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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 2005 r1200gs in So Cal. Flew into Orange County and rode the bike back to Arizona. Didn’t have any issues thank God. Went to go for a ride tonight and the brake failure light kept flashing, I had no turn signals, no brake light or headlights! It looks like the emergency flasher button is on too, any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'd start with checking and tightening the battery terminal connections. Loose connections can cause all kinds of random problems. Then next, I would be checking the voltage regulator.
 

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The red bake failure on the dash will blink steadily about every second or so from the time the key is turned on until the bike moves forwards about 10 feet then it should shut off adn stay off. If it stays illuminated or blinks rapidly you have a ABS issue. Anything from a bad/dirty sensor, brake fluid needs flushed, low brake fluid or in most instances on the 2004 - 2006 R1200GS/A a failed servo/ABS unit.

The bad news is if the Servo/ABS is failed and a brake flush/bleed does not correct the issue it cannot be repaired. A new ABS unit is $3,000 from BMW not including installation. The good news is for less than $30 you can bypass the ABS and have great traditional non-ABS brakes.

Did you mistakenly hit both turn signal switched at the same time. To activate the 4-way flashers you hit both turn signal buttons at the same time. To deactivate them hit the turn signal cancel button.

Also the bike has self cancelling turn signals.

Also a low or weak battery can creates some of these issues. Have you battery load tested to confirm if it is good/bad.

And no matter what if it turn out you servo/ABS is functional lean how to do the brake flush/fill or find someone who can do it for you. Every two years or 10,000 miles. It is the best and only defense against failure. Just be advised regular brake flush/bleeding is not 100% effective in thwarting failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The red bake failure on the dash will blink steadily about every second or so from the time the key is turned on until the bike moves forwards about 10 feet then it should shut off adn stay off. If it stays illuminated or blinks rapidly you have a ABS issue. Anything from a bad/dirty sensor, brake fluid needs flushed, low brake fluid or in most instances on the 2004 - 2006 R1200GS/A a failed servo/ABS unit.

The bad news is if the Servo/ABS is failed and a brake flush/bleed does not correct the issue it cannot be repaired. A new ABS unit is $3,000 from BMW not including installation. The good news is for less than $30 you can bypass the ABS and have great traditional non-ABS brakes.

Did you mistakenly hit both turn signal switched at the same time. To activate the 4-way flashers you hit both turn signal buttons at the same time. To deactivate them hit the turn signal cancel button.

Also the bike has self cancelling turn signals.

Also a low or weak battery can creates some of these issues. Have you battery load tested to confirm if it is good/bad.

And no matter what if it turn out you servo/ABS is functional lean how to do the brake flush/fill or find someone who can do it for you. Every two years or 10,000 miles. It is the best and only defense against failure. Just be advised regular brake flush/bleeding is not 100% effective in thwarting failure.
Thanks for all the info. How can you clean servo/abs parts.
 

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I'd start with the battery. While you may have an ABS issue it should not affect the headlight and tailight.

Even if it is battery as PerazziMX14 notes, flushing the ABS on these older bikes is key to keeping the system alive. You'll want a GS-911 or MotoScan app to flush the fluid out of the ABS pump under the fuel tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd start with the battery. While you may have an ABS issue it should not affect the headlight and tailight.

Even if it is battery as PerazziMX14 notes, flushing the ABS on these older bikes is key to keeping the system alive. You'll want a GS-911 or MotoScan app to flush the fluid out of the ABS pump under the fuel tank.
Tried a new battery, looked for any loose wires, but just started it up, starts fine, but still no lights except running lights. Brake failure light still flashing like a mother trucker 😬😬
 

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I'd start with the battery. While you may have an ABS issue it should not affect the headlight and tailight.

Even if it is battery as PerazziMX14 notes, flushing the ABS on these older bikes is key to keeping the system alive. You'll want a GS-911 or MotoScan app to flush the fluid out of the ABS pump under the fuel tank.
No need for a GS-911 or other to run the pump for flushing servo brakes. The pump is 100% flushed out when you run fluid through it via the brake bleed funnel. If you have air in the system the GS-911 can help get it out but if you get air in the system you did somethgin wrong.

