Reverse LCD instruments attract riders
Koso North America has been delivering gauges and other electronic accessories to the U.S. and Canadian markets since 2003, but this spring, the company launched its first V-twin line.
Koso first introduced its V-twin line at V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati earlier this year. With about 30 products in the first release, Koso unveiled speedometers, tachometers, fuel level gauges, volt meters, an electric temperature and oil level dipstick, USB adapter and more.
Koso’s parent company has decades of experience, as it began producing scooter performance parts in Taiwan as Chen Yah Industrial Co., LTD in 1981. Eight years later, the company changed its name to Tong Yah Industrial Co., LTD, and it began building meters and started its electronic production line. Then in 2003, Koso North America was established in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
After more than a decade of bringing its universal meters to North America, Koso decided to design product specifically built for the V-twin market.
“It’s a huge market, and a lot of people modify those vehicles,” Pascal Lafrance, vice president of Koso North America, said. “They buy the stock bike, and usually they put parts on. There’s also a big demand for instruments as well, so we thought it would be a good idea.”
Koso analyzed the market and found few players in the V-twin instrument segment, so development of the new line began in 2015. Prototypes were created, tested and run by potential customers.
“We wanted to make sure that we had the right product before going out to the market. So it’s a long process, but we wanted to make sure we were ready,” Lafrance said.
Much of the product developed for the V-twin market involved new technology that differed from what Koso was already offering in its universal applications, so the R&D took longer than if Koso would’ve used already-existing technology.
“The plug-and-play instruments we have, we had to start from scratch because we use a different type of technology. For example, with the instruments, people like to see the screen totally black. When you shut off the bike, you want to see nothing. We used a different kind of technology to do that, which we don’t have in the universal, so we pretty much started from scratch to make that,” Lafrance reported.
The HD-03 and HD-02 meter products offer black backgrounds with red or blue changeable displays.
“It’s reverse LCD. If you look at a normal LCD screen, the back of the instrument’s going to be blue, and the digits are going to be black. This is the opposite, so when you disconnect the instrument, if you use a normal LCD, you’re going to see the screen is grey. This one is totally black. That’s why we say it’s a reverse LCD because instead of the back being blue and the digits black, it’s the opposite,” Lafrance explained.
Reaction at the V-Twin Expo and since has been positive. Dealers and consumers have been happy with the look and the technology, and technicians are glad that installation is quick and easy.
“We received a lot of inquiries in the past in regards to developing products for the V-twin market. We followed through with our customers’ wishes, which is why we have received great responses from the market,” Lafrance said.
With the reverse LCD on the new product and quality that comes from Koso’s experience, the product has impressed many.
“It looks different. There are other companies that have been there for many years that are very good, but people want to see new technology, new things, and I think it’s pressure coming on the market,” Lafance said.
The V-twin line is available through Drag Specialties, HardDrive and Midwest Motorcycle Supply.