is 4 O-rings. 2 on the bottom and 2 on the top. The height of the bracket tubes are trimmed perfectly to allow for the O-rings to compress and therefore hold the bracket assembly solid. I needed to take into account my steering head adjustment, including new bearings, as this plays a factor on the overall height.

Cluster bracket mocked up

With the vertical supports fabricated I turned my attention towards the gauge mount. The mount needs to be as small as possible in order not to be seen but also allow for enough support in order to hold the entire bracket together. I used the upper triple clamp as a guide and then plasma out the rough shape.

Might work

The mocked up mount looks good. Time to sand and grind the edges to clean up the lines.

Gauge holes

4 holes where drilled. One center one to allow for the gauge wiring and then 3 more to accommodate the gauge mounting.

Welding gauge mount

With everything test fit and squared up it was time to TIG weld the bracket together.

Headlight ears

Next it was time to figure out how to build the headlight bucket ears. I wanted everything to flow and integrate. I didn’t have a clear plan as to how to execute the mounting so I decided to just start playing. Here I took a section of 2″ flat bar and gave it a nice clean 180 degree bend.

Ear trimming

Next the bend was cut in have in order to give me 2 ears. I traced out some shapes that seemed to visually work and trimmed the ears up with the plasma.

Ears roughed

After getting sliced up and then worked over on the belt sander the ears started to take shape.

Mounted ears

Test fitting them on the new headlight shows that the clearances are going to work.

Welding ears

Time to TIG everything together and hope that the heat doesn’t twist it out of shape.

Roughed headlight bracket

Here is my “non-vision” of a bracket coming to life. Not much to look at off the bike however it’s sole intent is only to serve a purpose.

Welded ears

The ear mounting worked out well, it looks as though ears were peeled out from the 1.500: DOM tubing.

Headlight mount in place

The test fit shows that everything is square and the install is smooth. Note the upper clamping O-rings are not currently installed.

Headlight and gauge

And here it is with the headlight and gauge roughly installed. The lines are clean and the fitment looks good. Clearances are tight but not too tight. I had previously powered up the headlight in order to get a bead on the alignment which, in turn, helped me decided the placement of the ears.

Gauge view

The new Motogadget gauge is cradled perfectly in the upper triple clamp. Super clean!

Mocked up fork bracket

  1. Fab says:


    As usual… great work! Is this going to be on the road before the snow hits? Be sure to drop by!



  2. Jason Garber says:

    Great work Gord. Looks great!

  3. The Stu says:

    Now, even more than before, that Motogadget gauge is exactly the right piece for the build. Looks so good on there. Beauty mount. When the last pic came up on my phone I thought you had some pimped out wooden grips on there 😉 Can’t wait to see everything powdered/finished and rollin!! You have some old school goggles to wear I hope?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hey Stu! I agree that the Motogadget gauge works, I wasn’t sure at first but now that it is mounted I think it will all come out ok. I often forget about the finishing and powder coating that has yet to come. It will certainly pull everything together. Old school goggles? I’m considering and open face helmet with bubble shield.


  4. Chris Muncy says:

    Morning Gord,
    The pic with the headlamp on its face with the ears attached looks like the start of a Viking helmet. Great job as always.

  5. Dan says:

    Beautiful job! I like the mix of machining and fab to develop the bracket. Keep up the good work.


  6. SKCases says:

    That is some beautiful work. I just found your blog and must say Im enjoying this so far! I was surprised how well your 180 deg bend came out on that flat bar.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks for visiting the blog SKCases. The headlight bracket worked out well, it’ll be interesting to see how it blends into everything once it is powder coated and completed.


  7. DONALD says:


    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Donald, I am glad someone else is as thrilled about it as I am. I have fallen behind on posts however I should have a fairly big picture post coming up within a week, stay tuned.


  8. Tim Darr says:

    Hey Gord,
    I just came across your site and am looking at a similar setup with a gps speed sensor combined with a Motogadget gauge for an old Guzzi project I’m working on. Any further tips or lessons on that combo since you’ve completed your build? Love your work.
    Tim Darr

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Tim, glad you where able to find my site. The GPS and Motogadget set has been working great now for 3 years. I can make 2 comments that may be of some help to you.

      1. Since the GPS relies on satellite data it usually takes between a 1/2 block to a block of riding before it finds its signal. No big deal.
      2. Power supply issue. This one may not apply to you however it is worth noting. On my CB160 the ignition switch has 2 position, the only difference between the 2 positions is one will turn on the headlight (this is factory). If I cycle the ignition through position 1 to position 2 (or vice versa), the entire Motogadget gauge will perform a reset. I then loose all my stored data, mileage, custom setup, and speed sensor calibrations. Bottom line is the gauge does not like to have terminal 30 power (battery positive power) “blipped” which is what happens when I cycle the key through. This is easily fixable by changing some of the wiring however I have yet to perform this task.

      Other then that I love the set up, very glad I installed it.


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