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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 13th, 2009, 9:45 pm Thread Starter
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Speedo gremlin - any ideas

Just returned from an 8 day roadie, covering 3500kms and the following symptoms appeared while on the trip. They have appeared briefly before, some 5 years ago, but have been dormant until now...
1 When the engine fires up the speedo needle moves up to the 30kph [20mph] and then drops to zero.
2 After start up, if during the ride I run the revs up to 8000RPM the speedo needle issue disappears at the next start up.
3 If I don't use high revs, the issue remains on each start up.
4 On one occasion during the ride, and the next start following extensive C Control use, the starter would "click" but not start. With the ignition on, the headlight remained off, but indicators and horn all operated. It normally remains on until the starter button is hit and then comes on again when the starter disengages. Headlight is hard wired in NZ. Anyway, after a bit of head scratching the head light came on with the ignition, a prod of the starter and she fired up! No more CC on the trip, and she fired every time, although the speedo needle issue remained.
The engine has done 80000km [50000 miles] and the battery was replaced with a factory gel unit two years ago.
Last time this happened, [5 years ago] I had been riding in VERY VERY salt laden sea air. The problem eventually disappeared after a [recommended] good thrash to 8000 RPM. This time, I had been on a sea crossing by ferry, and being pretty rough, sea spray had coated all the bikes on board with a very liberal coating of salt water which was washed off the next day!
SO, could I have an earth problem somewhere, and if so, any ideas where to look.... It was suggested the main earth on the starter motor could be the culprit, but it's APITA to get to. Could I have a rectifier problem or simply a gel battery going bad? All advice and ideas greatly appreciated. Replies may be a little slow given time zone differences....and I live in a remote, but beautiful part of NZ and my favourite wrench lives a two day ride and a ferry crossing away!
BTW 5 years ago, nothing showed up on the diagnostic... Haven't had the battery checked out yet as I though I'd wait for suggestions, but it's is kept on a time controlled battery minder when not in use.
Thanks for your help

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2009, 6:25 am
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1. Take off the seat.

2. Find a whole bunch of connectors under the right hand seat rail that gets (salt) water dripped down on them from the seat.

3. Don't bother working out which is the speedo sensor connector, carefully pull each one apart and scrape out any gunge with a needle file and brush the insides with methylated spirit, then saturate and brush with a contact cleaner. If you can sheath the lot to stop water getting in even better.

4. If you still get the problem:

5. Take off the front plastics so you can lift up the headlamp unit and get to the rear of the instruments. If all the contacts to the instruments look 'weathered' from corrosion, Do the lot. Remove each contact one at a time, scrape off any gunge, clean with meths and contact cleaner. When nice and clean, replace the contact. If you want to shortcut the speedo/tacho just do those.

If that doesn't fix it, the problem might be electronic in the speedo head.



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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 14th, 2009, 12:36 pm Thread Starter
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Voxmagna, you're a bloody legend! Thank you, I will investigate all your recommendations and post a reply when done.

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
The cheapest is often the most expensive form of economy
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 2009, 3:27 am Thread Starter
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Voxmagna, under the seat on the R/H rail is only one connector, with 6 pins, and well shielded from any rain dripping from the seat. I checked it anyway, and its like brand new inside - all nice and clean and shiny. Cleaned it anyway. Under the L/H rail beside the tool tray are 3 connectors, all different so they can't be mixed up. They also are spotless inside. Accessed the underside of instruments, and apart from some dust and a small amount of road grime, all looked pucker. The terminals were in no way corroded, in fact they are still a bit shiny. Checked for tightness, and all screws took a little tightening, but in no way would be considered loose. Apart from the two salt air/water events, the bike is kept in a very dry environment. This issue has ONLY occurred after these days on two separate road trips and seem to coincide with extended cruise control use [although this may simply be a coincidence]. Any other ideas anyone....

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
The cheapest is often the most expensive form of economy
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 2009, 3:54 am
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Mine's an older bike. You don't say what year yours is and I've assumed it has the separate sensor on top of the rear drive? Mine has separate connectors for the speedo sensor and the rear light cluster, just clipped together. This is where my rear drive sensor ends up and it's logical if you were replacing the sensor, it would come with a short wiring harness and mating plug.

