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  #1  
Old 9 Apr 2012
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R1200 GS ABS Failure

Hi All

I have just had the second ABS "brain" failure in 27 months. Both went the same way as in:-

Riding along enjoying the day when the ABS light started to flash rapidly. Stop and turn off the ignition, reset and restart the bike. The ABS light goes out after a short movement and all is good with the world again until the light starts to flash rapidly again, this time with real brake failure as well. There is some residual braking but nothing that would stop you in a hurry.

Both times the bike has been put onto a dealer diagnostic machine and it indicates that the ABS unit is fried.

The first time BMW came to the party and went halves in the unit with me as the bike was 3 years out of warranty but only had 27k km on the clock. Now the second time I am fighting to have the thing replaced again.

Since the first unit went I have only done 4k km.

Has anyone else had similar problems with the ABS "brain" on a 1200 GS. The bike in question is a 2005 model but I have a 2004 model in Europe that has done considerably more km with out any issues at all.

Cheers
Marty
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  #2  
Old 9 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quandary View Post
Hi All

I have just had the second ABS "brain" failure in 27 months. Both went the same way as in:-

Riding along enjoying the day when the ABS light started to flash rapidly. Stop and turn off the ignition, reset and restart the bike. The ABS light goes out after a short movement and all is good with the world again until the light starts to flash rapidly again, this time with real brake failure as well. There is some residual braking but nothing that would stop you in a hurry.

Both times the bike has been put onto a dealer diagnostic machine and it indicates that the ABS unit is fried.

The first time BMW came to the party and went halves in the unit with me as the bike was 3 years out of warranty but only had 27k km on the clock. Now the second time I am fighting to have the thing replaced again.

Since the first unit went I have only done 4k km.

Has anyone else had similar problems with the ABS "brain" on a 1200 GS. The bike in question is a 2005 model but I have a 2004 model in Europe that has done considerably more km with out any issues at all.

Cheers
Marty
whoa... that doesn't sound good... any truth to these old reports?

ABS failure causing wrecks here: BM Bikes & BM Riders Club Forum • View topic - Servo Assisted Brakes - Safety Announcement
-------------------------------

In recent months there has been a quadrology published (Readers Edition) about BMW Motorrad Integral-ABS (FTE automotive) in Germany. Therefore it's only of interest if you do understand German language.

1. http://www.readers-edition.de/2006/12/2 ... entechnik/
2. http://www.readers-edition.de/2007/04/0 ... rte-akten/
3. http://www.readers-edition.de/2007/04/0 ... geklagten/
4. http://www.readers-edition.de/2007/04/1 ... s-kaeufer/

However, the most popular reports about brake failures with BMW Integral-Brakes in english language may be found at the end here. This list won't stop until the company recalls the brakes and replaces them with the repaired system from Continental Teves which is available since August 2006.

Unfortunately there is one seriously injured rider and a dead rider known. First case: Claims having no brakes at all. Second case: Three fault codes and one parameter out of range was found by the experts of the prosecutor.

Dr. House
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  #3  
Old 9 Apr 2012
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Until a few years ago I was a test engineer on ABS on trucks. I tried a servo-assisted RT when they came out and with the brake ECU pulled would describe the residual performance as lethal. The legal requirement was set in the 1950's for vehicles with cable operated drums and my professional opinion was that this bike just about matches these. Personally I'd rip off the whole system and replace it with a non-servo set up copied from the earlier bikes or just sell it to a BMW dealer and walk away. Sorry if this sounds harsh but a blown fuse taking the brakes back to Ford Anglia performance is no good what so ever in modern traffic.

However, if neither of these is an option you need to do what BMW technicians constantly fail to, find out what causes the failures. The ECU is just like any other electronics, it's worst enemy is voltage spikes and corroded connectors. Trace the loom and clean and check every connector. The main multipin must be clean and smooth fitting, no bent pins. Downgrade the fuse that feeds it, better to blow that than the ECU. While throwing money at the main unit put a couple of new sensors and a battery on too. Never ever under any circumstances short of sitting in the middle of the desert with no water jump start one of these bikes or use welding equipment. Get an auto electrician to do an electronic trace of the regulator output, anything over 15 volts and you need that sorted.

In ten years of sorting the worse sort of warranty claims from two big UK truck makers and one well known 4x4 company I came across one ECU that had failed due to something other than external items. The suppliers can make a good ECU, the problem will be IMHO in BMW's design process (they need to retire a lot of old guys and get some replacements in from Japan not the car division, but that's OT and based on a couple of very brief encounters) . A 10p connector in a stupid place or with short cables or bad earth is most likely the cause of wrecking thousands in electronics.

Andy
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  #4  
Old 9 Apr 2012
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Thanks for the reply Andy. At the moment I would like to rip the thing off as well!

I did the wiring checks as a matter of course when the first one went as it is the first thing I would do in my normal job (Electrician) but its worth a look again I'm sure. The dealer also told me that they checked that the first time but I have my doubts as they were a dedicated car dealer back then.

I just have to wait for BMW to get back to me now that the Easter public holidays are over and see what they will do.

Cheers
Marty
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  #5  
Old 23 Apr 2012
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Bike is back

Well 4 weeks after the event and I have the bike back. It took that long as there were no ABS units in Australia. Not sure they looked too hard but have to go with it anyway. The dealer tells me that they replaced the pressure modulator pump and the ECU. Changed it to a newer model/type as the previous units had a tendency to fail. Thats nice to know when you live in a hilly twisty area!

Anyway the lot was changed under parts warranty so not too painful.

Just have to hope that it doesnt happen again.

Marty
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  #6  
Old 23 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quandary View Post
Changed it to a newer model/type as the previous units had a tendency to fail. Thats nice to know when you live in a hilly twisty area!
This screams "software update".