To the OP. The ABS sensor and ABS ring are the only parts than can physically be cleaned. The servo unit under the tank can only be flushed and there is a very specific process for than. It is not hard if you are handy with a wrench and have a special funnel (avalaible through BMW or better yet Beemer Bone Yard) the screw into the servo pump to allow you to add fresh fluid to it without the introduction of air. Other than that a sharpie, 7mm combo wrench and a few sections of 5/16 ID poly tubing to connect to the bleed nipples and extended to a catch can.

Having done them several time I can do the entire thing in about an hour with a pint of DOT4. That includes removal reinstallation of the fuel tank (necessary to access the servo pump) to flushing and bleeding the servo unit and all 3 calipers.

If you take it to a BMW shop budget around $300 for them to do do this.

I have a PDF file of the servo flush bleed process I gleaned from the internet that is an excellent step x step if you prefer to give it a whirl. I also have access to the servo bypass if you decide the servo pump is bad and do not want to spend $3000+ to get it fixed.

I can send you the PDF via email or if someone can tell me how to post a PDF on here I can do that.
 

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No need for a GS-911 or other to run the pump for flushing servo brakes. The pump is 100% flushed out when you run fluid through it via the brake bleed funnel. If you have air in the system the GS-911 can help get it out but if you get air in the system you did somethgin wrong.

To the OP. The ABS sensor and ABS ring are the only parts than can physically be cleaned. The servo unit under the tank can only be flushed and there is a very specific process for than. It is not hard if you are handy with a wrench and have a special funnel (avalaible through BMW or better yet Beemer Bone Yard) the screw into the servo pump to allow you to add fresh fluid to it without the introduction of air. Other than that a sharpie, 7mm combo wrench and a few sections of 5/16 ID poly tubing to connect to the bleed nipples and extended to a catch can.

Having done them several time I can do the entire thing in about an hour with a pint of DOT4. That includes removal reinstallation of the fuel tank (necessary to access the servo pump) to flushing and bleeding the servo unit and all 3 calipers.

If you take it to a BMW shop budget around $300 for them to do do this.

I have a PDF file of the servo flush bleed process I gleaned from the internet that is an excellent step x step if you prefer to give it a whirl. I also have access to the servo bypass if you decide the servo pump is bad and do not want to spend $3000+ to get it fixed.

I can send you the PDF via email or if someone can tell me how to post a PDF on here I can do that.
Ah, yes with servo no diagnostic tool as you use the special funnel, my brain was on my 07 GSA ABS II which is a different animal.

I still think the lights are a seperate deal...I'd diagnose/fix that first. In either case a GS-911 or MotoScan app will help you get codes to point you in the right direction.
 

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Ah, yes with servo no diagnostic tool as you use the special funnel, my brain was on my 07 GSA ABS II which is a different animal.

I still think the lights are a seperate deal...I'd diagnose/fix that first. In either case a GS-911 or MotoScan app will help you get codes to point you in the right direction.
Even the post 06 you can get away with a brake flush/bleed w/o a scan tool. There is so little fluid in the ABS pump just a regular bleed is sufficient. If you want to go the extra mile flush the brakes then hit up a gravel road or wet grass hit the brakes a few times to get the ABS to engage a few time then flush/bleed the brakes again.

I also agree the lights and ABS are separate issues unfortunately a new to the OP bike and starting out of the gate dealing with what can be deal breakers for most buyers. This is the stuff that sours people on the brand. I hope it turns out to be something simple so the OP can enjoy the great bikes these can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No need for a GS-911 or other to run the pump for flushing servo brakes. The pump is 100% flushed out when you run fluid through it via the brake bleed funnel. If you have air in the system the GS-911 can help get it out but if you get air in the system you did somethgin wrong.

