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-   -   Dead 12GS......? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/dead-12gs-40859)

bunyip01 15 Feb 2009 13:00

Dead 12GS......?
2004, 90k, Zero probs to date. Been everywhere in Oz, NOT babied. Rode home from town 3 nights ago, all normal. Go to bike tonight to head to town, insert key, turn same, NUTHIN! Not even a weeeny little squeek, letalone the normal sound and light show. You'd swear the battery was disconnected. So I check that, plenty of charge, but put on charger for a couple of hours, 't b sure!' Tried spare key. Tried a quick prayer! Nothin. Elzilcho. Total lack of any vital signs.
Cheers, an ever patient Bootlace.

It's easy to be patient when your at home at your own house, huh?

Tim Cullis 15 Feb 2009 13:40

I can't think of anything, but then bike maintenance wasn't in my school studies. If you don't get any useful responses I'd suggest you post on UKGSer.


Stephano 15 Feb 2009 14:28

Have you checked the side-stand circuit? Just a thought.

MikeS 15 Feb 2009 18:50

Check the main fuse?

mollydog 15 Feb 2009 19:01

BMW will be able to plug in the diagnostic computer and find the fault.

dc lindberg 15 Feb 2009 19:24

After just having suffered the failiure of my hall-sensor...

Dead - as in no spark or as in no startermotoraction?
If it turns over - do you have any sparks, any action in the HT-leads?
Or,.. dead as in dead - nothing what so ever happening dead?...

Had a very similar experience once - a ICU (ignition control unit) went bust between to startings as I was tuning carbs on a R100.

Though I too stick to the theory of a main fuse got blown -;)

Let us know what the fault was when you've located/identified it.

Steve Pickford 16 Feb 2009 09:48

I think you'll find that the R12GS does not have any fuses or relays as it has a CANBUS wiring system.

If you turn the ignition on & ensure that the kill switch is in the RUN position, you should hear the fuel pump priming. If not, I'd look at the Hall Sensor (ignition pick-up) on the front of the engine which I think triggers the fuel pump or I'd suspect that the EWS ring (immobiliser antenna) by the ignition tumbler is faulty.

Your GS is an O4, early EWS ring's are not as reliable as later versions.

I'm not sure if there's a test on the Hall Sensor you can do with a multi-meter to determine if it's faulty or not? If there is, you'll probably need to check for resistance. I know that engine heat can cause the insulation on the 1150's Hall Sensor wiring to become brittle & then break down.

Get a dealer to plug the bike in to the GT1 workshop computer, that should diagnose the issue pretty quick.

Tim Cullis 16 Feb 2009 12:44

I know I said bike maintenance wasn't my strong point, but I can confirm, as Possu says, there's no main fuse.

The EWS problem would show up with a big red warning in the instrument cluster. I'm assuming your cluster is dead, in which case the electronics haven't even got as far as checking the EWS.

The only time this happened to me it was the battery, so I would recheck this if possible.

According to the advice I received the voltage across the battery should read 12.75v or better for a full charge. 12.5v is about half charge. Any less after being fully trickle charged from the mains and the battery is toast.

Read posts #42 to #50 on the above thread and let us know what your voltage reads.

Secondly, could you disconnect your battery and then use jump leads to take current from another battery just to check whether the bike then powers up?

Finally, another thread on batteries that might have some pearls of wisdom.

