Last updated: 2006.11.11
November-2006: This is the first cut at a FAQ for the BMW R1200GS, GS/Adventure and HP2. If you have one or more question/answers or subjects you'd like to see addressed here, email them to HMarc.
This is a "FAQ-like" document — it isn't organized as a list of questions and answers as a traditional Frequently Asked Questions document would be. Instead, it's organized by words and word phrases. Mostly nouns, and a few verbs. I think you'll find it just as useful being organized this way.
|Adding electrical accessories||Online parts fiche||Technical information|
|Battery Charger||R1200GS Mailing Lists||Tool kits|
|Gear Indicator failures||R1200GS online forums||Vendors of R12GS stuff|
|Oil filter||Recalls||What R1200GS owners think|
R1200GS online forums
R1200GS Mailing Lists
What R1200GS owners think
Vendors of R12GS stuff
Online parts fiche
S-1) Technical information
The other good site is the Hall of Wisdom at the Adventure Rider Website (there's a "Wisdom" link at the very bottom of the page). ADVrider is another link most all BMW GS riders should have bookmarked.
S-2) Gear Indicator failures
This problem won't affect drivability of the motorcycle, but it is annoying. It will not show up on the BMW shop's diagnostic computer either, as there is no 'fault' for the Gear Indicator.
S-3) Battery Charger
You can use a regular battery charger *IF* you hook it directly to the battery (NOT through the accessory socket). The ECU on the bike thinks it's smarter than the owner, and shuts off the accessory plug a minute or so after the ignition is turned off. It delays this if there is a charger attached and charging the battery, but once it detects no current on the socket, it will shut it off. [You can tell if the accessory outlet is "active" because the round red light on the top of the left handgrip housing will be lit.]
A conventional charger will charge it ONCE, provided you plug it in within a minute or so of turning off the bike, then be forever blocked from re-charging it when the battery gets low.
The OEM BMW charger sends a "signal" up the wire (someone on ADVRider put a strip-chart recorder on it and figured it out, I think it was 18v for 40ms or so, repeated a few times) to tell the ECU to "open" the accessory socket so the charger can test the battery's voltage, and begin a new charging cycle if necessary. That's the magic of the OEM BMW charger. Plus a fancier "shape" to the charging program. There's a bit more battery charger info on this Website.
Recent ECU upgrades have apparently affected how the OEM BMW charger works, and several report their chargers can't "open" the aux socket anymore to charge the bike after it has sat awhile. I plan to re-wire my aux socket directly to the battery which will prevent BMW's screwups from affecting my charger.
S-5) Oil filter
Unfortunately, BMW chose to change the fluting on the end of the filter which means the older filter wrenches don't fit the R1200GS filter. The BMW filter wrench is quite expensive. There are after-market alternatives, some quite reasonably priced. See the build your own toolkit page for examples.
E-1) Tool kits
E-2) Adding electrical accessories
Copyright © 2006, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.