K1200RS Indicator/brake light fault - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 9:09 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: london, london, uk
Posts: 3
K1200RS Indicator/brake light fault

Hello all,

Just traded my trusty K100RS SE for a 2002 K1200RS. What a bike! I'm delighted with it.
However yesterday I put the indicator on and I got the double-speed flash warning that usually accompanies a blown bulb. Turns out that when the tail light or brake light are on, the rear indicators don't illuminate (in fact the OPPOSITE indicator flashes, but faintly). Also, the tail light flashes off and on in opposing phase to the indicator.
When the tail/brake light is off, the indicators function normally but are quite dim (rear only).
I suspect a loose earth / earth leak somewhere in the loom sending to the rear lights, but as the bike is so new to me I haven't a clue where to start looking.
Any ideas would be a great help as I fear putting the message out to cars behind that I am about to go one way when in fact I'm about to go t'other could be a tad life-threatening.

Thanks in advance and just to say what a great forum, it's been invaluable to me for choosing my new bike!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 1:38 pm
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 227
Looks like back to hand signals for you Joe. . .

But seriously, that's a problem. I believe there is a wiring diagram available online. And you do know that brown is ground on BMW's.

I would have a look under the seat towards the rear seat latch. Are the turn signals, by chance, also running lights on this bike ? Can you get hold of the previous owner ?

Not much else to go on. Electrical bug-a-boos are always a pain.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2013, 2:00 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: london, london, uk
Posts: 3

Hi Dohalloran,
Took the seat off and wiggled the connector on the right hand side. Fixed! Myguess is that the connector dropped it's earth?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 2013, 6:24 am
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: , , UK
Posts: 3,750
'Wiggling' is not a good fix and next time it will be your speedo that stops working!

Rain water hitting the saddle falls off the bottom edge and ends up getting into all those bullet connectors tied on to the right side seat rail.

Do some worthwhile preventative maintenance now:

Pull the wire and bullet from each connection (may be hard), clean up the connections with wire wool and needle file, removing anything that looks 'green' or corroded. Before mating each connection, give the connector a squirt of switch cleaner lube.

Glad you like the bike. Just keep the Gremlins out and the bike will stay good for you.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 8:25 am
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Skippack, PA, USA
Posts: 518
Electrical troubleshooting comes down to "follow the path". That is, pick one end or another of the wiring involved and check every connection along the way. That you wiggled something and the problem "went away" certainly suggests the problem (sounds like a loose connection to me, too) isn't too far from the lights.

Get a voltmeter and take a reading right at the battery. This is the baseline or "target" voltage you're looking for. Then take a reading at the light in question. If there's a poor connection somewhere, the voltage will be (often much) lower than your target voltage. Check each connection along the circuit, working back to the battery, until you see what you saw at the battery. Go back one connection and the problem lies either with the connection or somewhere in between (damaged wire), If the voltage is only off a tenth or two from the target voltage, that's OK. If it's off by many tenths or even whole volts, not so good.

Follow the ground (or earth) lead the same way.

Good luck and do things methodically, do not jump from here to there, saying "maybe it's here - oh, wait, maybe it's there." That way lies at least frustration if not outright madness.

Not all who wander are lost. Which still leaves room for more than a few lost wanderers...

Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled

Last edited by RBEmerson; Jul 2nd, 2013 at 8:51 am.
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