Good luck

Mr. Ron 16 Feb 2009 16:51

As was mentioned, this is a CANbus bike, there is no fuse box. That being said, if you do not have FULL voltage, the bike can do some strange things. Check the voltage on the battery, it may have a bad cell. With the key in the ignition and on, flip your kill switch in case it's sticky. If your showing no power, as in no dash lights, it's not EWS, key ring failure. That will only be determined after you turn on the ignition and the bike self diagnosis, and will show as EWS on the dash. Are your levers touching the hand guards? Can you hear the micro switches clicking when you operate the levers? A common problem that will be diagnosed as a fault, but usually will not prevent the dash from lighting up. Don't start taking things apart, your bike does not have a hall sensor like previous models :nono: i even checked the parts list to make sure. The ignition is operated by the main computer through the CANbus. There is only a sensor which moniters the position of the crankshaft to determine when to fire the bike. Like Steve mentioned before, when you turn on the ignition, the fuel pump should whine and preassure up, and your servo brakes should whine for a split second to diagnose. If you've checked all this and come up with nothing, then unfortunately you will need to go to the dealer and get a diagnostic done.
...okay, while checking the parts fiche, i found that the 1200 MAY in fact have a main fuse! Part number 123 176 806 83 over voltage protection. This is a wire that runs from the back of the generator. This may be a possability??
A quick note on understanding CANbus. This is a protocol, not a thing., kind of like a computer program. It has been in place for a number of years in the automotive industry and was first introduced in the manufacturing sector. It is remarkably simple! Previously, the wiring diagram on your 1150 and older bike was, well, you know. Ever look under the fuse box on an 1150RT :eek3: This was because nearly all electronics operated mechanicly with switches, relays, sensors, etc. All this is gone now and operated by the central computer. For example, you push your turn signal switch, which was once operated by a complicated system of relays. Now it is only a switch which sends a signal to the computer. The computer is programed to flash the light so many times a second when this switch is turned on, thats it. simple! No extra wires, no relays, just a single wire that goes to the main computer. Same goes for your ignition, EWS, brakes, clutch, anti-knock sensor, ABS and so on. The computer does all the thinking. The computer also shuts down entire circuits when there is a spike or drop in voltage, which is why these bikes need a diagnostic computer to get rid of faults. These are found in the expensive dealerships, or you can buy a GS911 for around $400. Hope that clears things up a little bit for you guys :clap:

mollydog 16 Feb 2009 20:34

Damn, I knew this fact! I guessed main fuse too ..... :nono:

bunyip01 25 Mar 2009 07:58

When i said the bike was 'dead', I mean as dead as if the battery was out of the bike and in another room.... ZERO action.
So, it turns out that in the ignition switch/tumbler/barrel, rather than most machines that have slide type contacts, these have 2 micro switches, operated by a cam type arrangement. One of these has decided it has had enough! Which would explain why there was absolutely no warning. Probably failed when I last turned the key off.
If this happens to you 'out there...', you can easily get yourself mobile by joining the red and green wires that run out of the switch. But of course you will need to have the key in it...

So remember the symptom. Bike running fine, turn off. Go to restart, turn key,absolutely nuthin! ZERO! no dash lights, nothing. As I said, as if the battery was in another country.

I was lucky, it happened on my back doorstep. Keep this little piece of info
somewhere, hopefully it may help. (Not a common failure, by the way...)
Cheers, Bootlace.:smartass:

motoreiter 25 Mar 2009 09:39


Originally Posted by bunyip01 (Post 234893)
If this happens to you 'out there...', you can easily get yourself mobile by joining the red and green wires that run out of the switch. But of course you will need to have the key in it...

Bunyip, thanks for the diagnosis and solution. I won't be near my GS for a few weeks but wanted to clarify something--did you have to cut the wires or did you take the switch off and disconnect the wires?

bunyip01 25 Mar 2009 12:57


Originally Posted by motoreiter (Post 234904)
Bunyip, thanks for the diagnosis and solution. I won't be near my GS for a few weeks but wanted to clarify something--did you have to cut the wires or did you take the switch off and disconnect the wires?

I took it to the shop, they diagnosed it. But I did ask Brian if there was anything I could have done to avoid this, and if it happened again whe'n 'out there ',what I could do. I imagine it must be fairly self evident when he said "no worries, just join the green and red wires, and your away!"
Cheers, and hope ya never have to....Boot.

dc lindberg 25 Mar 2009 12:58

If it is the hall sensor - this may help you:


bunyip01 26 Mar 2009 14:41

Go back to post #11.

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