You still have to check behind the instruments, The front fairing design is a moisture and condensation trap. The electronic Hall sensor is a relatively high impedance circuit compared to water and especially salt water. Any moisture track or salt deposit around those contacts will short out the signal. Check the wiring run from your rear sensor and identify the colors so you know you are on the right connector. I would still wash the connectors with meths. They may look clean, but salt water once deposited can dry and leave an invisible conductive film. The cruise control must be picking off the speedo sensor so the possibility of a moisture/ low resistance track is there on that wiring too. I don't have cruise so I can't say where cruise would tap in for the signal.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Nov 16th, 2009 at 4:00 am.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2009, 1:03 am Thread Starter
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Its an 02 model and doesn't have the sensor on top of the rear drive. I have checked the rear of the instruments, and while all looks ok, I will wash down all the sensors with meths to be sure. As there is no rear drive sensor, where does the speedo pick up from? Does it pick up off the gearbox and if so, where, so I can check it out for moisture.

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
The cheapest is often the most expensive form of economy
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2009, 3:29 am
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OK that's starting to explain why your connector format under the seat rail is different to mine.

Early bikes had a Hall sensor fitted in the top of the RD housing which picks up the crown gear teeth rotation, The short wire harness was connected under the seat like I said.

On later bikes they realised they already had a wheel sensor in the ABS ring gear, so why have two and used that instead to provide the road wheel pulses to drive both the ABS and speedo. I don't have that system so I can't tell you how it is wired but I can offer some suggestions:

If your bike is NOT giving ABS flashing light warnings, then I would guess that the toothed ABS sensors are giving pulses and working OK. If you are getting warnings, check the ABS ring clearances first.

You should get the Clymer manual as it has wiring diagrams that can help you. According to my manual, for a 2003 the speedo has ground and positive lines, so they are a good place to start checking first. There are signal lines between the ABS control unit, flasher unit (for road speed cancelling) and the cruise control unit. The tacho shares the same power supply rail, so if that too is intermittent it might be a clue. If you can get the fault whilst on the stand, temporarily disconnecting the connectors to the cruise controller and flasher unit may eliminate any possible short problems inside those units. Don't ask me where they are on the bike, I'm not a BMW engineer!

There are many more places to look for bad connections or salt water tracking to ground. Personally I would now look at the back of the instrument cluster as I suggested earlier. Make sure everything contact wise is clean. Also the wiring loom there flexes a lot with steering, so wiggle the steering lock to lock and look for intermittents.

If you do it carefully, you should be able to run the bike at idle on the centre stand in a high gear to get a signal up to the speedo whilst also moving the wiring about.

A Clymer manual will save you a lot of time and help you understand what's going on.



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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2009, 4:07 am Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks a lot for your help. I was out for a few hours on the bike today, and as you can guess, there were no symptoms! Anyway, I will work through your suggestions, pick up a clymer and see where we go. Thanks again,
Richard

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
The cheapest is often the most expensive form of economy
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2009, 11:26 am
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Yes as always, bloody good advice from Voxmagna, but since you mentioned cruise control, I may have something else.

My bike is a 03, with Cruise and Factory Alarm, and there is a bunch of connectors under the fairing next to the horn, and I did find some corrosion in there. I did check all the connectors on my bike after I bought it this year, as it came from rainy Vancouver....! I believe anyone with a similar bike that is more than 3 years old should do the same, electrical gremlins are a PITA.....but so easy and cheap to avoid with proper maintenance.

I do not recall exactly what the connectors under the fairing are for, and my plastic is still on, but from looking at it a few minutes ago, I am pretty sure they are for the cruise control.

My BMW Repair manual does not have the wiring diagram, but they are available from BMW, and country specific,and possibly production date specific too, not cheap however for something you probably do not even need for that job.....but here is a link anyhow. Great site if you need part numbers also.

http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fic...n.aspx?model=K 1200 RS 01&prod=032000-072004

P.S. Many dead bugs behind that instrument cluster???

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Last edited by h96669; Nov 17th, 2009 at 11:32 am.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2009, 3:09 am Thread Starter
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Hey h96669, Thanks for that. I will strip the tupperware off [again] this weekend and attend to the back of the instruments with some meths. I had it in my mind to have a thorough look around the CC area while in there and your suggestion encourages me to do it. My bike lives [for the main] in a very dry area, both lack of rain fall, and very low humidity, so don't expect to find much, but then it don't take much either....I will let you know how I get on

2002 K1200RS Ride #18. Owned from new. Pacific Blue of course. Suspended on Ohlins. 120,000+km
1951 AJS 500 single - my Dads
1916 Triumph Type H, Western front, France WW1 - my Grandads
The cheapest is often the most expensive form of economy
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