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Old 17 Mar 2013
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BMW1200GS doesn't recognise gears

I'm having trouble getting my bike to start (2006 BMW1200GS). When I switch it on the computer doesn't recognise which gear I'm in. Nothing comes up in the little box which tells you which gear I are in, the green N light doesn't come up (I've checked that it is in neutral) and consequentally nothing happens when I hit the starter button.

This has happened a few times now - ever since I put a new battery in a few weeks ago. I didn't use the bike over winter and wonder if the rear brake had got stuck (which has happened before) and whether it was that which was stopping the bike register a gear. I played with both front and back breaks etc but still nothing.

The battery is fine

After a few minutes of pulling levers etc it comes on but I clearly haven't solved the problem. Am going to have to take it to a BMW dealer but thought I'd ask here in case anyone knows anything.

I don't know a thing about bike mechanics so please keep it simple.



Last edited by Lonesome George; 17 Mar 2013 at 18:12.
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Old 17 Mar 2013
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Clutch IN, sidestand UP and you'll start the bike- be careful in case in it in gear!

The switch is a known issue and goes duff usually down to water ingress. (isn't it great on a £10K+ bike?? good old bm wobbleU! and yes I had one! but never again)
Fixed every time by taking out the connecter from the sensor at the rear of the gearbox and spraying with WD40

Worse scenario is the intermediate shaft bearings may have collapsed allowing the shaft to float and break the potentiometer (which you can also spray with WD40)

The gear indicator potentiometer is part 4 in the top picture
The potentiometer is at the rear of the gearbox. BMW can reprogram it using their software link
If memory serves, you'll need a small E8 torx spanner- some people replace the torx with an allen.
Sounds to me that unless you are willing to 'tinker' it may be best you go to a dealership.
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Old 17 Mar 2013
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Thanks Bertrand,

I'm not a tinkering kind of man! So I think I'll have to let the expensive professionals look at it. I assume this could have happened as the bike wasn't used for about three months over winter (although I did have it covered it was outside).

I'm sure I did try with the clutch in, side stand up and it still didn't show me anything.

Never mind. I need new tyres and a rear suspension so I might as well just take it to deal and re-mortgage the house.

Thanks for you help.
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