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Restoring the face of a trip computer?
Below is new artwork including the top section. (It shows one version with and one without cutouts for production reasons.)

At least one company wants to send me a "free prototype". (Should I feel guilty if it never becomes a product and keep it for my bike?) A couple companies were concerned about having a liability due to the presence of the Honda logo, but others didn't care.

They all seem to be sure they can preserve the backlighting and bushed metal look in the new ones.

[Image: 7460NewOverlay2.jpg]
'86 SEi
#16 02-12-2008, 04:27 PM,
This may seem like a weird question: What color should the faceplates be to restore them correctly?

The reason I ask is I can't tell from the ones I have because both of them may have faded. I have two trip computers. One of them (in better shape) seems to be simple brushed aluminum. It was full of dust when I got it so I believe it lived its prior life in a desert environment. That was was from an 85 LTD. The other, which came with my 86 SEi, is in much worse shape and although it is still brushed metal, it seems to have been anodized to a brownish color, but I think it has also faded with time, and it is now almost silver (brushed aluminum).

I believe both of them are faded. Although both are pretty much silver color now, I can't imagine Honda failed to notice that white lettering doesn't show up well against a silver background, and I suspect they were all originally brownish, which I think would be better.

Am I correct that originally these faceplates were anodized slightly brownish?

P.S. I notice that the original silkscreened metal on all of my handlebar switches (radio, cb, and air ride system) all look like brown anodized aluminum. Since they don't face upward, it seems likely they wouldn't tend fade in the sun as quickly. It also seems likely the trip computer would have originally matched those pieces in color.
'86 SEi
#17 02-23-2008, 08:42 PM,
I'd like to know when you get the final results and pricing.

#18 03-03-2008, 03:36 PM,
It sure would be nice if you could get your hands on some original sales brochures for these models depicting the computers faces. I'll try checking in on a friend of mine who has many original magazine test articles for this period and see what he comes up with.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#19 03-03-2008, 04:20 PM,
I'll post here when it happens Wayne. My expectation is that pricing will be about $40 for the set of both overlays. Maybe $45, it depends on how much retooling I have to pay for.

Yes Vic that would be great. If you find any good photos of the computer when it was new, please let me know.

The company has my old faceplates in their hands and the artwork. They have told me they can do it in one of two ways: Brushed aluminum, or a solid color, but they can't do "brown brushed aluminum" unless they try to simulate it with color, which I think would look awful.

They also tell me they can make the backlit areas more translucent than the stock unit, so the backlighting of the keyboard will be brighter.

Right now I'm waiting for them to do some experimentation with colors, and they'll get back to me soon.
'86 SEi
#20 03-03-2008, 04:37 PM,
Darn it, my friend found the original magazine articles showing the computer face but the pictures are in black and white. If you want the articles send me your email address and I'll forward them. <!-- e --><a href=""></a><!-- e -->
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#21 03-03-2008, 06:02 PM,
Paul ,

Make a serch on eBay, there is a LTD that is on there now, with a very clean picture of the trip computer.

It's not in perfect condition but, very good, and the color is as I remember it to be.

I have been fixated on the LTD since they came out, hanging out at the Honda shop asking every question I could think of, I tried to memorize every detail of the bike, but it took me 22 years to get one, so I forgot some of the details but I still remember some.
Dave R
Patriot Guard Rider
Previous bikes[/size]
CT 90--- 1960 125 Benly (Honda)--- Insane minibike with 125 Honda motor--- 1982 CB 650
current bikes
1987 CN 250 Helix--- 1985 GL1200 LTD
#22 03-07-2008, 08:28 PM,
Update: I received two prototypes, both identical. This was an error on their part because they were supposed to send two different prototype versions: One silver/metallic with black lettering (for no backlighting) and another "brownish" (but not metallic) with white lettering which can be backlit. Instead I received two identical silver ones with black lettering. Unfortunately this company is not able to do "etching" on a metallic face for white lettering, but they can duplicate the "text-only backlighting" by using layers, although in that case, they can't use their metallic stuff.

If I don't like what they produce, I may have to go with a different company.

Don't worry, the metallic pieces aren't mirror-like. The surface is like dull metal but it isn't brushed. The surface is kinda like silver spraypaint, but more even. Maybe "sandblasted aluminum" describes it well.

The good news: The fit is PERFECT, and the prototypes look GREAT in daylight. It would easily pass for original equipment if you weren't familiar with the Honda's faceplates, which have white text. Although I'm sure some folks would be very happy with this, I'm not posting photos yet, because this is not the version I should make available.

The bad news: First I want to see the properly backlit version, which is probably what we need. (Black on metallic silver is only a backup plan.) Also, although the metallic version looks great, the entire piece is slightly translucent, which means at night you would see lit rectangles and other shapes wherever there's text which would only look weird. This wouldn't be acceptable unless you remove all the bulbs inside, and abandon the idea of backlighting entirely. Also the piece is a bit thin and I want them to use thicker material. (They were concerned about a thick piece pulling up due to the bend, but I think it can be bent before application [like the originals] to overcome this.)

So, another round of prototypes is in order.
'86 SEi
#23 03-15-2008, 09:31 AM,
admin friend found the original magazine articles showing the computer face but the pictures are in black and white...
...I have few pictures (in colour) travel (trip) computer;

[Image: 2h6ettx.jpg]

[Image: 21ju6x4.jpg]
All You needs is LIFE...
#24 03-17-2008, 09:13 AM,
Wow that is VERY dark brown and it looks good! Thank you, that helps a lot! The one on my bike has been sun bleached to the point you would swear it was originally just plain brushed aluminum.

Any chance they were different among LTD's versus SEI's? (I have two computers... one is now silver the other clearly used to be brown and I don't know what bikes they came from.)
'86 SEi
#25 03-17-2008, 07:13 PM,
I have pictures new (from factory) GL 1200 LTD and SE-i and both Bikes have dark-browm TrawelComp. But SE-i have black plastic (like dash and case), LTD burgundy-brown.
Now in my LTD I have silver TC, but this is TC after repair, exchange - I thing. Everything one as you will make color of upper TC...
All You needs is LIFE...
#26 03-18-2008, 02:27 AM,
I would be interested in one as long at the back light still works.

What are the other site's? This and Saunders are the only ones I know of.

86 SEI.
83 GL1100A
89 PC800
#27 04-25-2008, 08:20 PM,
Kccode1 Wrote:I would be interested in one as long at the back light still works.

Me too!
JimC in NC (USA)
#28 05-09-2008, 08:28 PM,
me too
currenlty own
Car, truck, and bicycle :)
formerly owned
86 SEI,83GL 650i,82GL 500i
450 nighthawk, german spec CB 650, KZ 100, YZ 125, CT90
#29 05-10-2008, 04:42 PM,
Paul from California,

Have you made any more progress on the trip computer face? I would certainly be interested in one if and when you start selling them.

I have an 85 LTD and the face of my trip computer looks like the bottom of a dry lake bed (pic attached).


Thanks for all of your effort!

Attached Files
.jpg   100_1344_600x451.jpg (Size: 73.05 KB / Downloads: 123)
Paul from Ohio
85 LTD
#30 07-09-2008, 06:14 AM,

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