• Motorscan Adapter Turns Smartphones Into OBD Scanners

A Harley Mechanic That Fits In Your Pocket?

Electronic troubleshooting equipment manufacturer Diagnostica has announced an adapter that will allow owners of Harley-Davidsons to use their smartphones as a trouble-code scanner. The adapters come in two sizes — a four-pin type for the older OBD DLCs and Delphi ECUs, and a six-pin unit to connect up to the CAN-Bus port on the newer models. A plug-and-play unit, it utilizes a phone app that allows the user to scan for codes, erase said codes and view many of the other critical metrics usually available only to a service department. Needless to say, this little gem can save you the time, money, and aggravation associated with visits to the service department and can act as an enabler for would-be shade-tree mechanics. Even though the device will set you back a whopping $299, I think we can all agree that it won’t take long to amortize that expense even if you live in areas with relatively low hourly labor rates. On the downside, I can say from experience that the codes do not necessarily tell you what part to replace, they only tell you the symptoms that have been recorded, so it isn’t a silver bullet by any means, but it does give you a starting point. Besides, letting the shop do the work can be expensive, but asking questions based on your readings is free, and the answers can plug any information gaps for most middling home mechanics.

Continue reading for my take on this new technology.

My Take

Motorscan Adapter Turns Smartphones Into OBD Scanners
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On a personal note, it saddens me that this is even necessary. I switched from wrenching on cars to wrenching on bikes back in ’94 specifically because by then cars had started running on pure freakin’ magic, while bikes could still be diagnosed the old-fashioned way through knowledge of the product and deductive reasoning. Oh well, don’t need that fandangled stuff to work on my ride, and never will. That aside, it is an awesome advance for motorcycle folks since it’s been commonplace for auto-part stores to scan your car for free, but not your motorcycle, and Harley’s scanner has always been proprietary.

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Source: Diagnostica Motorscan

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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