BMW (and another famous German maker of 4 and more wheeled vehicles) always seemed to link quality with tight numbers in my experience. It's a good plan (for them) to have vehicles call into the dealers whenever the battery voltage drops below 11.5 or some other minor issue brings the ABS warning light on. A quick 40-quid go on the diagnostic machine a charged battery and the owner of a fifty grand car is slightly miffed (but often very relieved) but that's it. When they set the number at 11.99 volts thinking there'll be more 40-quids they end up changing it later. Apply this to a fault that makes the system shut down and it's plain bad engineering.

Glad it's sorted.

Andy
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  #7  
Old 23 Apr 2012
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Isnt the big BMW GS famous for electrical problems scince this happened while Charly Boorman and Erwan Mac Gregory where making there film "Long way round" as well???
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Old 24 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Isnt the big BMW GS famous for electrical problems scince this happened while Charly Boorman and Erwan Mac Gregory where making there film "Long way round" as well???
I think they fried electronics while welding the bike.
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  #9  
Old 3 May 2012
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Originally Posted by Hemuli View Post
I think they fried electronics while welding the bike.
Confirmed. Those spoilt brats did exactly what Andy said above NOT to do!
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Old 30 May 2012
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with these abs units 9 times out of 10 its the pump part of the unit that fails and not the electrics. and also youll find that the same pump can go around the world 3 times without a single fault but if you have one and barley ride it then its more likely to fail. In our dealership most of the time we have failed servo abs is when the bike has low milage and is barely ridden. The fault is one of the valves sticks in the abs unit, normally the rear. Also on a previous post it is said that BMW dont find whats wrong within the units, but BMW dont provide individual parts for these units so whats the point dismantling the units when we dont have the parts to fix them, it would just be a waste of labour time
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Old 30 May 2012
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failure

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with these abs units 9 times out of 10 its the pump part of the unit that fails and not the electrics. and also youll find that the same pump can go around the world 3 times without a single fault but if you have one and barley ride it then its more likely to fail.
This would explain mine then. The bike only has 35k km on it for a 2005 model. Most of the time it sits "waiting" then wifey and I go for a long ride some where about every 3 months or so.

I have another R1200GS stored in the Netherlands. Hope that that one does not "stick" before I get back to it.

Thanks for the info......lokks like I have to just ride more often. What a bugger!!!

Marty

sorry I put wrong tags around quote
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Last edited by Quandary; 30 May 2012 at 22:19. Reason: didnt look propper
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  #12  
Old 30 May 2012
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Originally Posted by tonylester View Post
with these abs units 9 times out of 10 its the pump part of the unit that fails and not the electrics. and also youll find that the same pump can go around the world 3 times without a single fault but if you have one and barley ride it then its more likely to fail. In our dealership most of the time we have failed servo abs is when the bike has low milage and is barely ridden. The fault is one of the valves sticks in the abs unit, normally the rear. Also on a previous post it is said that BMW dont find whats wrong within the units, but BMW dont provide individual parts for these units so whats the point dismantling the units when we dont have the parts to fix them, it would just be a waste of labour time

Excellent feedback Quandary!
It has also been written in some other thread in here that there must be close attention, for those bikes fitted with ABS, to changing the brake fluid rigorously in accordance with the service schedule (= every two years I believe). Otherwise the risk is premature failure of the ABS unit.

On a wider point, BMW are certainly not the only manufacturer on this planet to make non-serviceable parts; I am not saying that is right or wrong but merely pointing out that the economics of the western nations (labour rates in particular) leads directly to this as a design decision.
Hence such bikes, or any other products, are not very applicable to use in those countries which recycle more or less everything.

ps All this is compounded by the BMW warranty policy which is "high quality" from the point of view of the consumer, and arguably, it is this approach which has shifted the company from quality products straight out of the factory (a zero tolerance of faults) to sorting out the minority of faults that do develop at the dealerships, under warranty claims.
The car manufacturers are doing the equivalent with 5-7 year parts and labour warranties on new cars.
Wasn't BMW the first to introduce 2 year motorcycle warranties?
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Last edited by Walkabout; 30 May 2012 at 23:01. Reason: ps added
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  #13  
Old 31 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quandary View Post

This would explain mine then. The bike only has 35k km on it for a 2005 model. Most of the time it sits "waiting" then wifey and I go for a long ride some where about every 3 months or so.

I have another R1200GS stored in the Netherlands. Hope that that one does not "stick" before I get back to it.

Thanks for the info......lokks like I have to just ride more often. What a bugger!!!

Marty

sorry I put wrong tags around quote
All new parts come with a 2 year warrenty so there is a bit of safety about your current one failing, this is the case in the uk anyway.

There is nothing wrong with riding more
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  #14  
Old 10 Mar 2014
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Fuel Pump failed leading ABS to fail too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonylester View Post
with these abs units 9 times out of 10 its the pump part of the unit that fails and not the electrics.
This is what happened to me, I travelled with my 2008 R1200GSA
last year from Muscat, Oman to Hamburg, Germany for 25 days crossing 10,000km. And I shipped the bike back to Dubai. after receiving for one week while riding to my place the engine power went down. thats it. The fuel pump died. I sent to the BMW Motorrad dealer in Dubai for full service and to replace fuel pump. The did a full service with recalls from manufacturer. The bad new is that I have been informed that the ABS is not worning anymore and I could see the ABS light is ON all the time.
It was a shock news to me !!!
I ask them, does the BMW can do the recalls to this too??? the answer from them was "NOT SURE"
they said the only solution is to replace new one, which very costly (around US$ 2,500)

What can I do on this?

Some disconnect the ABS to keep the innoying light OFF
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