Topic: Ok, I get it, machines have feelings. But, does my bike love or hate me?  (Read 414 times)

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Offline Gone in 60

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Not too long ago, I had a phone conversation with a service tech at Irv Seaver BMW that included the phrase "Are you sitting down? This is going to be expensive." He was quoting me for parts and labor to replace the ABS unit on my R1200R. A bike that I have babied, caressed, polished, never ridden in rain, and have never let spend a night outside. And that I now felt was letting me down. To the tune of $2700 for dealer replacement of said ABS unit, which had started displaying a nebulous fault code for the one internal, non-serviceable fluid pressure sensor that controlled the brake light. The sensor didn't like something, and was keeping my brake light on continuously, disabling the ABS and giving me a glaring warning light on the dash. The one code nobody else ever gets.

The only way to get my brake light back was to replace the entire ABS unit. I worked (until a month ago) at a company that made sensor systems for high-end race cars. One guy sits in a corner and tests sensors all day. He knows every minutiae-level aspect of pressure sensors used on everything from top fuel dragsters to road race cars, and he builds race bikes. He said it was a long shot, but there may be a foreign contaminant in that nebulous sensor, and he suggested flushing and bleeding my brakes three or four times over a few weeks to see if a continuous flow of fresh brake fluid might flush away something that the sensor didn't like.

Knowing that the BMW ABS system is one of the bike's few Achilles heels, I flush my brakes annually, rather than the two-year interval specified by BMW. Still, he suggested "What do you have to lose? If it works, it's cheaper than the alternative." Fine. I flushed and bled my brakes four times, which included using my GS911 tool to perform BMW's proper ABS bleed-down procedure. No dice, I still had a solid brake light and no ABS.

Decision time. Option 1: Pay what is slightly less than the trade-in value of my bike to have it fixed. 2: Ride on, with no brake light. Not a good decision. 3: Get what I can for her, send her down the road, and convince my wife that I need funding allocation for a new bike.

4.... try to fix it myself. Used ABS units are out there. 50/50 if one would work, and some people say that even if you do replace the unit yourself, the bike will reject it until you take it to the dealer to have it programmed to work with your particular bike. I devised a plan to buy one, and carefully disassemble the ABS unit to remove the brake ECU portion, and mate my brake ECU to the new valve body to make a new ABS that my bike would recognize. During the process, while I still had access to the machine shop at my old job, I tore the motor portion of the used ABS down and made new brushes for it.

I now had a replacement ABS ready to go for a free weekend where I could tear the bike down. And, several bottles of new brake fluid. A sizable investment. At the same time, I started taking my bike to local dealers to see what I might want to replace it with. The Yamaha MT09 looks like a pretty awesome commuter bike.

I think that's what pushed her over the edge. Suddenly, the brake problem has resolved itself. No fault codes, no problems, perfect function. Been like that for over a month now. So, I'm thinking two things:

She's scared that I'll sell her, and she'll lose a pretty good deal, and she wants to be nice to me. Or, she's evil. She waited until I spent hundreds of dollars, and several hours getting ready to replace a part that now miraculously doesn't need to be replaced.

I dunno. Guess I'll just count myself lucky that I have a perfect bike once again.

« Last Edit: 02/20/19 05:48PM by Gone in 60 »
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Offline Klaus

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BMW nightmares, why I sold my R1100RT-P after the third hall effect sensor failed.

I've resolved the dreaded ABS total failure on a client's bike from something as simple as the rear brake pedal needing a touch of grease.  If the pedal isn't fully contacting the switch at startup, the brakes brick (this would leave the rear brake light on as well).  I'd observe the brake switches on handlebar and foot peg to check for stickiness.  Could be as retardedly easy as that and all this bleeding, extraction, re-bleeding, diagnosing, buying replacement units, etc unnecessary.
Efficiency is beauty.  Patterns rule the world.

Offline Gone in 60

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Wish it were that simple. Gen 2 BMW ABS triggers the brake light through fluid pressure within the ABS module. No external electric switches like, well, probably every other bike on the planet. At least flush and bleed is conventional. None of that turkey baster fluid extraction jib jab. Other than a normal bleed, there’s the added step of cycling the ABS pump with the GS911 and then re-bleeding.

If I were tasked with flushing and bleeding the old BMW system four times in a row I would have just put the bike in a Walmart parking lot with the engine running and walked away.
Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse

Offline breakdirt916

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Holy crap Klaus is still here?

Wanna buy a Ninja LOL

Jk jk...it’s not ready yet. Still need to clean carbs n plugs n stuff
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Offline r0ckrat

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Holy crap Klaus is still here?

Wanna buy a Ninja LOL

Jk jk...it’s not ready yet. Still need to clean carbs n plugs n stuff

I've seen the bike BD is talking about. Nobody on OCMoto except BD and Klaus would ever look at it as an investment, and either would probably make money on it in the long run.

Offline Snapshot

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Wish it were that simple. Gen 2 BMW ABS triggers the brake light through fluid pressure within the ABS module. No external electric switches like, well, probably every other bike on the planet. At least flush and bleed is conventional. None of that turkey baster fluid extraction jib jab. Other than a normal bleed, there’s the added step of cycling the ABS pump with the GS911 and then re-bleeding.

If I were tasked with flushing and bleeding the old BMW system four times in a row I would have just put the bike in a Walmart parking lot with the engine running and walked away.

Sheesh!  What a nightmare!  Glad you resolved it. 

I can't help but wonder what the engineers were thinking of when they designed and implemented that system.  Their continued revenue stream must have been a part of that equation. 

Ride on,

J~
“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

 

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