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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 26th, 2012, 7:15 pm Thread Starter
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Strange Blinker Issue -Any Ideas?

Today, I rode the GT to work and noticed about as I got there, that the blinkers were acting weird. At first, they worked fine. By the time I was almost there, I noticed that when I turned one on, it went out after only a few seconds and then neither one would activate after that. After a little bit of time elapsed, the left or right would come on again, but only for a couple of seconds again. And once more, they would not activate after that until some time had elapsed. Same thing coming home. They worked fine at the start of the trip, but then acted the same once I got close to home. All the light bulbs work when the blinkers are activated. This seems really strange to me as past experience with blinker issues were always pretty straight forward: either the bulbs were out or the blinker mechanism was inop. Never seen anything like this.

Have any of you ever experienced this or know what the issue might be? I appreciate any help you can give before I have to bring it in to the shop for repair.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2012, 12:44 am
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Had a similar issue on my R1100S, and it was the flasher relay unit, kin expensive little box from memory, but I would first try cleaning up the contacts etc, you never know.

Just had a look at a BMW parts site and it does look like the same relay, Delphi is the name on the thing, it controls indicators and hazards and the time delay, about $150 in your money, think I got a second hand one from somewhere.

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Last edited by Special-K; Mar 27th, 2012 at 12:49 am.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2012, 4:51 am
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May be a wiring problem in the wires to the handlebar switches, bad contacts or water in the switches if the bike has been left out uncovered.



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2012, 9:21 am
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That is powered through the load shed relay them turn signals. If the starter is dirty you can get such gremlins, loadshed relay is grounded through the starter on them bikes.

Not looking at the electrical plan here, but from the loadshed relay should go to what BMW calls the "Hazard Warning Relay", that sounds like a "Flasher Relay". Do the 4-way flashers work? If they do that may indicate a dirty switch at the turn signals and that the Flasher Relay itself is fine.

But do the other checks first, switches Etc...! before you go to the dealer. Their procedure for starter removal involves stripping the bike down, not easy to get at the starter, or even them expensive relays for that matter. Unless you can convince them that it can be removed in half an hour or so, may be hard....not in their books.

There you go anyway, just in case:

http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21257

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2012, 5:14 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669
That is powered through the load shed relay them turn signals. If the starter is dirty you can get such gremlins, loadshed relay is grounded through the starter on them bikes.
He'd be having headlight issues as well, then.



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 2012, 8:07 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razel
He'd be having headlight issues as well, then.

Not really...someone only had speedometer issues. And some of the earlier bikes when I looked into that a couple years ago, only issues with the turn signals. I think it may depend a lot on the ground paths.

Very strange sometimes them Gremlins....! Did you tame yours?

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 2012, 3:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669
Not really...someone only had speedometer issues. And some of the earlier bikes when I looked into that a couple years ago, only issues with the turn signals. I think it may depend a lot on the ground paths.

Very strange sometimes them Gremlins....! Did you tame yours?
Yup. New starter. ABS issue was actually unrelated, just that it appeared at about the same time. Brake fluid was low to the rear due to worn pads. Turn signals and headlight work like a charm. Tech was amazed that there was any ground at all getting through to the load shed relay. Just kicked over 154,000 miles, so I can't bitch too much about the starter.



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 2012, 8:14 pm
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Signals

I'd be starting with the corrosion deal. Pop the seat off and unplug some wire connectors you can get to quick. That may give you an idea if there is a corrosion issue, the green fuzz we call it, cured with baking soda-water-and air hose. Are you near the Ocean or been there recently?

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 2012, 1:48 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobbler
I'd be starting with the corrosion deal. Pop the seat off and unplug some wire connectors you can get to quick. That may give you an idea if there is a corrosion issue, the green fuzz we call it, cured with baking soda-water-and air hose. Are you near the Ocean or been there recently?
There is a BMW bulletin on that....cleaning/lubing the connectors regularly. Not specific to the K1200RS but, good maintenance.

Good electrical cleaner and marine dielectric grease, good for at least a couple years. I like this one because it is non-aerosol and does both cleaning/lubing.You can seep it into most of the contacts without disconnecting them.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2012, 2:41 am
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For my two cents worth, I would say starter motor armiture is dirty (probably black) and not earthing correctly. I have had a few debates over this issue, but the proof is in the pudding as they say... Symptoms in order of appearance, and severity are:
1) Indicators that act erratically usually only coming on for one or two flashes rather than the set 16 or so while on the move
2) If you pay very close attention to the headlight it may flicker or pulse a little around 3500 revs. Instrument lights will also flicker
3) When the starter motor engages and the load shed relay cuts power to the headlight. When the lights come back on, they flicker several times before remaining bright.
4) When starter button is pushed and the motor fires, the speedo needle moves up to about 35kph/20mph and back to rest.
5) Eventually, IF this is your problem, the starter will only click when the button is pushed. A firm tap with a screwdriver will allow the brushes to engage and the starter to turnover.

During the gremlin attacks I had, I worked out that if I gave the bike a good blast to very high revs in a few gears, the symptoms vanished - for a while, but always to return. Eventually I took the bike to an auto electrician who successfully diagnosed a poor earth in the started motor in less than 1 hour. BTW this guy is an automobile electrician with no specific BMW motorcycle diagnostic equipment. Just plenty of knowledge in vehicle electrics and high quality automotive diagnostic gear. Also, I had discussed this problem with BMW New Zealand who stated that it was very unlikely to be the starter motor as the bike was only a few years old with about 60,000km on it. Once the starter motor was removed and cleaned, the problems vanished, and at 110,000km, all is well. BTW points 2 and 3 are easily checked at home after dark on the driveway.
Lots of the symptoms point to all sorts of things like a faulty load shed relay or indicator flasher unit, but ultimately, it comes down to an earth issue, and unfortunately a lot of the electrics earth through the starter motor.
Also, and this is pertinent, the two serious gremlin attacks occurred several days after exposure to a high sea salt environment. First was a ride through a seaside valley that had a huge on shore wind carrying a lot of salt and the second was a violent ferry crossing - No more will be said about that... One possible explanation is the starter motor has two small holes in the outer casing and I believe salt laden air has entered and caused the corrosion.
All said and done, if the starter motor needs to be removed there are ways to achieve this without following Clymer, and can be done in a couple of hours with very few tools. Both H and myself have cone up with a method of removal that most of us are more than capable of performing. Personally, I would ask a local auto electrician to confirm the starter as the cause, once removed I would ask him to spin it on his lathe to clean it up perfect. Brushes last for ever and are unlikely to need replacing.

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