K1200s ABS/Brake Failure - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 7:01 am Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 2
K1200s ABS/Brake Failure

I have a 2005/06 BMW K1200S (Australian Spec). it has clocked just over 40,000km. The ABS system has failed 5 times and BMW has replace the ABS computer 5 times. Each time it fails the brakes are reduced to 20% or less, With various other issues like speedo stops working, cooling fan stops working & when ignition switched off and on resets everything for a couple of Ks.

Last time I had 20% brakes then applied again had lockup in rear and nothing in front, then applied again and had full braking front and rear, then back to 20%. I consider this to be more than a little dangerous and have complained to BMW but seem to be ignoring the issue and fobbing me off. Do you know of anyone else with similar issues?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 3:10 pm
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Location: San Diego, Ca, USA
Posts: 146
ABS Failure

It would seem that you have been more than patient with BMW and your dealer/techs. It is time to get outside help in rectifying the failure. The manor in which you have described the failure indicates there is a severe safety issue that calls the reliability of the bike into question.
Is the bike under an extended service contract where both BMW and the contracting group is responsible or are you footing the bill and complaining about the result? Either way, I would seek a third party's advice about replacement.
Best of luck. Ride well
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2011, 6:51 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 2
Thanks EJ

The bike is no longer under warranty, but I have insisted that BMW cover the warranty of the replacement unit although I had to pay for labour on my second last replacement.
The unit costs aprox $4000.00 AU dollars to replace each time.

My concern is that after 5 failures you would think BMW would send one of their techs to check it out, for the safety of myself and other ownners out there. But there appears to no action on their behalf.

I may need to escalate this, but would like to know if there are others in the same boat.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 2017, 3:39 pm
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I have a 2005 K1200S with about 24,200 miles. I have had similar issues that started right around 24k miles. Brakes lock up, servo"whine" continues for extended period of time when brake lever is depressed before putting bike in gear. ABS warning light flashes quickly and fault light remains in the red stage. I believe it is the rear brake that is locking, but not sure. I have ridden the bike in this state but have never had the wheels lock up while moving. But they are dragging on the rear as the rotor is noticeably scored whereas the front rotors are fine. I have read enough posts on this problem to conclude it is not a rare event. It seems to be a "sure" thing it will happen on most K bikes sooner or later. You just better hope when it does happen you are not moving or otherwise depending on the brakes to do their job. I really believe this is a safety issue and as such should be subject to a manufacturer's recall. But I would not hold my breath on that happening any time soon. There have not been enough deaths and injuries (that can be proven to be caused by the defective servo brake mechanism). I will definitely not be a BMW customer in future.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Oct 1st, 2017, 3:13 am
Join Date: Sep 2017
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I had the same issue last year. Happened several times over a few weeks. Took it back to the dealers as I had a 6 month warranty and they stripped the brakes down and cleaned around them. There was nothing obvious to report and no errors stored in the ecu. Riding back home it happened again. Trawling the forums there appeared to be no defined solution, although replacing the battery came up a few times, so that?s what I did and 4K miles, I have had no further issues.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Nov 4th, 2017, 6:00 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Albury, NSW, Australia
Posts: 61
I have had my 2005 K1200S for a few years now and it has been excellent.
Except for some brake problems. The brake warning light came on and rear brakes stopped working. The warning light came on as a failure before moving and using the brakes so it was something detectable without using the boost system. I asked the dealer about it and he recommended replacing the abs unit, lines, and calipers. I topped up the fluid in the abs unit and it was fixed.
Later I had another rear failure and it wasn't just fluid level. The dealer tech said he didn't understand how the system worked - so I didn't give it to him. I tried to get it repaired but no one had any stock or parts. I am an electronics engineer so I had a look myself. Bad electrical contact on connections inside the abs unit. Cleaned the contacts and its fine now.
The bike has done 95k kms.
The lack of support for the abs unit is disappointing.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 2018, 2:08 am
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1
My K1200 had two brake failures last year. One the local motorad shop in Perth suggested a new battery to be the answer and this worked for about 4-5 months. However another total failure had me back there around September and neither they nor BMW Australia would come to the party. I had to get the local guy who services the BMW club riders, Vince, to totally dismantle the ABS component altogether to have working power brakes. However by Motorad and BMW Australia were of NO help whatsoever. Totally avoided responsibility for the obvious design flaw... I was back in the US where I bought the bike in Oregon, and asked them for the maintenance records because I remembered the guy saying a few times when I bought it, Oh, don't worry about the servo whine, it will go away when you roll it... Sure enough it did, but it turns out they had already replaced the whole unit under warranty and the guy left it at the shop to sell it because of this..... They NEVER let on that it was ongoing and much reported design fault. I have ridden for 40 years and had 15 + motorcycles and NEVER had such poor service... The bike itself is beautiful but BMW knowingly put a death trap design out there and NEVER did anything about it, shame on them. Will NEVER buy another one or go to a Motorad dealer again, ever.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 2018, 6:41 pm
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Brewerton, NY, USA
Posts: 14
BlorzonBlam, what year is your K1200s? THanks
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