Charcoal Canister Removal

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Installing a Wilbers (or Bitubo) rear shock on the BMW R1200GS requires the removal of the motorcycle's charcoal canister, as the shock's reservoir needs the space occupied by the canister. This was a fairly common thing to do with the old R11xxGS'es, and in fact folks using Jesse Luggage generally were forced to remove their canisters in order to get the luggage mounts to fit.

Interestingly, the non-NorthAmerica bikes don't have this canister at all -- it's purpose is to collect and "recycle" gas vapors by venting some to the atmosphere and re-burning the rest. If the canister becomes saturated with gasoline from a tank overfill, or from the bike laying on it side for more than a few seconds, this can create an overly rich condition and make the bike run like crap until all the gas is sucked from the canister.

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The canister is this big black plastic cylinder on the left side of the bike near the rear shock. It's got two hoses coming into the top, and one exiting the bottom.

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Just pull the hoses off the canister and leave them dangling. You can mark them if you wish before removing them, but it's unnecessary as you'll see. Remove the 3 clamps with the appropriate Torx driver and slip the canister out of the frame. Here's what it looks like. I saved mine in a large box I use for R1200GS bits, pieces, and as-yet unmounted accessories.

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The photos above shows the evaporative control valve (ECV) that hooks the canister to the left intake manifold. You'll have to remove the left side-covers from the gastank to get access. The photo on the left shows the two hoses exiting to the rear. The upper hose (with the braided cover) runs to the left intake manifold. Remove it.

The lower hose runs to the cannister. Remove it also. [I tossed the discarded hoses in my 'R12GS box'] Plug the outlets as shown in the photo on the right above. I left ECV in place, and the wires hooked to it, as I didn't want the bike's computer to sense it was missing and throw a "fault".

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Plug the spigot where the braided vacuum hose was connected to the left intake manifold, as shown by the red arrow above. Do not leave this open to the atmosphere! I used rubber caps I bought at an auto parts store. The right side intake manifold already has a rubber plug in the same postition, so I suppose the best plan would be to buy another one from your local BMW dealer and use it. I'll probably do that myself as it will look neater.

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If you've done the steps described above, the only thing left to do is hook the two remaining hoses together. Find the "drain" hose that came out of the bottom of the canister emptied to the atmosphere just below and behind the engine. The other hose that comes from under the gastank and went to the top of the canister needs to be re-routed along the two existing drain hoses (center of above photo), then shortened and connected to the canister "drain" hose as shown in the photo above. The arrow shows where I put a plastic connector to join the two pieces.

So, that's it! Now you've got an R1200GS configured just like they are in Germany. And you've got room to install an aftermarket rear shock...

Copyright © 2004-2007, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.