To the OP. The ABS sensor and ABS ring are the only parts than can physically be cleaned. The servo unit under the tank can only be flushed and there is a very specific process for than. It is not hard if you are handy with a wrench and have a special funnel (avalaible through BMW or better yet Beemer Bone Yard) the screw into the servo pump to allow you to add fresh fluid to it without the introduction of air. Other than that a sharpie, 7mm combo wrench and a few sections of 5/16 ID poly tubing to connect to the bleed nipples and extended to a catch can.

Having done them several time I can do the entire thing in about an hour with a pint of DOT4. That includes removal reinstallation of the fuel tank (necessary to access the servo pump) to flushing and bleeding the servo unit and all 3 calipers.

If you take it to a BMW shop budget around $300 for them to do do this.

I have a PDF file of the servo flush bleed process I gleaned from the internet that is an excellent step x step if you prefer to give it a whirl. I also have access to the servo bypass if you decide the servo pump is bad and do not want to spend $3000+ to get it fixed.

I can send you the PDF via email or if someone can tell me how to post a PDF on here I can do that.
Excellent info, I will probably attempt it myself, been working on cars and bikes forever. But this beemer is different. I would love the pdf,
[email protected]
I still have no lights after installing a new battery and checked for loose wires. Gonna have to remove the tank so I can see what’s going on. I just filled the gas tank, is that a problem? Should I drain it?
Thanks again
 

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While you can remove the tank while it is full its a bit wieldy with 40lbs of fuel in it. There are quick connects that once separated will not allow fuel to pass. Be extremely careful if they are still the OEM plastic versions as they get brittle an prone to breaking/cracking. Beemer Bone Yard sells CPC brass replacements if desired. I'd not worry with them until you get the bike sorted as they are $80 and no sense throwing good money after bad.

To empty the tank I use a $3 kerosene siphon from the local mega mart or home improvement center to siphon out at least 4 gallons to make it much easier. If you use a siphon when inserting the tube into the filler neck try (sitting on the bike) try and get the hose to go into the tank on the left side from 12:00 to 6:00 o'clock. While not paramount that you do this the fuel strip (sensitive $240 POS) is about the 7 o'clock position. Several times after I've siphoned out the fuel the fuel strip quit working. Not sure if I touched it with the siphon hose or just coincidence but best to just steer clear of it.

PDF sent via email.

If it turns out that the servo ABS is dead and you want ABS I might be able to help. I am buying a 2006 with operational servo/ABS brakes. ABS is not important to me so I would sell the servo/ABS unit for 40% of retail + shipping as/is no warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
While you can remove the tank while it is full its a bit wieldy with 40lbs of fuel in it. There are quick connects that once separated will not allow fuel to pass. Be extremely careful if they are still the OEM plastic versions as they get brittle an prone to breaking/cracking. Beemer Bone Yard sells CPC brass replacements if desired. I'd not worry with them until you get the bike sorted as they are $80 and no sense throwing good money after bad.

To empty the tank I use a $3 kerosene siphon from the local mega mart or home improvement center to siphon out at least 4 gallons to make it much easier. If you use a siphon when inserting the tube into the filler neck try (sitting on the bike) try and get the hose to go into the tank on the left side from 12:00 to 6:00 o'clock. While not paramount that you do this the fuel strip (sensitive $240 POS) is about the 7 o'clock position. Several times after I've siphoned out the fuel the fuel strip quit working. Not sure if I touched it with the siphon hose or just coincidence but best to just steer clear of it.

PDF sent via email.

If it turns out that the servo ABS is dead and you want ABS I might be able to help. I am buying a 2006 with operational servo/ABS brakes. ABS is not important to me so I would sell the servo/ABS unit for 40% of retail + shipping as/is no warranty.
Thanks again, I decided to ride it over to Motogohst, a bmw small shop in Scottsdale AZ that everyone swears by. I figured electrical problems are not my forte! Yea, if the servo/abs is shot I will probably go the route of getting rid of it. I will be doing a brake flush, thanks for the pdf!
 

