ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Do you have a technical problem with your BMW R1200RT/1250RT?
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Marvin2Shoes
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ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by Marvin2Shoes »

Just on a 1200km ride over two days. I have had the ABS light come on three times today (never happened before today)
When it comes on the cruise control drops out... Very annoying! If I stop the bike and restart it then it runs again no problem for an hour or two. After it comes on I can't detect any problems with the bike, brakes operate perfectly, just the cruise won't set. Has anyone had this problem?
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sakm
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by sakm »

First port of call would be to get the error codes read

I suspect maybe an ABS sensor is playing up
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David.
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by David. »

I agree with Stu (sakm), although I haven't had this problem myself on a Camhead, found this thread on BMWLT which may be of interest.

https://www.bmwlt.com/threads/r1200rt-a ... ure.37756/

Check the F&R ABS sensors are clean and cables not damaged.
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by Marvin2Shoes »

I rode 5 hours straight on the second day and not an ABS error to be seen. The ambient air temperature was lower for the second days ride, maybe this had an affect...?!
I also rode through some mud on a road near Ayr left by the cane haulers which are carrying sugar cane to the mill.
Perhaps some mud flicked up. I will give everything a good clean and check cabling route and integrity.
Many thanks for your replies.
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Marvin2Shoes
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by Marvin2Shoes »

A short 150km ride later and the dreaded warning appeared about 120km into the trip. No apparent reason. I have since removed both front and rear sensors and cleaned and inspected the ABS cabling until it moves beyond the moving parts. There are no detectable anomalies. After reading many forum comments on many R1200 websites and thoroughly reading the Haynes manual I have concluded that the ABS system is not intended to be repaired by the owner. When it dies it will be getting bypassed and it will be tossed in the bin. This is the first bike I have ever owned that had ABS and after 44000kms travelled in total it is the single largest cause of apprehension on my rides. Who needs a safety feature that causes such stress?
Re the forums: to the BMW owners who suggest ppl should do away with applying the rear brake pedal... I can see them riding a large, non-ABS, non-joined-front-rear-brakes motorcycle in the rain at some point in the future. This reminds me why the Darwin Award exists.
Last edited by Marvin2Shoes on Sun Jan 22, 2023 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Marvin2Shoes
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by Marvin2Shoes »

Ok, have hooked up Motoscan and checked ABS errors. It says "Low Voltage" and "Rear sensor" so I guess the first step is to replace the lead acid battery with a lithium battery as putting up with losing my cruise control every three years seems a ridiculous proposition. Has anyone had any luck finding a retailer of lithium compatible regulator/rectifiers that are for 2011 model.... Lithium reg/rect for 2013 onward is easily found.
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David.
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by David. »

Marvin2Shoes wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 11:08 pmThe first step is to replace the lead acid battery with a lithium battery as putting up with losing my cruise control every three years seems a ridiculous proposition.
Which battery is currently fitted to the bike.
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by Marvin2Shoes »

A yellow 6.7kg Motobatt MB51814 AGM battery is currently being used. This is a heavy battery compared to Lithium... Literally three times as heavy as a similar sized lithium battery I have here and almost ten times heavier than the lightweight lithium models.
There is a worrying side to this... I don't know the age of this battery and it is completely possible that the previous owner had already attempted to fix the problem by fitting this battery. It may be something like an intermittent wiring connection causing this error. What I do now know is that the motorcycle dealer I purchased the bike from has on-sold the bike with this intermittent ABS fault, possibly unknowingly. I can be pretty sure the previous owner knew very well what it was they were selling. Unfortunately I am now stuck with fixing the fault, after which I am pretty certain I will on-sell it. This whole mess has left a bad taste in my mouth with respect to BMW motorcycles. The mechanical wonder is being seriously let down by very sub-standard electronic support systems.
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David.
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by David. »

Marvin2Shoes wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:03 amI don't know the age of this battery and it is completely possible that the previous owner had already attempted to fix the problem by fitting this battery.
Can the battery be bench tested or some voltage checks be done with it on the bike.
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sakm
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by sakm »

Does the fault code clear and if so at what point does it come back on?

Low voltage can be a sign of a battery on its way out and its at the point of starting the bike when the low voltage occurs
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Re: ABS red warning light coming on intermittently

Post by Marvin2Shoes »

And therein lies the problem I have with the battery. This fault has never manifested within the first 20 minutes of riding, even on cold mornings further south. This leads me to think that the battery is still fine. The best test I can envisage would be to disconnect the spark plugs but I didn't get a cap puller in my "toolkit" (because there was no toolkit) so I'll disconnect the coils (provided the electronics doesn't sense the coil disconnection and instigate a BMW-sanctioned auto-destruct sequence!) and turn it over with my clamp meter on the starter lead. I will have to pull off the tupperware to disable the coils so I'm waiting until I have an H7 bulb to replace the blown right side headlight bulb).
Given that the problem has no bearing on the battery being cold it would seem to me that an undervoltage error would more likely be due to an intermittently high resistance connection in the wiring.
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