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Thanks again, I decided to ride it over to Motogohst, a bmw small shop in Scottsdale AZ that everyone swears by. I figured electrical problems are not my forte! Yea, if the servo/abs is shot I will probably go the route of getting rid of it. I will be doing a brake flush, thanks for the pdf!
If you find the ABS is failed and then try to sell the bike be prepared to take a financial beating. I bought a servo braked bike becasue the ABS was failed and paid parts bike money for it. Since ABS is not a deal breaker to me I went to Harbor Freight and bought a $20 bubble flare tool and then to Advance Auto to buy a $6 section of 3/16" metal brake line. In an afternoon the old pump was out, two (2) jumpers made and I have a bike with excellent non-ABS brakes.

Front brake jumper

F1.jpg
F2.jpg


Front brake jumper installed on existing brake line splitter

F3.jpg


OEM splitter set up for servo brakes. Top line is from the master cylinder and pushed fluid to the servo pump for the pressure to be boosted in the bottom line that feeds the R/L caliper


F4.jpg
F5.jpg


Rear brake jumper made with a piece of brake line from one of the OEM brake lines. The one end is not flared so you need to repurpose a section of hose.

F6.jpg
F7.jpg



Servo removed where and can do no more harm. The end where the electronics plug in needs to be removed by drilling out 4 screws. Then make a backing plate (4" electrical box cover plate is about right) that is sealed water tight with caulking. Plug the electrical connector back into the box (this will keep the speedo working) find a place under the tank to fasten the box too with either zip ties or something permeant and done.

Also if you do not want to make the jumpers you can actually buy them direct from BMW as the early bike were avalaible from the factory w/o ABS so you just need to get on the parts breakdown for a 2004-2006 non-ABS and order the OEM jumpers. The down side is the cost will be substantially higher than rolling you own.


SB5.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you find the ABS is failed and then try to sell the bike be prepared to take a financial beating. I bought a servo braked bike becasue the ABS was failed and paid parts bike money for it. Since ABS is not a deal breaker to me I went to Harbor Freight and bought a $20 bubble flare tool and then to Advance Auto to buy a $6 section of 3/16" metal brake line. In an afternoon the old pump was out, two (2) jumpers made and I have a bike with excellent non-ABS brakes.

Front brake jumper

View attachment 30114 View attachment 30115

Front brake jumper installed on existing brake line splitter

View attachment 30116

OEM splitter set up for servo brakes. Top line is from the master cylinder and pushed fluid to the servo pump for the pressure to be boosted in the bottom line that feeds the R/L caliper


View attachment 30117 View attachment 30118

Rear brake jumper made with a piece of brake line from one of the OEM brake lines. The one end is not flared so you need to repurpose a section of hose.

View attachment 30119 View attachment 30120


Servo removed where and can do no more harm. The end where the electronics plug in needs to be removed by drilling out 4 screws. Then make a backing plate (4" electrical box cover plate is about right) that is sealed water tight with caulking. Plug the electrical connector back into the box (this will keep the speedo working) find a place under the tank to fasten the box too with either zip ties or something permeant and done.

Also if you do not want to make the jumpers you can actually buy them direct from BMW as the early bike were avalaible from the factory w/o ABS so you just need to get on the parts breakdown for a 2004-2006 non-ABS and order the OEM jumpers. The down side is the cost will be substantially higher than rolling you own.


View attachment 30121
Shit, where do you live? I’ll just pay you to do it! Nice job. I’ll find out hopefully later today about the issues. Wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm 20 miles West of Gettysburg PA in the only northern town burned by the Confederate army.
Crap, I’m in Arizona. I just went over again what you did, it’s pretty awesome! So why did they have all that crap on a brake system anyway. Seems way safer your method. I might have to do this anyway. Seems like a lot goes wrong with these old abs brakes!
 

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Servo brakes when they work are AMAZING. Truly one finger tip braking.

Servo brakes are akin to power brakes on your car. But this was tech that BMW tried and it proved to be unnecessary and problematic. It’s really too bad as I wish they proved out better as. Can only imagine what A second or third generation would be like.
 
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